Why I Am a Christian

Euwyn Goh
25 min readApr 1, 2021

Some truths are more important than others. I believe the Question of God is the single most important question to be asked in human history, and one that still needs to be asked today. Why?

Here is a door behind which, according to some people, the secret of the universe is waiting for you. Either that’s true or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then what the door really conceals is simply the greatest fraud…on record.

— C.S. Lewis, in Man or Rabbit?

I think everyone generally agrees on this. In Brief Answers to the Big Questions, the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking writes, “it is hard to think of a more important, or fundamental, mystery than what, or who, created and controls the universe”.

The Creation of Adam, painted by Michelangelo

I was born a Christian, to Christian parents. They were raised Taoist and Buddhist, but over their years they converted to Christianity, and were convicted to build a church. A community I basically grew up in. As a kid, I was raised with Christian values, through community, stories, and songs. I grew up fascinated with Bible stories, especially the biblical accounts of kings, kingdoms and heroic pursuits. From the wise and less-wise kings in the Book of Judges, to the miracles of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, to the apocalyptic scenes in the Book of Revelations. (Not unlike many other Christian boys…) Being a Pastor’s kid, I wasn’t just exposed to Bible stories. I grew up volunteering in the church, most commonly on the worship band, where I’ve been rostered on just about every instrument that one could be rostered on and for as long as I was remotely volunteer-ready. I also participated in just about every church service and program, designed anything that needed to be designed (think, countless PowerPoint slides), and stacked any chairs that needed to be stacked.

I don’t think I ever fell short of what was expected of me in church. All was smooth-sailing… until I left the country to move to Australia. But this was the beginning of a process in going from a kind of mere, ritualistic Churchianity to a more real, principled Christianity. Allow me to elaborate. In Australia, I did not have the same obligation to go to church. Attending church at all required an hour total of public transport and walking. This was not a matter of having newfound free-time. It was more like, I no longer had the convenience of hopping into my family car to get to church. It was no longer a given, it was an if. It was a conscious decision to be made. That raised personal questions of priority.

Living alone in Australia amongst not just new faces, but a hundredfold more new faces, meant many external questions were raised as well. All too often, a question would be raised of my faith which I could not answer. The simplest and most startingly obvious of questions. And then I would muster answers I had heard before, reproduce someone else’s enlightenment story, and then get stumped over my inability to produce anything remotely original.

My Christian journey quite perfectly resembled a drawn-out instance of the Dunning-Kruger effect (pictured below). From Churchianity to Christianity. And the troughs that I had found myself in did not lie in practice. It was not even about understanding the point of it all. I did understand why. It lied in those questions posted which I could not answer with true conviction, birthed from a place of lived experience and intellectual coherence. Every question I could not answer posed an overarching, deep, reality-shattering existential question: “How can I so deeply believe in something that I cannot justify?”

The Dunning-Kruger Effect (Source)

I think this is a process every born-Christian has to go through at some point in life.

At my current level of knowledge, I can say with reasonable confidence that my Christianity has merit, and I genuinely think it holds the truth. Whether it is entirely true, I cannot be completely certain. But I am certain enough to call myself a Christian. My frequent personal prayer is that God might allow me the privilege of experiencing the actuality of His infiniteness, through my very finite perception.

The Problem of Partisanship

Yes I’m aware — in claiming an identity as a Christian, I’m deeply susceptible to bias and illusion. When you attach your identity to something, anything, you become much more susceptible to bias and illusion. Your unconscious self will drive you to maintain cohesion and consistency at every step, often even at the expense of truth. I came across something Paul Graham wrote fairly recently that echoes the sentiment of many:

I think what religion and politics have in common is that they become part of people’s identity, and people can never have a fruitful argument about something that’s part of their identity. By definition they’re partisan.

— Paul Graham, in Keeping Your Identity Small

Indeed, a claim to identity inevitably creates partisanship. But there is one key difference between politics and religion. Politics is a question of an effective solution. A matter of opinion, depending on a given priority or morality. In deriving such a solution, partisanship is indeed detrimental. It does no good to take sides in the course of deciding the best policies. On the other hand, religion is a question of truth. And there is such a thing as one objective truth. Something that is. Let’s assume Christianity was true for a moment. Biblically, one’s claim to Christian identity is a precondition for salvation. Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” You have to identify as a Christian, explicitly state your belief in the Gospel and creeds of Christianity, in order to have meaningful contact with truth. Unlike politics, the claim to religious identity is necessary. This same precondition applies across all Abrahamic religions. And think of it this way, if Christianity was made evidently true to all — as true as a law of nature — the question of ‘partisanship’ would be quite irrelevant. No one would think about partisanship to truth. In the same manner no one thinks about partisanship to mathematics*.*

