I’m not a warm fuzzy kinda guy. I can be sensitive and social, but the job I chose literally confines me to a sterile, dark room all alone…and I like that. I’m meticulous, analytical, and logically calculating, preferring numbers and words to pictures (as is intentionally apparent in this post!). I’m basically not the kind of person you’d typically think of when descriptors like “faith-driven”, “religious”, or “believer” are used. Yet all the character traits you just read in this paragraph apply to me profoundly. I never stop asking questions of ever-increasing specificity, and I need myriad answers regarding a worldview before I can consider it worthy of acceptance.
As explained in my post a few months ago concerning God and science, there really are no worldviews for which all the answers are available. However, I have chosen Christianity as mine because it offers so many answers that make as much or more sense than any other worldview I have come across. Of course, I in no way intend to enumerate them all in this post (and everyone said “Amen!”), although many are discussed in my Healing Hereafter e-book series (free, download here if you’d like to go deeper!). Rather, I wish to highlight four refreshing and rational ways the Christian God really comes through in his biblical words that excited me enough to write volumes about them.
1. We all have a non-arbitrary, God-given purpose that is consistently supportable from God’s Word and from our own experience
The Christian God created us for perfect, eternal community with him. His triune nature and resulting community with himself would lead him to do so and our virtually ubiquitous desire for restored and enduring relationships exhibit the desire given us to do so. You’ll find frequent substantiation of this purpose in Booklet 2 of Healing Hereafter if you need more convincing. The necessarily human-initiated purposes some secularists adopt can provide some drive and satisfaction, but both are mitigated by the forced and non-authoritative nature of such a purpose. And the “you’re here to follow this list of God’s laws/pillars, and he may or may not reward you for it” purpose taught by other theistic religions-including inaccurate legalistic misrepresentations of Christianity-could be true but are much less consistent with the deeply relational non-robotic natures God has given us. In the Bible, God has the unique right to and does-from beginning to end-repeatedly assign, assist, and himself pursue the fulfillment of a purpose for humans that makes sense for him and for us.
2. The Christian Gospel’s solution actually fixes the problem
Obviously, secularists don’t consider the worldviews of naturalism or atheism to require a gospel or salvation process, but in a way they do. At the fundamental root of each is a faith-requiring, insubordinate standard that either nothing exists that is not natural or that nothing exists that could be considered God. Neither can use natural or atheistic means (e.g the scientific process) to confirm these standards. Therefore, their best solution-discovering what exists solely through natural or atheistic pursuits-can never fix their problem that what exists can never be known to be fully discovered or discoverable by such pursuits. In fact, the most consistent thing science has taught us (i.e the most robust scientific law of all time) is that at any given time science has not been able to detect or correctly explain all that exists, as proven by future scientific discoveries. As for the gospels of persisting non-Christian theistic religions, they are either inconsistent/non-existent (e.g. I cannot find an even quasi-universal Hindu salvation process) or completely works-based. We’d like to think that conforming to statutes and good deeds somehow removes all the bad stuff we’ve done and makes us perfectly fit for a heavenly eternity, but it actually doesn’t. Nothing has actually happened to remove our imperfection, just to divert attention from it, and any heavenly place we might go to will almost instantly be ruined by that imperfection, just as our earthly place was. Only Christianity offers a functional solution in Jesus, whose life and death undeservedly absorbs all the direct consequences of a Christian’s imperfection. Moreover, the Christian salvation process includes giving God permission to remove our ability to become imperfect or cause imperfection once in perfection, thus uniquely offering eternal perfection that can’t be marred. I know these are broad brush-stroke claims, but Booklets 2 and 8 explain the extensive evidence for them. Simply put, Jesus uniquely offers a solution that actually fixes the problem (Click to tweet).
3. God has a fair, sensible plan for the outliers
What about those who lived before a worldview was fully explained or who live and die without any meaningful way to understand the necessities of a worldview? Worldviews claiming a single, universal fate for all after death don’t have to deal with this question, but every worldview teaching any variance in the experiences of the dearly departed does. Most don’t attempt detailed or coherent answers, leaving their followers to either assume a Hail Mary hope that God will take care of all associated contradictions somehow or assume non-Scripturally-derived beliefs that those they perceive as good (e.g. babies) favorably break all the normal rules and go to perfection while those they perceive as bad (e.g. those nasty Sodomites) unfavorably break all the rules and go to a much worse place. The problem, of course, is that either God himself apparently doesn’t know how to address outliers, remaining silent on the issue, or he creates rules that irrevocably determine the eternal fate of some yet become easily dispensable for others. One of the most significant reasons I believe in Christianity is the unique, rational, fair, and comprehensive way its God accounts for the outliers and avoids both the above pitfalls. It’s not well taught and often sacrificed on the altar of oversimplifying Christianity, but it answers so many questions where such shortcuts leave gaping inconsistencies. Don’t believe me? Check out Booklet 3 to learn more!
4. The beginning, middle, and end are consistent and desirable
To the secularist, the beginning and end are consistent, simply the physical birth and death of either universes or people according solely to physical processes. It’s the middle where you often find inconsistency, if not in theory, at least in practice. Consciousness, purpose, accomplishments, and morality can be nothing more to the naturalist than the result of an inevitable and unalterable progression of biochemical reactions, so individuality, motivation, achievement, goodness, and guilt are all meaningless illusions. I would say don’t succumb to despair, but the physical processes determining what the entity incorrectly considered to be a “you” will feel set that in stone eons ago as soon as those processes started. But few naturalists actually live-or desire to live-like they believe this. We could assume the irony that those processes solely and inevitably led them to live as if more than those processes existed, or we could assume that more than those processes does exist. Most of those who do believe in the supernatural, however, still suffer from overall inconsistency or undesirability. For example, Judaism starts with God wanting to commune with humanity in Eden and ends with a poorly-defined postmortem existence of only Jews in a place that God is too holy to be with them in (Abraham’s Bosom). Buddhism is more consistent, marching increasingly toward complete emotional detachment, but is this something most Buddhists you’ve met act like they really want? And if they do, is desiring an increasing detachment from desire all that consistent? Considering Islam, how many Muslim women truly appreciate the consistency of Allah’s encouragement that paradise essentially only offers an especially beautiful female virgin to every inhabitant, with lots of good food? I’m guessing they could have come up with something better to go with that feast, right? Conversely, Christianity starts with God pursuing community with any humans who want it, continues with God increasing community with any humans who want it, and ends with God perfectly fulfilling that pursuit with those who wanted it (Click to tweet). And those who don’t want it get what they desire as well, an existence without that community. I know these statements bring up a lot of important questions about heaven and hell, so I invite you to explore Booklets 6-8 to find how thoroughly I address them. Never have I found a better worldview to combine consistency and desirability than Christianity, yet another reason I believe it.
As I stated at the get-go, we can’t exhaustively explore even this limited number of reasons to believe in one blog post. But if you’re like me and can’t believe solely because you’re told or because it makes you feel good, I hope enough rational thought was provoked for you to explore further where we can ask and answer the many significant questions arising from these topics. If so, it’s instant and free to peruse which parts/booklets of Healing Hereafter might interest you the most!