Christian Faith—Why It’s True

The Christian faith was not the invention of disciples, the Apostle Paul or the Council of Nicea in the 4th century. It was not invented by men for whatever reason. It is not simply a result of the cultural evolution of the Jewish people, nor a reinvention of the Ancient Mystery Religions. By whatever means, Christianity is not the deception the cults claim it is. Jesus’ teachings were not perverted, for whatever reason, only to have His pure original teachings revived by this cult or that cult, whether Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Unity School of Christianity, Armstrongism, Swedenborgianism, etc. Christianity is the only religion based on a verbal, propositional revelation from God. To the extent that any Christian group or denomination holds to that divine revelation, it may be considered Christian, as opposed to aberrational Christianity, heterodoxy, heresy, or Christian in name only. Christianity is the only religion simultaneously most likely to be true, and given its claims, the easiest to disprove if false. Therefore, in any individual’s search for truth, they should begin that search with biblical Christianity. Because Christianity is a religion based on divine revelation the Bible, it is Christianity which demurs to biblical authority. In other words, the church does not sit in judgment upon the content or legitimacy of the Bible; the Bible sits in judgment upon the content or legitimacy of groups claiming to be Christian. 

If knowing truth is in one’s best interest, then the claim of Christianity to have the truth and the claim of Jesus Christ to be the truth is worth investigation. 

For those who do not share our Christian worldview, why might they consider openly evaluating the Christian religion? 

First, because it is good to do so. As noted, the honest search for truth is one of the most noble philosophical endeavors of life. Plato declared, “Truth is the beginning of every good thing, both in heaven and on earth; and he who would be blessed and happy should be from the first a partaker of the truth.”

Any religion or philosophy that makes convincing claims to having absolute truth is worth consideration because only a few do. More to the point, any religion that claims and produces solid evidence on behalf of an assertion that it alone is fully true is worth serious consideration for that reason alone. But only Christianity does this. 

Second, the kind of existence Christianity offers in life is one of deep and abundant satisfaction, regardless of the pain and disappointment we may have to experience. Jesus claimed He would give us what we really want in life—true meaning and purpose now, and everlasting life in a heavenly existence far beyond our current comprehension. The noted Oxford and Cambridge scholar, C. S. Lewis, correctly understood one of the most heartfelt yearnings of mankind when he wrote, “There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else.”[1] Jesus declared, “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) and “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25). He also said, “I am the truth” (John 14:6).

Most people live their lives not really knowing why they were born—or what happens when they die. Most moderns would consider it too presumptuous to claim any final answers to the mysteries of life and death. But what if, in spite of all the questions, there really were an answer? What if Jesus Christ claims He is the answer and that anyone who wishes could determine the truth of His claims to their own satisfaction?

Christianity is unique in both the evidence upon which it rests and the very doctrines it teaches. There is sufficient evidence from virtually every department of human experience and study to demonstrate that Christianity is true. Despite the individual truth claims in other religions, it is the faith on the non-Christian that is internally and externally groundless. Christian faith is a rational faith whereas non-Christian faiths are typically irrational, subjective, and/or without sufficient grounding in history, common sense, legitimate scripture, etc. Despite the widespread perception that Christianity involves a “leap of faith” it is virtually every non-Christian religious position that involves a blind leap of faith. 

Third, Christianity is not just intellectually credible, whether considered philosophically, historically, scientifically, ethically, culturally, etc., but from an evidential perspective, actually superior to other worldviews, secular or religious. If Christianity were obviously false, as some skeptics charge, how could such esteemed intellectuals as those quoted below logically make their declarations? Mortimer Adler is one of the world’s leading philosophers. He is chairman of the board of editors for The Encyclopedia Britannica, architect of The Great Books of the Western World series and its amazing Syntopicon, director of the prestigious Institute for Philosophical Research in Chicago, and author of Truth in Religion, Ten Philosophical Mistakes, How to Think About God, How to Read a Book, plus over twenty other challenging books. He simply asserts, “I believe Christianity is the only logical, consistent faith in the world.”[2] How could Adler make such a statement? Because he knows it can’t rationally be made of any other religion.

