Summary: What does it mean to believe? What does it mean to follow Christ? How is this applied? What is the process involved? How does faith stack up against the modern views on life? Is God just a delusion? Or is He real?
What does it mean to believe? What does it mean to follow Christ? How is this applied? What is the process involved? How does faith stack up against the modern views on life? Is God just a delusion? Or is He real?
The late Charles Colson put it well:
“It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn't want our success; He wants us. He doesn't demand our achievements; He demands our obedience. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross, a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.”
? Charles W. Colson
Yet many do not believe in any God. They don't think God exists. Or they don't like the idea of God. Or they think all truth is relative.
I personally have come to believe that God really is. I really believe that God is actually real, and actually exists and that Jesus Christ was a real person that was born. I believe, in audacity I suppose, that Jesus Christ was who he claimed to be: the son of God. I also believe that Jesus Christ, this man, the carpenter, while on Earth did not make a single sin in his life. He lived perfection, 100%, the only person to ever do so. How could he? Because he was God, yet also a man.
And after living the perfect life, he died the perfect death. How does one die a perfect death? Well, for one he must be guilty of nothing. He was completely innocent. Secondly, the immortal words that Jesus uttered on the cross seal the deal. Do you remember what he said?
As they beat him, mocked him, spit on him, Jesus spoke his last prayer to his Lord: "Father forgive them, they don't know what they're doing."
That very simply is how one goes about dying perfectly. I believe these events were recorded by eye witnesses in written form. Much like how we get most of our history: through written reports. I believe those reports survived accurately in the gospel accounts. Why? It's very reasonable to believe the gospel accounts are accurate, given the manuscript evidence (over 25,000 fragments) which tend to be highly cohesive when compared to each other (about 99.5%).
Finally, I believe that after Jesus Christ died, that three days later he reclaimed his life. I believe that Jesus Christ bodily resurrected, through the power of God. Aren't miracles impossible? I don't believe so. Miracles are reasonable, given an omnipotent God. If God could create the universe, raising Jesus from the dead isn't really that difficult.
All of these things I believe tend to go hard against the grain. That's alright. I've always been one to go against the stream. Dead things tend to ride down stream, after all. Modern people don't tend to believe the things I believe. They tend to believe many different things. Not all, but some.
They believe in ideas like evolution, relativism, and naturalism. These are what we might call ideologies, or presuppositions. They are sets of beliefs, surrounded by facts, not 100% provable, yet adhered to.
Christianity is similar, it's adherence to a certain worldview. It's not 100% provable, yet I adhere to it. Now I tend to think that the evidence supports Christianity to the point that it can be reasonably believed and adhered to. I tend to think that Christianity can be investigated to the point of being true beyond a reasonably doubt.
Many agree with my analysis, including some of the greatest minds in the history of man kind. Just to name a few:
Chuck Colson, lawyer, politician, famed for prison reform
Sir Isaac Newton, famous scientist
Jackie Robinson, famed baseball player
Martin Luther King Jr, civil rights activist, Christian preacher
Mother Theresa, altruistic servant of the poor
C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia series
J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings series
Helen Keller, philanthropist, author
George Washington, first U.S. President
Francis Collins, scientist, founder of the Human Genome Project
William Wilberforce, famed for leading fight to abolish slavery in England
Eric Liddell, Olympic gold medal winning runner
Sir Francis Bacon, known for establishing the scientific method
Galileo Galilei, famous astronomer
Robert Boyle, famous for his work in chemistry
Max Planck, well known for his work on quantum theory
That's just off the top of my head in a few minutes. This is the part that just doesn't fit into the modern narrative. It doesn't fit the narrative of the new atheists. It doesn't fit the narrative told in public schools. It just doesn't fit at all. But I never knew this stuff. I had to research it myself.
Christianity has very effectively been stereotyped and mocked into oblivion in western civilization. Why is that? There must be something to that. Well, if I were coming at it from the Christian worldview, it would be very natural to say that there is a battle being waged for the hearts and minds of all people on Earth. And it's a spiritual battle, not necessarily a physical one.