For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.(Galatians 1:12) ESV
Evidence doesn’t lead to a conclusion, it just is. The idea that evidence is neutral and we all have access to it is known as Matty’s razor. We interpret evidence in a way that fits what we believe.
Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. It’s a way to test information. We have to evaluate whether or not a piece of information qualifies as a fact.
A fact is a : something that has actual existence, b : an actual occurrence.– Fact, definition (Merriam-Webster)
Here’s an idea: a fact has to be true regardless of what you believe about science or the Bible. We have two competing paradigms: popular science (SciPop) and Matty’s Paradigm. Facts can’t be paradigm-dependent. If a piece of information is only true in one of the paradigms then it’s not a fact.
This means that anything which is only true in the popular science paradigm (SciPop) isn’t a fact. You know, stuff like black holes, dark matter and the expansion of the universe. Once we establish what the facts are, then we can deduce a conclusion. We can then consider this to be knowledge.
And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”(Matthew 13:52) ESV
Here’s another shocking idea: evidence is neutral and we all have access to it. However, we have to start with primary sources of evidence, we can’t use secondary interpretations of evidence, tailored specifically to fit a narrative that’s only true in one paradigm, as the starting point of our reasoning. This is the mistake that all Christian theologians and apologists have made since Newton: they all reason within the SciPop paradigm. We’re not going to make that mistake. This is our epistemological razor.
We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.– Matty’s razor
This helps us to understand faith in such a way that it becomes an investigative tool. We can debunk a current propaganda definition of faith and replace it with a definition which validates our scientific inquiry.