Christianity…an Unlikely Truth :: by Barry Kavanaugh

Some people claim there is a single issue that they have with Christianity that keeps them from belief. Others claim that it’s a culmination of lots of little doubts they have that keep them from belief. There are just too many questions they have and too many topics that are difficult to understand. Until all of their questions are answered to their satisfaction, they won’t give Christianity any real consideration.

If there are so many questions to be asked of Christianity and so many complicated topics that just don’t make sense, Christianity seems not to be true. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins writes, “God, or any intelligent, decision-taking, calculating agent, would have to be highly improbable in the very same statistical sense as the entities he is supposed to explain.” Dawkins, being an evolutionary biologist, believes that the only correct answer to a question is a simple answer.

Because God isn’t simple and because Dawkins can’t wrap his head around the God of Christianity, God can’t be real. Dawkins refuses to give Christianity consideration as a plausible worldview because a God powerful enough to sustain the universe and loving enough to die for us is a complicated God. Dawkins expects the true worldview to be simple and understandable. If there were to be a real God, Dawkins would think him to be simple and explainable. But then that being wouldn’t a God at all.

If God were capable of being understood and agreed with upon all issues, he would be a figment of our imaginations and a projection of ourselves with the name of “God.” God isn’t disproven because He must be powerful for biblical claims to be true. Likewise, God isn’t disproven because the moral law laid out in the Bible is difficult or even offensive.

However unlikely it may seem that a God would willingly die for those who reject Him, the unlikelihood doesn’t serve as evidence against such a God. On the contrary, a God as powerful, loving, and authoritative as the God of the Bible is less likely to be able to be explained away as a creation of the human mind. How could one invent such a doctrine as complicated as the Holy Trinity when they can’t fully comprehend such a doctrine?

The complexity, depth, and uniqueness of Christianity serve in many ways as evidence for its truth. However, people use their lack of answers and comprehension as an excuse to deny the truth claims made by the Bible. Until every question they have is fully answered and all of their doubts are fully satisfied, they refuse to consider faith in Christ. Faith without doubt or unanswered questions isn’t faith at all.

We should not have blind faith and have beliefs that are illogical or disproven, but we shouldn’t expect the decision to put our trust in Christ to be made for us through the answering of our every question and doubt. God desires a choice to be made to follow him. A choice requires the possibility of making a different decision. We should not expect God to make Christianity simple for us or for God himself to simplify his character so that faith in him would come more naturally. God’s complexity should serve as evidence for his reality as man most surely could not have contrived him up, especially to serve as any sort of explanation for reality or reason to live. What a poor invention of an explanation an unexplainable explanation would be. As a Christian, I find joy in serving and worshiping a God whose character and love are beyond comprehension.

If God is the “jackpot” of a treasure hunt, his deepest desire is that we get to live with all of the benefits of the treasure, and we can only live with such benefits if we have the free choice and choose to do so-if all of these things are true, we find exactly what is to be expected. Christianity promises eternal glory with God in heaven when we put faith in Christ. In order to go through Christ, we must choose to put our trust in him.

In order to make the choice to do so, there must be other options to choose. But if God loves enough to send Christ, he must love us enough to leave us clues to help in our quest for salvation and eternal life. The clues can’t be overwhelming, though, because there would no longer be a choice, as the decision would be made for us. If God also desires our affection with a burning passion, he surely wouldn’t give us all of the gold at once and trust we would continue to serve and seek him after given the eternal prize.

What we would expect, given the claims of Christianity, is that the God of the Bible would give us freedom to choose, leave us clues to help in our choice, but also not completely reveal all of the gold to us at once, as we would no longer seek dependence on his guidance. If Christianity is true as a worldview, we find exactly what we would expect. There certainly are choices other than Christianity. However, the more we probe, Christianity proves to be plausible, and even probable. When we have a doubt and honestly seek the answer, we find it.

