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In a debate between John Lennox and Peter Atkins on the topic "Can science explain everything?", at minute 44:47 John Lennox claims:

Lennox: "And the major reason why I believe Christianity is true is because--and here comes science again as a base--because Christianity is testable."

Atkins: "Oh nonsense, how can it be tested?"

Lennox: "Well, Peter, let me face that head-on. Christ said that if a person considered the evidence and came to believe that he was God incarnate who was dying on a cross to give forgiveness and bring peace with God, well we can test that! I've tested it! And I've seen hundreds of people test it. I mean, take an example. I was lecturing at Harvard a while ago to a couple of thousands of people, and when I'd finished, a young Chinese student stood up and he said 'look at me!'. So we we looked at him. And I said why should we look at you? And he was absolutely beaming. He said 'you should look at me because six months ago I came to a lecture you gave at Penn State University. I was at the end. My life was in a complete mess. And something you said triggered a search. And I started to read the New Testament for myself and I became a Christian. And just look at me now.' Now ladies and gentlemen, I've seen that happen not once, not twice, dozens of times. And when you see addiction to drugs transformed at the foot of the table, when you see broken relationships mended, and you ask people what happened to you, and they say variously 'I became a Christian', 'I had an encounter with Christ', you begin to put two and two together and make four! And I wouldn't sit here for a nanosecond if I didn't believe these promises that Jesus made actually can be fulfilled in a person's life today. And that's immensely important to me, the testability of Christian relationship with God."

He also makes similar claims in a short 5 min long video titled Is Christianity testable? | John Lennox at Texas A&M.

Is Christianity testable?


EDIT: for those interested in a Philosophy.SE counterpart to this question, consider visiting Is Christianity testable? Philosophy Stack Exchange

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    But he's not actually describing "Christianity". For example, the core beliefs of the Catholic faith are espoused in the Nicene Creed, which includes claims about: how the universe was created, events from 2000 years ago, and heaven. (Not all of the beliefs are universal amongst Christians, either.) He hasn't explained how any of that can be tested. (Furthermore, there's no promise in there that earthly life will be better for Christians; we all know bad things happen to even the most devout.)
    – Laurel
    Nov 26, 2023 at 19:42
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    The quote is somewhat deliberately playing with words. What it really means is 'faith is testable' or 'faith adoption is testable' or even 'adopting Christian faith will make life better for someone [on average]'. (FTWT, on that last point a fair bit more has been written theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/03/…) Nov 26, 2023 at 21:03
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    This is a question for Philosophy.SE, not Skeptics.SE. We can't answer this with empirical evidence. It needs a logical take-down.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 27, 2023 at 0:53
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    When the question changes from the philosophical: "Can you test whether Jesus was the Son of God and the Messiah by observing converts to Christianity beating drug addictions and repairing relationships?" to empirical "Does converting to Christianity reduce drug addictions and repair relationships?" come back.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 27, 2023 at 0:57
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    @Oddthinking Let's see how it goes
    – Mark
    Nov 27, 2023 at 1:10

1 Answer 1

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The question isn't so much "is Christianity testable" but "is this a valid test of the supernatural nature of Christianity?"

No.

First, anacdotes are not evidence. "I was at a conference once and some guy in the audience said..." But it's not far fetched to think someone has been moved by the Bible.

From the anecdote it seems their claim is reading the Bible can turn someone's life around therefore it is supernatural. There's nothing supernatural about a person's outlook on life changing by reading a book. That's not exclusive to the Bible nor religious texts.

That's what books do.

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    Limiting it to just books? That’s what basically any form of expression/media can do.
    – Topcode
    Nov 27, 2023 at 5:05

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