A couple of days ago, I invited suggestions from reader about a phrase that might be used as Christianty's USP - meaning Unique Selling Point. The response was very worthwhile, with a couple of dozen suggestions, mostly very different from each other. I read and pondered them carefully.
However, in the end I found fault with all! - suggesting that summarising what was unique (and good!) about Christianity was a much more difficult thing than might be imagined --- at least when the requirement is that the answer be expressed both concisely and clearly (i.e. clearly to ignorant non-Christians).
But that still leaves the problem of how to respond to a question from someone sincere, but with a typically brief modern attention span, who asks some version of the question: What is Christianity? Or: Why should I care about Christianity?
This kind of situation represents a 'window of opportunity' - but probably only a narrow window, and one that will close very quickly.
If there is no suitably clear and concise summary possible - then perhaps the best that can be done is to say something sufficiently interesting and intriguing to invite further questioning.
Thus my suggestion of "Christianity is about what happens after you die".
I put this forward as a suggestion of something that might be said, for lack of anything better that may occur on the spur of the moment and tailrored to the asker and situation.
Such a response might provoke further interest; might stimulate further questions of a kind potentially liable to lead to the heart of the matter; and elicit enough attention to allow the answerer to get-across something substantive and potentially helpful about Christianity.
After which you can take from there; as personal understanding and specific circumstances dictate...
Functionally those of us in the west live as atheist materialists.
Speaking definitively and authoritatively about what happens after death has become even rarer than it was when I got saved in the 80's.
Maybe I'm just projecting my own failure as a Christian to do my due diligence as a believer.
Hiding my light under a bushel.
Christianity is about what happens while you are alive and able to make conscious and voluntary choices about what you truly desire for your soul throughout eternity.
Rudolf Steiner mentions that even the Apostles could not rise to a higher understanding of Christianity during their lives. Only after two centuries in the spiritual world did they attain such a level. And so it was that they could spiritually influence the early Church Fathers who then lived on Earth. Ever since those times, humanity has become less and less able to lift the veil of the Mystery of Golgotha.
The density of our physical bodies, the sphere of lies that has encircled the Earth since the "Enlightenment", our very mode of modern life - all stack the odds against us.
And yet we must proceed, thankful every day that we have belief and that we still tread the path. Ask and you shall receive - but what is it to ask? It surely is a process of emptying oneself - that we may have room for an answer. Is not the modern disease of atheo-materialism really just a form of gluttony, an empty satiation that leaves no appetite for truth.
To the question "What is Christianity?" it can only be said - everything, life itself. But to find ones entrance requires a miracle - like the doorway to Narnia - those who still seek worldly affirmation will only find the back of a wardrobe.
Great post. I think you're onto something.
Here's something I found moving, a powerful version of an old Gospel classic. This performance its key message about Christ's offer of everlasting life might be a "way in" for some people:
Ain't No Grave
One other angle I have used to promote Christian belief is to present the logic that there must be a Creator. This isn't the USP for Christianity, but it is a bit of a logical debunking of the atheist belief that human existence is just the random result of blind chance.
I stumbled upon some tweets which I thought made the case in a pithy and sometimes funny way. Here are a few:
The "Fundamental Dichotomy" that every thinking person must wrestle with is that either the universe was created by a creator or it was not.
Belief without evidence is faith, but I say evidence abounds! For are we not the watch on the ground that proves there must be a watchmaker?
When a population is convinced that magic does not exist, its people will only look for naturalistic explanations. But if a phenomenon is so mysterious as to seem magical, such as humanity's birth, then all the evidence for it becomes invisible: perfectly hidden from those minds.
Atheists are without any evidence that lifeless molecules swished about until they accidentally came to life and began building skyscrapers.
It’s amusing that atheists reject as impossible the resurrection of Jesus, but yet embrace as a certainty that all life arose from non-life.
Thinking gets you to a Creator and trust gets you to know that Creator as the God of the bible. Satan's job is to create doubt in your mind.
There are no examples of life arising from non-life in nature.
The best minds in the best labs with ample time have struggled to recreate the merest hints and scraps of first life. To think the best scientific minds have remained outwitted by blind chance and dumb luck is exquisitely foolish.
There’s no good reason to think life got started all by itself, except to deny God. There is every reason to think it required intelligence.
Christianity is about that you live whilst you live and also live after you die.
As in John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Yes, I think a specific "attention getter" can be targeted to the time we are in.
If you look to the complete mental exhaustion people are in now, highlighting the complete pointlessness of their life here is in the ballpark (just look at the hard work people put in to numb themselves to this reality). Charlton's USP offered here is in that genre.
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