5/01/2008

Why should you explore Christianity first?

Christianity has certain features that make it unique among the world’s major religions. I believe that these features make an excellent case for exploring the case for Christianity before exploring the other faith traditions. I am not trying to make a positive case for Christianity in this post. I have done that here. I am just trying to help those seeking truth to start with Christianity.


Christianity is dependent on the truth of certain historical facts concerning Jesus. These include His life, death, and resurrection. It is possible to test the truth of these claims. For example, did Christ’s resurrection actually take place? If it did not, then Christianity can be dismissed, and other options explored. If so, then you must take all of Christ’s teaching on matters of religion as authoritative.

It is difficult to start a religion on this basis. The easiest way is to develop a religion based almost entirely on feelings and experiences. It leaves other interesting questions about Christianity.

Why did anyone convert to this religion in the first place? Would it not be easy to turn your back on a religion whose founder had been disgraced by a public execution? If the religion you were formerly a member of considered crucifixion to be as sign of God’s curse on a person’s life as did Judaism why follow Jesus after his death? Definitive answers to these important questions should be sought out.

Christianity provides an explanation for our every day experiences. Christianity defines certain acts as evil. Many other religious options do not allow true evil to exist (i. e. Christian Science, pantheism, and, from a slightly different direction, materialistic atheism). In many of these views, evil either cannot be objectively defined, or it is seen as a form of illusion.

Almost every religion that has developed since the first century AD has made an attempt to include Jesus in its teaching as a good example. Muslims hold Christ as a prophet of God and a great healer. Eastern religions see him as a great guru. Mormonism sees him as a created being with exalted status. And many people who reject Christianity as a religion still hold Christ is high regard as a moral example and great leader. Why not start with the religion that gives Christ the highest place and the greatest focus?

Lastly, Christianity holds that we are sinners. But we as imperfect people can be saved because of what Christ did for us. We are not given eternal life and fellowship with God in this life based on our own performance, but based on Christ’s performance on our behalf. In Christianity, Christ’s work is credited to us when we simply trust Him. I know from several years of sharing my faith with others that, once this concept is properly understood, are immediately willing to commit to this faith and way of life. (See a fuller explanation of how to place your faith in Christ here.)

I see no compelling reason to begin a search for religious truth with any religion other than Christianity.

[Source for much of this argument: Hazen Craig, “Christianity Among the World Religions,” lectures for the Biola University Defending Your Faith Series, see here.]

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