Five Reasons Why I Am A Christian

I think it is of dire importance that everyone, not just Christians, know why they believe what they believe. Often, when faced with defending one’s beliefs people begin to grab for ideas from thin air. True beliefs will guide the way in which we live, so knowing why we believe something is important because either we end being hypocrites or taking a “blind leap” into something. When I say “blind leap” I am not meaning faith, for faith is not blind. Our life is to short to live in blindness, so seeking the truth is of utmost importance. In my post I would like to share a few reasons for my belief in the Christian worldview. I believe there are many reasons, but I am going to share five of the ones that have impacted my decision. These five are morality, design, longing, reality, and the reliability of Scripture.

1. Morality

My reason here is that good and evil both give evidence that an intelligent being exists, and I believe that intelligent being is God. It is evident there is an objective moral law, all laws have lawmakers, therefore there is an objective moral lawmaker, and the objective moral lawmaker is God. First, we must look at the idea that there are objective moral laws. Most people that live on this planet, from pure experience, and say that there is “right” and “wrong”, “ought” and “ought not”. And if you claim otherwise then you most likely are claiming a form of relativism. In which case, I believe fails miserable. So as not to take up too much space, or blab on too long, if you want to see why check out “Relativism Self-Destructs” by Greg Koukl. I think you will see that relativism doesn’t allow for anything to be “just”, “right”, “fair”, or “wrong.” Second, we have to understand laws, or what ought and ought not to be, must be given by a lawmaker. We have obligations to other intelligent beings, not inanimate objects. So it seems easy to conclude that the objective moral law came from a lawgiver that is intelligent, not just an inanimate object or thing such as a tree, the universe, or nature. Last, I think when God’s Word is compared to the world around us it fits so well. What God considers good and bad is consistent with the objective moral law. Also God is an intelligent being, whom is all-good, and more than capable of setting up such a law. As a last comment, I believe then that even if some only sees the evil in this world and how difficult it is, even if it makes them mad at God, it still means that there is right and wrong, and we come right back to seeing the need for a objective moral lawgiver.

2. Signature of Design

I will not spend as much time explaining this because I have written on this topic in my post “Is There Scientific Evidence for God?” . I don’t see science and God as something that needs to be on separate sides of the spectrum. I think it makes logical since that if God created this world, then His signature will be all over it. I believe all of life here on Earth, including the Earth itself, shows massive amounts of God’s design. If you want to see several reasons for my belief in this then check out my previous post.

3. A Deep Longing

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” — CS Lewis

Many people long for earthly items: money, fame, property, etc. Yet many people who gain these items often are not satisfied. For example, a reporter asked J. Paul Getty, a very wealthy businessman, “How much money is enough?” Mr. Getty replied, “Just one dollar more.” I cannot deny that deep inside it just seems that there is no experience in this world that can deeply satisfy the desire I have inside knowing that at the end of my life I will take none of my fame, money, property, or earthly items with me. It seems as I reflect that we have but a short time on earth (typically 70-80 years) and yet I, and it seems many others, wonder if there must be more. For more than we think live but a short time or the time spent on earth seemed to be more torturous than good. I believe the Bible speaks to this longing. The Bible tells us that we were made in the image of God, and we’re created to be in relationship with our Creator. God, through Christ, has given us that opportunity to reconcile the relationship, make use of our time here on earth (which effects our eternity), and have hope for the future after death.

4. Speaks to Reality

Christianity makes the most sense of all of reality we live in, which includes both the physical and nonphysical world. Why are we here on earth? How did the world come to be? Why is there evil in the world? And many other questions can be answered when one takes a deep look into the Bible. I believe when searching for answers whether it be spiritual (the soul, sin, God…) or physical (nature, jobs, people…) can be clearly understood through the Christian worldview. Not all the answers we receive are what we like, but God is not here to be what we like rather He is what is true. We cannot see gravity, and I may deeply desire to fly, but if I choose to jump from a high point I will get hurt whether I believe otherwise. If you want some of these answers I have other articles in my blog archive that speaks to some of them.

5. Reliability of Scripture

Based on ancient history criterion the Bible is extremely reliable as a historical document. Most historical documents have 10 manuscripts, but the NT has over 5,000 partial or whole manuscripts. If other languages are included there are 25,000.

Many claim, such as Bart Ehrman, that there are too many variations in the manuscripts. However, over 80% of the errors spelling. The other errors have no threat to the Christian doctrine.

