The Gospel and the Gospel HypothesisJune 16, 2009 — Deacon Duncan
The Gospel Hypothesis proposes that there exists an all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving and all-powerful Creator Who wants a genuine, personal, eternal relationship with each and every one of us, to the point that He is willing and able to become one of us, to dwell among us, and to die for us so that we can be with Him forever. Pretty standard, VBS-grade stuff, right? You could make a hymn out of it, and in fact quite a few people have.
So why would a believer speak of his “intense distaste” for the Gospel Hypothesis? Is it Christianity? Is it not Christianity? What is it that makes the Gospel Hypothesis so loathesome and phobia-inducing for believers?
The Gospel Hypothesis, quite simply, describes the factual prerequisites that must necessarily be true in order for the Bible to be anything more than a man-made myth. The functional definition of rationalization is that it convinces us our beliefs are consistent with the evidence even though, in reality, they are not consistent with the truth. It’s entirely possible for the Bible to be convincing whether or not there exists the type of God described by the Gospel Hypothesis. But convincing or not, if that God does not exist, then Christianity is not true. And the Gospel Hypothesis confronts the believer with a testable hypothesis that can be used to objectively assess the evidence, without the rationalizations, and to expose the inconsistencies that make the Bible incompatible with real-world truth.