Lee Strobel, a court reporter for the Chicago Tribune, was a skeptic, an avowed atheist, convinced belief in God was little more than wishful thinking. He had given Christianity only superficial consideration but had read enough philosophy and history to convince himself the Christian faith was bogus.
And then his wife became a Christian. And rather than become a fanatic and religious prude, Leslie impressed him by the fundamental changes that came to her character, integrity, and outlook on life. Accordingly, then, Strobel decided to check it out.
Typical of his work ethic, Lee scheduled a series of interviews with leading Christian scholars. Evaluating the faith from every conceivable angle, he became convinced of the unthinkable: there was truth to his wife’s newfound faith. And two years later, Lee Strobel became a Christian himself.
So dramatic was the change in Strobel’s life his daughter, five-year-old Alison, is reported to have said, “I want God to do for me what he has done for Daddy.” Had it not been for his wife and his honesty, Lee would have remained an agnostic, convinced the Christian faith is without merit and Jesus a fraud. But he checked it out!
The Gospel record is an eyewitness account written while the protagonists were still living. Far from being reconstructed tradition, the four Gospels were written within thirty years of Jesus’ life. Many of those involved were still living; the facts could be verified.
The Christian faith is open to scrutiny, and the Gospel record available for evaluation. And yet, an amazing number of people who reject the Gospels have never read them. If what the writers tell us is true, however, our eternal well-being is at stake. So why the ignorance?
Two reasons come to mind.
The Gospels represent an account of a supernatural incursion into first-century society. If one rejects that premise out of hand, one cannot accept the Gospels as recorded history. Never before has a man been born of a virgin, walked on water, raised three people from the dead, and predicted His own demise. Clearly, Jesus was whom He said He was, or He was a fraud and a lunatic. You can’t have it any other way.
But the real reason most people reject, or at best, refuse to consult, the record is personal. If what Jesus said is valid, it demands profound changes to our lifestyle, and that is something most people don’t want to even think about. It’s not that people disbelieve; they don’t want to believe. They are satisfied with the way things are, show little fear of death, and are secure in believing this life is all there is. Ignorance, indeed, is bliss … especially when it comes to Jesus and His claims on each of our lives.
We ignore God … only to our peril. To act as if we are going to live forever, to give no thought to our eternal future, to ignore the evidence God has given, seems to be the utmost expression of irresponsibility. But belief, life-changing faith, evidence not subject to doubt, comes only to those who come to God with an open heart.
For more thoughts like these, follow me at indefenseoftruth.net.