The Scientific Method
The Experiment





My brain protested the change in sequence:
To suspend belief for the sake of a mental exercise is easy.
To create a belief for the sake of a mental exercise is much harder.

My experiment would be simple. I would turn control of my life over to God and live as a Christian for two weeks. At the end of that time, I would reflect on what I had learned, and go on with my life, having added one more school of teaching to my collection.

So I thought.

The normal scientific method calls for running an experiment by collecting data first, then drawing a conclusion last. But my experiment could not be conducted that way. This was a religion on trial here. It does not lend itself to normal methods.

No, this was going to require drawing the conclusion that God existed first, then collecting the data. This is backwards, I thought. My brain protested. This was bad science, I said. It was out of sequential order.

The reason for this is that Christianity requires the exercise of faith first, before being able to transition into it. This is very difficult for thinkers. It was difficult for me. Everything else I had done before subjected itself to a "Show me first, then I will believe" approach.

This use of faith is not a short-cut for the intellectually lazy. Christianity teaches that faith is the sole method of entry. You can't get in by study, will, work, charity or money. Once inside, you are free to doubt and test, but you will not have access to the state of being a Christian without exercising faith to get there.

This was hard for me, but my opportunity cost theory, and my pride about being an open-minded philosopher compelled me.

Unfortunately, despite my previous experience, I knew essentially nothing about God or Christianity. I knew that this experiment required surrendering my will to an unseen, unknown God. (I should have been terrified, but was too ignorant.)

On the afternoon of September 19, 1978, I set about to surrender control of my life to God for two weeks. That was the plan.

Now what?