A personal plea to consider (or reconsider) Christianity

 
Ben Shaw | 20 May 2021

The following open letter is written by Ben Shaw, author of Seven Reasons to (Re)Consider Christianity. Shaw is sharing the heart behind his book, as well as his own story of (re)considering his faith in light of a cancer diagnosis. 

Over the past 30 years of ministry I’ve had the privilege of speaking about Jesus everywhere from aboriginal communities in Australia to posh business lunches in London, and to all sorts of people in all sorts of places in between. And what I've discovered is that regardless of background or context, a lot of people dismiss Christianity for really quite shallow reasons. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

A few years ago I was sitting in a bar on my own, jotting my thoughts down for a book, when a group of about a dozen people came in and sat at the table next to me. It turned out they were all training at the local police academy. I got chatting to them and told them I was writing a book about Christianity, and then in a rare moment of boldness I said "Are any of you Christians?"

"As far-fetched as some of the Bible stories sound, having done the research, having looked at the evidence, it is my conviction that they are absolutely true. They stand up historically"

One of them rather shyly said she was, but the other others shook their heads and one said quite firmly, "I don’t  want anything to do with it". So I asked this guy, "What is the main thing that stops you believing in Christianity?" And without pause, he said "We are police cadets. We're trained to look for evidence as we piece together a crime. And I just don’t think there’s enough evidence for who Jesus is, or even that he existed at all." So I asked him if he had read the Bible? And he rather sheepishly said "no". And then I asked if he'd ever read any other books that present the evidence for Jesus? And again he said "no", this time even more sheepishly! So much for checking the evidence! But he's certainly not alone. I've come across countless people who disregard Christianity without really thinking it through.

And yet for me, being a naturally sceptical person and having come from a totally secular background, one of the most compelling things about Christianity is it's truthfulness. As far-fetched as some of the Bible stories sound, having done the research, having looked at the evidence, it is my conviction that they are absolutely true. They stand up historically. They really did happen. And not only is the Bible true, but the message it contains is good news for every single one of us.

7 Reasons to (Re)Consider Christianity

7 Reasons to (Re)Consider Christianity

$22.99

Examine the evidence for Christianity and why it is worth considering.

It’s common for people to think they have plenty of time to consider these things. But I can tell you from personal experience that’s not always the case. Halfway through writing this book, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was just about the most frightening news I've ever had in my life. And in spite of their best efforts, the doctors tell me that I may only have a few months to live.

As you might expect, that has made me reconsider my own faith and think about heaven, and life after death, and what will it be like. I've been holding on to the Bible's promise that in the new creation we will get new bodies and live on a new earth, and there will be no more tears and no more sickness like cancer. And as I have reconsidered the claims of Christianity, I’m pleased to say that my faith is even firmer than before. I am even more confident that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour and I will live with him when I die.

So my prayer is that whoever you are, and whatever you think about Jesus, you might be willing to consider, or reconsider, why the Christian faith might actually be true. Because if it is, it is without doubt the the best news you've ever heard.

Learn more about Seven Reasons to (Re)Consider Christianity by Ben Shaw. In this warm, honest book, Ben invites sceptical readers to think again. He outlines seven reasons why Christianity is worth considering—or reconsidering—not least because it offers some thought-provoking and rational answers to our deepest questions.

Ben Shaw

Ben began adult life as a full-time musician before completing a B.Th (hons) at Moore College, Sydney, Australia. He went on to become a minister in Sydney and then in Wimbledon, London, UK. He was the Senior Minister of the Boathouse Church, Putney for seven years until cancer forced him into early retirement. Ben had a keen interest in early Christianity and the history of Biblical manuscripts in particular. In 2012 he spent a week digging with the Bethsaida Excavations Project in Bethsaida, Galilee. Through all this, Ben maintained a deep love of all sports and was faithfully supported by his high-achieving wife, Karen. Ben passed away in 2021 after a battle with cancer.