Sometimes it takes patience, but we eventually find the answer to our doubt. We never do find every answer and we never are left without any doubt or question, or the decision would be made for us to follow Christ and God would have infringed upon our free will. God does love us enough to offer us wisdom and knowledge when we seek him. He leaves us pieces of gold, pointing to the jackpot that is salvation and eternal life. James 1:5 says:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Just as no metaphor does the Holy Trinity justice in an attempt at description, this metaphor doesn’t do justice to the will of God. Hopefully you see the point I was trying to make, though. If Christianity is true, we find what we would expect. Christianity must be logical and scientific if indeed it is the true worldview, and that is what we find the more we search.

If God desires our love, he can’t infringe on our free will by giving us every answer, and we surely don’t have all of the answers. If God loves us enough to die for us, he must make an effort to win our affection by providing evidence and by providing us with his word, and we have the Bible clearly expressing the love of God for his creation. All of these things are true and should bear witness to the plausibility of Christianity and the love of God.

Most people don’t see it this way. Rather than seeing the existence of doubts and questions as a necessity in the accomplishing of the will of God in us choosing salvation, they view the quantity of doubts towards Christianity as reason not to believe. This would be just if each of these questions had solid answers disproving God, but that is not what we find.

The more we search for answers to these questions, the more reliable answers we find in support of Christianity. But there are always more questions to be asked. Is that reason not to believe in Christianity?

Nothing else is held to the same level of scrutiny of Christianity. What if, every time you went to sit in a chair, you checked the tightness of each individual screw holding the chair together? What if you performed strength tests on each piece of wood in the chair? What if you went to tour the company that produces the screws to insure the reliability of the metal?

What if you investigated the head of the company to insure that the manufacturer of the screw was a skilled manufacturer of screws? You would probably never sit in a chair and would spend your life standing or sitting on the floor. Even though there are plenty of questions that will always remain about the reliability of the chair, we put our faith in the ability of the chair to hold our weight because it has proven faithful.

Christianity should of course be held to a higher level of scrutiny than a chair because of the claims it makes toward truth and eternity. However, as Christianity proves faithful and reliable, we should gain confidence in its truth. We should consider it as a plausible worldview and open the Bible to see what it really says.

Ultimately, what keeps many people from belief in Christianity is the desire for it not to be true. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes:

But supposing a man’s reason once decides that the weight of evidence is for it. I can tell that man what is going to happen to him in the next few weeks. There will come a moment when there is bad news, or he is in trouble, or is living among a lot of other people who do not believe it, and all at once his emotions will rise up and carry out a sort of blitz on his belief. Or else there will come a moment when he wants a woman, or wants to tell a lie, or feels very pleased with himself, or sees a chance of making a little money in some way that is not perfectly fair: some moment, in fact, at which it would be very convenient if Christianity were not true.

Christianity isn’t appealing to everybody; it requires self-sacrifice, serving God, loving your enemies, and forgiving those who hurt you. Those actions aren’t always easy and aren’t always fun. Not to mention Christians often make Christianity unappealing through hypocrisy and a lack of outward love.

Christianity—true biblical Christianity—should be the most appealing belief in the world. What Christianity offers is joy, peace, a sense of satisfaction, full acceptance, and promise of eternal glory that comes as a free gift. There is nothing we can do to earn it other than put our faith in Jesus. It’s as simple as taking a gift from an outstretched hand.

We don’t want to make the sacrifices that come as a response of accepting the gift, though.

2 Corinthians 4:17: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

All of the blessings of salvation far outweigh the sacrifices we must make as a response. God doesn’t accept us based on any effort of our own, but only on our belief in the saving power of Christ’s sacrifice. As we test our doubts, we find Christianity is reliable. We must be willing to honestly ask ourselves if we desire for Christianity to be false. If the answer is yes, perhaps we should also be willing to challenge our own desire for Christianity to be false.

The promise of unconditional love and forgiveness of our sins in Christ should not lead us to desiring Christianity to be false, but desiring above all else its truth. If Christianity is true, God offers us redemption through Christ and eternal glory in heaven. He offers us unconditional love and acceptance, and all we have to do is accept Christ’s sacrifice as payment for our sins. How can unconditional love and the promise of eternal glory not be desirable?

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Romans 8:24).

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