Philosopher, historian, theologian and trial attorney John Warwick Montgomery, holding nine graduate degrees in various fields argues, “The evidence for the truth of Christianity overwhelmingly outweighs competing religious claims and secular world views.”[3] How could an individual of such intellectual caliber as Dr. Montgomery use a descriptive phrase as “overwhelmingly outweighs” if it were obviously false? His 50+ books and 100+ scholarly articles indicate exposure to a wide variety of non-Christian religious and secular philosophies.

The individual widely considered to be the greatest Protestant philosopher of God in the world, Alvin Plantinga, recalls, “For nearly my entire life I have been convinced of the truth of Christianity.”[4] On what basis can one of the world’s greatest philosophers make such a declaration if the evidence for Christianity is unconvincing, as critics charge? 

Dr. Drew Trotter is executive director of the Center for Christian Studies at Charlottesville, VA. He holds a doctorate from Cambridge University. He argues that “logic and the evidence both point to the reality of absolute truth, and that truth is revealed in Christ.”[5]

If we are looking for obvious truths, then perhaps we should consider the words of noted economist and sociologist, George F. Guilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, who asserts, “Christianity is true and its truth will be discovered anywhere you look very far.”[6]

Alister McGrath, Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, declares that the superior nature of the evidence for Christianity is akin to that found in doing good scientific research: 

“When I was undertaking my doctoral research in molecular biology at Oxford University, I was frequently confronted with a number of theories offering to explain a given observation. In the end, I had to make a judgment concerning which of them possessed the greatest internal consistency, the greatest degree of correspondence to the data of empirical observation, and the greatest degree of predictive ability. Unless I was to abandon any possibility of advance in understanding, I was obliged to make such a judgment…. I would claim the right to speak of the ‘superiority’ of Christianity in this explicative sense.”[7]

The noted Christian scholar Dr. Carl. F. H. Henry wrote a 3,000-page, six-volume work on the topic of God, Revelation and Authority. After his exhaustive analysis, Henry declared, “Truth is Christianity’s most enduring asset….”[8]

Such accolades could be multiplied repeatedly. While testimonies per se mean little, if they are undergirded by the weight of evidence, they can hardly be dismissed out of hand. Indeed, as Norman Geisler comments, “In the face of overwhelming apologetic evidence, unbelief becomes perverse….”[9]

Fourth, as we will see, Christianity’s founder, Jesus Christ, is utterly original and totally unique when compared to every other religious leader who has ever lived. In the words of an article in Time magazine, His life was, simply, “the most influential life that was ever lived.”[10] In addition, the Christian Bible itself is clearly the most influential book in human history. As we will see, the evidence in favor of its divine inspiration and the inerrancy of its autographs is formidable, even to many former skeptics. But if Jesus Christ and the Christian Scriptures continue to exert an unparalleled influence in the world, shouldn’t they be considered worthy of an impartial investigation? If objective evidence points to Christianity alone being fully true, then it seems that only personal bias can explain a person’s unwillingness to seriously consider the claims of Jesus Christ on their life. 

A final reason secularists and those of other religious persuasions should be receptive to Christianity is because we live in an increasingly poisonous age experientially. In our pluralistic and pagan culture, almost anyone is a viable target for conversion to a wide variety of false beliefs which are far more consequential individually than Christianity—from various cults and New Age occultism to solipsism and nihilism. Philosophies of despair and potent occult experiences can convert even those who think they are the least vulnerable: “There is a great deal of research that shows that all people, but especially highly intelligent people, are easily taken in by all kinds of illusions, hallucinations, self-deceptions, and outright bamboozles—all the more so when they have a high investment in the illusion being true.”[11] In other words, even in this life it is the personal welfare of the non-Christian that may be at risk.

