What is so important about the Christian message?
The Christian message is one that meets a relevant need. The most important need of every person concerns our standing before the God who created us. Everything that we do in our lives will have consequences in the next life. The bible says that, “it is appointed a man once to die and after that the judgment.” One day we will die and have to stand in the presence of God and answer for our lives. Jesus said that not everyone that claims his name will go to heaven (Matt. 7:21) he also said that he will pronounce judgment on those who have not received his gift of salvation (Matt. 7:23) Jesus goes on to say that he is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) This means that God will only grant a relationship on the merit of who Jesus is and what he has done. Your answer to the question, “What will you do with Jesus Christ” is one that is not only inescapable, but also that determines your eternal future.
Is there purpose in life?
Our purpose as humans is to live our lives for the glory of Jesus Christ, and fulfill His plan for our lives. To follow the example he has set before us, and to seek Him in every area of our life, in salvation first, and then in our everyday lives. The bible says to, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” this means that we are to put Jesus first in every area of our life. Our purpose will be ultimately fulfilled one day in heaven in the direct presence of God.
Why a “Spiritual” Belief System?
There are a number of issues that confront each of us in our lives, whether in the way we must operate as human beings, or when we consider the purpose, nature, and future of life. No matter who you are, no matter where or how you live, no matter what you believe, these questions must be addressed in order for you to have an understanding of things as they really are, and as your experience shows them to be. These questions simply cannot be answered fully, or in a way that can be lived out, if the physical world around us is all there is. The Christian belief system, in particular above all other spiritual belief systems, provides an explanation of life that is consistent with itself, that is verified by examining realities around us, and that meets us in a manner that can be applied to the way we live our lives.
It is not enough to believe only in the idea of spirituality. There must be a source of truth beyond man that can completely explain the full scope of physical and spiritual reality from an outside vantage point – in other words, a transcendent, objective standard. This requirement, that man either individually or collectively is unable to meet, is another issue every worldview must be able to address.
Christianity’s source of truth is a personal God who has spoken. Specifically, our understanding of truth comes from the 66 books of the Bible. In a sense, God has already partially revealed his nature in the realm of what He has created. But while the remarkably complex world we live in points to the existence of a Designer who is beyond and above our level of existence, it does not tell us who He is or what He is like. (See “Why the Bible” and “What is Truth”)
While many people can agree that this life is incredibly significant, the complete picture of the significance of ultimate reality can only come from the God who formed it. The Biblical picture describes and answers each of the fundamental challenges and truths of this life, including those of personal human worth, moral consciousness, the presence of natural and moral evil, individual purpose, and life after death, to name a few (See “What is the Purpose of Life?”).
Additionally, and more importantly, if there is a Creator and we are His creation, then we live in His universe. Therefore, the relationship between us and God must be understood and addressed if life as a whole is to be coherently understood. Jesus Christ, the historical individual on which the Christian faith is built, brings together, faces, and provides a unified solution in each of these areas. Additionally, the truth claims presented in the Bible, specifically those of the person of Christ, are presented in an absolute way that forces each person, whether consciously or not, to accept or reject them. (See “What is So Important about the Christian Message?”)
The Christian faith as revealed in the Bible and unified in the person of Christ, and presenting an inescapable personal choice, is the only one that is able to address the full reality of human need on both the horizontal level – man and other men – and the vertical level – man and His Creator.
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One of the greatest ironies of history consisted in a question that Pontius Pilate, asked of Jesus Christ “What is truth?”
The irony consists in the fact that Pilate was looking into the eyes of Truth personified at that very moment. Christ, Himself, had told His disciples the previous night, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6).
We have all heard statements like this before.
“That may be true for you, but it is not true for me.”
“There is no such thing as absolute truth.”
“All truth is relative.”
“You cannot know the truth.”
“Truth depends on how you were raised.”
These statements represent an increasingly prevalent trend of philosophy in the modern era. A trend, which if left unchecked, will render meaningful conversations about God and salvation nearly impossible.
Truth is that which corresponds with reality as it is. All attempts to define truth in any other way are ultimately logically self-defeating.
Truth is telling it like it is thus truth is objective and not subjective. That is, truth exists outside of ourselves and does not conform itself to our opinions of it. For example, no matter how much I opine that the law of gravity does not exist, if I jump off of a tall building I will still fall.
Reality causes a statement to be true or false. Truth does not change reality, it agrees with it.
