Hi Joshua,

What a great question and thanks for asking it.

The first thing I would like to do is to make a distinction between Christianity and Religion. To me a “religion” is a set of dogmatic beliefs and practises that are designed to help a person achieve a spiritual goal. A religion is about believing and doing the right thing in order to be “right” with the spiritual universe. (please forgive me if I have been overly generalised here!)

Christianity is about a relationship with God that is achieved by God himself and based on trust (also known as faith). A Christian does not have to do anything in order to right with God because God has done it all. All a Christian does is live a life of trust in the God who has already saved him. In this sense it is not a religion but a relationship - like being married.

At the heart of Christianity is the man Jesus who is God’s Son. He is the one we are called to trust. He is the one we are called to learn from and whose life is an example for us to follow. He is the one who gave up his life so that those who trust him could be forgiven (see the Gospel of John in the bible, chapter 3 and verse 16-17).

Jesus claims to be the only way that we can be right with God. In John 14:6 he says “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to God (and gets into heaven) but by me!” So Jesus actually claims that he is the one in whom you must trust and who teaches the one true faith.

Now anyone can say that. I could get up in Trafalgar Square and say that. I would probably be locked up! It is easy to say but hard to prove. Jesus proves he has the right to say “I am the Way” by rising from the dead. No one else has died and risen again but Jesus. And that is substantial historical proof that he is who he says he is, and that what he says is true.

This is the most important teaching of Christianity, it is the one on which it rises or falls. If Jesus were to be shown to have not risen from the dead then Christianity is useless. I say to my unbelieving friends, if you can prove to me that Jesus did not rise from the dead, then I will no longer be a Christian. After 20 years, I am still waiting for them to come up with a good argument.

So I encourage you to investigate the claims of Jesus, look at the historical evidence for the resurrection. Any book by Josh McDowell would be helpful here or The Christ Files by John Dickson. Read the biography of Jesus written by Luke (in the BIble). Ask yourself who is Jesus and can I trust him? You will see that to believe in Jesus is less of a leap in the dark and more of a welcome relief.