Why Should You Believe Anything?

James W. Sire gives this 50-minute Veritas Forum lecture, “Why Should Anyone Believe Anything At All?”  He’s addressing college students and begins by pointing out that everyone “believes” things – beginning with the time showing on our watches.

He takes pains to distinguish between causes of belief and reasons for belief.  Perhaps his most significant point is that people want – and should want – to believe what is true (i.e. what is real).  He then goes on to give three tests for truth:

1. Consistency (Logic)
2. Coherence
3. Completeness

He then offers Jesus, and the New Testament documents which present Him, as being a consistent, coherent, and complete explanation of life as we know it – though he doesn’t actually make the case in this lecture.  (It was the introductory lecture to a series.)

Sire is stronger in the beginning when he is explaining how we variously arrive at our answers about life than he is at the end when he is apologizing for the shortcomings of the church.  He would have ended much stronger if he had argued for the kingdom of God instead of church (see Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church.)

I wouldn’t recommend this clip to everyone.  It’s long and its payoffs are sporadic.  Nevertheless, it lays a reasonable foundation for someone who is thinking about examining the claims for Jesus Christ in an intellectually honest way.


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