The Case for Christianity

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The Case for Christianity

Christianity shouldn’t be believed just because it’s what someone was raised with.    Someone shouldn’t be a Christian just because of some religious experience or because it makes them feel better.  That’s all well and good, but how do we know what’s true?  I believe a solid evidential case can be made for Christianity.

So what is this case?  I’ll give a brief overview of it in this post and then explore the evidence for each of the elements in more depth in future posts.  The case can be illustrated by these seven simple images.

 Images for Case


Let’s look at the seven points of the case.

Design

1.

The first point, illustrated by the image of the earth, helps to lay a foundation for the rest, but it need not be accepted from the start for the other points to make a convincing case.  The earth’s axis is included as it illustrates the fine tuning of the universe that makes life possible.  There are many, many factors of the earth and the universe that, if they were just slightly different, life would not be possible.  The odds of all these factors coming together to make life possible is too great for me to believe it just happened by chance.  This evidence and more points to an intelligent designer.

Documents

2.

The second point deals with the New Testament documents, the Gospels in particular.  I don’t start by saying that they are the Word of God.  I simply state that by the standards of documents of antiquity, the Gospels are reliable historical documents.  Judging by the period of time between the events described and the earliest surviving copy, and the great number of copies, the Gospel documents are very reliable.  The evidence for the reliability of the New Testament is so great in comparison to other ancient documents, that if the New Testament documents are unreliable, there’s little of anything we can know about the ancient world.

Things of God

3.

Next, all four of the Gospel accounts describe Jesus Christ doing things only God can do and claiming to be God.  While you may question if miracles are possible, I encourage you to keep an open mind and explore the evidence.  It’s never fair to make a conclusion before considering the evidence.  What’s more, in addition to the Gospel accounts, other ancient documents also make reference to the extraordinary things Jesus did.

Resurrection

4.

Fourth, those same Gospel accounts also describe in detail how Jesus died by crucifixion and how he rose again from the dead.  The Gospels provide eye witness testimony of those who were convinced that the man they saw die rose again to life.  The resurrection of Jesus was key to their whole message.

Investigate

5.

Fifth, while it can be hard to believe that someone actually rose from the dead, I believe that after a full, open-minded examination of all the evidence, the explanation that best fits all that evidence is that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead.  We’ll explore all this evidence in future posts and you can make up your own mind which explanation is most likely.

Jesus is God

6.

Sixth, since Jesus claimed to be God and then he rose again from the dead, I think that backs up his claim pretty well, not to mention the miracles.  Anyone can claim to be God, but I only know of one who rose from the dead and changed the world because of that.  We’ll explore what Jesus claimed and the implications of that.

Word

7.

And then finally, seventh, if Jesus is God we can trust what he says, both about himself and about the Bible.  Jesus affirmed the Old Testament as the Word of God and he chose those who would be his eye witnesses and share his message with the world and he authorized them to give us the New Testament.  We’ll explore the evidence for this as well.

 

And so while I don’t think it’s extremely persuasive with many people to just state that the Bible is the Word of God, and so you should listen to it and follow it, I believe that from the case I’ve laid out, the evidence shows that Jesus is God and he affirmed the Bible as the Word of God and so for that reason we should listen to it, trust it, and follow it.  While many have different opinions of the Bible, and while there are a lot of different religious ideas out there, I’ll go with the one who rose from the dead.

 

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Next time I’ll talk a little about how people come to faith and the questions most of us deal with at some point, including a little of my own story.  After that we’ll start digging into the evidence, covering just a little bit with each post.

 

Note: In presenting this case I am indebted to many who have presented such a case before me including Craig Hazen, Norman Geisler  and Frank Turek.  Also I’d like to thank J. Warner Wallace for the inspiration to start this blog.

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Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Case Making, Introduction

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