If ISIS’s God Were Real, Would I Be Obliged to Follow Him?

Dear Dr Craig,

You may be aware that Frank Turek has a question he will sometimes ask atheists, "if Christianity were true, would you become a Christian"? Well, recently, an atheist flipped this question around and asked me "If the Islamic State were true (by which he means, if the specific type of Allah that IS believe in, existed) then likewise, would you become an IS member?"

Now, my gut reaction is to say no. I would not follow a God whom I find so horrendous as to condone rape, mass murder and forced conversion such as we're seeing happen right now in the Middle East.

Two problems arise, however:

Firstly, if I say this, the atheist can simply reply, "exactly! And now I'm sure you're aware how I feel too. Even if your Christian God existed, I would not follow him, because I find certain things about his morality horrendous and objectionable". This would seem a conversation stopper.

But, secondly, there seems an even greater problem:

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A Powerful Apologetic Method: ABDUCTIVE Reasoning!

"What in the world is 'Abductive Reasoing'?" Well, abductive reasoning is employed by crime scene detectives, car mechanics, and your medical doctor.  Abductive reasoning is when you look at all the known facts, and seek to form the best explanation to explain the data.  Abductive reasoning seeks to find the "inference to the best explanation" for the known facts.   

This is a vital way of thinking and investigating that all serious Christians should be engaged in....

 - Pastor J. 

"How do you know that Christianity is the one true worldview?" - Dr. Ravi Zacharias

It is not only the Christian Worldview that claims exclusively to be the truth, as is commonly (and erroneously) thought.

Rather, all major world religions and worldviews claim to be exclusively true in their perspective on reality.

Atheism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Polytheism, etc all claim to be the sole possessors of truth.

How then can we know which one is correct (if any)? By subjecting them to WORLDVIEW TESTS in which we investigate how the different systems of thought seek to answer the questions of: 

  • Origin - Where do we come from?
  • Meaning - What is the purpose of life?
  • Morality - Is there really a standard of "right and wrong"?
  • Destiny - What happens when we die?

Other worldview test will include: 

  • Internal Consistency - Are there any internal contradictions?
  • Experiential Relevancy - Does it adequately function in my experience?
  • Scientific Adequacy -Does this system reflect proven scientific truths?

Of all the Worldviews, philosophies, and world religions that exist/have existed, which one best explains the known features of our reality with the most COMPREHENSIVE and INTELLECTUALLY SATISFYING?? 

The Worldview of classical Christian Theism.

- Pastor J.

Reason #5 Christianity is Unique: It is Respectable.

How do the founders of the world's religions compare with Jesus of Nazareth?

Is Jesus Christ unique when compared with Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, and Joseph Smith?

(Part 5 of 5) In the last installment of this series "5 Reasons the Christian Worldview is Unique", today we will be examining the person and life of Jesus of Nazareth, when compared with the other founders of the world's religions.  While the life of an individual doesn't necessarily establish the truth of what that person taught, it still is a very important feature to investigate in a quest for Truth.

The amazing thing that we discover, is that amongst all the world's religious leaders of history, Jesus of Nazareth stands high and above them all in His teachings, His moral example, and His impact upon world history.  This is not a subjective appraisal, but rather it is the verdict of history when the facts are examined in detail.  This makes Christianity, and it's Founder, uniquely RESPECTABLE amongst the belief systems of the world.  A sincere seeker of Truth, would be wise to take this into consideration in their quest of discovery.

In summary then, 5 reasons that Christianity is unique amongst all the worldviews and religions, are the following:
  1. It is uniquely VERIFIABLE - it can be critically analyzed, examined, and rigorously tested through evidential disciplines such as history, archaeology, prophecy.
  2. It is uniquely COMPATIBLE - it describes reality in a way that truly matches up with our daily experience of the world scientifically, philosophically, and morally. 
  3. It is uniquely CENTRAL - as where most religions have a place of prominence for Christ, in the Christian worldview He is at the very center and core of our belief.  He is the Foundation of all that Christianity is and believes and does. 
  4. It is uniquely RECEIVABLE - rather than being an unbearable system of rules and regulations, where salvation can be earned or achieved, biblical Christianity is based upon simply receiving what Christ has accomplished for us.  It is freely receiving the gift of pardon and forgiveness of our sins, through the sacrifice of Christ.
  5. It is uniquely RESPECTABLE - when the life of the founders of the world's religions are compared to the moral example of Jesus, His teachings, and His impact upon world history, Christ stands high and above in a category all by Himself.  There is no one like him in the history of all of mankind's created religions and philosophies.

These are just 5 great reasons, though there are many more, why we should tell our friends and co-workers to begin to examine the Truth claims of Christianity before any other system.  The Christian worldview is supremely unique in all of history.

- Pastor J. 

Is the Christian Worldview Unique?

Does the Christian Worldview makes sense?

Are there any features of Christianity that make it absolutely unique?

Why is Christianity a reasonable faith? Dr. Craig Hazen, who directs the MA Apologetics program at Biola University, shares with Bobby Conway what makes it distinct from other religions.

