When Experience and Evidence Kiss
One of my favourite verses in the Bible is “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (Psalm 85:10) I love the idea of righteousness and peace kissing each other.
If there are two other concepts in Christianity that kiss, it would be experience and evidence. I understand that many of my apologist friends get really nervous when Christians talk about experience. They immediately imagine someone praying after reading the Book of Mormon and experiencing the “burning in the bosom.” But I am not talking about solely relying on experience.
The book of Acts is an excellent example of the balance of experience and evidence. In Acts 2 we have the experience of Pentecost, followed by examining how it fits within the biblical worldview. The Apostle Paul shares his experience of meeting Jesus twice but also demonstrates in Acts 17 how to use evidence.
John Wesley is one of my heroes from church history. He was a brilliant man who could hold his own with the best. But he also emphasized experience. He understood that we didn’t have to choose one or the other.
I am not talking about a faith that is based on experience alone or evidence alone. A healthy faith that satisfies the mind and the heart includes both.