The Oxford Dictionary announced recently that “post-truth”, a new word created at the beginning of this new century, was one of the most used or looked up words in 2016. Why should that matter, why is that significant? Think about it. If Christianity can be marginalized and relativized, then many think that it will eventually die. Please read on.
Last year I had the privilege of meeting with every senior on the topic of faith in God. I gave them the task of creating an argument that is reason-based and asked them to be able to defend faith factually, providing examples from the following four categories: science, philosophy, theology and pragmatics (http://www.lexingtonchristian.org/about-us/five-minutes/).
This year I am doing the same but have refocused the topic a bit. I am attaching the assignment below for you to consider as well. Essentially, I want them to think through and provide the necessity for God’s existence. Secondly, I am inviting them to explore the Scriptures and see them as credible, proving why they are reliable and credible. The last question I posed is for them to think through their own faith journey, examining Christianity from the perspective of the fulfillment it is able to provide for meaning, purpose, and direction in life.
But – and this is really my point as I meet with our students – it is not truly possible to relativize or marginalize Christianity. I want them to understand that even in today’s post-modern or “post-truth” culture, Christianity cannot simply be discarded by alternative views, contained behind the four walls of any institution, or controlled by any government’s policies. All of the evil in this world cannot drown out the message of One Man’s sacrifice for all of evil. I want them to consider Jesus in this light: a religious system tried to marginalize Him, the most powerful government with the most advanced military tried to silence Him, but death became His servant rather than His master. Christianity is Christ. There is no greater power, no name higher, and no truth that can match or compete with He who is Truth.
Let Him be made known.
We live in a world that is searching for meaning and purpose. Meaning is left up to the highest bidder in the marketplace and the most prevalent media voice which eventually ends up in our homes. Family, sexuality, reality, gender, purpose, truth – they have all become relative- meaning, it all depends on who owns the definition. Christianity is seen as one option amongst many. Critics of Christianity have made statements such as “it is mindless”, “it’s unfounded”, and “it is just one way out of many ways to satisfy one’s god-need.”
The task for the senior is to establish the notion that Christianity is existentially relevant, intellectually credible, and spiritually fulfilling in light of all of the other options that are available. Or you can provide a dissenting perspective to the Christian notion. Either way, please support your thoughts.
1. Existentially Relevant
To be existentially relevant one needs to prove or lay the groundwork for existence. Two questions must be asked and then answered. How do we exist or come into existence? Then why do we exist? If existence is of design there are implications. What are they? If by naturalistic causation what are those? Be able to:
- Compare and contrast Design argumentation for creation versus naturalistic causation
- Given the above two perspectives - design or naturalism - explain how one can find meaning in either. Can meaning be found in naturalism? Why or why not?
- Just because there is a Designer, does that mean there is a purpose? The basis of that question is asking, is God personal?
2. Intellectually Credible
Many people criticize Christianity as a “dumb person’s religion.” Or “you just have to believe and not use your mind.” Both of these diatribes create a major criticism for Christianity - that it is mindless. Be able to provide:
- Evidence of its credibility from the historical accuracy of the scriptures
- Proofs that demonstrate philosophical coherence
3. Spiritually Fulfilling
Is Christianity spiritually fulfilling? If so, why do so many people not pursue it? Since there are other options, can’t Christianity be just one of the many out there? Explain the following:
- Since Christ makes the claim that He is the only way to know God that makes Christianity exclusive. Do you support this? Why?
- You may have heard that all religions are similar. Explain whether this is true or not.
Extra Credit: What is one thing about Christianity that you have found difficult to understand? How have you reconciled it?