I confess publicly here that Jesus Christ is my lord, and has saved me from my sin. I believe in my heart that he rose from the grave. i.e. I am a Christian.
To taxonomize myself more finely, I suppose I’m Christian::Protestant::Evangelical::Southern Baptist, with my strength of exclusive identification dropping off substantially as you go further along that chain.
I would likely have little trouble praying, singing, or even going to church with a Lutheran, Episcopalian, Anglican, or Reformed Presbyterian. Basically, if you can agree to the Apostle’s Creed I will likely consider you amongst my brethren.
Well, lots of reasons. But to sum up briefly, I believe the evidence points strongly to the factual accuracy of the core claims of Christianity specifically over other belief systems.
One argument I find particularly compelling is the following:
The Case for the Resurrection
- Jesus really did exist, even according to hostile sources such as Tacitus or Josephus.
- Jesus really did get crucified and die, again even according to hostile sources.
- Jesus’ followers swore to anyone who would listen that they saw him alive again afterwards, with their own eyes. This is again, independently confirmed, but also confirmed by their own writings.
The disciples had zero motive to say this if it were not true, and great motive to deny it.
The vast majority of them died horribly, and alone, still rejoicing.
…What made them do this?
You just trust God cuz you were raised that way!
lol, no u
Or to put it another way, maybe you only disbelieve in the existence of God because you were raised in a time and place where your society teaches that he isn’t real. If you’d been born in the time and place of Newton or Blaise Pascal, maybe you’d be a Christian like them. Would that prove that God is real then?
That’s not fair, you say. I examined the evidence and it proves God is fake.
OK, well, I did the same thing, and I came to the conclusion that my position is the most reasonable one. If you can come to a reasonable conclusion by examination of the facts, what makes you think I cannot also?
Anyway, this is the fallacy fallacy. Even if I did have stupid reasons for a belief, e.g. if I believed the earth was round because an elephant rolled a giant ball of dung around until it formed a sphere or something, I’d be an idiot, but I’d still be right that the earth was round. So this line of reasoning doesn’t really help us either way.
Do we know what the original Bible actually says?
AKA “hasn’t it been corrupted?” aka “hasn’t it been translated from translations of translations etc.?” aka “didn’t a secret council of Christian leaders edit the thing to make it how they like?”
Short answer: Yes, actually! We do know what it said!
Longer, more careful answer: I think that the more you study how the Bible actually came together the more fascinating, and downright amazing the story gets. As a computer scientist, I offer the following analogy. Say you’re receiving a data file over a lossy communication stream. Say it’s binary data, and every bit matters. And say the stream is so bad that one random bit out of a thousand gets flipped. Well, I think that if the other side just retransmitted the copy 100 times, I’d stand a pretty darn good chance of reconstructing every single bit of the original data.
But, like, did you know we have literally tens of thousands of manuscripts just in Greek? And that we have even more in Syriac and Aramaic and other languages? And that even if we didn’t have those, the early Christians quoted it so much in their letters that we could reconstruct the whole Bible just from their quotations?
So yeah, if you think the translation you have is wrong, just go back and check the originals!
As for some sort of secret shadow council… the Christian church was persecuted by the government and scattered all over the known world. And we have these manuscripts from all over the known world. And they agree on the doctrine. So… how…?
I think this YouTube playlist does a pretty good job of providing reasonable answers to primary objections.
If you’re interested in learning more about the literally tens of thousands of manuscripts confirming that we have an accurate version of what the original Bible said, I’ve heard good things about Evangelical Textual Criticism
You really believe in miracles?
I mean yeah? Why not? It seems pretty logical, given the premise of an omnipotent God. I think I have a pretty self-consistent worldview here.
I think, rather, that it seems like begging the question to go into a discussion of “should I trust in God” with the assumption that miracles cannot possibly be a thing.
Plus Jesus had to get out of that tomb and start eating fish, appearing in rooms, walking on roads with people, and so on somehow…