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What does it mean to know God? Image

What does it mean to know God?

Consider the following indications of God's existence, the historical evidence for Jesus, and manuscript evidence for the Bible

Understanding Faith in God

Motivated by the love of God, as a leader in Christian faith-based human services, The Salvation Army is committed to serve the whole person, body, soul and spirit with integrity and respect.

Why Should I Believe in God?

“The Bible encourages people to put their faith in God. Unfortunately, many people equate faith with a blind leap in the dark or wishful thinking. But the faith that the Bible requires is intelligent faith. It is neither blind nor irrational. Biblical faith is a committing trust with an object (God) who is worthy of our faith. No one is asked to sacrifice his intellect when he puts his faith in the God of the Bible.” –Don Stewart, The Ten Wonders of the Bible, 1990, p. 13.

“The Christian faith does not call for us to put our minds on the shelf, to fly in the face of common sense and history, or to make a leap of faith into the dark. The rational person, fully apprised of the evidence, can confidently believe.” –William Lane Craig 

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” -Herbert Spencer  


Christianity: The Facts

Does God exist?  The existence of God is not 100% provable.  But one does not necessarily need absolute evidence.  In a court of law, evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is acceptable when considering a verdict.  In the same way, when considering a first cause one may view all the evidence and make a reasonable conclusion that God does indeed exist.  There are many compelling arguments, such as the cosmological argument, moral argument, ontological argument, and teleological argument.  The Kalam Cosmological argument lays out in clear terms: Anything that has a beginning has a cause.  That's certainly true. Second, the universe began to exist.  Given the evidence, the red shift observed by Hubble in the early 1900s, that seems quite likely.  Since the universe needs a cause, that cause must be immaterial, beyond space and time, and infinitely powerful.  In other words, God.  Can one prove evolution 100%?  Absolutely not.  Naturalism is a presupposition, or a worldview based on an interpretation of the available evidence.  So is Christianity.  Though evolution and Christianity are not necessarily at odds. Dr. Francis Collins a noted scientist has done lectures and wrote a book called "The Language of God" which lays out excellent arguments along those lines. 

 

Did Jesus really exist historically? The evidence indicates that yes, Jesus Christ of Nazareth did exist. He was a real person in the history of the middle east. History is gleaned by manuscript evidence, historical account by witnesses cross referenced with official documents of governments and empires. The manuscript evidence for the historical existence of a man named Jesus Christ of Nazareth is better than for most historical persons.

But was Jesus Christ really God come to Earth? Now that is the point of real questioning. There have been several notable books on this topic, most notably "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. And if Jesus Christ was really who he claimed to be, did he really rise? The point of contention is: Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead? The evidence of the powerful witness of the apostles, the early church, and the willingness of all the early disciples save one being willing to die for their faith indicates that yes it is likely Jesus is risen from the grave.


“Do you believe in the existence of Socrates? Alexander the Great? Julius Caesar? If historicity is established by written records in multiple copies that date originally from near contemporaneous sources, there is far more proof for Christ’s existence than for any of theirs.” –Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, p. 296.

“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries.” –Nelson Glueck

Is the Bible accurate and reliable? The Bible when compared with recorded history is 99.7% accurate. Archaeology and historical records support the events of the Bible as described in books of the Old and New Testament. This is an important beginning in establishing the credibility of the historical Jesus and the manuscripts of the Christian Bible. Did you know there are thousands of ancient manuscripts from disparate parts of the ancient world, of the Old and New testaments that all match each other? The Bible is the single most reliable document in history in regard to manuscript evidence. No other ancient document comes close.


Is Christianity a reasonable way of life? The Philosophy and truth within Christianity can withstand the most powerful intellectual probing. I would recommend "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis which walks the reader step by step through the issues of the idea of belief in God. I would also highly recommend "Orthodoxy" by G.K. Chesterton a man who converted to Christianity after reading all the arguments for the atheist worldview and being thoroughly unimpressed, began to search out belief in a higher power, arriving eventually at the cross of Christ Jesus. If you're a highly analytical individual, William Lane Craig has done some excellent writing and speaking on the reason for God. Check out "Reasonable Faith" by William Lane Craig. Two more books I would recommend are "Beyond Opinion" and "I don't have enough faith to be an Atheist." Others of notable mention are Frank Turek, Norm Geisler, Hugh Ross, Lee Strobel and Tim Keller.

 

How we help share God's love

When you think of The Salvation Army, you might picture red kettles or our thrift store. Yet most people don’t realize we are a Christian church. We meet people’s physical needs and heal souls through our spiritual ministry – by sharing the love of Jesus Christ and the promise of salvation. We want to help you explore what it means to have a personal relationship with God.

Services & Ministries
Whether church is already part of your life or you are experiencing faith for the first time, you are always welcome at our weekly worship service Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. We also offer spiritual ministries during the week.

Our Church's Vision
We will meet regularly to worship one true God, welcome everyone who enters our doors with the love of Christ, actively pursue lasting relationships, and build God’s kingdom one person at a time by providing opportunities for service that flow out of hearts filled with grace.

Men's and Women's Ministries
We want adults to reach a deeper understanding of God's hope and love for them. We believe that through fellowship in small groups. engaging worship that invites you to come as you are and leave transformed. Adults have the ability to discover a new life in Jesus.

Children's Ministry
We exist to help children first know that God created them intentionally for a purpose, and secondly that He loves them deeply. We bring interactive classes and illustrated videos to our children to keep them engaged and learning not only about God but actually getting to know Jesus and building a personal relationship with Him.

 

Learn more about our ministries in Owosso here.

This Church became my family

When I came to The Salvation Army, I had nothing left in me. However, the love I felt from this Church family has changed my life. I grew up in a tradition that was hard and when I started living life my way I lost everyone. The church here has become the family I lost and I am so happy that Jesus has brought me here.

Other Ways We Meet Needs