Thanks for the Info, now what?

Hello SNC friends!
Can you believe it? We finished our series on Tough Questions – Solid Answers. I had a great time discussion these things with you. This is a major area of passion for me although I would admit I am nowhere near as nuanced a philosopher and scientist as many of those who contribute to this discussion are. I’m a novice – but have deeply enjoyed this pursuit over the years. It was truly wonderful bringing this material to our Sunday mornings and really having this dialogue. My hope is that you can use it, return to it if you are wrestlying – or maybe ministering to a friend who has difficult questions. I’d like to take some time to share my answer to someone who asks me to explain why in the world I’ve decided to lose my mind and be a Christian! Here is my (hopefully short and clear) answer:

“Joe, thanks for asking me that question. I know it might seem crazy to you, but I have really thought about this and wrestled with it through the years. If you’ve got a few minutes, I’d love to share with you several reasons why I have decided to place my faith in Jesus Christ.

As I begin I’d like to say is that I am going to share multiple pieces of evidence that could point to the existence of a God and that Jesus is Him – but each piece may not be enough to prove God’s existence on its own – but when you line them up together it begins to look more and more compelling to me that Christianity is true. Now I just want to share these reasons with you and then we can discuss questions you may have for the reasons I gave.

Okay, first thing I’d like to point to is science. I know this is disputed but it seems to me that science has not disproven God’s existence, but rather it may actually point us to a creator. I see the vast scope of a universe that seems to have a design behind it – I see the brilliant design of a human being and find it hard to explain how we just got here on our own. To me, I look around me and am in awe of it all. To me – I’ve read and throughout a lot about this – it just seems to me the explanation of a God behind it all is just as compelling if not more than the explanation  of God’s non existence.

Secondly, I think Christianity gives us the best explanation as to why we can define what evil is – and the best explanation for why it exists and it gives us the best hope for us in the midst of this evil.

Third, I see the Bible as an historically and archaeologically accurate and philosophically strong book that changes lives. I know the Bible has been scoffed at but every attack I’ve seen brought against it seems to fail. This lends credence to the words within it.

Fourth, I find Christianity to be the most compelling religion (atheism included), philosophically; morally; archaeologically; and to be honest – I find it to be the most hope and life-giving of all religions out there.

Fifth, the evidence for the existence, the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is very powerful and compelling to me. Jesus was either raised from the dead – or He wasn’t. If He wasn’t then He is just a man and Christianity is just another religious system – but if He was raised from the dead – then Christianity is something else entirely.

Sixth, I’ve seen how my relationship with Jesus has changed my life and the lives of millions throughout history who claim they have not only had a relationship with God but they have seen Him move in powerful ways. To me – all these testimonies together is very powerful.

So these are my six major reasons for belief in God and in Jesus Christ.”

How would you describe why you believe in Jesus? You don’t have to use big philosophical words or concepts – but can you explain why you believe what you do? In 1 Peter 3:15 we are encouraged to always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in you . . . My hope was to help you arrive at your reasons and be prepared at all times to share that if asked. So let me ask you – this week pull out a piece of paper and a pencil. And write down these questions:

  1. What do I find to be most convincing about the Christian faith?
  2. Why is it most convincing?
  3. How would I communicate this to others?

Have you ever thought about this? I have confessed that sometimes when I’m on long drives I pretend I’m in a discussion with a non-christian, and I try to answer questions that would be asked to me. I think about how I would answer questions: what I’d say and how I’d deliver it. As we move forward in our mission to make disciples, I can guarantee: you will be questioned. My hope is that you will be ready and it’s awesome because so many times, I find there will be points in the conversation where I’m not ready and yet God powerfully moves through me. These are very exciting tines because I’m reminded it’s not my intellect or persuasiveness that wins the day – but God’s Holy Spirit speaking to a heart and moving someone. May God bless you richly in your mission with Him!

Pastor Ryan