Without using the Bible to prove its own validity, what makes the Christian faith true and others false?

Joel Virgo | Sunday 14th October 2012 | 7 Questions | Part 5

Notes

Although the question demands a little too much in terms of restricting use of the Bible, it’s getting at the need for persuasion and reason when discussing issues of faith.  Joel therefore goes on to explain why Jesus fits humanity better than any other religion or system of thought.  Not that following Jesus is a convenient thing to do – far from it!  But Christianity makes most sense of life in general and the human condition.

The question does allow for us to take in terms of exclusive truth claims.  Though it is sometimes suggested that there are many paths to God, that suggestion is more arrogant and exclusive than any other as it assumes you have god-like understanding!  Only the person at the top of the mountain can be sure that all paths lead there.  Only the person who can see the whole elephant can describe many different people “feeling there way around”!

Jesus clearly says, “I am the Way” (John 14:6).

As human beings we have a deep desire for restoration and the ultimate defeat of evil.  Without God, we have no basis to say that there even is such a thing as evil.

Jesus makes sense of, and ultimately deals with our guilt.  This is a huge human problem which is not satisfactorily explained by an atheistic worldview, nor is it dealt with by other religions (who often try to diminish or ignore it).  Not only does Jesus explain it (we are guilty because we have rejected God), but he deals with it by taking the punishment for our wrong doing on the cross.

The Grace of God is unique to Christianity.  Not only does it reveal to us how bad we really are, but it offers us love, acceptance and freedom as a gift that in no way do we deserve.  Instead of us working our way into God’s good books (but never being sure if we’ve done enough, eg Islam), Jesus qualifies us on his own terms; taking out of gratitude of already being accepted by God.  Knowing Grace is also the unique basis to be genuinely tolerant to others.

What’s more, Jesus makes sense of suffering.  He doesn’t stay aloof from our situation, he is not a distant God.  Again, uniquely, through Jesus God enters into our suffering world and suffers in our place for our sin.  Our God is the God of the Cross.

Finally, Jesus stands head and shoulders above any other religion or belief because He’s alive!  He was raised from the dead.  The testimony of history is that the tomb is empty and those who saw Him raised went out and preached that very fact, even though it cost them their lives.  Because He’s alive, not only does it vindicate his claims, but it means that we can know him personally.  He’s not far from any one of us (Acts 17:27).