On a cold February night in Lake Placid, New York, a few thousand American men and women cheered hysterically in disbelief. So did Al Michaels, a man paid to be stoic and professional as he announced the broadcasted hockey game. “Do you believe in miracles?! Yes!” The United States National Hockey Team shocked the world and defeated the Soviet Union, the Goliath of hockey at the time, before going on to win the gold medal. Who would have guessed? John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two American revolutionaries, stood divided over how much of the federal government’s nose should be in the people’s business. Disparagement and muckraking ensued. But time healed these wounds, and Adams and Jefferson went on to become friends again, writing letters back and forth for over a decade. Their lives ended five hours apart from each other on the same day. That day was July 4—the very same day their country would celebrate its independence.
I sat down with my family to play a trivia game. The question read, “Which of these state laws is true?” There are four choices. I picked the answer that sounded the most ridiculous, one we all laughed at when we read it aloud, and I got it right. “It was too strange not to be true,” I quipped.
Sometimes, what makes the truth so believable is how unbelievable it is. This is why G.K. Chesterton said, “There is generally something odd in the truth.” It was a sense of oddness that saved my faith some years ago.
MY QUEST FOR TRUTH
At some point, every Christian deals with the reality of doubt in their lives. Maybe it’s a momentary thought or a season of spiritual depression, but we all have a time when we ask ourselves, “Is all of this really true? Is the Bible really God’s words? Is Jesus who he said he was?”
My moment was brief, but very real. It was more than an annoyance or a bother—it shook me. I felt like I was in a spiritual crisis. Would a few questions topple decades of Christian teaching I experienced? I began to read notable Christian apologists and secular New Atheists in tandem. My thought was to weigh the two sides, see which one holds more clout and makes more sense, then go with whichever one made more sense. That was not a foolproof decision, though. After all, my quest revolved around faith—a word contingent on mystery and trust. I soon realized that in order to profess or deny faith in Christ, one must come face-to-face with God’s Word itself and say, “Yes,” or, “No.”
So, I put down Richard Bauckham and Richard Dawkins and picked up the Bible. These words are different, claiming to be the self-professed words of God. They are their own apologist. If that was the case, then I could simply read these words and see what happened.