Most ancient works have a gap of 700 years between copies. Whereas, the New Testament is 40-100 years. The Gospels can be dated early in history, placing the writings near to the actual events in history. Acts does not include death of Peter and Paul (AD 63-66), Jewish war with Romans (AD 66), or the destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70). Thus we can conclude Luke wrote Acts before AD 62, and the Gospel of Luke and other Gospels must have been before AD 60. This means NT documents were written within 30 years of the events recorded.

There are embarrassing accounts in the Bible, which if all the writers were saying was not true then they most likely would not have shared. Some examples are Jesus calling Peter “Satan” (Mark 8:33), the disciples falling asleep while Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:40), Peters denial of Jesus (John 18:25-27), etc.

The disciples of Jesus were direct eyewitnesses of the accounts shared in the Bible, and there is archaeological evidence to back of their nearness to the events.

  1. 2 Peter 1:16, “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
  2. 1 John 1:1: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life.”
  3. Acts 2:32, “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.”

There are still other evidences that show the reliability of the Scriptures such as: testimony from secular resources, and prophecy that was fulfilled.

I hope that these reasons are helpful to those who are already a Christian, and gives those who are not a chance to think about the Christian worldview and their own beliefs. You can take these 5 reasons with you everywhere you go. To help you I have made a pneumonic device using your hand:

5 Reasons

Thumb- The Lawgiver

IndexInner Longing

MiddleMakes Sense of Reality

RingReliability of Scripture

PinkyPoints to a Designer

Articles:

“Evil As An Evidence For God” By Greg Koukl

“Evidence for God From Morality” By Jim Wallace

“Can the New Testament Be Trusted?” by Sean McDowell

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14 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christianity, Morality, Other Religions

14 responses to “Five Reasons Why I Am A Christian

  1. Walt

    This is the start of a great discussion if you don’t mind me grappling with a few of these. I’ll start with morality, you say:

    “Second, we have to understand laws, or what ought and ought not to be, must be given by a lawmaker. We have obligations to other intelligent beings, not inanimate objects. So it seems easy to conclude that the objective moral law came from a lawgiver that is intelligent, not just an inanimate object or thing such as a tree, the universe, or nature.”

    1) Why is it necessary that ought and ought not come from a lawgiver?

    2) How do you know that we have obligations to other intelligent beings but not to inanimate objects? What about less intelligent animate objects? Chimpanzees? Dogs? Trees? I’m curious where and on what basis you draw the line of our obligations.

    “Last, I think when God’s Word is compared to the world around us it fits so well. What God considers good and bad is consistent with the objective moral law. Also God is an intelligent being, whom is all-good, and more than capable of setting up such a law.”

    3) The way you state your last point here can be steamrolled by the Euthyphro Dilemma, and you seem to argue both sides of the dilemma, so I’m curious how you would respond. If God’s consideration of good and bad is consistent with objective law, one would think that the objective law exists independently of God. But then you state that God is capable of setting up such an objective law, but then the law is no longer objective. I’m sure you’ve dealt with this before, but I haven’t yet understood theistic responses to this dilemma.

    Talk to you later.

    • reasonableanswers

      Dear Walt,
      Thanks for your well thought out questions and thoughts. I can tell you are an intelligent person, and are thoughtful about important issues. I would like to give my answers to all your questions, but I am about to head out for a vacation. In lint of that, I would like to answer one of them then come back to the others later. I thought I would answer your question or statement #3 about Plato’s Euthyphro Dilemma. Plato says there are two options, both which make it look poor for the Christian worldview. I would agree, but I think the solution is in the third option. An objective standard exists, but it is not external of God rather internal. It is grounded in the character of God, which is perfect. So when I think that when I said God “set up” a moral law I should have chose my words more wisely as to communicate my beliefs more clearly. I hope that clears that part up and I will answer the other asap after my family trip.

  2. I think another way the issue of whether an objective moral law is separate or a part of God is to add a few words to it. There is for humanity an objective moral law. This means the law exists outside of humanity\’s control, and not necessarily God\’s control.

    For why would God need a law? A law does not exist to teach what is good but rather teach what is bad. And in teaching what is bad it is attempting to prevent those bad actions from happening. Considering that God is, by His nature, completely good and cannot be bad, there would be no need to prevent Him from doing bad.

    On the point of why ought and ought not must have a lawgiver, I am a little confused over your question. I will try to clarify what I think you are saying, if I am wrong about what you are saying, I apologize in advance.

    I believe you are thinking of ought and ought not in a broader sense than just the moralistic sense he is using it in. Ought and ought not can be applied to any situation including purely scientific one. Tachyons ought not to go backwards in time, but they appear to do so. Instead he is using it as actions you moral ought to do and ought not to do. And since he has made the case (or rather the link he gave made it for him) that moral law is not subjective or relative, then if must be objective.

