Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Where's your information coming from?

Hi Guys. I wasn’t going to put out another Cross Purposes blog until I returned from holidays but I had a thought while preaching the Sunday before last (May 28) and perhaps it’s worth sharing.

In the Good Weekend Supplement in the Sydney Morning Herald Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has a spot dealing with myths, curiosities and absurdities. It’s called “Mythconceptions”. His May 20 item had the headline “Unconscious errors”.

In that article Dr Karl reflects on the way TV soaps portray coma patients.

In 64 cases of coma played out on soaps between 1995 and 2005;

• Trauma coma patients died 6% of the time in TV land (in real life the figure is 67%)
• Non-trauma patients died 4% of the time in TV land (in real life the figure is 53%)
• In 89% of TV cases, trauma patients returned to full function (in real life the figure is 7%!)
• In 91% of TV cases non-trauma patients returned to full function (in real life the figure is 1%!)

And he adds: “Most coma patients need months of rehab – but in soaps 86% wake up and immediately start normal activites…

My question:
If your life depended on knowledge gleamed from the soaps about coma stats what chance would you have? The knowledge we have been receiving from the soaps is highly inaccurate and misleading. We are certainly not getting truth from that source. We’d need to access the specialists in the field.

My other question:
Where are you getting your information, your facts, your “truth” about the Christian Faith? From the scathing sceptics in the Media? Maybe from the pathetic way most Christians are portrayed in the Movies? From the derision poured out by critics of the Church over cases of sexual misbehaviour? Maybe from the Da Vinci Code? What is lie, misinformation or untruth?

Do you know why Christians believe what they believe? Ever done any research on the subject? Any idea why the early church Fathers included or excluded books in or from the collection of writings that make up the New Testament. Aware in any way about the weight or force of historical evidence for the truth of the Scripture and of Jesus?

This is highly reliable evidence from the person we know as Jesus and for the truth of what we believe about his life, death and resurrection. Lots of multiple witnesses! It’s not about some “cleverly made myth” and the suppression of the real truth.

The Dan Brown book actually does us a huge favour. It forces us to know what we should always have known. The church has been lazy about teaching its people. We’ve told our people “you should believe this because we tell you to”. How good is it that we have been forced to recover all the reasons behind our faith convictions? That is important and good for us.

For research
1. Many bibles have a section in which the process of the writings of the Apostles becoming scripture is described. Get a copy and read. It’s an important part of your equipment!
2. Nicky Gumbel in the Alpha course has a wonderful presentation of why historians regard the New Testament texts as accurate and trustworthy. Ask me for a video copy – or come along to Alpha in August!

Have a blessed week.

- Pastor Fred