October 18, 2017

Coffee Cup Apologetics: Why I Am A Christian: Ten Reasons

041-coffee-steam-cup-pic.jpgUPDATE: Here is the Peter Kreeft material on the resurrection that I refer to in this post and podcast.

I have several apologetics presentations that have developed here at my ministry setting. I’m going to do some of them as posts and podcasts. I’ll call the series “Coffee Cup Apologetics.”

Here is “Why I Am A Christian: Ten Reasons. (This has appeared as an IM post in the past.)

Coffee Cup Apologetics Website.

1. It is reasonable that God might exist.
2. Further, it is reasonable (based on the evidence) that this God who might exist might be personal and therefore have communicated with human beings.
3. The world’s religions are a reasonable place to look for evidence of such communication.
4. Among those representing the world religions, Jesus of Nazareth seems to hold the consensus as the person most likely to provide convincing evidence of the God who might exist. (Since Jesus is- in some way- incorporated into all major world religions. If all the world’s religious leaders were locked in a basement until they could elect only one person to represent the best of their beliefs, I believe Jesus would be the person selected.)
5. The resurrection of Jesus is a reasonable explanation for the existence of Christianity as a distinct belief system from Judaism.
6. An examination of the various alternatives and existing evidence convinces me that the Resurrection is, in fact, true.
7. If the Ressurection is true, then Jesus’ statements about himself, God, Truth, Sin, etc. (The Christian worldview) are true by deduction.
8. Based on this conclusion, I relate to the God who I now believe exists through Jesus.
9. My experience matches what Jesus describes, providing personal verification of the truth of Christianity.
10. Based on Pascal’s wager, I await eventual verification of this conclusion after death, but haven’t lost anything if I am wrong.

Others in this series will be:

Why I believe in the Resurrection.
What do Christians Believe?
Why does God allow Evil?

Comments

  1. Yaay! Vulcan Logic, Applied!

    and I’d choose to believe anyway, and am planning to post why. This will be a good bookMMMark to use though.

    Hi, IMonk. Long time no coMMMent from MMMe, but I’ve been lurking. Hope you’re well.

  2. “10. Based on Pascal’s wager, I await eventual verification of this conclusion after death, but haven’t lost anything if I am wrong.”

    Michael, I understand the purpose of these propositions are not split hairs but I would seriously consider the inclusion of the above statement. Paul thought that if we’ve hoped in Christ in this life alone, we are to be pitied. If Jesus isn’t who the Bible says then the Christian life is silliness. If we are wrong, we have lost a lot, I think. I would especially think about this as presented to non-believers. I am afraid it presents Christianity as a very easy choice with no harm done if you’re wrong about it. I just don’t believe that. I don’t think you do either. Just something to think about.

    Brian

  3. I’ve addressed this many times on the old post.

    Compared to the Christian promise, I have lost an immeasurable amount. Compared to an atheist’s view of no eternal state, I’ve lost nothing. I believe that Paul’s hyperbolic statements needs to be considered carefully. I am not sure that Paul would have recommended a stoic adopt the lifestyle of a hedonist in the name of “a better life.” Many Jews do not believe in an afterlife, and many in Eastern religions hope for annihilation or assimilation into the one. I don’t think Paul’s word to them was to go find hookers and whiskey. 🙂

  4. Fremen_Warrior66 says:

    Here’s an atheist’s thoughts on Pascal’s wager. This is a quote from http://www.geocities.com/questioningpage/Jesus1.html

    “Some suggest that I should believe anyway. They will tell me I have too much to lose if I am wrong. So, since the claimed payoff for Christianity is infinite, I am told I should follow it on the outside chance that it might be true. This argument is known as Pascal’s wager. I think it is faulty. Suppose I elect to believe just in case, and select your religious views–ignoring for the moment that many religions conflict with yours–and that somehow I “believe,” even though I am not thoroughly convinced it is true. Would God honor this kind of belief? Would God honor me for going through the motions of belief and acting as though I believe, even though I doubt? Wouldn’t that be dishonest? Does God honor such dishonesty? If your God promotes such dishonesty, then how do you know you can trust him? For a God who wants me to pretend to believe might himself be pretending when he makes a promise. A God who blesses lying might himself be lying. If such a God exists, we are all in peril. Nobody could know what a lying God would do.”

    Interesting thoughts. I personally prefer not to refer to Pascal’s wager to agnostics and atheists, because they find it quite insulting to their reasonable and intelligent self-image.

  5. I like logic (I used to teach it) but I don’t use it as the basis of apologetics any more. Even flawless logic has too many loopholes.

    Muslims believe there’s a God, and He’s merciful; but the Quran offers them no guarantee that He’ll let them into Paradise. Following the Five Pillars of Islam is their answer to Pascal’s Wager. And every other religion does the same: “Live it out,” they’ll tell us, “and see if it’s not so.”

    I need more than just an educated guess as the basis of my devotion. And I have more: I have a testimony of personal encounters with Jesus that are confirmed by other Christians. Poke holes in my logic all you like; it’s a lot harder to deny my experiences.

  6. As I say in the podcast, apologetics is, in my ministry, a way to show that we have thoughtful answers, and our faith isn’t an unreasonable leap in the dark.

    That being said, if the Holy Spirit doesn’t open eyes and change hearts, no argument works. I never use apologetics as evangelism.

    Of course, I don’t see the Bible using a lot of “testimony stories” for evangelism either. Evangelism is a cross cultural communication of the Gospel.

    A presentation like this says that we have a reason for the hope within. It’s not the whole reason, the ultimate reason and certainly not the transforming reason. But it is coherent, and it shows that a person can be a Christian and articulate their faith.

    I’m sure you realize that adherents of other religions have encounters with their gods that they also believe are beyond argument.