The other day as I was cleaning out my youngest daughter’s bedroom who recently returned to college, I rummaged through stacks of papers and precious remnants from her childhood, trying to decide what to save and what to throw away. After sending my daughter multiple texts, what seemed like a never-ending task was now beginning to feel hopeful.
As I approached my last pile of items, I came across a brochure, published by the C.S. Lewis Institute*, that caught my attention. I thought, “This one I must save and read for later.” Little did I know then how much weight the message in this tiny package carried.
When I think of the word legitimate, the first thing that comes to mind is the “real deal.” There simply is nothing else like it, which leads me to the brochure I found in my daughter’s bedroom. The message was specifically pointing out the difference between Christianity and Islam, but it was the heart behind the message that truly defined the word legitimate for me.
If the God of Christianity is the one true God, then how do we as Christians explain and defend this belief? In his article, Andy Bannister attempts to explain this compelling truth. He claims there are four attributes of our God that set Him apart from all other gods--in other words, what makes Him the “Real Deal.”
- First, He is relational. Nowhere else do we find a God who longs for intimacy with His people. He communed with Adam and Eve in the Garden; He willingly walked the Hill of Calvary that all who call upon His name may be called His sons and daughters.
- Second, He reveals Himself and can be known. No other religion offers this kind of message. It is the desire of Yahweh’s heart to make His nature known, and also for His people to know they are seen by Him because, once again, He longs to have a relationship with His children.
- Third, He is the God of love. It is His love that motivated Him to create humans in His image in order to have communion with them. When sin entered into the world, it broke His heart, and all along He had a plan to send His only begotten Son into the world that all who believe in Him shall be forgiven and have eternal life. This is the simple Gospel.
- Fourth, He is the God who suffers. No other religion proclaims this profound and radical truth. Our God suffered like no one else when He bore our sins and endured the pain of the cross. When we suffer, we have the astounding reality that Creator God can identify with our pain, unlike anyone else.
These attributes of our God have inspired me because they are simple, yet powerful, for they set our God apart from all others. As I ponder how legitimate my God is, I can feel my faith being energized. What once seemed unclear to defend to an unbelieving world has now become very simple.
* Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
by Andy Bannister, Director and Lead Apologist for RZIM-Canada / C.S. Lewis Institute www.cslewisinstitute.org
~ Meet Laura Bachtel ~
Laura Bachtel and her husband Bryan have been married for nearly twenty-eight years. They are the proud parents of five amazing children, from age twenty-four down to sixteen. Laura homeschooled all five of her children during their elementary years and then sent them to Artios Academies in Gwinnett for the remaining years. She now teaches high school English at Artios and loves sharing with her students her passion for writing and great literature. Some of her favorite hobbies include finding new ways to make healthy food taste really yummy, traveling to new places with her family, and enjoying a savory cup of coffee and dark chocolate while reading a good book.
Laura's children are in age order as follows: Sara, 24; Alicia, 22; Maryellen, 20; Caleb, 18; and Josh, 16