Essentials of Christianity By Tom Gilson
The Thinking Christian blog is one that I at least scan every day. The purpose of Tom Gilson, the author, is to advance Christian apologetics which is nothing more than following the instructions that the Apostle Peter gave all Christians:
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
Mr. Gilson has recently provided a short post titled “What is Christianity?” which links to a longer document which I think is most interesting. A lot of what he says dovetails nicely with my recent topic on the Invisible War (aka the Angelic Conflict). I don’t know what he believes regarding the Invisible War and I don’t think that it really matters that much. What does matter is that we who are Christians really have no excuse for saying “I don’t know” when it comes to the really big questions in life. If Christianity is what it claims to be then it needs to be able to explain what used to be called the “human condition.”
Here is a quote from Mr. Gilson’s paper and I think it sets the tone in a wonderful way:
I recently heard Charles Colson tell of a provocative conversation he had with Christian leaders in England. He asked them, “What is Christianity?” They were a diverse group, and gave diverse answers. “Christianity is God’s love expressed to humans,” said one. “It’s one way to understand God,” said another. One said, “It’s Christ’s work to redeem lost people through His death and resurrection.”
Colson told them they had all missed it.
Charles Colson, you may recall, was convicted of crimes related to the Watergate cover- up. While in prison this brilliant attorney, who had been “Nixon’s hatchet-man,” began to question his power-mongering ways. A friend led him to investigate the truth of Jesus Christ, and Colson turned his life over to faith in Christ. His turn-around was remarkable: instead of using political maneuvering to serve his own needs, he founded Prison Fellowship to serve the needs of those he once would have considered least like himself. [Since October, 2010, I have been working with him and his associated organization BreakPoint, http://www.breakpoint.org.]
He also applied his powerful intellect to matters of Christian thinking, and thus he raised this question with the group in England. Certainly he agreed that Christianity can be described as God’s expression of love, and His redemptive work through Christ. The problem, Colson said, was that these answers did not go far enough. “Christianity,” he said, “is the explanation for everything.”
That is why I have been beating to death the idea of the Invisible War being important since it is the best explanation I have for why evil is in the world. Maybe no one else agrees with me (no big loss for me personally) but it bothers me deeply when Christians don’t even try. Mr. Gilson knows that trying is important and he says so in a very eloquent manner. I recommend checking out his article.