The questions of origin, meaning, morality, and eternity cause us to posit the existence of God.
Assuming there is a God, is it reasonable that He has presented Himself to us?
If so, how has He presented Himself to us?
He could just reveal Himself personally in a spiritual sense to all people, but does our experience verify that? Not really.
He could remain hidden and uninvolved with us, but does that seem reasonable if we assume He exists? Probably not.
Wouldn’t we expect God not only to reveal Himself but also to provide answers to life’s greatest questions and problems? Whether we believe in God or not, it is easily demonstrated that the human race is deficient where morality and society is concerned (slavery, racism, sex trafficking, drug abuse, murder, rape, violence, greed, etc). Even atheists see problems with these types of things.
If we assume the existence of God, and assert that He has presented Himself to us, and that He should provide the answers to the problems of life and the weaknesses and failings of humanity; where should we look for Him?
It is reasonable that God would not wait until recent times to reveal Himself. We would expect God to have revealed Himself in ancient times as well. It is also not probable that God would have revealed Himself in the past, only to have allowed that information to pass from human knowledge. It is also expected that what God has revealed about Himself would have been made accessible to as many people as possible.
These assumptions could be wrong, but they are compelling; therefore, our search should at least begin with these criteria even if it does not end with them.
We should find a well-circulated, ancient, and a fairly logically and intellectually tenable philosophy about God. This philosophy should not only be consistent and relevant to human experience, but also profitable and complementary to human existence.
Let’s begin by examining the philosophies and teachings of the major religions:
Hinduism is the oldest religion – but there are problems with Hinduism: not widely circulated among ethnic groups, tends to impoverished conditions, reincarnation defied by population explosion, much disease in India due to religious beliefs about animals and failure to control populations.
Islam is still fairly young, but also has problems. Islam has a tendency to radical, militant terrorism. The Koran was composed by an uneducated, immoral, greedy, violent man named Mohammed. The Koran borrows from the Old Testament and the New Testament, yet is contradictory to these older and superior texts. The Koran is inconsistent in its storytelling (gets things out of order and confuses facts). Islam breeds oppression, bloodshed, and a worldview that is inconsistent with normal human existence.
Buddhism is essentially a religious atheism. There are no gods to please, only the self to regulate and perfect. Buddhism also tends to breed poverty and retards social progress. The central tenet of Buddhism that we must negate and do away with all human desire is inconsistent and nonproductive.
Judeo-Christian worldview – the texts are ancient and well-respected. The texts are historically, archaeologically, and scientifically verifiable. The Old and New Testaments contain much historical information and apart from their religious purposes are respected ancient sources. Christianity cultivates family, a respect for all people, self-denial and self-control, a robust morality and spirituality, and fosters a desire for knowledge. Despite baseless accusations of anti-intellectualism, Christianity encourages learning and personal growth and Christianity has historically produced many of the great thinkers in America and England. Christianity answers many of the moral and social problems of our human existence and when obeyed, creates peaceful, law-abiding citizens. Christianity promotes industry, social progress, healthy family life, and love for others – including one’s own enemies.
Christianity is also intellectually satisfying as its truth claims are defensible and sound. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central truth claim of Christianity and is intellectually satisfying. The fact of the empty tomb and that there has never been a historical recovery of the body of Christ complements the assertion of Christ’s resurrection. The most compelling evidence for the resurrection might possibly be the fact that the New Testament contains the testimony of several eyewitnesses of people who saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion and the fact that many of these individuals died brutal deaths as martyrs as a result of the conviction that they had seen Jesus alive after his crucifixion. These are more than reasonable grounds for an intellectual case for the veracity of the Bible’s witness. Also Christianity has been spread to people groups all around the world and continues to grow today. The Bible is ancient, intellectually satisfying, widely circulated, and is consistent to human experience.
I have not fleshed out these issues fully here; it would take much more time and energy to do that. I have tried to demonstrate that from what we could expect from a deity who is involved with his creation; that Christianity satisfies our expectations and other religious philosophies seem to fall short. It is my conviction that Christianity alone sufficiently reveals who God is and what He expects from humanity, in addition to promoting those things that are understood to be most valuable to human existence: family, industry, society, education, etc. If I knew nothing of God, but were searching for Him with my own objective expectations of what He should be like and how He should have presented Himself; I am convinced that the Old and New Testaments provide precisely what I would end my search.