In fact, before I became aware of the “Explore God” project, I had written the following rough draft for the section of the
Christianity: An Introduction for the Curious and the Perplexed
You may be scratching your head as to why–in the technologically advanced age in which we live–do people still bother about invisible deities controlling things behind the scenes. You may wonder what’s all the fuss over a guy who was executed in a Roman outpost, Jerusalem, in the year 33. If so, read on.
Many of life’s most perplexing questions cannot be answered by science. I speak here of the “Big Questions”–such as “why are we here?”, “are we alone?” or “what is the meaning of life?” or “why should I choose this action over that one?” These are thorny questions, and try as we might we can’t really think our way through to all the answers. There are facets of our lives that Science is mute to address. That has led some to denigrate the questions, and denigrate those who ask them. “Manliest men don’t need those answers. They are weak minds who seek such things.” It may well be that these questions cannot be answered. Christians believe that they can be approached, but not by techniques and methods designed to measure the physical world.
How can we know anything?
Why are we here? Where do we come from?
Why is there evil and injustice all around me?
Are we alone? Does anyone care about humanity?
Who was Jesus?
Is this life all there is? What happens when I die?
Does my life today have a higher purpose, or meaning?
I initially had the idea of introducing potential inquirers to Christianity using this questions-based approach. Sort of “welcome to Christianity–we believe we have answers to some of life’s toughest questions”. (In fact, this is close to my earliest discarded wording).
Ultimately I set the material aside for the current essay which begins with the central mystery of Christianity, namely the Resurrection accounts. I made the change for several reasons. One is that we already have a “Q and A” section, and so this kind of approach seemed a bit redundant. Also, it became obvious that despite my efforts at brevity, an essay that incorporated all of this material, and did these questions any kind of justice, would by necessity have become quite long and unwieldy. Also, I felt that people would be more likely to want to read such an essay from a personal, subjective approach–I thought about reworking this into a different essay called “my own path to faith”. That may still come at some point. Stay tuned.