Why I’m a Christian: Jonathan

by Max Andrews

One mistake many people make is to think that our intuitions are largely unreliable or intellectually irrelevant as a deliverance of reason.  I am not one of those persons. To be clear, we generally trust our minds to inform us of a physical universe. Am I supposed to become skeptical just because my mind perceives truths concerning God, sin, and guilt? I think not!

Now, if one reflects on their moral condition with the corollary that God exists, we’ll see that we’re morally guilty before a Holy and righteous God. We’ll also notice that Christianity, as a justifiable set of beliefs, looks really good. The beauty and plausibility of Christianity is not merely it’s positive arguments —though I think there are many— it’s that Christianity, well at least, mere-Christianity, basically agrees with our intuitions about what God would be like in case He existed. That God would be holy, righteous, and just explains recognition of moral failure. That God would be love, explains our sense that He desires to restore us, forgive us, and rescue us from ourselves. When the Judeo/Christian account indicates that God has “lowered the bar” so that everyone can enter into a love relationship with Him, I’m buying it. When our descriptions of God match scriptures declaration that God saves because He is gracious, my intuitions are satisfied. For me the veridicality of my intuitions are satisfied with the gospel of Christ. Coincidence? Perhaps, but the peace I have from a commitment to Christ far surpasses anything I’ve ever known.

Have I ever doubted God’s existence? Of course I have, but only when I dubiously assumed knowledge required certainty. As a matter of fact, knowledge comes in degrees of certainty. So, for instance, I admit that knowledge from the senses gives us a greater degree of certainty, than say, introspection or rational reflection viz. I am more certain that my hand exists compared to various other things, but that doesn’t mean the ‘lesser things’ don’t count as knowledge. All one needs are good reasons to believe X is true. Certainty is goofy! And let’s be honest, what in the world is supposed to follow from the fact that I can be more certain that my hand exists compared to God existing? It certainly doesn’t follow that I can’t have good reasons to believe God exists, or that His Son, Jesus, rose from the dead.

Too many folks panic that if they can’t prove their faith with certainty (whatever the heck ‘proof’ is supposed to look like) then they’re not rational or justified in believing what they believe is true. But that’s just silly! Knowledge comes in degrees of certainty.

And as an added bonus, for any argument in favor of moral skepticism or one that leads to skepticism about God, I can run a parallel argument as to why we should be skeptical of our sensory experience of the physical world (c.f. “brain in vat”). Do we really want to go down that road? The fact is that we have sensory experiences and moral and divine like experiences, which we cannot get outside of in order to “prove” their veridicality. As such, they share the same epistemological status. You simply accept them as fundamentally properly basic beliefs unless you’re given some reason to doubt them i.e. unless there is some sort of defeater for those beliefs.

So, while there remains no overriding reason to reject my intuitions about Christian theism, and since, elsewhere, one can find and marshal an abundance of positive arguments (and I mean, philosophical, scientific, and historical arguments) in favor of Christian theism, I’ll remain Christian and enjoy God. I’ll also smile at the fact that my intuitions, so far, are lining up quite nicely with reason!

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2 Comments to “Why I’m a Christian: Jonathan”

  1. “The beauty and plausibility of Christianity is not merely it’s positive arguments —though I think there are many— it’s that Christianity, well at least, mere-Christianity, basically agrees with our intuitions about what God would be like in case He existed. That God would be holy, righteous, and just explains recognition of moral failure. That God would be love, explains our sense that He desires to restore us, forgive us, and rescue us from ourselves… For me the veridicality of my intuitions are satisfied with the gospel of Christ.”

    Is this really true? It is worth remembering that the Jewish and Christian conception of God was deeply antithetical to what people were accustomed to believing in the ancient world. It is easy for people today to think the Christian conception of God is so natural and intuitive because it is so familiar to us. Consider how what a potent and counter-intuitive spirituality was when the Gospel was first being spread in the world.

    I tend to agree with C.S Lewis: if the Christianity did conform to what we expected the world to be like, then that would be a reason for not believing it. He writes,

    “Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have.”

    The workings of the natural world and even human beings are often fundamentally and deeply counter-intuitive — why shouldn’t the Divine Life infinitely beyond the whole created universe be at all amenable to our “intuitions”?

  2. I’m a Christian simply because thiers no better story in the world than the story of Christ. If christs not real then nothing is worth bothering about,eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. No thanks I CHOOSE to believe and lucky for me the reality of this world that I observe lines up perfectly with that amazing collection of books we call the bible… Sharper than any two edged sword. And if in the end all there is is death, I won because I had a good life believing a loveing creator was watching over me. Merry Christmas 4evr

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