Why are you a Christian? In some parts of this world, it could cost you your life. In some parts, it elicits a yawn, a so-what, or a critical remark about Christians.
Several years ago, I read a book written by Douglas John Hall entitled, “Why Christian?”--written as a series of dialogues with inquirers about why be a Christian. It was like an antidote to David Kinnaman’s book “UnChristian” in which the Barna Institute researched why many were not interested in becoming a Christian—too many Christians had become best known for what they were against in their ongoing condemnation of others. This judgmentalism is widespread, not unique to Christians.
Kinnaman, in the afterword section of his book, lays out at what helps people become interested in Jesus and Christianity. Drawing upon insights of others whom he quotes, this is what encourages persons to believe they also might be Christian when they see this in Christians: Globally-focused, love, authentic faith, Jesus, admiration, restorer, justice, dignity, grace, transformed, cultivators, counter-cultural, engaged, bold, purposeful.
Jesus manifested these characteristics in his life, and similarly helps us to manifest these characteristics among people who may yet want to know, “Why be Christian?” At the center of his life was the pursuit of the will of God in what he said and did.
We profess the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. What character does Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection build in us as the pattern for how we live our lives?