“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Lee Strobel, a Yale Law School graduate, worked for The Chicago Tribune for 14 years as an investigative journalist. He approached every crime scene using this principle: Follow the evidence wherever it leads. He was gifted with a great mind and was an excellent investigator and journalist.
However, when it came to matters of faith, he had not followed this principle. At this point in his life, he was an atheist. “To me,” he said, “there was far too much evidence that God was merely a product of wishful thinking, of ancient mythology, of primitive superstition. How could there be a loving God if he consigned people to hell just for not believing in him?”
Strobel was trained as an expert in examining evidence at crime scenes. He would examine every parcel of evidence like a scientist looking through a microscope at a virus. However, when it came to Christianity, he only gave the evidence a cursory glance. This is the way most people approach Jesus—with a cursory glance.
In 1979, the unthinkable happened to Lee Strobel. His wife came home one day and announced that she had become a born-again Christian. Strobel couldn’t believe it! This was the worst news he could have imagined. He knew his marriage was headed for divorce.
However, as he began to observe his wife, he liked what he saw. She didn’t try to convince him or argue with him about her newfound faith. Instead, she was more kind and caring and loving. She seemed to exude peace and contentment like he had never seen in her.
Eventually, Strobel decided that he wanted to get to the bottom of what had caused these changes in her life. So, he launched an all-out investigation into the facts surrounding the case for Christianity.
He read books. He interviewed experts, He asked questions. He analyzed history and he explored archaeology. For the first time in his life, he picked up the Bible and began to read it. Over the course of time, his skepticism gave way to faith as he followed the evidence where it led. Prompted by the results of his investigation, he became a Christian at the age of 29. You can read about his life changing experience in his book entitled The Case for Christ.
We have spent a year and a half in the gospel of Luke at The Men’s Study, and we have examined the evidence of Luke’s account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Many men have had the opportunity to claim faith because of the evidence or grow in their faith as well.
Here’s how Luke begins his gospel…
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
I want you to understand one key truth about Christianity: Christianity is a reasonable faith. Many people believe that becoming a Christian requires blind faith. In other words, before you can become a believer, you must check your brain at the door. This could not be further from the truth.
The Christian faith is a reasonable faith. In other words, a Christian’s faith is based upon reason. Faith, when properly defined, is trust developed through the examination of reliable information, such as that of an eyewitness account. On the other hand, reason is the ability of your mind to process this information and use your intellect to come to real, true, and logical conclusions.
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) says, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The Christian faith relies upon “substance” and “evidence” in the way a husband has complete faith and trust in his wife. The Christian faith is not based upon the unseen; it is based upon what is known.
1 Peter 1:13 says, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action…” This is what we are going to do in the A Reasonable Faith series.
We are going to prepare our minds each and every week to study God’s Word. Martin D’Arcy once said, There is no salvation save in truth, and the royal road of truth is by the mind. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, Let us never forget that the message of the Bible is addressed primarily to the mind, to the understanding.
God has given us a mind to be used to make reasonable decisions and judgments regarding His existence, the truth of the Gospel, and the credibility of the Christian faith. Just like Strobel, all we have to do is follow the evidence and it will lead us to the truth. And that is what we are going to do over the next several weeks. Follow the evidence and see where it leads.