It is truth which I am seeking. If ‘partisanship’ is a precondition to truth, it either becomes secondary to it, or it becomes irrelevant. This is religion in search of truth, not in search of hope or false meaning. But it ultimately depends on certainty. The problem is, if the Christian narrative was not true, partisanship will indeed have played its part. Consequentially, I think there is a responsible attitude to take on in this predicament. It is that of intellectual humility and self-education, manifested in the manner I described in Don’t try to change the world until you do this — constantly educating myself, always listening to views that challenge my own, and always being willing to change my mind should I be presented with substantial evidence.

There are issues however, with the intention to understand an infinite God through the lens of finite human rationality, which is the reason why I don’t think we can ever completely lay claim to truth in Christianity (or any other belief system or lack thereof, for the matter). It could be that there are fundamental limits to what we can know about something we can’t experience. It could be that there are certain aspects of reality that lie permanently beyond our comprehension (see the Mary’s Room thought experiment). Nevertheless, I believe Christianity should be logically coherent with at the very least our empirical understanding of reality. This is what I am attempting to dissect. And more so our empirical and intellectual understanding, less so our scientific understanding. More on this below.

On the topic of truth, here’s the thing. The fact of the matter is either the Bible is absolute truth, or it is a book of lies. Either Jesus was truly the Son of God (as He said so Himself), or he was a lunatic. There is no in-between, no denying parts of the doctrine and accepting others. There is no taking the Bible as a book of wisdom, and Jesus as a teacher, without accepting the claim to divinity that comes with it.

As such, upon reflecting, these are my deliberations on some personally-held justifications for the truth of Christianity and on why I am maintaining my faith.

Deliberations on why I am (still) a Christian

I start from this question → do I believe God is real?

Disclaimer: these are mostly no original justifications. The premises of many of these justifications have been presented in several forms perhaps centuries ago, rigorously debated, and counterarguments upon counterarguments have been formed. Yet these are the same conclusions I arrive at that make the most sense to me, being the most convincing empirically as much as intellectually. Just to be clear once again, this is no question of finding solace in a comforting lie, this is the question of discovering the truth of reality.

Deliberation 1

I take one look at myself, my consciousness, the universe and all of reality, and I fail to find a naturalist answer which does not result in feeling some degree of absurdity. This is less of an argument, more of a personal deliberation.

I think it is logical to have a God — a creator, a first cause, or a prime mover as Aristotle would call it. The complexity of the universe, laws of nature, and how everything fits so delicately in balance seems to cry out for design to me.

I have read and acknowledge the various teleological counterarguments and Darwinian natural selection. (Feel free to read on the several classical and contemporary teleological arguments and counter-arguments for yourself here.) But somehow, it personally feels an absurdity to claim that everything that is, more specifically the starting point of everything that is, is a consequence of untouched randomness. The thought keeps popping up in my mind — the way things are is a little too special. How reality is perfectly arranged to allow for existence… The cosmos, human biology, human psychology, our sustenance of life on this planet, our capacity to think and feel strongly towards concepts such as God, consciousness and metaphysics. Causality, probabilities, sentience, how mind and body are sheer universes in itself. This idea has been expressed in a number of fine-tuning arguments for God.

This is how the argument basically goes — if the initial conditions of the universe had been even a millionth of a percentile different, then matter could have easily not formed… there’d be no galaxies, no stars, no elements, no planets, no life. No chance for anything like evolution to have taken place. The universe as we live in is phenomenally fine-tuned, down to the smallest measurable unit of every single discovered and undiscovered mathematical and scientific law to ever exist. There are two potential explanations for this. Either we are astronomically lucky, or it was the hand of God. To me, it’s more likely the latter. People tend to theorise there must be a kind of multiverse in response to these observations. But that would be committing what is called an inverse gambler’s fallacy.

However, the Anthropic Principle is a valid counterargument to this premise. The Anthropic Principle is the idea that our theories about the universe must be compatible with our own existence, countering the notion that any significance should be applied to things being the way it is at all. But such concepts, akin to theorising the existence of a multiverse, remain mere philosophising. They are a test of logic or coherence, rather than one empirically or scientifically grounded in material reality. As such, one should look at such metaphysical ideas as statements of probability rather than that of certainty.

