Yes, you read the title correctly. It is not a typo.
I caught this picture making the rounds on Facebook. Considering the lack of enough information to make an informed answer, and the catch phrase stating that 99% of people will answer incorrectly, I was curious if that really was the case.
To my disappointment, nearly every response I scrolled through had a final numerical answer. Most concluded 6 or 8. Some chose 2. There was the odd response of a different number. There were even some who included their train of thought in counting the holes. Even they claimed to have the answer. There were people who identified a minimum number of holes, taking into account the inability to see the back of the shirt – even they neglected the possibility of the holes being connected to the body or arm holes. I would hazard to say that 99% of people who responded actually did respond incorrectly.
What does this have to do with Christianity?
Actually, I think it is a good metaphor for understandings of Christianity as a whole.
The story of Jesus has some holes in it itself. Over half of Jesus’ life is unaccounted for – assuming the crucifixion or shortly after was the end of it. There are the possible holes of the short amount of time Jesus was documented to be on the cross, and that his legs weren’t broken as insurance that he was dead. There are significant inconsistencies between the Gospels, namely John’s (which will be further addressed in the next post). Scholars seem to suggest there are gaps of time between the events of the Bible and the documentation of it. Lots of holes!
People count these Biblical holes differently as well. If you ask many Christians, they will suggest that it all adds up to a visit from God Himself. If you ask many Anti-Theists, they will suggest it adds up to a completely fictional story. If you ask me, there’s too much missing from view to be able to confirm either suggestion. Though, we can get a better sense of the fabric of the reality of who Jesus was and how his teachings are actually applicable to life by exploring and what they could and couldn’t be. That still leaves room for a large variety of possibilities, but at least upon accepting that we will probably never reach a definitive final answer, we can honestly and thoughtfully move away from the points of view that divide us on the subject and begin to collaborate on what the real truth could be.
But considering that 99% of people will come up with a final answer even without a lot of the information, I guess that’s easier said than done.