When I wrote the first post in this series, WHY DO I BELIEVE IN JESUS? — PART 1, I admitted that I believe in Jesus with my heart, not with my head. Why? There is in each of us a fear of death. We fear life is meaningless, that eventually everyone we have ever loved must come to a pointless ending, and I found that unacceptable. To care for someone is to want the best for them for all eternity. To love someone is to want always to be with them, but the finality of death says there must be an irreversible termination. In spite of all our contrary desires, death carefully arrays for each of us a chain of funerals. The last we must attend is our own.
Therefore, we long for an escape. We seek something that can save us, but we can find nothing. We cannot invent a drug that produces immortality. We cannot find a fountain of youth. So we must find someone who can save us.
Because the problem of death is too big for us, we need God. Perhaps we seek God out of an instinctive need, but also because we need God. We need someone who can conquer death for us.
For centuries, our forebears turned to the Bible to find God, and for centuries they struggled over what it means to worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
For centuries, relatively few could read. Therefore, priests read the holy scripture, and priests told those who could not read what that scripture said — and what they should think about it. With the invention of the printing press, the priestly monopoly over scripture weakened. When more men could read, most chose the Bible as the first book they wanted to read.
Now we live in a culture that diverts our thoughts from death. We live with few quiet moments, amidst noise and mental clutter where we can studiously avoid contemplating eternity in a quiet grave. Too few find themselves compelled by silence to wonder why they exist or how their passage might make a difference. So although many own a Bible, few take the time to read it, and fewer still seek to understand it.
For some reason, I am an exception. It began less than a decade ago. It was then my daily jogs slowed to daily walks. I had time to think, and it was then I began wondering about the Bible.
Because my wife is a Christian, she raised our children as Christians. As my children grew into maturity, it slowly dawned upon me that Christianity had made a difference in their lives. Even though I had for decades regarded the Bible as nothing more than an interesting history filled with curious myths, my children believed it, and that belief had served them well. Thus, I became curious and hopeful. Thus, I decided to study the Bible.
What did I learn? To be continued.