Reasons for faith
Why Should Anyone Consider Being a Christian?
Sometimes in conversation, people ask what Christians believe. That is a fair question. Giving a short and succinct answer is a bit of a challenge though, because although it is possible to give a short answer, to do justice to the question, a much fuller explanation needs to be given. It is probably true to say that at one level, even a child can understand it, yet at another, no-one can plumb its entire depths. So, there is always the risk of over simplifying or making it too complicated. Neither is a good answer.
What follows is one way of explaining the Christian faith. It is certainly about faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, but even that claim needs to be put in a wider context. This overview was written by an American philosopher and theologian called Douglas Groothuis. It is used with permission. While it seems a bit technical it does pull the main threads together and I hope you can make sense of it.
It explains that Christianity is founded on the essential belief in the existence of a personal and loving God, who is also the creator of the universe and all life as we know it. I hope you can follow it thereafter. Do let me know if there is anything you don't understand and would like clarified. We also offer some books free to local residents, that explain the basics of the faith in more detail. Let me know if you would like something more to read. We can also supply New Testaments as well.
I. What is Christianity?
A. A worldview or philosophy of life
1. Objectively: An infinite, personal, and moral being created and designed the universe (see Genesis 1 and John 1), and continues to interact with it.
a. Through sending prophets (Hebrews 1:1)
b. Through the writings of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
c. Through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3, 14; Hebrews 1:2-3)
2. Humans are created in God’s image and likeness, but have fallen away from a harmonious relationship with God. See Genesis 1-3; Romans 3:10-18.
3. God came to earth in Jesus Christ to restore humans’ relationship to him, themselves, others and the planet. See John 3:16; 14:1-6.
4. God will one day judge all humans on the basis of how they have responded to God. See Matthew 25:31-46.
B. Subjectively: A new, true, and living way to approach reality. See John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17.
II. What is a Christian?
A. Someone who believes that statements (1)-(4) are objectively true: true to the facts of God, history, and the human condition.
B. Someone who has repented of her old way of life and entrusted herself to God through faith in Jesus Christ for a restored relationship with God and others. See Matthew 4:17; John 1:12-13.
III. Why Should Anyone Believe in Christianity?
Because they take Christianity to be true, rational, and pertinent.
A. True: The Bible has revealed the facts about the universe, the human condition and God’s response to it.
B. Rational: The Christian worldview is an intellectual system that is internally consistent and explains reality rightly. Faith is not a blind leap, but a step of commitment to God. See Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 22:37-39.
C. Pertinent/engaging: It is a matter of eternity: heaven or hell; a life well lived or a life lived according to a lie. See John 14:1-6.
I hope you found this helpful. Often when people become Christians, they suddenly realise that what didn't make sense before, makes perfect sense now. The Christian faith is the most powerful explanation for the meaning and purpose of our existence, the truths about God and His intervention in human history and how we can enter into a relationship with him and experience a transformed life. When we make that step of trusting faith in Jesus Christ, our lives are changed and we see and understand what previously made little or no sense. Again and again, this has been the experience of Christians in every age, in every culture.
Although strange to many people in the west today, this 'story' has been known and believed by millions of people throughout our nation for many centuries. Today, secular culture has drowned out the church's message in more recent years convincing us that God does not matter and that life is for living however we choose. But this is no path either to truth of to the life that God wants us to live.
The Christian gospel is a message of great hope. Our world needs its message because God promises those who believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, a pardon for their sins and new heart and start in life. At the centre of that new life is the transforming power of God's forgiving love. How different the world could be! But it starts with you and me.
Please consider these things. We are here to help and encourage you in your own search for the truth that really matters.