All our knowledge of factual reality is of a probable nature. The absolute logical certainty which pertains to tautologous statements, which say the same thing twice, is not possible with respect to historical events, which are contingent and could have been otherwise (C. H. Pinnock, ‘On the Third Day’ in C. F. H. Henry (ed.), Jesus of Nazareth: Saviour and Lord, p. 155).
t follows, therefore, that historical investigation can never lead to a necessary conclusion of faith since historical research always involves estimating a probability factor.
The distinction between certainty and probability has been correctly emphasized by Tillich who insists that ‘faith … cannot make the historically probable or improbable certain. The certitude of faith does not imply certainty about questions of historical research’ (Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p. 108),
These observations concerning the contingency of all historical events and the limitations of historical research do not lead to the necessary conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus either did not or could not take place as an historical event which ’stands … in absolute priority to faith’ (Pinnock, ‘On the Third Day’, p. 155).
Source: Christ in all the Scriptures
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