Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. For by it the people of old received God’s commendation. By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible. Hebrews 11:1-3
We believe in God as Creator by faith, not by scientific evidence or proof. Why do we believe this? Because of the testimony of the Holy Spirit within our hearts, not because we learned it in physics or biology class. The constant search for scientific evidence to “prove” the literal truth of Genesis 1-11 betrays a lack of faith, in my opinion.
As for eyewitnesses, this is the primary proof of Jesus’ identity as the Christ, the Son of God. We believe the witnesses, or we don’t. It’s as simple as that. That is why Jesus designated them “apostles,” or “messengers.” I find their testimony believable, and it is backed by the witness of the prophets, who foretold the meaning of the “Christ event” hundreds of years prior.
Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable about details. The key here is that there are multiple witnesses, and whereas some details of their stories may disagree or grow fuzzy with time, there is little likelihood that they missed the main point. They claimed that a man had come back to life from the dead. This isn’t something that one could be mistaken about. As John says in the opening of his letter:
“This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life— and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
And Jesus was not just any man, but a man the Scriptures foretold. What we so often fail to remember was one of Blaise Pascal’s favorite themes: The form of this world is deliberately ambiguous, because this world is a test. Absolute proof would destroy faith, not encourage it. Why did Christ entrust his message to apostles (messengers) rather than writing it down himself? Why does God use us to spread his message, rather than simply revealing himself directly to the elect? God routinely works through secondary means, which require the exercise of faith. This is because the knowledge of God is knowledge of a person, not a theory or an explanation or a philosophy. As Paul said in his great conclusion to 1 Cor. 13:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.