When one examines all the arguments and attacks made against Christianity for 2,000 years, by some of the greatest minds ever, guess what one finds? Not one is valid. And not one, individually or collectively, disproves Christianity. Even with the most difficult problems, such as the problem of evil, Christianity has the best answer of any found in other religions or philosophies and the best solution to the problem. If the leading minds of the world have been unable to disprove Christianity, this may explain why many of the other leading minds in the world have accepted it. James Sire correctly points out in Why Should Anyone Believe Anything At All?, an argument for belief, religious or other, must be secured on the best evidence, validly argued, and able to refute the strongest objections that can be mustered against it.[12]

Obviously, if the God of the Bible has revealed Himself and if He is the only God—and if Christ is the only way of salvation—then we would expect convincing evidence in substantiation. Not just some evidence, or inferior evidence—so that a person has a dozen equally valid options in the choice of their religion—but superior evidence. As Dr. John Warwick Montgomery asks:

“What if a revelational truth-claim did not turn on questions of theology and religious philosophy—on any kind of esoteric, fideistic method available only to those who are already ‘true believers’—but on the very reasoning employed in the law to determine questions of fact?… Eastern faiths and Islam, to take familiar examples, ask the uncommitted seeker to discover their truth experientially: the faith-experience will be self-validating…. Christianity, on the other hand, declares that the truth of its absolute claims rests squarely on certain historical facts, open to ordinary investigation…. The advantage of a jurisprudential approach lies in the difficulty of jettisoning it: legal standards of evidence developed as essential means of resolving the most intractable disputes in society…. Thus one cannot very well throw out legal reasoning merely because its application to Christianity results in a verdict for the Christian faith.”[13]

If we assume that a God of truth is dedicated to truth and desires men find Him, then what is the most logical place to begin our search for the one true religion? And is there a religion God has made stand out? Logically, the best, and only practical, way to see if one religion is absolutely true is to start with the largest, most unique, influential, and evidentiary religion in the world. It is much more reasonable to determine whether or not this religion is true than to seek another approach to the issue such as examining, one by one, all religions from A to Z, or picking one randomly or by personal preference.

All non-Christian religions are experientially based. As such, they prove nothing because of their inherent subjectivism. So even having profound religious experiences alone cannot prove such a religion is true. And, obviously to attempt to examine all religions (whether the sequence is random, preferential, or alphabetical) would be a daunting and confusing, if not impossible, task. Regardless, if there is only one God and if only one religion is fully true, then one should not expect to discover sustainable evidence in any other religion. And indeed, no other religion, anywhere, large or small, has sustainable evidence in its favor. If no credible evidence exists for any other religion and only Christianity has compelling evidence, why should any time at all be spent examining religions that have no basis to substantiate their claims? Especially if there may be significant consequences for trusting in false religion, both in this life and the next? 

It is much easier, and all the more logical, to start by examining probabilities of truth on the highest end of the scale. 

In “The Value of an Evidential Approach,” William J. Cairney (PhD, Cornell) discusses some of the possibilities that constitute genuine evidence for the fact God has inspired the Bible and the Christianity based on it: 

“History Written in Advance. We can all write history in retrospect, but an almighty, omnipotent, Creator would not be bound by our notions of space and time, and would thus be able to write history before it occurs. Suppose that we encountered a sourcebook that contained page after page of history written in advance with such accuracy and in such detail that good guessing would be completely ruled out. 

“Prescience. Suppose that in this same sourcebook, we were able to find accurate statements written ages ago demonstrating scientific knowledge and concepts far before mankind had developed the technological base necessary for discovering that knowledge or those concepts….

“Historical Evidence. Suppose that in this same sourcebook, we were to find historical assertions that time after time were verified as true as historical scholarship continued….

