This is an excerpt from the Introduction of Evidence Considered: A Response to Evidence for God. I expect that most Christians will agree with most of what I have said, that some Christians will agree with all of it, and that nearly all Christians will agree with some of it. Christians should welcome a close and critical examination of apologetic arguments as part of their search for the truth. As Peter exhorted (1 Peter 3:15), they should be ready “to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
I used to have other reasons (meta arguments, in the sense that they do not use the text of the Bible directly) for accepting the validity of the claims of the Bible. Ultimately they do not matter—for me, the whole thing falls apart with the lack of credibility of the Bible, taken on its own terms, rather than based on some meta-argument. In other words, the biblical text is itself not credible where it matters (discussed in Section 3). But people use these meta-arguments to establish the credibility of the Bible, regardless of how incredible the text is, so I wanted to look at a few of them, and one in particular, which is the continued existence of the Christian church. I do not intend to look at this rigorously, but rather to point out a way that might be helpful to understand this and to explore where this kind of thinking might get us.