Reasons for Faith
Is it actually reasonable to believe in God and believe that He raised
Jesus from the dead? I think it is; here is a very short summary of the
- God. In spite of modern thought, people generally have an
awareness from the world we live in that there is a Creator, and they
want to know Him. It actually takes some effort to suppress this
- The Bible. Although it's a collection of books from a long
span of time, it all hangs together; the New Testament fulfils the Old.
The things it says about human nature are true: we all aspire to moral
standards but can't even live up to our own standards, let alone God's.
(I.e., righteousness and sin are both real).
- Jesus. The documentary evidence that he rose from the dead
is so strong that historians would accept it as a real event except for
one feature: it's a miracle. We believe things about Julius Caesar and
William the Conqueror on less evidence.
- It works. Recent studies have found that churchgoers are
happier, healthier and live longer. It's been pointed out by doctors
that if Christianity was a drug the Department of Health would want
everyone to take it because of the savings for the NHS.
- It changes people's priorities. As should be expected,
Christians are more caring and compassionate (i.e. more like God).
There are exceptions (some people are hypocrites), but the trend is
clear. Many social advances in our society have been brought about by
Christians in the face of secular opposition (Elisabeth Fry; Florence
Nightingale; William Booth; William Wilberforce). Today if
you tour the world you can find many Christian medical missions,
but fewer of other faiths or secular organisations. Many now-secular
charities were founded by Christians. (And nominally secular charity
works often turn out to be staffed by Christians).
- Lives are changed. One can read numerous autobiographies of
people brought out of degradation and despair, freed from addictions
and given hope; all, according to their own accounts, by the power of
God. (Things usually work by being real. Eating keeps us alive because
food actually contains nutrients. If God's power changes lives, it's
reasonable to suppose that God is real.)
- On a personal level, I find that these things are true of
the Christians I know: they are more caring and contented, and they
deal with problems better than others.
- In our culture the main opposing world-view (scientific
materialism) is based on contradiction. Science is said to show us that
only material things exist: we are just matter. But that means our
thoughts are just features of matter; predetermined by physical laws,
not logic and reason. Such limited entities would not be capable of
learning anything through science as their thoughts would embody no
- Materialism also fails to explain obvious features of human
experience such as our ability to perceive beauty and our awareness of
our own identity. (Since I was born every atom in my body has been
replaced several times, but I'm still me).
- From my sinner's-eye-view, I find that when I spend time
with the Bible and in Christian fellowship, faith seems reasonable. But
when I'm "in the World" and struggling to fit into it, or when I sin,
doubts arise. The facts don't change; my willingness to accept them