I like to use the word “probable” because dealing with the question of God’s existence is always more to do with probability than absolute certainty. The prominent atheist Richard Dawkins himself presents it as a spectrum of theistic probability in his book The God Delusion from 1 to 7, where 1 represents “Strong theist. 100% probability of God”, and 7 the polar opposite. (Dawkins ranks himself a 6.9 — that is, basically being 99% certain that there is no God.)

(I would rank myself a solid 2 on Dawkins’ scale. Point 2 is characterised as the De facto theist — very high probability but short of 100%. “I don’t know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.” You may read this essay as the deliberations of one everyday, inquisitive person on point 2 of this spectrum, attempting to discover if there is a way to move from probability to certainty, whichever side of certainty the truth lies in.)

Deliberation 2

Does this feeling of logical absurdity arise from my personal identity as a Christian? Maybe. But the alternative of science is also not infallible. This is why I choose to start with the question of God’s existence independently. Rather than by borrowing answers — claiming truth in the answers of science, which most do.

Firstly, science might be wrong, and definitely is incomplete. It is incomplete, because all of reality cannot be described in the language of science, although naturalists claim it to be able to “in principle”. There is what is known as ‘hard’ problems in science. Hard, not in the sense of being difficult to answer, but being scientifically unexplainable. At present, the phenomenon of consciousness is a pressing one. Theories of incompleteness (Kurt Gödel) and others are also being used to demonstrate the inadequacy of science and mathematics.

If we cannot describe any one portion of reality using the language of science, and we don’t know how significant this portion is, who are we to lay claim to truth through solely the methods of science?

In the absence of reason, faith may lead us astray, but reason without faith seems often to run in circles, sterile and incapable of making choices. People think that science or mathematics are completely based on reason, but this is just wrong. A mathematical theorem is indeed presented as a long sequence of logical arguments but that is not the way mathematicians arrive at their truth. Every new, deep theorem starts with a leap of faith, followed by reasoned arguments and not the other way around. Science is not that different.

— Sergiu Klainerman, in Reflections on Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard Address

The present inability of science to provide any significant insights into morality, love, beauty, friendships, consciousness, belief and morality, provides a poor basis to the naturalistic claim that everything will be eventually encompassed in scientific knowledge. Despite the reality of these present shortcomings, naturalists continue to have faith that science will one day explain everything.

It’s worth pointing out that for most, science is just another belief system. It is easy to laugh about flat-earthers, but how many can explain why the world is round in a scientifically correct way? Most of us don’t know science. Rather, we believe in science and have faith in its methodology. Evidently, faith and belief are no stranger to theist nor materialist.

Secondly, I want to point out that the existence of God is a question with no complete answer. In principle, the definition of God, the maximally great and perfect being, in and of itself demands that it cannot be explained. God, being maximally great and perfect, is the greatest conceivable being. Challenging his existence by reducing it to the materialistic questions of the laws of nature are fallacious. God cannot be reduced or falsified, only our perception of such a being can be changed. This is the issue I take with narratives such as this — “Science disproves God”. Science cannot disprove a God, anymore than science disprove the idea that we are all brains in vats.

If there is anything I can lay claim to truth on in this matter, it is this. Without a shadow of a doubt, the question of God’s existence is always a statement of probability — never one of certainty.

The conflict between science and religion is in reality a misunderstanding of both. Scientific materialism has merely introduced a new hypostasis, and that is an intellectual sin. It has given another name to the supreme principle of reality and has assumed that this created a new thing and destroyed an old thing. Whether you call the principle of existence “God,” “matter,” “energy,” or anything else you like, you have created nothing; you have simply changed a symbol. The materialist is a metaphysician malgré lui.

— Carl Jung

Written by mathematician Amir Aczel in TIME, “science and religion are two sides of the same deep human impulse to understand the world, to know our place in it, and to marvel at the wonder of life and the infinite cosmos we are surrounded by.” The science versus religion narrative is a false dichotomy. Although there may be some specific contradictions in both methods of interpreting the world, they are not mutually exclusive as a whole. On the flip side, the ultimate goal is one and the same — to make sense of reality and of ourselves in relation to it. In the words of Aczel, let’s keep them that way, and not let one attempt to usurp the role of the other.

Deliberation 3

On a related note, I’ve seen frequently exercised upon the question of God the principle of logic known as Ockham’s Razor, or the law of parsimony. Ockham’s Razor basically says that all needless assumptions should be disposed of. In its most basic form, the simplest answer is usually correct. By way of this, scholarly atheists such as Christopher Hitchens tend to reason away God as the needless assumption, with the advent of science.

