Pamela Binnings Ewen’s recent book, Walk Back the Cat, is gathering some national publicity, along with her previous work, Faith on Trial. Pamela is a lawyer in a well-known law firm who went from agnosticism to Christianity based on the impact of evidence. See, for example, her interview at CelebrityCafe.com, or listen to a more detailed radio interview at TheSop.org. Reminds me of some of the enthusiastic efforts of people to apply scientific or logical evidence to support the Gospel (yes, I’m in that group). An interesting topic, always, but one with plenty of pitfalls. Interestingly, the Celebrity Cafe interview touches upon such familiar topics as the reliability of witnesses, DNA analysis, radiocarbon dating, archaeological evidence and lost books of scripture.
Logic and evidence played a major role in her conversion. She noted, for example, that the recorded evidence for Christianity provided by eye-witness accounts far exceeded the legal standards of evidence used to convict people in most trials. But note that she first faced a personal crisis and desire to know if Christianity was true or not before the impact of the evidence could touch her. I think that’s how it is for most people: evidence for Christianity or the Book of Mormon will not change a person’s views until there is a sincere quest for truth to begin with. For those who aren’t seeking, chiasmus, the Arabian Peninsula, the massive credibility of multiple witnesses, and all the other exciting evidences for the plausibility of the Book of Mormon will not bring souls to Christ. But for those sincerely seeking truth, the evidences can be helpful at some stage, perhaps in motivating them to learn more or in overcoming some arguments from enemies of the Church, helping them to move forward in faith. But faith is always needed. That’s how it’s supposed to be, I’m sure.