hy do Christians believe in God? It is because a number of independent lines of evidence–the contingency and intelligent design of the universe, the history of Israel, and their own religious experience, to mention just a few–point in the same direction. But of all those reasons, one stands out as supreme: JESUS. His birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection–ultimately his person. He was the infinite God, the eternal Logos
, revealed in human flesh. He was the perfect image of the invisible God made visible. Christians are convinced that if you want to know whether God is, if you want to know who
God is, if you want the most profound answers available to those questions, you just look at Jesus.
THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE
(These olive trees were here when Jesus was!)
Jesus? Yes, Jesus. Period. Pure and simple. How do we know God is personal? Because Jesus looked to Him as his Heavenly Father. How do we know He is compassionate? Because Jesus forgave the woman taken in adultery. How do we know He is faithful? Because Jesus was faithful even to death on a cross. How do we know He is powerful? Because He raised Jesus from the dead. How do we know He is consistent and trustworthy? Because Jesus came as the fulfillment of His ancient promises to Abraham and David. How do we know He is simultaneously just and gracious? Because Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. How do we know He is real? Because the Christ He sent was so real that you could have got a splinter in your finger from the Manger or the Cross, or stubbed your toe on the rock that (temporarily) sealed the Tomb.
THE GARDEN TOMB
It all comes down to that. If Jesus can’t get you to believe in his Father, no one can—least of all me. What I can do is point you back to Jesus, and maybe clear up a few technical difficulties that might be preventing you from seeing him clearly. But He is the bottom line. Some of the other reasons for believing in God are good reasons. But this one is Reason (the Logos) itself. Stray from Him, and the apparent “reasons” against faith seem overwhelming. Stay focused on Him, and you can have the same faith that sustained Him beneath his crown of thorns.
JESUS IN GETHSEMANE
Mosaic in the Church of All Nations
Dr. Donald T. Williams, R. A. Forrest Scholar and Professor of English at Toccoa Falls College, is the author of nine books, three with Lantern Hollow Press: Stars Through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (2011), Reflections from Plato’s Cave: Essays in Evangelical Philosophy (2012), and Inklings of Reality: Essays toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters (2012). They can be ordered ($15.00 each, + shipping) at http://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.
A Better Approach to Interpretation