I could not write it better than the excerpt below, so I roped it in word-for-word. It was written by Dr Paul Chamberlain, in Why People Stop Believing:

“We also should point out just how difficult atheism is to defend. Bertrand Russell, one of history’s most respected atheists, made it clear that both atheists and theists claim to know something significant about the universe. Neither is it a default position.. While neither position can be proven with logical certainty, atheism has an often-overlooked difficulty, since it involves a universal negative. It claims there is no God anywhere in or out of the universe, well beyond the things science observes. That’s a claim that is beyond the ability of any human to know. At the very least, it is hard to see how this position is more tenable than theism, which provides answers to some of life’s deepest questions: why do beings with consciousness, morality, and rationality exist? How did the universe become so finely tuned as most scientists of all stripes believe it is? Or more foundationally, why does anything at all exist in the first place?”

(Bertrand Russell also famously wrote his essay Why I Am Not a Christian in 1927, which this essay is titularly based on. To be clear, this essay is not meant to be a rebuttal of any sort, but a personal reflection.)

Deliberation 4

As aforementioned, I believe some questions go beyond that which can be described in the language of science. They go beyond human comprehension. After all, if God is real, and God created us, who are we to comprehend the very existence of our Creator, the very source of our rationality?

Picture a piece of LEGO trying to comprehend his human maker. How can we ever even begin to comprehend our infinitely more complex source using our rationality which originated from it? There is nothing wrong in trying (and I strongly believe we should), especially since the scientific way of thinking is exactly how we eventually came to interpret much of the material universe. However, I think it is a mistake to expect it to be able to interpret everything.

Perhaps, we in principle should never be able to fully comprehend a God. If we could fully comprehend the being of God (rather than just the concept of him), he would not be much of a God at all. It is perhaps a futile effort to try to do so completely, and foolish to reduce God to that which can be experimented upon.

C.S. Lewis famously said in 1952:

“But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its own source.”

― C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity

I also found what the brilliant writer Aldous Huxley wrote in The Perennial Philosophy to be thought-provoking*:* “The nature of this one Reality is such that it cannot be directly and immediately apprehended except by those who have chosen to fulfil certain conditions, making themselves loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit.” Perhaps God, the prime incomprehensible aspect of reality, can only begin to be apprehended by those who have chosen to fulfil His conditions.

Deliberation 5

In the absence of complete certainty, I also index on the utilitarian argument in the form of Pascal’s wager. Letting go of any trace of intellectual and empirical evidence for a moment, I would rather believe God exists my entire life, and live my life as though He did, and come to find out He does not. Rather than to disbelieve my entire life, and then come to find out He indeed existed the whole time.

Pascal’s wager

I wanted to expand on this justification. I completely understand that not everyone can simply convince themselves to believe in a God out of a utilitarian argument. Nevertheless, I believe a good place to start would be to live as though God did exist. Although it would be much better to actually believe He does and live as such, I thought this to be a thought provoking matter to explore.

This is an answer the professor Jordan Peterson constantly gives to inquiries on his belief in God. In an interview on the PBS show “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover”, Peterson was asked this question (one he’s been asked many times before):

“I want to ask you about your personal faith. Christians who watch you have listened closely, over the last two years, about whether you self-identify as a Christian or not. … Why not take on this question of the existence of God?”

Peterson’s answer, which will probably get you thinking (especially if you are a fellow Christian).

“It isn’t obvious what belief means. People think that what they believe is what they say they believe. I don’t believe that. I believe that what people believe is what they act out. And so I said, ‘I act as if God exists.’ That’s a sufficient statement as far as I’m concerned. You know, what’s the old saying? ‘By their fruits, ye shall know them.’ Same idea, right? It’s a matter of action and a matter of commitment. It’s not a matter of me parading out my explicit statements about a metaphysical reality that’s virtually impossible to comprehend. You risk when you reduce, and I’m not willing to do that. And I’m not interested in providing people with easy answers.”

Doing is a statement of belief. Read this article by a Christian Pastor on *Act[ing] As If God Exists,* and this one is an excerpt for fellow Christians:

It would be far better for one to act as if God exists than to simply say that they believe in His existence. Or better yet, say that you believe He exists, and let your actions say it too.

