”When I am collecting arguments for my case, I make it my practice not so much to count them as to weigh them.” – Cicero
I’ve collected below what I believe to be a few of the “better” arguments for Christianity. This is by no means a complete list, but I hope it serves as a useful starting point. In many cases, I’ve provided links to articles, essays, and other sources for further reading (from this blog and elsewhere). Taken collectively, I believe this evidence – considered along with what God has revealed through Scripture – provides a compelling case for the Christian Faith.
1. Fine Tuning: There are a number of fundamental physical parameters (I discuss four of them HERE, and you can watch another cool example HERE) which fall within the exact range of values necessary for stars, planets, and life to exist. Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin has estimated the likelihood of this occurring randomly to be 1 in 10…to the 229th power. Most skeptics attempt to explain this phenomenon by hypothesizing a multiverse (which runs into issues with Occam’s razor, and actually creates an entirely new set of fine tuning questions) or by citing other variations of the anthropic principle. Since each of these alternative explanations ultimately appeal to non-falsifiable faith-based claims of their own, it can be compellingly argued that belief in a Creator provides the most elegant solution to the question of our universe’s existence. Read more HERE and HERE.
2. The Argument from Morality: This argument shows that God must exist in order to provide a rational foundation for objective moral values. My inaugural blog post actually addressed this topic (HERE). I also highly recommend this essay by William Lane Craig.
3. Religious Experience: Taken collectively, the sheer number of reported religious/supernatural experiences provide a reasonably strong argument for the existence of God. Specific cases are also supportive of Christianity in particular, but J.W. Wartick explains why it can be more difficult to defend these narrower claims.
5. The Historical Case for Christ’s Resurrection: Neil Shenvi’s outstanding essay on this subject can be read HERE (along with a response to common objections HERE). A 90-minute lecture from Dr. Craig can be viewed HERE. I also summarize the “Minimal Facts” approach from Dr. Gary Habermas HERE.
6. The Success of Mathematics: This could actually be considered one of several sub-variants of the Transcendental Argument. It addresses the question of why mathematics, developed by man, apparently coincides with the mathematical structure of nature. Read more HERE.
7. The Preservation of the Jewish People: This argument is probably best summarized by the following quote (most often attributed to Pascal, which would date it hundreds of years before well-known 20th-century attempts to eradicate the Jews): “[The Jewish people] are not eminent solely by their antiquity, but are also singular by their duration, which has always continued from their origin till now. For, whereas the nations of Greece and of Italy, of Lacedaemon, of Athens and of Rome, and others who came long after, have long since perished, these ever remain, and in spite of the endeavors of many powerful kings who have a hundred times tried to destroy them, as their historians testify, and as it is easy to conjecture from the natural order of things during so long a space of years, they have nevertheless been preserved (and this preservation has been foretold)”
8. Archaeological Evidence: Numerous archaeological discoveries support historical claims made by the Bible – claims which had previously been dismissed by mainstream historians as myth or legend.
9. Fulfilled Prophecy: Dr. John Bloom explains HERE how fulfilled prophecy lends credibility to the claims of Scripture. He specifically explores Ezekiel 26 in light of modern liberal skepticism. In THIS POST, I present Isaiah 53 as an example of fulfilled messianic prophecy, and contrast the Jewish and Christian interpretations of the passage.
10. The Emergence of the Early Church: The explosion of Christianity in the 1st century A.D. was contingent on a belief in the resurrection. Had the body of Jesus simply been produced, the movement would have been killed in its infancy. If the resurrection was a hoax or conspiracy, we must ask why the apostles were so willing to die for their beliefs. A common objection is that modern-day suicide bombers are ALSO willing to die for their beliefs…but this objection fails for one obvious reason. Unlike modern-day suicide bombers, the apostles – as alleged eyewitnesses of the risen Christ – were in a position to KNOW if the resurrection had actually occurred. Why would all of these men endure torture, persecution, and martyrdom for a claim they knew to be false?
11. Jesus: It’s been said that Jesus, himself, is the most persuasive case for Christianity. Assuming one has already read the New Testament, I would strongly recommend C.S. Lewis’s “Liar, Lunatic or Lord” argument.
Finally, to bring everything together, I want to recommend Neil Shenvi’s essay on Faith, Doubt and Certainty.
[Note: I’ll probably be adding to this page over the coming months and years. In the meantime, I’m open to comments and feedback.]