These distinctive features of the Christian Worldview, are great topics to focus on in discussions with your friends and colleagues that you are witnessing to.

Also, if you would like to earn a Certificate of Christian Apologetics (CCA) you can do so by going here.  This is a wonderful program for you to become more equipped as a defender of the faith, by listening to some of the greatest Christian thinkers in the world today.  

Strive and study hard to have an Intelligent Faith!

- Pastor J. 

Reason #4 Christianity is Unique: It is Receivable.

Why doesn't Christianity have rules and regulations in order to "earn salvation"?

(part 4 of 5) In this short video, we address one of the starkest contrasts between the Christian faith when compared with the 25 major world religions: forgiveness is not earned but received.  Whether it is believed to be true or not, this major difference alone merits the investigation of any genuine seeker of truth.  If in Christianity alone forgiveness and salvation are offered as free gifts to be received, then shouldn't it deserve to be researched to see if it's true or not?  If the Christian faith and worldview shows itself to be veritical and verified by the evidence, then this unique feature of being RECEIVABLE takes on tremendous importance and significance.  

Rather than having to obey hundreds of guidelines in hopes of meriting divine pardon;
instead of needing to sacrifice oneself in a holy war to obtain forgiveness; 
an individual can simply come to Christ and by trusting in Him as the Son of God, 
who died a substitutionary sacrificial death for my moral failures,
and rose again 3 days later to prove His identity, 
that person could simply request and RECEIVE forgiveness and salvation from God.

This unique feature of the Christian worldview truly sets it apart from all other world religions.

- Pastor J. 

Reason #3 Christianity is Unique: It is Central.

Why do all major world religions have an exalted place for Jesus?

Is the Biblical Jesus any different that the non-Christian portrayals of Him?

(Part 3 of 5) In this video, we examine a very interesting feature of the Christian worldview: the absolute centrality of Jesus Christ.  Though this may seem obvious and simplistic, it is worth noting since virtually every major world religion on planet earth wants a piece of Jesus.

If an individual is seeking after the Truth, or perhaps investigating if Christianity has validity or not, why not have them start with the worldview where Jesus is at the very heart of the belief system, and not merely a peripheral personage.  Only Biblical Christianity has this unique feature of Christ being CENTRAL, and that should make it worth investigating!

- Pastor J. 

Reason #2 Christianity is Unique: It is Compatible.

Does the Christian Worldview match up with our Universe?

Is Christianity compatible with our experience of reality?

(Part 2 of 5) This is one of the most important questions that needs to be asked of any/every worldview, but unfortunately gets overlooked quite often - the question of compatibility.  If a worldview claims to be true, and to describe reality in a comprehensive sense, then it must match up with what we see in the universe around us.  If I have to set my worldview aside every time I step outside of my door, then it's not useful practically, but more importantly, it can't be true in reality.

I must test my worldview, and see if it matches up with what I see and experience every day of my life in the world.  If it proves to be incompatible, doesn't match up, and fails to accurately describe reality, then I should abandon my worldview in favor of a stronger one.

I'm thankful (intellectually) that's not the case with the Christian Worldview!

- Pastor J. 

Reason #1 Christianity is Unique: It is Verifiable

Is there anything that makes the Christian worldview unique?

Are there features of Christianity that set it apart from the world's religions?

(1 of 5) There are many features of Christianity that set it apart as absolutely unique and one of a kind in all of the world's beliefs systems.  One of the interesting features of the Christian worldview is that it can be tested through a serious examination of the evidence.  It can be falsified if it is found lacking the necessary proof, or it can be verified through different categories of evidence, whether it be historical, archaeological, scientific, or philosophical.

The same cannot be said for many of the world's 25 major religions.  Buddhism, in many ways, is simply a philosophy that doesn't rise or fall upon any historical verification.  Islam discourages, and in many cases, won't allow an open minded skepticism into the evidence related to Mohammed and his writings.  Pantheism as well, is a metaphysical philosophy that has little or nothing to do with historical facts or archaeological verification.

The fact that the Christian worldview is VERIFIABLE should go a long way in commending it to sincere truth-seekers, and Christians should be aware of this outstanding facet of their worldview.

I encourage you to join us for the entire five part series, and learn how the Christian Worldview is absolutely unique in at least 5 different ways.  Have an Intelligent Faith!

- Pastor J. 

Does Christianity Match Up With Reality??

Would you surrender your Worldview, if it didn't match up with reality?

Do you have to leave parts of your Worldview behindas you go throughout your day?

What would it take for you to decide you needed a new philosophy on life?

(Part 2 of 5) 

In this short teaching, I continue the five part series demonstrating 5  absolutely unique features of the Christian Worldview. These 5 reasons  should encourage any genuine truth-seeker to investigate Christianity before any  other system of religious/spiritual belief. 

The particular aspect of uniqueness addressed  in this video is that the Christian Worldview is uniquely COMPATIBLE with reality around us, through an examination of historical,  archaeological, scientific, and prophetic evidence. 

I hope you get  blessed by knowing that we have a uniquely COMPATIBLE worldview and philosophy of life - Chrisitianity.

- Pastor J.