Bringing it all together

Here is how they all come together — the big problem that modern people have with religion is that it is grounded in a non-physical reality, rather than a scientific one. Theists would call this the spiritual reality, and allude to concepts such as the spirit, soul, logos. However, concepts previously labelled spiritual became rooted in hard science over the course of history, for example having attributed to the supernatural what we now interpret as laws of nature, such as matter and the cosmos, and our human psychology. Basically, gone are the days where humans said, “I don’t know, therefore it must be God.” There also been some specific scientific discoveries that have undermined some specific religious claims. Take the evolutionary biologist narrative versus the creationist narrative, for instance. These represent religious beliefs we now teach in our schools to be primitive and mere superstition, causing religion to become increasingly seen as a thing of the past. There are other reasons for its decline, such as the rise of mysticism and spirituality, or the loss of confidence in institutions (although none nearly as major as the popularisation of science).

However, we must recognise that science itself and other alternatives is not infallible. There is much we do not know. Although many express confidence that science will continue its course of turning perceived superstition into hard science, eventually interpreting all of reality in science, there is much division on whether such a feat is possible. If such a feat is not, and there is perhaps at least a 50% probability that it is the case based on current consensus, then we ought not to so deeply trust in the methods of science and not to so quickly disregard the spiritual worldview that is itself supported by layers and layers of sound theology and reasoning. So, science is not a particularly thorough argument to religion. Furthermore, God, assuming He exists, would not intend to be tested under a microscope. Rather as per the biblical narrative, He can be tested by those who choose to fulfil certain conditions. He exists to take on the role as creator, moral lawgiver, the source of our purpose and arbiter of our destiny, as well as the personal God to all who call Him Heavenly Father.

What I think might present a better argument is this. God is not grounded in hard science, God is grounded in personal experience. Therefore the bigger problem arises where human experience and judgement can be easily clouded by bias and illusion. I have acknowledged this susceptibility here and hope to transcend it by educating myself. Personal experience has long been used to argue supernatural evidence. Anyone can run in endless circles trying to argue the validity of those arguments, but those who see are often convinced in a manner that mere illusions do not convince. Hence, I believe the validity of the matter is best left to the discretion of each individual. Although the individual will be susceptible to bias and illusion, one can only know and experience reality according to the spiritual worldview to see if it holds true, if he so decides to. And because the question of God is one of the most important questions to be asked, he should decide to. It is better for one to decide for himself than to blindly trust in the methods of science or worse, to simply conform to popular opinion. The source of truth lies within oneself to discover with an open mind and heart.

The fallibility of these justifications

These justifications which I have laid out above are not infallible nor potentially even original at all, and as mentioned there are counter-justifications, and intelligent arguments, which I may be unintentionally biased or blindsided to or perhaps have not yet come across. As aforementioned, I am always hitting my biggest hammers on it, to see if it breaks. I am never against critique and I always deeply consider opposition to my worldview.

Why can’t I lay complete claim to truth in Christianity? Here’s why in the form of Gettier’s epistemology — can I rule out completely the notion that God does not exist? Can I rule out completely the notion that my beliefs are enslaved to my bias and illusion? I genuinely cannot, even if I try with all my might. In the absence of unquestionable certainty (that God exists), probability has to co-exist with non-probability. And non-probability manifests itself in the form of doubt. Yes, I do struggle with doubt, quite often. So I try my very best to address it, exercising Cartesian skepticism, in hopes that I might find ways to uncover more of the truth and justify it.

I think this is the point where faith is of absolute necessity. The Bible does not ignore this struggle, this asymmetry between the entirety of the belief system it presents versus the information we can perceive. It says, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And, “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Based on these alone, it appears we were never intended to fully grasp the unseen God. Since if we were intended to, there would not be any need for a leap of faith. Or as mentioned earlier, perhaps He would not be much of a God at all if that was the case. Faith is the bridge where the limits of our intellect show. And faith requires not just any mere statement of belief, but trust in the unseen God.

Nevertheless, while there are convincing theological arguments for why the nature of God and reality may be as such, how does one completely believe in something he cannot completely justify? Reality must be logically coherent. It must make sense. And Christianity is no exception (although there are difficulties in doing this, as laid out repeatedly above). How does one justify taking this leap of faith?

Also, assuming that God is actually the case — the question goes on from the validity of theism to, why the personal, Christian God specifically? I do not yet have a good answer to that and am still self-educating. I do agree with John Stuart Mill’s statement which I so frequently quote (See point 2 in Don’t try to change the world until you do this) in that I have no basis for saying I have preference for any one side should I not be aware of or be able to refute the other side of the argument, which is other belief systems and religions. While I attempt to justify my Christianity against atheism, I cannot yet start to justify my Christianity [1] versus say, agnosticism or other theistic religions. Even so, the fact that the Abrahamic religions (which make up more than half of all religion) have maintained the same origin story since millennia ago, should hold at least some merit.