    As I said before objective is referring to outside man and if it is outside of man it must have a source. It is this source that he refers to as the lawgiver. Don\’t get too hung up on his terminology, it is good terminology but not the only one. If I simply drop the word law then it becomes \”If there is objective morality then there must be a source of morality outside of man.\” This is the exact same thing he said, he just chose a different analogy.

    The obligations to other intelligent beings part confuses me. Not that I disagree, we do indeed have obligations, but I don\’t really see how that fits in with his argument. It could be completely removed and the argument would not change. I believe that he was trying to use it to indicate that the lawgiver must be intelligent not just a force of nature, but I feel as though he had already made that point. It is the word obligations that throws me, but I will cut him some slack because I understand where he is coming from, but I am having a hard time saying it better. This is a case of having to take the words in the spirit they are given, and not nitpick it.

    But to your questions of whether we only have obligations to intelligent beings only, your question is wrong in its nature. You have assumed exclusivity where none has been implied or expressed. If I say \”I must help the poor\” that does not in any way exclude me from helping the sick or the elderly. It only means that in this statement, for this purpose, I am talking about this thing.

    Daniel, great article. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading more articles. I hope you don\’t mind but I am going to leave my blog address here since there isn\’t a place to do it in the login. If you ever have a chance, stop by and check it out. http://www.missionsintaiwan.com

    • reasonableanswers

      Thanks for the critic and suggestions. I will consider what you have said in light of what I am trying to communicate. Again thanks for taking the time to read my blog and give thoughtful comments.

    • Walt

      Thanks for this reply, I certainly appreciate it. It seems like you’re combining the issues of objective v. subjective morality and whether ought must come from a lawgiver. These are certainly linked, but it seemed to me that the author distinguished the two points, and I was trying to keep them separate. It’s still not clear to me why ought and ought not must come from an intelligent lawgiver as the author claims. His evidence here is that we have obligations to intelligent beings but not to inanimate objects, so I think this exclusivity matters a lot to where ought comes from. The author argues that since we have obligations to intelligent beings but not to inanimate objects, ought must come from an intelligent source. This doesn’t seem clear to me at all, and I am also curious how one draws the line between intelligent being and inanimate object when making this case. I may have misunderstood the argument, but it sounds like the author’s source of ought depends on how exclusive our moral obligations are.

      Fun conversation, thanks!

  3. reasonableanswers

    Dear Millican Mission,
    Your first comment mentioned that you were confused about the need to have an obligation to an intelligent being, and not an inanimate object. I believe you are right that my argument implies that the objective moral law must be given by an intelligent being when a moral lawgiver is part of my argument. However, I think it is important to clarify to all who read my blog that I don’t believe that a moral law can be grounded in an inanimate object. You mentioned that my question was wrong in nature and when you say something like “I must help the poor” then that is also an obligation, and yet the statement itself is inanimate. I see your point, and heed the need to be clear in my statements and questions. However, that statement above only has obligation because it is commanded by an intelligent being (God). In the end, I appreciate the comments and suggestions. It can only make me more aware and informed about my beliefs and how to share them.

  4. When I said “Your question is wrong in nature” I was not speaking to you, I was speaking to Walt and his question about obligations.

    I might not have made myself clear, I understand what you are saying it is just the word obligations that is throwing off the vibe. Obligations is a one sided word, I have an obligation to my plants. They depend on me for water but I do not depend on them. I have an obligation to my house, to clean it and maintain it, but it has no obligation to me.

    As I write that, it occurs to me that you might be able to use obligation in this way, that obligations rest solely on equal or higher forms of life. Obligations must go down, not up. A dog can have no obligations to me but I can have an obligation to a dog.

    All in all, I really do think you made extremely clear that the lawgiver must be intelligent outside of this statement. I understand your desire to want to add to that, personally I think you have done such a good job that you don’t need to (less is more kind of thing). But if you do want to have that in there, you might just need to explain it a little more or link to another article that does explain it.

    Walt, it would be helpful to me if you could give me your definition of ought and ought not, just so that we are talking about the same thing.

    • Walt

      Millican Mission,
      I think you’re right to ask for clarification on my definition of ought and ought not – this is the root perhaps of my disagreement with the post’s author. The author seems to equate “ought” with an authored moral law, but I would not. I’ve only just begun trying to make sense out of is-ought philosophy, but right now I think ought is a prescription for how to achieve a desired result.

