Thursday, July 18, 2013

A streak of biased reporting

(John Dickson has done something similar to this with a soccer game but it works with a streaker as well)

People often say that the gospels can't be trusted because the disciples who wrote them were biased; that their bias caused them to present Jesus' life in a fantastical way.

But a certain event in last night's origin game has been reported very differently in each state based on the particular allegiance of their newspapers.  QLD papers ask whether the streaker was "a NSW plot to deny them a try", while NSW papers suggest the streaker wasted time and "cost them a chance at getting down the other end to score".  Both have reported the impact of the streaker based on their bias (or the bias of their readership), in fact one might say their is no more passionate bias in Australia than a State of Origin bias. But the reality is that despite their strong biases both reported true facts about the streaker, such as the time it happened, what he was (or wasn't) wearing, his name, the score at the time, the fact QLD crossed the line when it happened, that QLD were denied that try, etc...

We all have our biases, and we can't help but let them influence the way we see this world.  But just because we are biased doesn't mean that we report falsely... we generally report events accurately even if we colour the impact of the events according to our bias.  The gospel writers had their bias just like us, but their bias doesn't mean that what they reported about about Jesus was a lie.  They still reported truths that can be historically verified irrespective of biases.

You cannot reject Christianity because you don't believe Jesus existed (because historically you can't question that), but rather you can only reject it based on what you believe ABOUT Jesus - He is either Lord and Saviour as the gospel writers suggest or He is not.  There is no doubt that the gospel writers wrote with a bias and with a definite purpose to call people to believe in Jesus as Lord.  But I would argue that this bias should not cause you to disregard Jesus as a fanciful creation of their deluded minds, because their bias doesn't rule out the truth in what they reported.  Instead maybe it is time for you to put your own preconceived ideas aside and investigate Jesus, all that He said and did, and make your mind up about Him.

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