True beliefs correspond to facts (i.e. true ideas correspond to reality
A valid belief does not create fact to make itself true, but rather, a belief is true because it agrees with a fact that exists within reality.
God and Logic
It may come as a shock to many people to know that God, himself, cannot break the law of non-contradiction (The law of non-contradiction teaches that two opposing statements cannot both be true in the same time and the same essence ). That is, God cannot create a square-circle, or make a statement that is both true and false, or create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it.
Many people respond to this fact by saying, “How dare you say that God cannot do something! God can do anything He chooses. He is all-powerful!” But the Bible, itself, plainly states that there are some things that God absolutely cannot do. Hebrews chapter six lists two things that God cannot do. Verse 13 states that God cannot swear by any name higher than His own, and verse 18 states that God cannot tell a lie.
Both of these verses give a clue to the nature of the things that God cannot do. God cannot and will not do anything that contradicts His nature. For example, truth is an essential property of God’s nature so it is impossible for God to lie. In the same sense, logic is an essential property of God’s nature; He cannot do anything that is logically impossible. God is not subordinate to logic, but rather, logic is a part of Who He is, and so He cannot do anything that would contradict that part of Him. “He cannot deny Himself.” (II Timothy 2:13).
Characteristics of Truth
Truth is Exclusive
All truth claims are absolutely exclusive. When a statement is true, then by definition, it excludes everything else that opposes it. For example, if the statement, “Socrates is a man” is true, then that statement excludes all other conceptions of what Socrates is. Even the statement, “No truth is exclusive” is an exclusive statement, because it excludes any conception of truth except the one stated.
Truth is Immutable
Truth does not change; it remains the same no matter what. There are a few objections to this, but the one most commonly stated is that truth changes with time. For example, the statement, “Abraham Lincoln is president” was true in 1863 but is not true in 2003; this is seen as a valid contradiction of two equally true claims. This objection is easily refuted because it is based on confusion of the law of non-contradiction
The law of non-contradiction teaches that two opposing statements cannot both be true in the same time and the same sense. Time is an essential context to a truth claim.
Truth is Objective
Truth is objective not subjective. That is, truth exists outside of us. Our opinions concerning a statement or idea do not make them true or false. The opposite of this belief is known as relativism. Any conception of truth outside of its being objective will ultimately lead to a logical contradiction, and is therefore impossible.
Another so-called form of logic is known as Dialectical Logic. Whereas non-contradictory logic states that reality must be either/or, dialectical logic states that reality is both/and. In other words, non-contradiction (or excluded middle) says that a statement is either true or false, but dialectical says that a statement can be both true and false.
Eight Results of Denying the Law of Non-Contradiction
By James Sullivan
1. To deny the necessity and validity of the Principle of Contradiction would be to deprive words of their fixed meaning and render
2. Reality of essences must be abandoned; there would be becoming without anything that becomes; flying without a bird; accidents
without subjects in which to inhere. No cause and effect. An effect without a cause
3. There would be no distinction between things. All would be one. Ship, wall, man would all be the same thing.
4. It would mean the destruction of truth, for truth and falsity would be the same thing.
5. It would destroy all thought, even opinion, for its affirmation would be its negation.
6. Desire and preference would be useless, for there would be no difference between good and evil; there would be no reason to go
home, for to go home would not be different from staying where one is.
7. Everything would be equally true and false at the same time, so that no opinion would be more wrong than any other even in degree.
8. It would make impossible all becoming; change, or motion. For all this implies a transition from one state of being to another; but if
the Principle of Contradiction is false, all states of being are the same.
Why the Bible
1. The Bible claims, about itself, that it is written by the God it presents, through human instrument.
2. The writing of the Bible’s content span 1500 years and 3 continents was written in 3 languages by 40 authors (kings, heads of state, fishermen, shepherds, preachers, doctors), yet has unrivaled internal consistency and presents an unbroken theme – God’s restoration of man and the rest of creation – from beginning to end.
3. The Bible makes hundreds of specific prophecies about world events and intricate details alike, seen in the writings of David, Isaiah, Daniel, and others. The most notable of these prophecies concern the identity, life, and death of Jesus Christ.
4. Many of the books describe events for which the writer was either a first-person witness, or else had the testimony of those who were. During the New Testament period, the most critical claims were either verifiable or falsifiable by those still living at the time. Those who sought to discredit Christianity the most were simply unable to produce the necessary evidence to do so.