… and can therefore accept only one possible conclusion in a fascinating but inconclusive archeological dig.
That pretty much sums up a Christian’s concluding argument in a conversation I had today on the subject of the 2007-2013 Khirbe Qeiyafa excavation. She kept pointing to things as “proof” of Biblical accuracy (and we’re talking “proof” that an armored Philistine warrior who was 9-10 feet tall was killed by a divinely-guided river stone thrown by a teenage shepherd’s slingshot).
My position in this conversation was that we have to weigh all of the facts, big and small. We need to examine the evidence and which conclusion(s) the evidence fits with and to what extent. For instance, a chip of pottery with the name “goliath” on it indicates, as stated in another piece, that “Goliath” was indeed a name used in the time period of that pot… but it does not indicate that there was a giant who fought a future king of Israel. Just things like that.
There were several other “AHA!” moments that I had to point out were more inconclusive details that could support several possible conclusions, and that more research needs to be done. Her response? “Well I’m a Christian!” saying,of course, that the only conclusion she (and others like her) was open to from the outset is the one as told in the scriptures. I said,”Well, shouldn’t a Christian be very concerned with an honest approach to a matter?” She said,”Exactly,” again, implying that an approach that interprets the evidence through the lens of one’s preferred position (in this case, the accounts as described in the Bible) and disqualifies other possibilities is an honest approach.
It’s a good thing our justice system doesn’t work this “honestly.”
Whether one is Christian or Muslim, Wiccan or Atheist, we need to examine an issue honestly. Look at the evidence. Which conclusions does it fit with? What does it say? What does it not say?