Is Christianity really credible? Or is Christian faith just a blind leap in the dark? Is Christianity a reasonable position to take? Or is it simply a convenient crutch that millions of mindless people use to get through life? Many people consider Christianity to be anti-intellectual. They say things like, “Well if it works for you to believe then great but not us modern scientific minds.” But here’s why Christianity is the most rational approach to life possible.
The basis of Christian faith
You may find several people who are skeptical to Christianity saying, “There are times when I just wish I had your faith, but it’s too irrational for me.” If that happens, ask them if they’ve ever read the Bible cover to cover. Ask them if they’ve ever read the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). More often than not, the answer will be no. So it’s no wonder that these folks are not able to believe because the basis of faith is the word of God. The basis of Christian faith is the eyewitness reports recorded in the Bible. The gospels are written as eyewitness reports that call for faith. Therefore, someone doesn’t have to physically see the resurrected Jesus in order to believe in Jesus; he or she needs to trust the reports of those who actually did physically see him.
The eyewitness reports
Look at it like this; if you’re going to plan to take the family hiking, you want to first check the weather report. But how do you know it’s accurate? You have to take their word for it. Your faith on how the weather will turn out is based on the report. What if you’re about to purchase a pre-owned vehicle? Before you buy it you’re going to look over the Carfax report. But you weren’t there when the car was previously driven. You have to trust the report. How do you know that George Washington was America’s first president? You weren’t there. You trust the reports. People trust things based on eyewitness reports every day of their lives. They just need to do it with the eyewitness reports in the word of God. But you may wonder, “What about all the people who have read the gospels and still reject Christ?” This only goes to show that it’s not a lack of evidence that stands in the way. Jesus raised a man from the dead and still people refused to believe. Because, as Tim Keller pointed out, “To believe the truth of God requires you to stand under the truth of God.” In other words, trusting in Christ means losing control of your life. So it’s one thing to trust the weather report with your daily plans at stake; it’s another thing to trust the disciple’s reports with your eternity at stake. This is why Christian faith has to be a gift (Ephesians 2:8) because people lack the power to give up that much control themselves. Christian faith is a gift, but at the same time, it is reasonably based on historical, credible testimony.
The result of Christian faith
A lot of people reject Christianity because they think that faith in Jesus is going to keep them from experiencing life. Yet the Apostle John wrote that believing in Jesus brings “life by the power of his name”(John 20:31 NLT). Jesus himself said, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT). There was once a Christian lecturer who was publically defending the claims of Christianity and an atheist stood up and challenged him to a debate. The speaker said, “Of course I will debate you but only on one condition. When we both show up to the debate, you must bring as many people as you can whose lives have been changed for the better because of your atheism, and I’ll bring as many as people as I can who have been changed by Christ.” The atheist just sat down. The point was made — Christianity brings real life to people; it doesn’t squash it.
So what is this abundant life?
It’s a life of forgiveness where all your sins are wiped away. It’s a life of joy where your heart is satisfied in God. It’s a life of meaning and hope because there is life beyond the grave and what you do on earth matters. It’s a life with a moral foundation where the unchangeable will of God is your standard. It’s a life of peace where even in the darkest of times, you can know that God is your Father who is in complete control. So much more could be mentioned, but when carefully considered, Christianity is not a blind leap in the dark but rather a rational step into the light.
Jeremy McKeen is the lead pastor of Truth Point Church. Jeremy received his B.A. in communications and philosophy from Florida Southern College and his MDiv from Knox Theological Seminary.