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The Historical Christ and the Jesus of FaithThe Incarnational Narrative as History$
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C. Stephen Evans

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019826397X.001.0001

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Putting the Two Stories Together

Putting the Two Stories Together

(p.283) 12 Putting the Two Stories Together
The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith

C. Stephen Evans (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In the last two chapters an examination was made of two plausible accounts (the evidentialist ‘story’ and the Reformed ‘story’) of how knowledge of the incarnational narrative might be gained; both were shown to have difficulties, although in neither case were they insurmountable. It is suggested here that the fact that these two stories face different kinds of problems is a clue that they are not necessarily designed to do the same job. In fact that they offer complementary answers to different questions, rather than rival answers to the same question (although it is seen later that, in some cases, they may also be seen as offering alternative versions of the same answer to the same question). A proposal is made to understand the two accounts as related in the following way: the Reformed story is the story that the Church tells when it is attempting to understand how Christians gain the knowledge they claim to have; the evidentialist story is the story the Church tells when it is attempting to convince or persuade someone of what it takes to be the truth. This view is a promising one for dealing with the major difficulties of each approach, so there seems to be potential in seeing the two accounts as complementary. A short section at the beginning of this chapter asks whether the Holy Spirit can work through human arguments; the rest of it is devoted to a detailed analysis of the complementarities of the evidentialist and Reformed stories.

Keywords:   complementarity, evidentialist apologetics, evidentialist approach, incarnational narrative, knowledge, Reformed approach

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