10 Tips for People Attempting to Understand Christianity

Most people who ask hard questions about Christian belief and about God don't actually want to hear the answer.  They want to ask it as a hypothetical so they can be comfortable believing that there is not good answer.  Well, for those of you who actually want an answer, I'm supplying not only links to some decent answers but also a place to ask your own questions as well should you wish. 

A couple more tips for those who are truly seeking or just truly curious:

1: Get a study bible.  Get NASB or NIV.  The former is the most exact translation to english.  The latter is more modern and comfortable english. King James will most likely be of no use to you.  People who misquote scripture or misinterpret it almost always use King James.  It is easy to get confused by archaic language. Study bibles are vital  Their footnotes, cross-references. and translation notes are absolutey essential to a proper understanding. Also, absolutely avoid "The Message" bible at all costs.  It is a paraphrase and a dubious one at that.  Bibles are tools for understanding, not propaganda posters.  A good bible will point out irregularities and translation issues.  NASB does this well.  It will tell you not only when it is not sure about a particular word, but it will also tell you where words were added/subtracted and when and why they were.  Study bibles also have maps, historical information, and authorship information.

2: Don't pay too much heed to theologians who are not believers.  They claim objectivity, but it is a falacy of logic.  Christian theology is almost impossible to understand without belief... or at least a broad imagination.  If one believes that miracles and prophecy are impossible, he will naturally assume the entire of scripture is false, assuming he has any sense of logic.

3: Don't assume that the Apocraphal texts are somehow some secret, hidden truth that no one wants you to know about.  They were excluded from the canon for logical, thought out reasons.  If you want to know why they were excluded, that information is available.

4: Know where your answers are coming from.  MANY internet sites blatantly misquote and misinterpret scripture.  Be skeptical and know motives.

5: Don't watch "Christian" TV networks or televangalists.  Many of them are so corrupt they don't even know that they are.  Also, you'll likely be turned off by the sheer weirdness of them.  It'll remove and objectivity you attempted to have.

6: Ask people questions.  If you know someone you respect who is a believer, ask them questions.  

7: Don't assume that organized "religion" and belief are the same thing.  Do not judge a religion based on those who follow it.  This is especially true with Christianity since Christians themselves believe that people are inherently sinful and will turn anything holy and righteous into something else.  Christians will inevitably sin.  Christians are all hypocrits by nature.  We want to be righteous, but we know that we cannot be.  Repentence is not halting sin, it is changing your mind about sin.  It is recognizing sin, knowing that it is wrong, and attempting to not do it.

8: Don't assume that you will like everything you hear.  Disliking something doesn't justify denying its truth.

9: In order to understand Christianity, you MUST first at least assume that God is perfect, omnicient, and omnipotent.  Attempting to judge God based on human moral relativity is a pointless and completely illogical action.  It is foolish for anyone to attempt to understand a belief system while simultaneously assuming they are greater and smarter than the deity he is attempting to understand.

10: Want to know.  Seriously want to know.  Don't just go looking for more reasons to justify your unbelief.  If you're bitter and adversarial going in, you'll be so going out as well.  That makes it a pointless excersise in self-justification.  Seekers WILL find.




Free online bible (all translations)

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