What I do know, is that Christianity feels internally consistent with my experience of reality. This is very difficult to articulate, but in a nutshell, I feel correctly engaged with life in ways I know I would not be otherwise. It feels like my gas tank is being fuelled by the correct type of fuel. It is common for a Christian individual to say that humans have an innate “God-shaped hole”; a void we all have to come to terms with. The Romans occupied themselves with power and glory. The Greeks, with knowledge and wisdom. The classical artists, with beauty. In the 21st century, maybe we have carved for ourselves a religion of social justice and political and environmental consciousness, with its innumerable constituents devout champions of leaving oppressed groups and Mother Nature better than they found it. Yet such impressive endeavours seem to keep falling short of a deep human instinct for more. More meaning. More purpose. To know our origin. To know our destiny. The stoic individual would accept these shortcomings as part of life and would find admirable ways to contend with it, but what if the truth is that these are nothing more than the “ways of a disillusioned sensible man”? What if true meaning can be found in plugging into our source, that is, our Creator?

We don’t just have a taste for the transcendent, we seem to have a deep human instinct for it. I recently came across a little passage in Huxley’s writing which articulated this particularly vividly.

… My own experience has given me the conviction that, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play us false–a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.

— John Henry, Cardinal Newman, as quoted by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World

C.S. Lewis would say this — creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. To mention yet again, this is not a matter of holding onto false hope, but a matter of finding truth. Perhaps, effectiveness or ‘fitness to the soul’ might be an indicator of truth. As written in Ecclesiastes 3, where the koheleth suggests “God has placed eternity in human hearts.” Now, the truth of this is best left for individuals to decide for themselves, but what I can say is that this has somehow held up consistently for me.

Indeed, one could again argue with reason that such a feeling arises from some form of illusion, perhaps due to a claim to group identity or personal upbringing and stake in continuity (perhaps in not wanting to let down the self or loved ones). I cannot disregard this argument for myself because bias and illusion are impossible to measure or even trace. I can only be aware of such possibilities and hope to transcend them. Nevertheless, I do think Christianity has infinitely more intellectual and empirical merit than plenty of atheists assume, and the alternatives that many hold dear, such as science as a source of truth, are not nearly as infallible as they are made out to be. I strongly believe that there is truth, or at the very least some truth, to be found in Christianity. And I would urge the believers of science to consider Christianity and the perspectives of the generations who came before us, seriously. For people of ancient times were no less rational than we, but only start from different presuppositions, as the psychoanalyst Carl Jung would say.

As long as I am convinced of all of this, I will maintain my Christianity, regardless of what anyone else might think of it. And as long as I believe this, I will act **as if God exists. I will take the unjustifiable leap of faith and put my trust in Him, and I will try my best to follow His commandments, because if the spiritual worldview is true, and God is real, the very last thing I want to do is to defy His commandments in pursuit of impulsive pleasure [2].

My hope is that in doing so, I will be able to one day utter with conviction the words of 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”. My ongoing prayer is that God will reveal Himself to me, in some way or another. Perhaps this ongoing plea is all part of the journey. At the very least, if He chooses not to reveal Himself and I maintain the faith, and if God is indeed real, I might get to meet Him face-to-face at the end of my life, be overwhelmed in His embrace and He might explain why He chose not to do so while I was here. Or if that doesn’t happen, the worst thing that can happen is I will breathe my last breath, and float into a void of nothingness. All my beliefs and justifications I had stood for in my lifetime will be forgotten. At least they were good principles, an effective way to live life. I am definitely very happy and fully engaged with life as a Christian — happy and fulfilled in ways I am certain I would not be, if I were not one.

Notes

[1]: I am more comfortable with referring to justifying “my Christianity” rather than “Christianity”, as part of recognising the fallibility of my justifications. As a reader, please assume the context of “my [understanding of] Christianity” wherever I refer to Christianity as a whole. There is a lot I don’t know about theism and atheism, perhaps I have gotten some aspects of Christianity itself wrong, and I don’t deem myself anywhere near worthy of justifying an entire, milennia-old worldview on the basis of my own understanding.

[2] Luke 6:46 (NIV): “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

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Euwyn Goh

Just a curious human attempting to articulate his pressing thoughts. https://euwyngoh.com/