faith: (1) firm belief in something for which there is no proof; (2) complete trust;
(3) something that is believed especially with strong conviction
Do you believe the foundations of the Christian faith can be proved without a doubt? If you are a Christian, what percentage of your faith in God and the Christian faith comes from facts and what percentage comes from feelings? How important is it to have a balance? Why?
What is your assessment of the Bible? Is it a trustworthy historical document? If it could be demonstrated that the Bible is an extremely well preserved and factual historical document upon which historians and archaeologists rely, what weight would you give to the information it contains and implications for your life?
John 10:22-33 (NIV)
22 Then came the Feast of Dedication[a] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. 24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25 Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one."
31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"
33 "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
According to the above passage, what did Jesus appear to believe about himself? What do you think his followers believed about him? What did the religious leaders of that time believe about him?
It is a matter of historical record that Jesus was later crucified and buried. The Bible records that this punishment was handed down, in part, for the charge of blasphemy – for His claim to be God. Did Jesus really believe he was God? If so, what conclusions can you draw about him? Was He telling the truth? C.S. Lewis famously proposed that Jesus was a legend, liar, lunatic, or the Lord God. Are there any other options? Would a sane, truthful, good person falsely claim to be God?
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
The above verse is a reason why many people are “turned off” by Christianity, why many feel Christians are “intolerant”. Do you think those feelings are justified? Why or why not? Do you feel that this verse reveals that Christ was offensive or exclusive? Why or why not?
If Jesus did claim to be God in human form, as the Bible states, can this assertion ever be proven to your satisfaction? Short of Jesus showing up in physical form, could there ever be enough evidence to convince someone of His true identity? Why or why not? Is it realistic to say His identity could ever be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence?
For me, through the evidence found in the Bible and other texts written during that time that mention Jesus and the "Christian movement", I feel that it would take MORE faith to believe something else. But that's just me. What do YOU think?