"As she stood looking at it, wondering why there was a lamp-post in the middle of a wood and wondering what to do next, she heard a pitter patter of feet coming toward her..." (C S Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

All of the Above

Why are you a Christian?  It seems as if people give one of four answers to that question:

A. Evidence - You were convinced by the evidence for God, particularly the evidence of intelligent design and the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

B. Experience - Your personal subjective experiences led you into believing that Christianity is true.

C. Relationships - Someone you know demonstrated Christ-likeness to you and was so influential over your life that you came to faith in Christ yourself.

D. Scripture - You started reading the Bible and you were convinced that it is the Word of God.

Each one standing alone has its weaknesses.  If your faith is based on evidence alone, what happens when some seemingly novel piece of evidence comes along that makes you question your faith?  If it is based on your experiences, what happens when you have some other experiences that seem to point in another direction?  What happens when you begin a relationship with an atheist or a Muslim who seems compelling in his own lifestyle?  What happens when some egg-headed skeptic lays out all of his objections to Scripture that you can't answer?

You might ask, "Well do you have a better answer?"

I think so.  All of the above.  Remember those pesky "all of the above" answers on college exams?  I think that is what we have here.  It is not merely the evidence that convinces me of the Truth of Christianity, it is the evidence plus experience.  It is not merely some amazing Christian men and women who have led me to faith, it is relationships plus the Truth of Scripture.  It's all four.  It's all of the above.

Ultimately, the answer to why I am a Christian is the work of the Holy Spirit.  But the Holy Spirit uses means, whether that be feeling the weight of the evidence, an earth shattering experience, a powerful Christian friendship, or conviction of the Bible.  God makes Christians, and he does it by all of the above!

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