This is a good question and I see a lot of people debating and bickering about it. I like the approach taken by William Lane Craig.
The uniqueness of the scandal of the Christian religion,” writes George Ladd, “rests in the meditation of revelation through historical events.” Christianity is not a code for living or a philosophy of religion; rather it is rooted in real events of history. To some this is scandalous, because it means that the truth of Christianity is bound up with the truth of certain historical facts, such that if those facts should be disproved then so would Christianity. But at the same time, this makes Christianity unique because, unlike most other world religions, we now have a means of verifying its truth by historical evidence.
Interesting thought. Because of this I wrote the following on my cousin’s facebook page:
The truth of Christianity rises and falls with historical evidence. All that is in history rises and falls with historical evidence.For example, to argue that George Washington was never president and we should not believe in his existence because various people write various articles and books about him, and thes echange with the whims of historians, would be rediculus. Nobody believes he wasn’t president just because someone write and article that has a different view of Washington than some other person. The same goes for Napolean or for Julius Caesar. Does someone deny that Rome existed because various authors write various things? Why then would someone claim that Christianity holds no truth because different authors of different passages in the bible have different views? is not the real question a matter of whether the bible describes real history? Does it comport with historical events? And are we able to ascertain the truth about historical events? It is really a matter of what are the claims of Christianity, and are the claims true? And can these claims be verified or falsified? This depends on history and archaelogy. In that aspect Christianity is utterly unique among all other religious ideas on earth. It is not philosophy. The bible makes specific historical claims, and we can verify the truth of them by going and digging them out of the ground.That doesn’t mean all the claims are verified. (Yet). But the lions share are.
When someone just off the cuff says the history revealed in the bible is not accurate they probably have not actually examined the facts of history.It is not good enough to disclaim that any given event in history is a mere fable and cannot be known as a real event. That is abject nonsense. Someone who says none of the events in history can be known to be real events is living in a state of ignorance or in a fantasy world.
Why did I write this? She had posted that Nobel Laureate Charles Townsend had become a Christian. Someone took her to task, saying (if I understand his argument correctly ) Christianity is just a bunch of fables and wishful thinking based on books written by random people that say anything they want to claim – in other words is just opinion and not verifiable. Unlike science. In short – Christianity is not true. Who is she to say it is true. Indeed, who is Charles Townsend to say it is true.
It begs the question of Why Is Christianity True? And how do we know it is true? That is the topic I wish to examine in these pages. I am going hunting for nuggets of truth. I want to know why Christianity is true.
Nugget #1: Historical Claims.
As mentioned, where I start is with the historical accuracy of the claims in the bible. The bible is not just a series of random wishful thinking(s) disconnected with reality. It is not at all like other religions. And it is not a fantasy. The accuracy of it’s historical claims can be verified or falsified. I myself do not believe this is true of any other religious worldview. (Please note: Judaism is rolled into Christianity here – it is a Judeao-Christian worldview in the bible.) Islam I will deal with separately.
Nugget #2. Concern with Truth.
Nobel prize winner and atheist Steven Weinberg said of Christianity:
At least conservatives like the scientists tell you that they believe in what they believe because it is true, rather than because it makes them good or happy…One often hears that theology is not the important thing about religion—the important thing is how it helps us to live. Very strange, that the existence of God and grace and sin and heaven and hell are not important! (Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory p206)
TO BE CONTINUED