Is Christianity True?
This is a question many people will ask themselves at some point in their life. With possibly one third of the world population professing some type of belief in Jesus Christ, knowledgeable people will wonder, is it true? There are plenty of voices out there saying it is not true. But how do they know?
At one point in my life I asked this question, “Is Christianity true?” I did some searching, read a lot of Christian apologetics, but being of a skeptical nature, I wasn’t completely sure. I grew up watching the Godly lives of my parents and grandparents and many friends. It seemed absolutely impossible that they could have been living some sort of lie. I was sure there was a God who had made this marvelous world. At one time I had researched evolution and could see the flaws inherent in the classical neo-Darwinian “microbes to man” evolution.
Eventually I settled with a somewhat pragmatic decision. There seemed to be plenty of good reasons to believe and to live as a Christian in this life (and hopefully the next) so I would try to live as good a Christian life as I could.
Then, something upset my apple cart and I changed from “I think and hope Christianity is true” to “I know Christianity is true.” I feel like I have put my fingers in his nail holes (as did doubting Thomas) and all lingering doubts went away. I should add that I am as certain as a mortal can be; only God knows all.
How did it happen? One Sunday in August, now about seven years ago, our Pastor talked about the “Image of Odessa.” He spoke about the event in the year 944 of bringing to Constantinople the “Image not make with hands” of Jesus Christ. The event is still commemorated each year on the August 16 Orthodox church calendar. Our pastor noted that many people think it is what we now know as the Shroud of Turin.
My interest was piqued and I bought a lot of books on the Shroud of Turin and studied them thoroughly. That a church calendar to this day commemorates an event which happened in the year 944 regarding the “image not made with hands” seemed extraordinary to me. On the internet you can find a lot of naysayers who throw up a lot of skepticism regarding the shroud. But for the honest seeker, there is an amazing amount of evidence. A few of the scientific evidences include the fact that the blood on the shroud is authentic human blood, no paints or pigments are on the cloth but with great magnification one can see teeth and finger bones as on an x-ray, and pollen samples from the shroud match plants grown only in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Scientists have found enough similarities between paintings of Christ made in the sixth and seventh centuries and the shroud (for example a raised right eyebrow and a hairless area between lower lip and beard) that would identify a picture with a person in a modern day court. It would appear that those ancient artists were looking at the shroud when they painted their pictures of Christ.
I feel that the Shroud of Turin is God’s miracle for us living today. We now have a lot of very sophisticated technologies which have been used to examine the Shroud. Jesus Christ performed many miracles while on earth and at his resurrection he gave this final “miracle” for us living in remote times.
After studying the Shroud thoroughly I wondered if there might be other evidences we can see with our eyes. One of the other poignant evidences illuminates the night sky. The theme of a conquering redeemer is evident in several constellations and this theme was spread throughout the ages in their myths and mysteries. I believe the very early men who first named the constellations were aware of a promised redeemer, as recorded in Genesis 3:15.
Read my book, Sacred Strands, the Story of a Redeemer Woven Throughout History for more information. You can purchase it on Amazon here.