Posted on homepage: 28 August 2013 (GMT+10)
Which one are you going to trust?
Often objectors to Christianity will say something like:
‘You Christians claim the Bible is holy but that the holy books of other religions are not! But the Hindu Vedas and the Qur’an of Islam, for example, are claimed by Hindus and Muslims to be holy—why should I listen to you and not to them?’
Whenever someone challenges me with this, I usually answer by saying,
‘Good point. What you say is entirely logical and fair. But what does “holy” mean?’
‘Of divine origin.’
‘Right—so each of these religions claims that their “holy book” is true, having come not from man but from some divine being(s)? But they can’t all be true, because they contradict one another. For example, the Bible contains the claim that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life [John 14:6], and that he died for our sins but was raised on the third day [1 Cor. 15:1–4], and that no-one comes to the Father except through believing in Jesus—which contradicts every other “holy book” that I know of. Many people think that “all religions are the same” and/or “there are many paths to God”, but it’s very clear that Christianity is starkly different from all other religions. For one thing, Jesus Christ is a live Saviour—after having been raised from the dead, he appeared to over 500 eyewitnesses [1 Corinthians 15:6]—while the founders of other religions decayed in their tombs.1 So that is already very strong support for the uniqueness of Christianity/the Bible. Are there any other ways you could test to see which “holy book” is true?’
Most challengers normally appear bewildered at this point, so I continue:
‘While we are here on earth, it’s hard for us to test what each “holy book” says about heavenly things. But where books make claims about earthly things2 … aha! Here’s something we can test. Which book best explains the earth’s geology: why we find mountainous layers upon layers of sediments that look like they were pushed up and folded while still wet, and with dead animals and plants buried in them, all over the world? The Bible! Which book best explains biology: why plants and animals reproduce “after their kind”, why we have male and female, why women have pain in childbearing, why we have an ever-increasing number of mutations and genetic disorders—as if the creation is in “bondage to decay” [Romans 8:20–22]? The Bible!
‘And what about the number and distribution of humans around the world—calculating backwards using standard population growth rates gives us a handful of ancestors around 4,500 years ago, somewhere in the Middle East—doesn’t that fit with what the Bible says?3 Doesn’t it explain why scientists now say “race” is biologically meaningless, as if we are of “one blood” [Acts 17:26, KJV]?
‘And agriculture: is it just coincidence that many of our crop plants have been traced back to the “Fertile Crescent” between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which just “happens” to be where the Bible says Babel was located?
‘But here’s the linchpin: no other “holy book” that I know of describes death as an “enemy” [1 Cor. 15:26], which is what it clearly is. Just watch mourners grieving over the death of a loved one; it’s obvious that something’s wrong, death is an intruder, just as the Bible describes. And the Bible not only accurately describes the problem, but also the only logical solution.4 So, if in things that we can test, the Bible wins hands down, which “holy book” are you going to trust?’
In every case when I have put the comparison to questioners in this manner, they have said something like, ‘Wow. I never thought of it in those terms before … thank you!’ They have then realized that of all the different versions of our origins ‘doing the rounds’—whether atheistic evolution or a creation account in a ‘holy book’—there can be only one true account of history, and that account will outmatch its rivals when tested against the evidence in today’s world.
For those who are truly searching for truth and life, Jesus promised that ‘he who seeks finds’ (Matthew 7:8). Now there’s a promise anyone can put to the test. For the Creator of heaven and earth created from one man every nation of men, determining the times set for them and the exact places where they should live, ‘so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us’ (Acts 17:24–27). Why not reach out for Him, and find Him, today?
References and notes
- Thus Jesus uniquely validated His claims to divinity and exclusivity. The articles at Q&A: Did Jesus Christ really rise from the dead? provide supporting evidence. Return to text.
- Cf. John 3:12. Return to text.
- See Batten, D., Where are all the people? Creation 23(3):52–55, 2001. Return to text.
- See Here’s the Good News. Return to text.