Putting the Two Stories Together

C. Stephen Evans

in The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith

Published in print April 1996 | ISBN: 9780198263975
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600579 | DOI:
 Putting the Two Stories Together

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In the last two chapters an examination was made of two plausible accounts (the evidentialist ‘story’ and the Reformed ‘story’) of how knowledge of the incarnational narrative might be gained; both were shown to have difficulties, although in neither case were they insurmountable. It is suggested here that the fact that these two stories face different kinds of problems is a clue that they are not necessarily designed to do the same job. In fact that they offer complementary answers to different questions, rather than rival answers to the same question (although it is seen later that, in some cases, they may also be seen as offering alternative versions of the same answer to the same question). A proposal is made to understand the two accounts as related in the following way: the Reformed story is the story that the Church tells when it is attempting to understand how Christians gain the knowledge they claim to have; the evidentialist story is the story the Church tells when it is attempting to convince or persuade someone of what it takes to be the truth. This view is a promising one for dealing with the major difficulties of each approach, so there seems to be potential in seeing the two accounts as complementary. A short section at the beginning of this chapter asks whether the Holy Spirit can work through human arguments; the rest of it is devoted to a detailed analysis of the complementarities of the evidentialist and Reformed stories.

Keywords: complementarity; evidentialist apologetics; evidentialist approach; incarnational narrative; knowledge; Reformed approach

Chapter.  7516 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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