Evidentialism

Saint Augustine at first objected to Christianity because “he couldn’t believe scriptures that were written in a low and vulgar style.”

“Surely if God were the author of these things he could have spoken more like Cicero. Augustine treats his objection with great respect, and he resolves it only when Ambrose explains to him that the scriptures have a (hidden) genius through their allegorical meanings. Those who read Augustine usually dispense with his objection far more quickly and with far less care. It simply doesn’t strike us as reasonable (whether theists or atheists) that the style of the scripture is crucial to its claims to inspiration. But when your culture values rhetorical style to an extreme degree and has achieved truly immortal feats of rhetorical excellence, it counts against the Scriptures that they do not speak with eloquence.

“Our culture, however, doesn’t value rhetoric but scientific discourse, and so our version of Augustine’s objection is that we can’t believe scriptures that show such little interest for scientific method.” — Evidence, Rhetorical Style, and Testimony

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