Friday, January 11, 2008

What is a Christian?

What makes a Christian? Most people believe in God, but the God they believe in is often some mystical being about whom they have very little knowledge and understanding. They may turn to the Church, but how do they know whether what the church says is true when different churches say different things? And why believe in the Christian God? Why not follow Islam or one of the Eastern religions?

How can anyone, simply by looking at the world know God? Sure, you might see a pattern in creation and assume a creator. Sure you might look at your inner feelings of justice and right or wrong and believe that there is a moral structure to the universe, but how can you know God.

It is perplexing until you recognize that Christianity is a revealed religion. Christians believe that Holy Scripture is the Word of God; not just 'contains the word of God'. Without the Bible, we would know nothing of God, and certainly nothing of Jesus. Although Jesus is referred to by contemporary historians Pliny and Josephus, they tell us nothing about him. It is only the Bible that reveals him to us.

You sometimes hear it said, "My god is like ..." But only the God of the Bible is the real God, and the Bible tells us that if we want to know what God is like then we should look at Jesus.

There are many myths about the Bible and many challenges to its authenticity, but they are spurious. I shall produce evidence of this over the coming weeks, but if you take my advice you will save yourself the trouble. Just believe that the Bible, and you can take most modern translations rather having to learn Hebrew or Greek, just believe the Bible is the Word of God.

2 comments:

Friendly Curmudgeon said...

Well Terry that is the old argument which I cannot buy, the Bible is the word of God. I believe and there is much academic evidence as well as plain common sense, that the Bible was written by man, inspired by God. Maybe that is the same thing, but how else do you explain the known fact of much left out by the church over the years, and much added to Jesus' story by the early church, read the works by
Borg.

Terry Hamblin said...

"much left out by the church over the years, and much added to Jesus' story by the early church"

Of course, things about Jesus were left out of the Bible - John says "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written" The point is that what is in the Bible is sufficient. As to what the early church added to Jesus' story - it does not have the same provenance.

I believe that what is in the Bible was miraculously put there by the Holy Spirit and has been miraculously preserved for us ever since.

I take it that you mean Thomas Borg (not the Star Trek version). I incline more to Tom Wright's view of Scripture.

Some people have difficulty with miracles, but people who do have difficulty with a dead man rising from the dead, which is teh central tenet of Christianity