Written by Max Jeganathan
Priyan (Max) Jeganathan is an international speaker and Director of Thinking Faith. He is passionate about helping people make sense of current issues and life’s big questions through the lens of the Christian message. A former lawyer and political & policy adviser in Australia, Max is currently undertaking a PhD in Law. He lives in Singapore with his wife, Fiona, and their two young children. He loves movies, watching basketball with friends and playing with his kids.
“You do you!” It’s the popular millennial mantra that is heard echoing across our digital and social media platforms. It centres on you and your feelings. We hear it in songs, movies and poetry across the globe. It has been said that the post-truth culture can be summarised as one that thinks with its feelings. Feelings before fairness. Feelings before others. Feelings before sacrifice. Perhaps most damagingly, feelings before truth.
The modern attack on truth is undeniable. Post-truth thinking calls for a re-establishment of both the reality and existence of truth itself. This can be done simply. The statement “absolute truth does not exist” is a statement of absolute truth. If it claims to be true, then it undermines itself. If it doesn’t claim to be true, it undermines itself. Either way, it implodes logically. Accordingly, we know—through basic principles of logic—that absolute truth exists.
The question then becomes: “What is it?” To this question, we need look no further than the philosopher Plato, who famously declared that to find truth, we simply need to follow the evidence to where it leads.
Let’s consider the evidence for and the claims of the Christian message. There are at least three points of uniqueness and evidence that stand out.
1. A God who came
Uniquely, Christianity’s evidence-base requires no reliance on unsubstantiated eye-witness accounts, abstract ideas or mythological realms. Rather, it is anchored in human history. The God of the Bible—if the Bible is to be believed—literally stepped into the world as a person: Jesus Christ. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus are events that can be tested using methods that examine historical evidence. The Christian scriptures—66 books written by more than 40 authors—can be tested textually. The Christian diagnosis of the human condition can be tested experientially and sociologically. The list of evidence goes well beyond these truncated examples, but—to summarise—the reality of a God who stepped into world history as a person, is unique to the Christian story.
2. A God of relationship
The Christian message is not a philosophy or a set of beliefs. It is—uniquely—manifested in and through a personal relationship with God Himself through Jesus. This highlights perhaps the most distinct aspect of the Christian life. It is not primarily about what you do, think, say or feel (though these things are not unimportant). Rather, it is primarily about who you are—a child of God walking in an up-close-and-personal relationship with Him. The relational nature of the Christian message further distinguishes it from other worldviews. Relationship has been statistically proven to be the most powerful marker of human fulfilment. A worldview that centres on relationship above all else therefore, is worthy of a closer look.
3. A God who rescues
The reality of human self-centredness transcends nations, ethnicities, cultures and millenia. We want financial security, pleasure, fame, wealth, convenience, Instagram “likes”, and more. These are the crowns that we seek—crowns that make us monarchs over our own lives. In her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gilead, Marilynne Robinson wrote of the two realities of creation we cannot escape: the world’s insufficiency to us and our insufficiency to the world. No matter how well we do and how much we achieve, there is something about us and our world that is not quite right.
We have looked for the answers within ourselves. All we find are more questions. We continue to conquer the realms of technology, finance, medicine, education, engineering, and outer space. But when it comes to addressing our need for rescue, all we have found—in the words of Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon—has been “magnificent desolation”.
Ascending to the heights of human achievement has not worked. We don’t just need more effort, more achievement, or more conquest. We need rescue. That is exactly what each of us is offered through the person of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps it’s time to look to the one who ascended to a cross 2,000 years ago on that dark afternoon. Jesus Christ tore down the barrier of human imperfection that separates us from God because of His love for us. On the cross, Jesus showed us that Truth is more important than feelings, that love is more important than achievement, and that justice need not give way to mercy. On the cross Jesus paid the price for our brokenness. He brought together love, justice, and mercy in one historical moment. He conquered our desolation. It is only in Him, through Him, and with Him, that we find the evidence, the answers, and the fulfilment that we all seek.
Why Jesus? Because He came for us, because He loves us, because we need Him, because He’s real . . . and–if you and I are willing to follow the evidence to where it leads–it points to the truth of His message.