      So, the author might say that I ought to help the needy because God’s moral law commands it. I would say that I ought to help the needy because this is the sort of world that is good to live in. The moral judgment of whether or not this alleged good world is to be desired is a separate issue I think and deals with the idea of objective morality, etc etc. The ought, however, is simply an objective prescription for how best to achieve what is desired…the prescription could certainly be put to the test. For example, if I want to help the needy, ought I to take a homeless person into my home or ought I to give the same resources and time to an established charitable organization? I think this ought could be objectively examined for how it best achieves the desired objective of charity or “making a difference.” Does that make sense? It seems to me to be very different than the author’s definition of ought.

  5. The author’s statement was not there is moral objectivity so we ought to do this or that. It was “Second, we have to understand laws, or what ought and ought not to be, must be given by a lawmaker” which is a completely true statement. This is not a Is-Ought statement, it is a true statement. Laws are not descriptions of what is, but rather what ought. Laws (we are not speaking of physical laws but of made laws) use what is right to determine what we ought to do. A.k.a. it is wrong to kill so the law says we ought not kill.

    Without going into a very long discussion, Is-Ought is only a fallacy when applied in an empirical only sense. This was Hume’s (empiricist) problem with the Is-Ought argument. Because in his mind there is no way to connect the physical world with the thoughts in your brain, I understand why he could not see the connection. One of the examples I remember from class was “All the kids are stealing money so I ought to do it.” But this is combining an empirical observation with a reasoned response. This is wrong because empirical observation cannot agree with ought, because ought requires a reasoned or ontological principle.

    If I restate the problem in similar terms it would say “All the kids are doing wrong so I ought not do what they do.” And we see here that Is-Ought is not a incorrect statement. This applies to moral law because moral law contains within it the concept of ought. Moral means good and good is what you ought to do. I am not defining what is moral, only that moral is good and therefore means you ought to do it. If you take the concept of subjective morality that means what ever you decide is good for you is moral and therefore you ought to do it. Instead if you argue for an objective moral law, moral is still good and is what ought to be done.

    I am actually thinking about doing my own post explaining the Is-Ought dilemma a little more in-depth, if I do I will post a link to it on here.

    • Walt

      Millican,
      I shouldn’t have mentioned is-ought because my response wasn’t really about it at all. This was sort of a careless way to say that I’m not deep into the philosophical language of ought. All I mean to say is that there seem to be many ways that philosophers define ought, but I am not really familiar with all of them. Let’s leave is-ought be for this particular discussion, but I would look forward to reading any post you share in the future.

      I couldn’t tell from your response whether you disagree with my definition. I’ll say again that I think “ought” is a prescription for how to obtain a desired result.

  6. Okay Is-Ought is off the table. I would say that your definition is one possible definition of ought. Although I might not agree with the word desired in your definition, that comes too close to the authors definition which you seem to disagree with. If it is desired then it is good, and if it is good it is moral. If morals are objective (proven elsewhere) then we ought to do morals.

    If you remove desired from your definition it seems to be closer to the idea of ought being an impartial or removed from motive statement. Then it is just “obtain a result”. And yes this can be one way that ought is used in discussions, but I don’t believe it to be the way that the author used it.

    Hope that clears it up.

    4:30 in the morning here so I have to head to bead now, will check any updates, answer any questions, and respond to any thoughts in the morning. I am really enjoying having a discussion with out it descending in to rude behavior. Kudos to you!

    • Walt

      I see what you’re saying – I was using ought in a more general sense than the author just to give you the clear definition you requested. For example, I ought to exercise if I desire to be fit – this isn’t a moral judgment, it’s just a prescription for obtaining my desired result.

      On to morality, I don’t think that desire equates to authored morality. I could even say that it is objectively good that I be physically fit, as evidenced by modern medicine, etc, but this is not related to a moral judgment. But since we are talking about moral judgments, my chief disagreement with the author is that moral laws need not be authored. As I mentioned, it seems to me that the only evidence for the assertion that moral laws are authored is that our moral obligations are only for intelligent things. This doesn’t make any sense to me, so I am left wondering why moral laws need to be authored. Thanks for the discussion.

  7. fredo

    Are you saying non Christians cannot be moral or ethical. I will put my atheist daughter’s ethics and morals up against yours or any Christian I know any day of the week. I would not put mine there though because I was a Christain for 40 years. I have already been corrupted by Christianity.

    • reasonableanswers

      I think you have misunderstood my argument. The argument is not saying that atheists can’t be moral or ethical, rather that from a naturalistic worldview you cannot explain where we get morality from. I believe that morality and ethics, which are immaterial, are best explained through a Christian worldview. Also, I am sorry to hear that you feel Christianity has corrupted you. Sadly people can corrupt something is not corrupted itself. I believe that the worldview of Jesus Christ of Nazareth was accurate and not corrupt.

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