In a previous post, I explained how to become a Christian.
In this post, I wish to explain (briefly, not in full) why to become a Christian.
- The gospel is true and it is important to believe true things
I’m not going to delve into a length apologetic here, but in my mind the arguments for God’s existence are convincing if their premises are accepted in the same manner that Geometry proofs are convincing. Secondly, Jesus is too compelling a character to be invented and the resurrection story is the best explanation of the rise of Christianity.
Martin Seligman has identified five aspects of happiness in the lives of people who claim to be happy (see below). Being a part of any religion can provide these, but Christianity has a special emphasis on rejoicing in the mundane aspects of life as well as in the transcendence of God. It also includes a command to take dominion over the earth (engagement), to spend time building up other Christians in their understanding of the gospel and of their callings (relationships), an allegedly true story of the whole world (meaning), and several duties and moral priorities (accomplishment).
- Positive Emotions
- Engagement with the world
- To Receive Forgiveness of Sins
Having a guilty conscience is bad and having a guilty verdict is worse. This is especially so if the verdict is concerning rebellion against infinite truth, goodness, and beauty. But thankfully, if Christianity is true, then Jesus offers God’s forgiveness to the world, through the church.
- Eternal Life
Most of us do not want to die. This is a good instinct. Jesus offers you an opportunity to experience God and his creation in a fashion that is both ecstatic in quality and eternal in duration. This can freak you out, but perhaps not as much as the notion of dying.
Let’s face it. While evangelical antics can be fairly stupid and Christians have done bad things in the past, people love Christian culture. Calculus, the scientific method, the Aristotelian synthesis, and the Roman Juriprudential system were all preserved/created/improved upon by Christians. The Christian systems of meditation on creation, Scripture, and the human tradition are frankly super effective and very awesome.
- Evil is Real
Evil is real and must be stood against. But many people find themselves disagreeing with an evil and being told, “That’s just your preference.” Christianity, though Christians get the details wrong, provides a grounding for opposition to human evil in our own hearts and in others with both
- a tradition of natural/non-religious ethical reasoning
- a further Biblical tradition of ethical norms