At around two hundred pages, Know Why You Believe is shorter than most fiction works I’ve read, but it is taking me much longer to read it. Even though I’m interested in this book, I’m hardly flipping through the pages at lightning speed. This has been the case with any nonfiction I’ve read, probably because when I’m learning something, I have to read slower so it can sink in. I guess my brain likes the “mind candy” that fiction delivers 🙂
I’m not even halfway through the book, but I have read about evidence that answers the following questions: Is Christianity rational? Is there a God? Is Christ God? Did Christ Rise from the Dead?
I was most fascinated by the chapter discussing if Christ rose from the dead. This section managed to grab my attention as well as any fiction as it discussed dissenter’s theories and presented evidence as to why those theories don’t hold up. I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to live in the time of Jesus’ coming. How amazing it would have been to actually see Jesus heal a blind man, part the Red Sea, stop a storm or feed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread. I wonder what those who didn’t believe were thinking. I imagine they condemned Jesus because of fear; because the miracles they witnessed didn’t fit with the rules of the world as they knew it.
Years ago, I started reading the Bible just like I had read any other book: from the beginning. I grew bored, and a bit confused, by the time I reached Deuteronomy, so I just stopped. I know I have much to learn from the Old Testament, but I think this time around, I will start with the New Testament. It makes sense for me begin with the Gospels because this time period fascinates me.
Throughout my life, I’ve wondered how I would recognize Christ if he came again during my lifetime. Would I be smart enough to not fall for the charisma of an off-the-wall leader claiming to be sent by God? Would I be so wary because of the fakes that my heart would miss it? Would I explain a miracle as an illusion or magic trick worthy of a Las Vegas show?
Contemplating these questions after this week’s reading, I feel comfortable that I would recognize Jesus. An average, albeit charismatic, man couldn’t possibly pull off the miracles that Jesus did. I am confident that prayers to God would give me the answer as to whether the acts were genuine. I have no choice but to trust that God would show me the way – I think that’s why it’s called “faith.”
Today, my faith is based on historical accounts, as told in the Bible, and the feeling that God works in my life. Seeing (with my eyes) is not a basis for believing, but I sure would love to experience the awe people felt 2000 years ago when Jesus walked among them.