Can You Prove That?
George Lyttelton was the model student. Friends were told to replicate his behavior which earned Lyttelton a place in Oxford. His studies were short lived, being compelled to write and experience life. His 1730's exploits were taken on the back of his poetry, as he saw the world differently traveling through France and Italy.
Following his travels he earned a parlimentary seat, where he was known for zeal in debating every account of every debate in the House of Commons. His life was met with tragedy through the loss of his first wife in childbearing and the second wife in divorce.
Following the erratic past of poetry, travels, politics and challenged marriages Lyttelton set out to disprove Christianity. His subject was the validity of Paul's conversion. His 1747 book Observations on the Conversion of St. Paul was the result of his study. The result may best be found in his father's letter following the parent's read of Lyttelton's investment:
I have read your religious treatise with infinte pleasure and satisfaction...May the Kind of kings, whose glorious cause you have so well defended, reward your pious labours, and grant that I may be found worthy, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to be an eye-witness of that happiness which I don't doubt he will bountifully bestow upon you.
The distraction of self caused Lyttleton to deny the reality of Christ. Witnessing, through historic accounts, the significant change in Paul's life and his attributing the change to Jesus Christ caused Lyttleton to reconsider his opposition. Through an indepth exploration of reality, occuring later in life, Lyttleton gave his life to Christ in such a profound way that his father expressed his joy in anticipation of seeing Lyttleton, and Christ in Heaven.
Lyttleton's book closes with an explanation of his journey through doubt as he writes:
If the glorious light of the Gospel be sometimes overcast with clouds of doubt, so is the light of our reason too. But shall we deprive ourselves of the advantage of either... Shall we obstinately and frowardly shut our eyes against that dayspring from on high that has visited us, because we are not as yet able to bear the full blaze of his beams? ...Faith even then will be necessary, and there will be mysteries which cannot be penetrated by the most exalted archangel, and Truths which cannot be known by him otherwise than from revelation, or believed upon any other ground of assent than a submissive confidence in the divine wisdom. What, then, shall man resume that his weak and narrow understanding is sufficient to guide him into all Truth, without any need of revelation or Faith?
Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul | Baron George Lyttleon
The challenge of doubt has not changed over the centuries, and Tim Keller's explanation in the Veritas.org video above gives good explanation to the need for reason and logic, while noting that we can never prove something 100%. All beliefs require faith.
It is with this reality that we challenge students to understand the world, reason well together and find their hope and purpose in a Truth that is consistent with reality, coherent to mankind and comprehensive in every academic discipline and social structure. This working-out of students' faith is part of the Hillcrest experience, offering families so much more than a diploma.