"Calling attention to the necessity of witnesses suggests to many people, particularly those of the philosophical bent, the end of argument. For Christians, however, 'witness' names the condition necessary to begin argument. To be a witness does not mean that Christians are in the business of calling attention to ourselves but that we witness to the One who has made our lives possible. Witness, at least the witness to which Christians are called, is, after all, about God and God's relation to all that is.
Witnesses must exist if Christians are to be intelligible to themselves and hopefully to those who are not Christians, just as the intelligibility of science depends in the end on the success of experiments. Indeed, Marshall argues that the Christian martyr's willingness to die for his or her faith in Christ is similar to the scientist's commitment to experimental results, though any pragmatic similarity that can be drawn between science and theology is inexact. Thus martyrs—who are but the most determinative display of what being a witness entails—go to their deaths convinced that the gospel is true, but scientists do their experiments in order to become convinced that a hypothetical set of beliefs is true.
Moreover, for the scientist the failure of predicted results may disconfirm the theory that shaped their experimental design; but Christians believe that they should trust the gospel even when they fail to live lives congruent with it, and even when such trust requires that they die. Christians behave in this way because they understand themselves to have become characters in the story that God continues to enact through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. Lives that seem like failures do not disconfirm the gospel, because Christians learn to confess their sins by being made part of the work of the Spirit."
- Hauerwas, Stanley, 2001: With the Grain of the Universe; The Church´s Witness and Natural Theology. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press. S 207, 212.