As it happens, I teach classes in critical thinking. Critical thinking is a discipline in which “thinkers think about their thinking for the sake of improving their thinking.” Everyone thinks, but many people are sloppy, careless thinkers who allow prejudice, ignorance, myths, lies, faulty assumptions, and unchecked emotions to cloud the quality of their thinking. Bad thinking leads to bad decision-making. You stated that you want the truth. So do I. We are in agreement as to our desire for truth.
When I was a young man, perhaps about your age, I pondered questions about Christianity and other religions. It seemed as though the origin of one’s birth greatly influenced each individual’s religious affiliation. As America, at least in those days, was predominantly Christian, being born American meant being raised Christian. Had I been born in Egypt, I reasoned, I would have most likely been brought up Muslim. And, again, had my parents lived in Calcutta, I would have been raised a devout Hindu. And so I reasoned that one’s religion was based largely upon one’s place of birth. Could it be that Hinduism was right and Christianity wrong? How could I know? What if God wanted me to follow the teachings of Muhammad? It seemed very confusing and knowing that my eternal destiny hinged on my beliefs, I wondered if there was any way of knowing truth.
I once worked for a very devout Christian attorney. He was, and is, a highly moral person whose faith in Jesus Christ is unswerving. He told me there was a discipline in theology that dealt in factual evidence. The discipline is called apologetics. This has nothing to do with making apologies, by the way. Christian apologetics is the discipline in which the elements of Christianity can be proven. Can we know the Bible is true? Can we know with certainty the existence of God? Can we know that the story of Jesus is fact rather than myth? Must we accept Christianity with blind faith or are there compelling reasons to believe?
There are many brilliant people who, at one time were agnostics or atheists, who later converted to Christianity based upon their search for truth. Of these, my favorite is C.S. Lewis. A professor of medieval literature at Cambridge, Lewis abandoned atheism after determining that Christianity is true. He considered the evidence. He weighed the facts. And, in the end, he came to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. I could name others: Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, and Dr. William Ramsey—all brilliant thinkers who abandoned atheism for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You stated that you want the truth. I am rather skeptical by nature; in other words, I am not easily conned by empty words or vain rhetoric. I want facts. I want evidence. I am a stickler for logic. I want truth, too, and I have found truth in the Person, Nature, and Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is Truth Incarnate. He is the source of all truth. In Him there is no deception.
I would urge you to read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. This is a rather weighty volume, but I perceive you have a keen intellect. And if you wish to contact me with further questions, I will gladly share my own journey to truth.
Perhaps I will hear from you again. If not, please conduct a thorough search for yourself. If you seek truth with all your heart, you will find it. Or shall I say that you will find Him.