Published: 8 August 2015 (GMT+10)
Occasionally we receive some very basic questions about Christian belief and theology, and the answers can be educational for Christians, because they are questions everyone should be able to answer as we witness to people around us. Malik G., U.S., wrote:
Hello, I have a question regarding Christianity and other religions. It basically is why Christianity? What makes it stand out more and much more believable than the others? Why not believe in Gods like Thor or any of the greek gods? There are so many religions out there, why go for Christianity? Is there more proof of Christianity being more factual or signs that people in other parts believe in the Christian God and Christ and/or had encounters with them?
Lita Cosner, CMI-US, responds:
Thanks for writing in. I think that every believing Christian actually has a responsibility to be able to answer why we’re Christians, and not adherents of a different religion. Especially today, when the Internet means that even obscure sects can propagate their views widely, Christians need to be able to communicate why we believe what we believe.
First, the Bible is a historically-verified source. This is important, because if the Bible made a lot of verifiably false statements about things that happened in the past, we would obviously be wary about believing it about unverifiable spiritual truths. In fact, many secular archaeologists put the Bible at least on the same level as other ancient historical documents with regard to the authenticity of its records (of course, Christians believe that it’s much more than that!). So I would say that Christianity is inherently superior to something like Mormonism, where their ‘holy book’ is full of demonstrable error.
More importantly than that, Christianity gets the state of humanity right. That is, it correctly identifies humans as sinners in need of salvation. Everyone, no matter where they live or what religion they adhere to, fails to live up to even their own moral system (Romans 2:14–15), let alone God’s. So we’re rightfully judged by sinning against what we know to be right.
Also importantly, Christianity offers a solution. Many religions recognize people are sinners, but most reply to this by having the adherent try really hard not to be a sinner … and the sinner, of course, fails. Or else it requires its adherents to earn their salvation by one or more works, deeds, or sacrifices. Christianity realizes the only solution is to have a radical action on God’s part—the Incarnation—where God takes on human nature, in Jesus of Nazareth. Then Jesus paid the death penalty for humanity’s sin (Isaiah 53:6), and those who believe in Him are credited with His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
And the transaction that takes place is not just judicial; the believer is actually indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This gives the believer many blessings and benefits. One of the most important benefits is the progressive sanctification of the believer. So God’s ultimate solution for sin is to transform sinners into righteous people.
There are many, many other reasons to believe Christianity; I could fill up a couple volumes just on that (see the resources top right for just a few) But I think this hits some of the high points, and will hopefully help as you think about this. Please also see our Good News article.