Evidence based faith is regular ol' faith

When Easter rolls around there are always a good number of shows that crop up on TV dealing with all sorts of "hunts" or "discoveries" of possible proofs of some religious story. It is as though we read these stories and think they cannot be True without having some connection to historical fact. Anyone who has ever read a children's book knows that there is Truth in stories that have talking animals and imaginary worlds. Truth is not, and never has been, limited to the historical or even the measurable.

For whatever the reasons, it is common for some to spend an entire lifetime in pursuit of evidence to justify a belief in something. The irony is that in the pursuit of evidence, we become less and less persuaded by evidence counter to our belief. No matter how much evidence comes out, the conspiracy theorists (those who are out to discover the "real truth") will always find reasons discount evidence that is contrary to their belief. 

However if we step back and look at what evidence based disciplines embrace, I think there is something to an evidence based faith. 

Evidence based medicine (or economics, etc.) has two fundamental postures that are mandatory for any evidence based practice:

  1. Humility 
  2. Curiosity

The posture of humility says, "I don't know everything there is to know and what I do know may be incorrect." 

The posture of curiosity says, "How do I go and learn more about the things I don't know and how do I see again the things that I do 'know'?"

This is why I think the search for the "real Noah's arc" or the "holy grail" are exercises in missing the point. These searches are trying to get evidence in order to justify a belief. It comes off as evidence based faith, but in reality these pursuits often violate the two fundamental postures of evidence based practices. 

If the idea of evidenced based faith is a paradox that cannot be reconciled in our minds, so be it. Much of the teachings of Jesus are paradoxical and they do not make sense. However, as crazy as it may sound, the fundamental postures of evidence based faith are the same fundamental postures of plain ol', regular, faith.