“Archeological Evidence. Suppose that in this same sourcebook, statements that are difficult to verify are made about people and places, but as archeology “unearths” more knowledge of the past, time after time the sourcebook is seen to be true in its assertions. 

“Philosophical and Logical Coherence. Suppose that this same sourcebook, even though written piecemeal over thousands of years, contains well-developed common themes and is internally consistent. 

“And suppose all of these evidences hang together without internal contradiction or literary stress within the same anthology. Collectively, we could not take these evidences lightly.”[14]

Overall, the evidence strongly asserts that Christianity is true whether that evidence is internal (the documents), philosophical, moral, historical, scientific, archeological, or when compared with the evidence found in other religions. For example, “The competence of the New Testament documents would be established in any court of law” and “Modern archeological research has confirmed again and again the reliability of New Testament geography, chronology, and general history.”[15] Further, as the noted classical scholar Professor E. M. Blaiklock points out, “Recent archeology has destroyed much nonsense and will destroy more. And I use the word nonsense deliberately, for theories and speculations find currency in [liberal] biblical scholarship that would not be tolerated for a moment in any other branch of literary or historical criticism.”[16]

In essence, only Christianity meets the burden of proof necessary to say, “This religion alone is fully true.” And no one can argue successfully that Christianity has not been thoroughly investigated: As the 5th edition of Man’s Religions by John B. Noss points out, “The first Christian century has had more books written about it than any other comparable period of history. The chief sources bearing on its history are the gospels and epistles of the New Testament, and these—again we must make a comparative statement—have been more thoroughly searched by inquiring minds than any other books ever written.”[17]

Recommended Reading:

John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Ready with an Answer; Knowing the Truth about Salvation.

  1. C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (NY: Macmillan, 1962), p. 145.
  2. As cited in an interview in Christianity Today, November 19, 1990, p. 34.
  3. John W. Montgomery (ed.), Evidence for Faith: Deciding the God Question (Dallas: Word, 1991), p. 9.
  4. Alvin Plantinga, “A Christian Life Partly Lived,” in Kelly James-Clark (ed.), Philosophers Who Believe (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993), p. 69, emphasis added.
  5. As interviewed in the Chattanooga Free Press, July 23, 1995, p. A-11.
  6. L. Neff, “Christianity Today Talks to George Gilder,” Christianity Today, March 6, 1987, p. 35 cited in David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1994), p. 13.
  7. Alister E. McGrath, “Response to John Hick” in Dennis L. Okholm and Timothy R. Phillips (eds.), More Than One Way? Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), p. 68.
  8. Ajith Fernando, The Supremacy of Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1995), p. 109.
  9. Norman L. Geisler, “Joannine Apologetics” in Roy B. Zuck (gen. ed.), Vital Apologetic Issues: Examining Reasons and Revelation in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1995), p. 37.
  10. Richard N. Ostling, “Who Was Jesus?”, Time, August 15, 1988, p. 37.
  11. Maureen O’Hara, “Science, Pseudo-Science, and Myth Mongering,” Robert Basil (ed.), Not Necessarily the New Age: Critical Essays (NY: Prometheus, 1988), p. 148.
  12. James Sire, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything At All? (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 10.
  13. John Warwick Montgomery, “The Jury Returns: A Juridical Defense of Christianity,” in John Warwick Montgomery (ed.), Evidence for Faith: Deciding the God Question (Dallas: Probe Books, 1991), 319-20.
  14. William J. Cairney, “The Value of an Evidential Approach,” in Montgomery (ed.), Evidence for Faith, 21.
  15. Montgomery, “The Jury Returns: A Juridical Defense of Christianity,” in Montgomery (ed.), Evidence for Faith, 322, 326.
  16. E. M. Blaiklock, Christianity Today, Sept. 28, 1973, 13.
  17. John B. Noss, Man’s Religions, 5th ed., (NY: Macmillan, 1974), 417.

About Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon

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