For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. – Romans 1:20 (NIV)
I have been in the church my entire life. Although I have never left the church, I have spent my life asking questions. I am a skeptic. I still don’t have all the answers, but I think I have enough answers to say that belief in God and faith in Jesus isn’t just good, isn’t just reasonable, it is the most reasonable and best option we have.
I have asked, “Can I trust what is written in the Bible? How do I know it wasn’t manipulated or changed. How do I know that it isn’t just well-kept propaganda?”
I have found that when using standard methods to determine a document’s authenticity, the Bible is shown to be the most accurate historical document that presently exists.
- The Jews were meticulous in maintaining the accuracy of their copies of scripture for thousands of years.
- With the New Testament there exist more copies that were made closer to the original event than any other ancient document. I.e. we have a lot of copies of NT books that were written very close to when Jesus actually lived.
- An incredible number of NT details are supported by other documents. They were not effectively refuted when written, even though they should have been easy to disprove if they were not backed up by huge numbers of witnesses.
- The disciples of Jesus died claiming he rose from the dead, which either means they really believed it, having seen it with their own eyes, or they died knowing it was a lie. No one dies for something they know to be a lie, especially when it will lead to the punishment of their families and friends.
I have asked, “Isn’t it possible that we are all just here by accident or random circumstance, caused by the laws of physics?”
But I have found that when we do the math, random chaos does not favour an organized or rational universe. Especially not biological life let alone organisms as complicated as humans.
- The probability of the simplest form of life developing by chance is just ridiculous. 1 chance in 1020 is the best I have come across in my digging. That’s 1 chance in 100 000 000 000 000 000 000!
- Plus, that number only matters if the universe was sequentially and systematically put together in every possible arrangement, which still demands order. The only explanation for an organized universe and life, is that it was created and designed.
I have asked, “Is Christianity the only right way, or is it just an idea of how things should work?”
Then, when I look at what the Bible says about right and wrong, what works and what doesn’t work, and when I look at the world, the Bible is right.
- Doing what God says in the Bible, always results in a better world. Doing what God says not to do always results in a broken soul and a broken world.
- Not just things like ‘don’t lie’ or ‘love each other’, but comments on and directions for marriage, sex, kids, politics, money, relationships, conflict, purpose, everything. This idea may not be popular but when it plays out, it has proven to be accurate.
I have even asked, “Is this all just a wonderful theory, but doesn’t actually exist in real life?”
Yet, I have personally experienced God in my life.
- I have felt the love of Jesus, and an inexplicable change in how I think and how I feel.
- I have prayed about things, and seen others pray about things, and seen them happen. You could say it was coincidence, but again, the math of probability just doesn’t favour it.
I have no guarantees here. I am a skeptic, but to me this all seems to be a pretty good reason to believe.
Evan Oxner is the Lead Pastor of the Amherst Wesleyan Church in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the author of Let’s Be Blunt: What’s Really the Point of Christianity.
You can see more people sharing the reason for the hope that they have here: Why Believe?