Why I’m a Christian

Why I’m a Christian

This is the classic passage on Christian apologetics (defending the faith). From it we learn at least three things. The Christian faith is:

  • Intellectual- Something that can be understood and communicated. It is not a warm feeling of religion or wishful thinking, but a matter of hearing a message, weighing its truthfulness, and believing. 
  • Defensible – Christianity stands up to reason. We have good reasons to hold our confession, and when asked we must be prepared to share them.
  • Experiential- Something we experience. It is a hope that we have within us, a personal knowledge of true and living God. The Christian faith cannot be described as simply a philosophy of life or a cold system of doctrines and rituals. We have a personal encounter with the God we profess to believe in. 

Why I believe. Years ago I sat down and started making a list of my own reasons for faith. These are the arguments and experiences that are meaningful to me. I have shared these with people who have asked for my reasons for being a Christian. I will only briefly summarize them here. You may find that you share these as well. 

1. My parents are believers and taught me the faith from an early age.

Some might say, “you’re only a Christian because you were born into a Christian family. If you were born in an Arabic country, for instance, you’d be Muslim.” To that I say, “maybe.” By the grace of God I was born into a believing family. This does not make my faith invalid. Many are born outside such an environment and find Christ later in life, and others are born into similar Christian families and never believe or depart from the faith. But I am thankful for the early influence of my parents (2 Tim. 1:5). 

2. Creation. The world is big, complex, ordered, and beautiful. The natural world screams “God made me.” It is perfectly reasonable to see an organized world with all these qualities and conclude that a powerful, wise, beautiful, and good Creator is behind it. Even as children, we understand this. General revelation in creation is a powerful place to begin in apologetics, because everyone experiences it even if they have no experience with Special revelation (Scripture).

3. The Bible. The Bible is a fascinating book. I’ve written about it previously here. I find the Scriptures to be consistent, historical, literary, insightful, penetrating, powerful, wise, good, and true. Its teachings on the nature of man, life, good and evil, history and hope are gripping and best explain life. I have been changed by this book.

4. Jesus Christ the person. There is no one like him; he’s impossible to ignore. He is an intriguing and challenging figure, unlike any other religious leader of history. All history centers around this man. I can think of no other person I would rather pattern my life after, submit to as King, or trust with my soul. In the end, Jesus made some outrageous claims (such as being the Son of God, only Savior, and King over all heaven and earth), that require us to reject him entirely or embrace him fully. I am compelled to choose the latter.

5. The Cross. The message of the cross answers the nagging tension we all experience between the reality of guilt and the need for justice. Is there any justice for the great evil in the world and my life? Is there any mercy and pardon, any hope for redemption? The Cross satisfies both. The gospel is captivating and good news.

6. The Resurrection. My faith is rooted in historical events, not abstract concepts or clever mythology. The tomb was empty. Everyone must grapple with that. I think the best evidence is that Jesus resurrected. External testimony of his enemies (Jews and Romans behind his execution) doesn’t deny his body was missing. So we have to explain it somehow and can’t deny it ever happened. Furthermore, the church exists and the disciples were changed men after this event. Men may concoct a story they know to be false for personal gain, and they may even do so for what they believe to be noble reasons. But men don’t generally endure horrible suffering and execution for what they know to be a lie. All the disciples were changed forever; none recanted.  The resurrection best explains that, in my estimation. If Jesus resurrected, the implications are huge. We must take him seriously.

7. Meaning in Life. Humans crave meaning in life. The atheistic answer that there is no real meaning is unsatisfactory. It doesn’t account for the universal desire that humans have for significance, a desire no animal shares. The popular suggestion that we ‘create our own meaning’ is equally unsatisfying and vain. The answer of Christianity—to glorify God and enjoy him forever—is simple, compelling, satisfying.

8. Human Identity. What is a human being and what are we for? This is the most pressing question in our generation. Are we merely a bundle of chemical reactions? Are we an illusion or a dream? Are we gods? Are just flesh and desires to be manipulated to whatever ends we choose? Only in biblical Christianity do I find a solid foundation that explains both the dignity of man as an image bearer of God, and also explains the depravity of man because we are fallen in sin. 

9. Morality. Why does the concept of right and wrong seem so universal? I think the answer is simple: because it is. Our consciences are bound to the moral order God placed on our world. We can’t escape it. An atheistic worldview does not account for conscience. To suggest that right and wrong, good and evil are only personal or societal preferences falters as soon as it is tested. Who can look at the Holocaust and with a straight face say: “I think it is wrong, but that’s just my opinion, it isn’t objectively wrong?” The conscience of man implies a universal moral law and therefore a universal moral law giver. 

10. Destiny. We all seem to recognize that things are not as they should be, that the world in general and ourselves in particular are in trouble. We struggle to identify the problem and we can’t seem to find the answer. Is there any hope for my life, for the world, our own lives after death? Why do people across time and in every place yearn for something more? The gospel provides hope that such questions have a very good answer. It is rooted in a plan that has been at work all along by an almighty, wise, and loving God. 

11. Reality. Generally speaking, the Christian faith and worldview just plain fits with reality. It is:

  • Cohesive – it fits together as a unified whole. It is a full story.
  • Coherent – it makes sense and does not contradict itself.
  • Corresponding to reality  – Its claims fit with and explain what I see in everyday life.
  • Convincing – overall, it just rings true to me.

12. Experience. Finally, I am a changed man because of the gospel. I have experienced its transforming power. I was dead in sin, but now I am alive to God. His Holy Spirit dwells within me and daily is at work in me, making me more like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am in no way perfect and still wrestle with my own sins, but God is at work. 

I could say more: Beauty, logic and reason, love, charity, etc., but these are some of my reasons for believing that Christ is Lord, the Bible is the Word of God, and Christianity is true. You may have different reasons, or you may still be searching and figuring things out on your own. Wherever you are, know that the Christian faith stands fast. Test the Scriptures and see if these things are true. 


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