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By Dr. Don Bierle, FaithSearch President
“Why do you believe in God?” the atheist may ask. Skeptics often challenge Christian believers with the questions, “Why do you trust the Bible?” and “Why do you believe that Jesus is God.” Even family members may ask, “How can I know there is life after death?” Your answers (or lack thereof!) to these why questions is “My Reasons.” It is part three of a series I call “A 3:15 Response,” which has appeared in recent issues of this publication.
“Be prepared” is the biblical instruction in 1 Peter 3:15. Our obedience to this at FaithSearch has been to share the “Gospel with evidence.” It has resulted in tens of thousands who have professed faith in Jesus. You can do this too. It fulfills Jesus’ heart!
My REASONS: “This is the biblical and external evidence supporting my worldview.”
You don’t need to be a genius to learn “My REASONS.” More important is a desire to instill a lasting faith in your own sons, daughters and grandchildren, and a deep compassion for the lost. In my experience, unbelievers are not well prepared to defend their views. They mostly challenge yours. So, be prepared. Learn one good reason for each of the four ingredients below of your Christian worldview. It will likely be one more than they have!
GOD – First, the fingerprints of God are revealed in the created world (Romans 1:18-20). Second, the reality of God is testified in history with the advent of Jesus (John 1:1, 14). Check out details of these reasons in a previous three-part series.*
BIBLE – First, manuscript evidence demonstrates that the New Testament records were written in the first century by eyewitness apostles (2 Peter 1:16). The integrity of the text is assured by the immense number of manuscripts found (over 24,000); the early dates of the manuscripts (2nd century); and the accuracy of the copying process (99.8% is not in question).
Second, archaeology has confirmed that the people, the places, and the events recorded are historically true. I have detailed these reasons in the second chapter of my book, Surprised by Faith. (Order online at our Web site, Resources tab; or call 952-401-4501, T-Th for a copy; $10.)
JESUS CHRIST – First, Jesus often claimed to be God (e.g. Matthew 28:18; John 8:53-59; 10:30-33). He proved it in His ministry by doing what only God could do (cf. Luke 4:33-36; 7:11-16; 8:22-25). Second, He was resurrected from the dead as witnessed by the empty tomb, His physical post-resurrection appearances to many eyewitnesses, and the transformation of His disciples from despair to bold witnesses. Resource the third chapter of my book above for greater detail.
CREATION – The Bible states that the order and design seen in nature render unbelievers “without excuse” (Romans 1:20) for their lack of faith in God. Can mere chance create complex software, Mt. Rushmore faces from a granite cliff, the universe from nothing, or even life itself? No, Intelligent Design is the only way. Another of my books (Making Sense of Creation and Evolution) chapter 4, discusses in detail the reasons to believe in creation by intelligent design. It, too, can be purchased as above ($6). (My presentation of “Why I Believe… in Creation” is also available to view on our YouTube® channel.)
I have posted a worksheet on our Web site which provides a further outline of biblical and external reasons for the ingredients identified briefly above. The worksheet is a starting point for you to organize your own thoughts about “My REASONS.”
In the next Paraclete issue I will complete this series with the fourth component of “A 3:15 Response”: My INVITE. This will help you apply what you have learned in order to bear spiritual fruit in the lives of people you love.