My Testimony 6/7

(Answers to my questions)

 

In my search for answers I realized that there is no short quick answer – no “one sentence” answer – that explains absolutely everything. But after you have done some digging (a bunch of reading) you’ll find that the answer is actually quite short – Jesus Christ!

I wanted to share my brief summary of the information and evidence I found in Norman L. Geisler & Patty Tunnicliffe’s book – Reasons For Belief:

Reasons For Belief

(It is quite difficult to explain absolutely everything here right now and then because there is just too much interesting evidence. Hopefully what I share below will encourage and motivate you to go do some digging of your own and find answers for yourself.)

Here goes:

Reality’s law of noncontradiction states that 2 contradictory/ opposite truth claims can’t both be true at the same time and in the same sense. So, either there is a God or there isn’t!

  • Science provides us with evidence that the universe had a beginning. Therefore, Someone or Something, must have brought it into existence, that is, began it. One of the most basic laws of science is the law of causality and it essentially says, “Anything that had a beginning was caused by something outside of itself.”

This principle is so foundational that one of history’s most famous sceptics, David Hume, said, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.”

Albert Einstein’s theory, which came to be accepted, says that there was a beginning to time, space, matter and energy.

The Bible says:

 

“In the beginning [Time] God created the heavens [Space] and the earth [Matter]” (Genesis 1:1)

 

“In the beginning [Time], Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth [Matter], and the heavens [Space] at the work of your hands.” (Hebrews 1:10)

Famous astronomer Dr. Edwin Hubble (for whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named) showed that the universe is expanding.

The Bible says:

 

“He [God] alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea” (Job 9:8)

 

“He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in” (Isaiah 40:22)

  • Science also provides ample evidence that the universe was designed. Only a personal being or designer can design something. Scientist and mathematician Freeman Dyson said, “The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.”

“The Designer” not only knew we were coming, he prepared the earth for us, and we can see some of the fingerprints that prove it. Our sun is designed for human life, it is exactly the right size and right temperature. Without a planet like Jupiter, life on earth could not survive because asteroids and comets would eventually collide with earth. We also have the perfect moon – it’s the right size and distance to keep our orbit stable.

Astronomer Robert Jastrow reached the following conclusion: “The universe was made, [it] was designed, for man to live in”.

From the single cell, to the complex design of DNA in the human brain storing more information than hundreds of encyclopedia volumes, to the planning for human life, we see design everywhere. The entire universe was designed by a Designer, an intelligent being of great power who designed it with human life – with us – in mind.

There is complex design virtually everywhere in the universe. Thus, there must be a Designer who planned and created it. Design doesn’t just happen by itself – it doesn’t result from time or chance. There is always a mind – an intelligence – a designer behind design.

  • There is evidence too for the existence of a universal moral law. As all laws must be made or passed by a lawmaker.

There are universal morals that all people believe apply at all times and in all places ex. It’s wrong to kill innocent people, It’s wrong to steal something that belongs to someone else, It is wrong to lie, Rape, Racism and child pornography are wrong.

Only an eternal being, such as God, can impose a moral law on all people, everywhere and at all times. We cannot impose it on ourselves. We don’t have the “outside” authority to do it.

 

Is the Bible reliable and accurate?

It is proven that the New Testament in the Bible has been 99% correctly copied and is the most accurate document from the ancient world.

But what about all the so called “errors”?

Sources say the New Testament has as many as 200 000 errors or more. By this accounting it sounds like the New Testament is so unreliable that we’d be foolish to trust it.

Are such statements true? The answer is no, they are not.

While there are variants or “errors” in the copies we have today (not in the originals), the number of variant readings is small. The problem is in how “errors” are counted.

Consider that there is more than one way to spell the name Ann. Suppose that, long ago, someone used Ann in an original manuscript. Then as time passed and the next scribe hand-copied the text (remember for many centuries there was no printing press) spelled it Anne. And then, as additional time went by, suppose 3000 copies eventually were made based on that change. Would that be one error or 3000 errors? The answer is, it would count as 3000 errors. One miscopied or inserted letter would count as an error every time it was recopied.

After examining the evidence not one of the supposed errors like the above example impacts the meaning of the text or accuracy of a doctrine. While an “error” count of 200 000 sounds significant, upon examination we find this isn’t at all the problem some make it out to be.

Not one of the so-called errors affects the claims that Jesus is God, was born of a virgin, did miracles, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven or is coming again.

Could the writers of the New Testament be trusted?

The first 4 books of the New Testament consist out of the 4 Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These 4 books bring a message of hope and teaches us how we should follow Jesus the risen king.

The New Testament writers were reliable and honest men who were eyewitnesses or associates of eyewitnesses of the events they recorded.

The following are several reasons we can count on their reliability and honesty:

  • They included embarrassing details about themselves.
  • They include events about Jesus’ burial and resurrection that they certainly would not have invented.
  • They include more than 30 historically confirmed people.
  • The Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) aren’t all precisely alike.
  • They don’t exaggerate the miracles of Jesus.
  • The men who wrote the Gospels did not deny their testimony under persecution or in the face of death. All the above men were brutally martyred and executed for their accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. Now you got to ask yourself what really happened back then for these men to stick with their stories of Jesus even when they got martyred? I can tell you this, Jesus kicked deaths butt and rose victorious.

I know what you are thinking, geez… there is so much information to take in and process right now. Flip, I’m still busy processing it. I can’t take praise for anything recorded above. I found all the information in Norman Geisler’s book and matched everything with my own personal Bible.

My hope is that this will encourage you to go and search for answers all by yourself, with an open mind and an open heart. You don’t have to believe anything just because I said so… Just go and start reading, start reading the Bible… and start having conversations with your friends and family about God.

I’m really excited to share the final part of my Testimony (Why am I a Christian?) next, so keep an eye out for it!

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