In 2001 I was living in postwar Sarajevo, Bosnia. The World Trade Center had just been attacked, and people were asking existential questions. I wrote a piece entitled “Why I Am a Christian” which received an unusual amount of traction at the time. I recently went back and updated it. It’s a little longer than my other blog entries, but if you take the time to read it, you’ll see why.
When I was a new believer, if a person were to ask me why I’m a follower of Jesus, I would have drawn from the beautiful, subjective experiences of my new found relationship with Him. I would have spoken about “peace”, “forgiveness” and “life” with deep sense of wonder and gratefulness. But if you were to ask me that question now, so many decades later, my response would go so much deeper, beyond the subjective into the depths of reality itself:
Today I follow Jesus not only because of the beautiful inner work He did in me during those early days, but also because the Biblical story offers the only complete and viable answers to life’s most universal questions
- Who and what is man?
- Is there meaning to life?
- What’s wrong with the world?
- How can the world be fixed?
- Why is my heart so deeply moved by beauty, compassion, and stories?
- Why do I dream of a different, more perfect world?
Jesus answers all the questions:
While the Materialists, Marxists, and Postmodern intellectuals wrestle in vain to make sense of these questions, Jesus gathers them all up and assembles them into a story that gives a complete accounting of all nature, life and human longings. No other worldview even comes close to that. Search for yourself the philosophies of Materialism, Marxism, Postmodernism, Islam, Buddhism, and New Age Spiritualism. They fail spectacularly in answering even the most basic questions of life.
The Way to Beauty, and Life:
I’m a follower of Jesus because wherever it grows, Biblical Christianity produces consistently beautiful and enduring fruit. No other “way” has built so many hospitals, orphanages, rescue missions, has fed so many hungry people, lifted so many out of poverty, emancipated so many slaves, or established so many organizations to serve, educate, heal, and bless the human family as the simple followers of Jesus, who believe that “inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, my brothers, you did it unto me.”
The Foundation of Science and Creation:
I’m a Christian because creation itself testifies of a wondrous order that can only point to a loving, genius Creator. The world’s greatest scientists from Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon, to Carl Linnaeus and Max Plank have believed that only an infinite, personal God can account for the intricacies of fireflies, animal instincts, eyesight and hearing, the Fibonacci and the water cycle, the rotational clockwork of the planets, and the natural laws of nature. Man and animals alike exhibit a capacity for love and relationship that could never have arisen out of a cold, impersonal time-chance universe. Follow the science, and you will come to an infinite, personal God who designed us with mind-boggling DNA, self-consciousness, and emotions that cause us to tear-up in the presence of profound beauty.
The Basis of Civilized Society, Order and Blessing:
I am a follower of Jesus because the Biblical story offers the best and only viable foundation for a civilized society. Look at the nations of the world. Where there is freedom, purpose, prosperity, justice and compassion you will find Jesus at the foundation.
Christianity Explains Us:
But it doesn’t stop on the cultural level. Christianity goes deeper to undergird and explain our own personal passion for beauty, life, relationship, understanding, order, meaning and story: I was created in the “spittin'” image of a loving, creative, genius of a God. And that explains so much about who I am. The Father, Son and Spirit is eternally relational, and so I, (we), long for relationships. God ordered the universe, and so we desire order. God creates, and so we love to create. God works, and we enjoy work. God thinks, and we are thinkers. God writes powerful, meaningful stories And we too have a great yearning to live deep and meaningful stories!
The Satisfier of Personal Need:
And finally I am a follower of Christ because of the deeply personal way He meets me in everyday life; because he steps into my human brokenness, darkness and despair and meets me with a love and quiet presence that stills my soul with assurance and peace. I follow Jesus because he is the true source of life, purpose, truth, wisdom, understanding, and reality itself.