For once I find myself in agreement with Steuart Campbell when he writes “Christianity is a religion based in history and traditionally relying on the evidence of witnesses” (Letters, 2 January). This is particularly relevant to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, which is the central tenet of the Christian faith.
Much has been written on this subject, for instance evaluating the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. I would recommend the massive study by N T Wright, New Testament scholar and historian, The Resurrection of the Son of God, as well as his more popular works, as showing convincingly the historicity of the resurrection and explaining its significance.
Christianity is, of course, more than a religion; it is a personal relationship with God, through Jesus, which affects and informs every area of life. True faith is not a leap in the dark or belief without evidence. Rather it evaluates all the available evidence and comes to a position in light of that. Where the evidence may be conflicting or incomplete, one has to take a position, based on first principles, which is coherent with one’s basic beliefs.
Christian faith is not afraid to enter into dialogue with those of other faiths or of none. This should be conducted in a spirit of humility and openness, and should allow for respectfully inviting others to discover the reality of Jesus for themselves. That is not proselytism, as some correspondents have termed it. After all, atheists and humanists are free to persuade others of the validity of their beliefs.
(Rev Dr) Donald M MacDonald