Why Reasonable People Should Consider Christianity

Chapter 12 of Beyond Blind Faith: Reasons for the Hope We Have (1 Peter 3:15)

(All quotations are from the New American Standard Bible translation)

“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” (John 12:25)

Personally, I don’t want to die. And I think the same is true for most of us. We enjoy life—and we fear death. In short, we want to be immortal. Yet this truth confronts us: immortality is beyond our grasp.

Most of the time we live with this truth by ignoring it or denying it. We speak hyperbolically of an athlete’s achievements lasting “forever,” or of an actress becoming “immortalized,” when the truth is that their accomplishments will be treasured for a generation or two, and then gradually forgotten. We use creams, ointments, and cosmetic surgery to slow the visible effects of aging, and try to extend our lives through healthy living. We pretend that Death will never come for us—until someone’s passing, or perhaps our own debilitation, forces us to face our inescapable fate. Everyone who has ever lived has eventually died. [1] So will you. And so will I.

Christianity offers us a way of escape from this inevitable doom, through the promise of eternal life. Maybe that sounds too good to be true. But if there is even a possibility that you could gain immortality, shouldn’t you at least take a closer look at Christianity?

In this book I have tried to give you an intellectual foundation for Christian faith. Yet I suspect most people find their way to Christ as a kind of last resort, because on their own they cannot find the peace and joy and lasting happiness that they crave. That was true for a friend of mine who grew up as a Christian, but later lost her faith and left the church. After awhile she realized that she was no longer happy or content. Life apart from Christ was frustrating and unfulfilling. So she came back. She decided to trust God again because she realized that she was happier when she did so.

This has been the common experience of many who have stepped out on faith. To their surprise, they find that life in Christ is more fulfilling, more hopeful, more joyful, and yes, even more fun than the life they left behind. Saint Augustine had a similar experience, and he summed up the importance of faith when he said: “Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” [2]

Personally, I had a lot of misconceptions about Christianity in my youth. Until I was twenty years old, I was convinced that Christianity was a religion for fools and nitwits—for people who turned off their brains when they entered a church.

Yet I knew that something vital was missing in my life. The idea of eternity distressed me intensely, because it made my own existence seem hopelessly short, trivial, and meaningless. Death both frightened and attracted me. Suicide seemed like a way to stop the emotional pain—but God rescued me before I found the courage to attempt it.

I found Christ through prayer. My prayer was not unlike Gideon’s, [3] except without the certainty that anyone was listening. I asked God, if He was real, to show me the truth. And He did. I am convinced that God answered my prayer because He knew that I was earnestly seeking the Truth—and that I would accept the Truth if I found it.

Since then, my experiences and my own study of the subject have convinced me of the truth of Christianity almost beyond any possible doubt. But my knowledge and experiences are unlikely to convince you. I have tried to give you some idea of where to look, and perhaps what to look for, but you must ultimately search for yourself.

God does not lead everyone to Truth in the same way. However, I am certain of this: anyone who sincerely seeks the Truth will find it, one way or another. As God told the exiles in Babylon through Jeremiah the prophet:

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Or as Jesus said:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-11) [4]

God eagerly waits to rescue all who do not wish to die. He has promised to give salvation and eternal life to any who will love Him and commit themselves to Him. That is why reasonable people should consider Christianity.

 

Endnotes for Chapter Twelve, “Why Reasonable People Should Consider Christianity”


[1] Two possible exceptions are Enoch and Elijah. See Genesis 5:24 and II Kings 2:11.

[2] Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. 4, p. 70 (citing “Comment. in Joan. Evang., xxix, 6; Sermon 43”)

[3] See Judges 6:36-40.

[4] See also, Luke 11:9-13 and Acts 17:27.

 

Copyright 2017 by Don Davidson

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Beyond Blind Faith: Reasons for the Hope We Have (1 Peter 3:15):



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