Historical Christianity

( [email protected] ) Nov 24, 2003 11:49 AM EST

With all of the various religions out there to choose from, why should I become a Christian? What distinguishes Christianity from all the other worldviews?

Christianity is unique among the world's religions for several important reasons -- not the least of which being that Christianity, unlike other religions, is historic and evidential. Jesus of Nazareth is a historical figure. He was, of course, born in Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of Caesar Augustus and was put to death by Pontius Pilate, a first century Roman Governor. More important, the testimony of His life, death, and resurrection comes to us by way of eyewitness accounts (1 John 1:1-4). Therefore, Christianity is a historic faith and its claims can be validated by examining the testimony of history. None of the other religions of the world can claim this kind of historical support.

Another unique feature of Christianity is that its founder claimed to be God (John 8:58). Of the great religious leaders of the world (Buddha, Moses, Zoroaster, Lao Tzu, Mohammed), only Jesus claimed to be God in human flesh (Mark 14:62). Yet far from being an empty claim, His historically verifiable resurrection from the dead vindicated His claim to deity (Rom 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:3-8). Other religions, like Buddhism and Islam, claim miracles in support of their faith, but unlike Christianity, these miracles lack historical verification.

Finally, an additional feature setting Christianity apart from other religions is that it is a coherent belief system. Some Christian doctrines might transcend complete comprehension, but unlike the claims of many religions, they are not irrational or absurd. Furthermore, the Christian faith is unique in that it can account for the vast array of phenomena that we encounter in everyday life: the laws of science, the universal laws of logic, ethical norms, love, the meaning in life, and the problem of evil and human suffering. So to state it philosophically: The Christian faith corresponds with the present state of affairs.