As people journey towards having Christian faith they often have a lot to overcome. For example, they must come to believe in pretty amazing things like a person being raised from the dead. That’s hard to believe, admit it! For the past two days, I’ve been sharing examples of the mini-decisions people often make in becoming Christians as laid out by Tim Keller in Center Church. Some decisions are in the realm of Awareness – they decide that Christianity isn’t so crazy because an ill-conceived notion of it is disregarded and it’s seen more accurately. Some are in the realm of Relevance – Christian faith starts to appear helpful or applicable to their life. Another type of mini-decision relates to credibility…
3) Credibility: “I need it because it’s true.” This is a reversal of the modern view that states, “It’s true if I need it.” If people fail to see the reasonableness of the Gospel, they will lack the endurance to persevere when their faith is challenged. Examples of mini-decisions include thoughts like these:
“I see that the Bible is historically accurate.”
“You really can’t use science to disprove the supernatural.”
“There really were eyewitnesses to the resurrection.”
“Jesus really is God.”
“I see now why Jesus had to die – it is the only way.” *
These types of mini-decisions (or mini-realizations) are obviously more in the intellectual realm. As a church it is important to remember that our faith is a reasonable one. Christianity is far more than mere reason but it certainly is not contrary to reason. Apologetical-type answers are always important, not only to help persuade non-Christians but to shore up our own understanding. Credibility works to counter-balance relevance. Christianity is not true because it works for us (sometimes it may feel like it doesn’t!) Christianity works because it is true. There are many believers who need to keep learning that.
As Christians we need to allow for people to sometimes come to a slower realization of God’s truth. Become comfortable with people’s doubts and make room for them to find God’s answers. Recognize that the New Testament rests its proclamation of the Good News on credible historical foundations. Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 and tell me that it isn’t so!
* Taken from page 282 of Keller’s Center Church.