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Sunday, February 24, 2013

If Christianity Is True, Why Don't More People Believe

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If Christianity Is True, Why Don't More People Believe? -  Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


Just why don't more people believe in Christianity? Yes, it's a good question. And we must try to offer a clear reply. The purpose of this article, then, is to examine the question 'If Christianity is true and "Christian evidences" really stack up, why don't more people believe it?'
- CHECK IT OUT
Many people are strangers to the evidences for Christianity and are more familiar with opinions based on caricature or misunderstanding - 'What educated person today believes in miracles?' 'Hasn't science disproved Christianity?' For many people, such objections, and others like them, are sincerely held, and we need to give them answers.
For a start, Christianity is not a religious philosophy; it is firmly grounded in history, in real events and invites enquiry. We have the utmost confidence in the biblical documents and in the truths they present. 'Christian Evidences' are not an 'intellectual' substitute for faith, but show that faith is not an unthinking leap into a mystical sort of excitement.
The goal of 'evidences' is to show that Christianity is based on credible, real-world events, even if some are awesome and surprising. Some of these look at the long history of God's purpose revealed in Scripture and how it comes to a climax in Jesus' life, his claims to deity, his death and resurrection and his miracles, that all confirm his claims. The living God of biblical revelation is fully entitled to suspend natural law and act in this world. After all, 'natural law' is merely a convenient label for the created framework and orderly operation of the material cosmos.
The West has mostly forgotten that it was Christianity that gave the world a valued and unique humanity (though ruined by the 'Fall'), rational and accountable to God, and our place in an understandable universe. Now we are able to make meaningful discovery because it was the work of the all-wise and all-powerful Creator. The rise of early modern science, indeed the whole foundation of reasoned thinking, experiment and the process of empirical proof come from Christianity, recovered at the time of the Reformation.
- RECORDS
Try going back to the early source material and read one or two of the four Gospels in the New Testament. Reflect on their claims. Look for marks of eye-witnesses in the accounts. An early date for the Gospels is very well attested. The records of the life, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus and their life-changing impact are open for you to assess.
Look at the Old Testament prophecies that pinpoint the details of Jesus' birth, the purpose of his coming and how in his death he suffered fully and finally for the sins of others - for we have all sinned and broken God's law. Jesus died willingly for all who would place their trust and confidence in his death on their behalf. These prophecies are noted early in the Gospel accounts. And there are way too many of them to explain them away as coincidences. Then consider the conversion of Saul of Tarsus to Paul the teacher and traveller for Christ, and the early expansion of Christianity in the face of Greek superiority and cynicism, Jewish hostility and Roman decadence and world weariness. We are talking about real history and well-known places like Crete, Cyprus, Athens and Corinth are mentioned in the travels of Paul, including the names of ancient local pagan deities, quotes from non-Christian poets, correct titles given for various Roman, civic and governmental positions. All this and more, are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles by Luke, the painstaking historian and fellow traveller with Paul on some of his journeys. These details too, are all part of Christian evidences.
How did its message take hold such a hold and spread in the face of hard-bitten cynicism? This is all part of the evidence. What was so credible or appealing about the main storyline? A lot has to do with Jesus' character; his transparent life, his willingness to touch lepers and lift the outcasts and especially his dying love, sacrificing himself for others sins. And then there was the wide sharing of the Christian good news, that anyone, through trusting in Jesus, may go free, forgiven, and live as a new person for Christ, who gave his all for them. Without doubt, the lives of early Christians, so often marked by warm, humble love and joy in adversity, told its own story that Jesus is alive for evermore. Christ is risen! Again, this is all part of the early history of Christianity.
- CONSIDER EVIDENCE
In a short introduction the most I can do is to share a few summaries of the evidence, but beyond that you will need to turn to Christ personally and trust HIM. Evidences are helpful pointers, but they do not bring spiritual life.
Remember, by nature we are spiritually 'dead in the trespasses and sins' (Eph. 2:1). The Bible teaches that 'people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil' (John 3:19). We must be born of God's Spirit, justified by faith and personally reconciled to God. Jesus' resurrection is the final and supreme evidence. There is ample evidence for his bodily resurrection and if the hostile Jewish authorities could have produced Jesus' corpse, they had every opportunity and far-reaching resources, but were unable. That is circumstantial evidence; there were also many eye-witnesses, and Jesus' own word that 'after three days he would rise' (Mark 10:34). Multiple strands and types of evidence confirm that Christianity is grounded in events that happened. But you will certainly need more than evidence to believe; you will need to receive the free undeserved favour of God.
In spite of so much evidence, many refuse to come to Christ because of the hardness and blindness of their hearts. That is why people do not believe - they will not! Are you concerned about that? Examine the evidences, and call upon the Lord to take away your stony heart of unbelief and to give you a living trust in the ever-living Savior, today.
Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer answers for many of life's big questions - 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?' Take a look at my paperback, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' to see how Richard Dawkins' atheistic belief cannot support itself, either as philosphy or science. Use the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Michael-Austin/dp/1604776668/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1302182528&sr=1-2 My title, 'LOST RELATION - FINDING HUMANITY & GOD' discusses how the evolutionary beliefs of Charles Darwin destroy human reason. He admits this when he says he inherited his thinking from monkeys.Use my books and articles to help you find faith in Christ, or to strengthen your faith. Also find titles on many other websites - & BUY TODAY! Email for enquiries and discussions about articles: mdaustin@iolfree.ie Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6968281


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