The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

How to Decide Which God to Believe In

Posted on: December 01, 2015

Which God to Believe In.001

IF WE DECIDE GOD EXISTS, WE THEN MUST DECIDE WHICH GOD

There are three categories of divinity from which to choose when deciding which God is the creator God:

  1. Naturalistic gods of groups such as Native Americans or Amazonian Tribal People or African Shamans, etc.
  2. Gods of eastern religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism, … which do not make credible claims for all-powerful creator gods
  3. The God of Abraham, to whom three religions trace their origin… Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Naturalistic gods and gods of eastern religions have no credible evidence to commend them as a philosophically verifiable creator of the universe. They do not rise above the level of myth.

That leaves the God of Abraham. To determine if we are going to choose the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, we need look no further than Jesus.

If Jesus is who He says He is, then Christianity is true, Islam is not true and Judaism is incomplete, because of their conclusion of who Jesus is. So, to determine if Jesus is who He says He is, we must look to the resurrection. If the resurrection is true, then it is reasonable to believe that everything Jesus said was true. If the resurrection is not true, then Jesus is either a liar or a lunatic.

Therefore, we culminate our decision about which God to believe in by looking at evidence for the resurrection. Because the resurrection is such an astonishing event, the first impulse is to conclude that believers have to prove the resurrection. However, the resurrection cannot be proved. But neither can it be disproved. So, we look at evidence to suggest how likely it is that the resurrection happened.

The ground shifts dramatically at that point, and the unbeliever is the one who has a considerable burden if he wants to demonstrate that it did not happen.

Evidence the believer has that the resurrection of Jesus did happen:

First, the news of the resurrection became widely known immediately. It was not as though the rumor leaked out slowly after a long period of time, so eyewitnesses of the events of the time were still living when the reports began to circulate (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Awareness of the resurrection is documented in literature as early as the first century. Josephus, an historian writing for Roman Emperor Vespasian, speaks of the resurrection as though it were true. It was not a minor event. It rocked the early Roman world.

Second, alternative explanations for the resurrection are not convincing. Some people over the years have proposed a number of explanations for the resurrection:

  • His disciples stole the body. Impossible. The body was being guarded by elite Roman soldiers at the time who would have paid with their lives if Jesus’ body had been stolen under their watch.
  • Jewish leaders stole the body. Inconceivable. Rumors of the resurrection were the very thing the Jewish leaders wanted to avoid. If they had the body when rumors of the resurrection began to surface, they would have paraded the body of Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem and immediately squashed any resurrection rumors.
  • They went to the wrong tomb. Unthinkable. Skeptics would have immediately located the right one, as it was known exactly in whose tomb Jesus’ body had been placed (Matthew 27:57-66).

The resurrection is one of the most credible events in ancient history. If we apply the same tests of historical accuracy to the resurrection that we apply to the assassination of Caesar, we must conclude it is true.

Third, the resurrection best explains the explosion of the early church. That the message of the resurrection would have spread throughout the immediate world is too far-fetched to believe, for many reasons, unless it was true. The disciples of Christ all suffered a hard life, and most a terrible death. They would not have risked their lives for something they knew wasn’t true. They had seen him crucified. They had seen him verified as dead. They had seen him buried. Why would they then come out of hiding, defy the Jewish leaders and proclaim him as the Lord God able to forgive sins and give eternal life? It only makes sense if they had seen the resurrected Lord!

When we look at the evidence without an anti-supernatural presupposition, we conclude that the resurrection is true, and that the God of Christianity is the creator God of the universe.

Just because a majority of scientists and educators and politicians agree that the world is a result of purely natural events and forces, it does not make them right. We need not be intellectually intimidated. The weight of evidence is on our side.

Who is your God? The answer to that question is at the center of an adequate Christian worldview that will keep our lives on track during difficult times, and give us compelling reasoning to use with those who are seeking.

_______________________________________________________________________________

If you know someone you think may find this blog valuable, please forward it to them. I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me at max@bravenewdiscipleship.com. I will not be able to answer all emails, but I may address in future blogs the questions/issues you raise. And, please “Like” my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/maxanders.author