If you're like me and want things explained in
clear, concise, and understandable terms, boy do I have a book for you!
It's titled "Reasons for Believing, A
Seeker's Guide to Christianity" by Dr. Frank Harber (published by New Leaf
Press of Arizona). Harber is an evangelist, university professor, and Christian
Harber responds to tough-issue question with
simple clarity. He tackles subjects like:
1. Can I know for certain that God
2. How do I know if the Bible is
3. Was Jesus Christ God or just a
4. Can it be proven that Jesus rose
from the dead?
5. Is Christianity the way to God?
My type of questions, my type of
understandable reading. (KISS, Keep It Simple, Stupid.) It is the best $17.75
investment I've ever made.
What follows is a collection of statements
from Harber's "Reasons for Believing" which gets two thumbs up, way
up, from me.
Jesus gave His word that anyone who conducts
an honest search for the truth shall find the answers. [page 11]
The number one reason people reject Jesus is
the love of sin. [page 12]
Becoming a Christian is really not an
"intellectual" issue as much as it a "willingness" issue.
Your main problem is not in your "head," it's in your heart.
Many seekers delay exercising faith because
they seek absolute assurance before they will make a faith commitment. But
God's promise of assurance must be preceded by faith. [page 15]
Delaying a faith decision is spiritually
perilous in light of the fact that it can become a permanent position.
The theory of evolution is the number one
cause of the loss of religious faith. [page 22]
The past and present evidence indicate
"extinction" not "evolution." [page 23]
To believe the theory of evolution requires a
great deal of faith, which requires belief in many illogical and impossible
scenarios. [page 25]
The Christian faith is built upon solid
scientific and historical evidence. [page 25]
The universe exhibits an incredible design and
purposeful order. [page 27]
The world contains 11million different kinds
of species. Each of these represents an amazing design in engineering and life.
Pollster George Gallup once commented that the
existence of God was statistically provable: Take the human body
alone—the chance that all the functions of the individual could just
happen is a statistical monstrosity. [page 28]
Every intelligent design indicates a designer.
The brain weighs just over three pounds but
can do what tons of electrical equipment cannot. It contains up to 15 billion
electrical neurons, each a living unit within itself. Over 100 thousand billion
electrical connections are present which is more than all the electrical
appliances in the world...greater than the entire communications network on
earth. [page 29]
The human eye contains 130,000,000 light
sensitive rods and cones. [page 29]
A single bacteria cell is as complex as a
chemical factory. [page 30]
All scientific observations point to the fact
that life only comes from life. [page 31]
If all the DNA (each containing 46 segments)
of the body were stretched out, it would stretch to the moon and back more than
500,000 times. [page 33]
Evolutionists argue that with enough time,
even the most improbable events become probable...Sir Fred Hoyle equates the
chances of the universe happening by chance with that of a tornado blowing
through a junkyard containing the parts of a 747 and accidentally assembling
the parts, making it ready for flight. [page 33]
In Darwin's day, a cell was thought to be very
simple, but with the advent of powerful microscopes, we know that the
likelihood of evolution of simple to multi-cell organisms has been vastly
overestimated. [page 35]
No transitional fossils have been found. Where
are the millions of creatures that should be part-reptile, part-bird, and
part-human? [page 35]
The flood of Genesis explains why fossils from
one supposed evolutionary age are found mixed in with fossils from another age.
Several problems exist with the big-bang
theory. Many astrophysicists do not hold to this theory. Why? Explosions
produce disorder, not order. [page 38]
An explosion would direct all planets and
moons to rotate the same way. Six of the 63 moons, along with Venus, Uranus,
and Pluto rotate in opposite directions to other heavenly bodies.
The universe does not resemble the chaotic
remains of an explosion. Rather, the universe is a marvel of orderliness. [page 38]
The sun is the perfect distance from the
earth—93 million miles. Its surface is 11,500 degrees Fahrenheit, and its
core is 40 million degrees. If 50 degrees of more heat reached our planet, life
would cease to exist. [page 39]
The earth rotates at a speed of over 1,000
miles per hour, a speed which perfectly balances both cold and heat.
The earth is traveling at a rate of 64,800
miles an hour. If that rate was slowed by even one-third, life would be burned
up, as the earth would be pulled too close to the sun. [page 40]
The atmosphere shields this planet from 8
deadly rays emitted from the sun and from 20 million meteors a day traveling at
speeds up to 30 miles per second. [page 40]
If the moon were to move in just one-fifth
closer than its distance of 240,000 from earth, the ocean tides would plunge
earth underwater twice a day. [page 40]
Psalms 19:1 says, "The heavens declare
the glory of God; and the firmament (Earth) shows his handiwork."
Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation
of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the
things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are
without excuse." [page 41]
Only 4,000 stars can be seen without a
telescope. Modern giant telescopes reveal there are 10 million, billion,
billion known stars in the universe. Genesis 22:17 says the number of the stars
are as the sand of the seashore. [page 41]
The notion that the universe came from nothing
is illogical. Nothing always produces nothing. [page 42]
If you wanted to tell a colony of ants of your
love for them, the best way would be to become an ant. This way your message
could best be understood. God did exactly this. He became a man and visited
planet Earth. Thus, if one wishes to know who God is, one needs only to read
the Bible. [page 44]
Some consider life appears to be one cruel
joke. They choose to be an atheist and contend there is no God, or an agnostic
which means "no knowledge" or, in Latin, "ignoramus."
The evidence for God's existence is not only
external, but internal. There is a spiritual vacuum in every person that only
God can fill. This is what Augustine meant when he said, "Our hearts are
restless until they find rest in thee." [page 47]
Perhaps you are seeking to know if God exists.
Be extremely careful of demanding so much evidence that you become immune to
the evidence that lies before you. [page 48]
Christians have faith because of solid,
historical evidence which leads it to the truth. The Bible in Hebrews 11:1
defines "faith" as being based on "substance" and
"evidence." [page 48]
The Bible Is True
The Bible never tries to prove the existence
There are many religions of the world, each of
which claims that its god is "real."
Many religions also have scriptures which
claim to have the same authority as the Bible.
Other scriptures include the Book of Mormon of
the Church of Latter Day Saints; the Koran of Islam; the Eddas of the
Scandinavians; the Tripitokas of the Buddhists; the Zendavesta of the Persians;
the Analects of Confucianism; the Kojiki and Nihongi of Shintoism; and the
Divine Principle of the Unification Church (the Moonies).
The Bible emphatically proclaims that all
other gods are false and that there is only one true God. (Psalms 96:4-5). [page 52]
What's at stake about which we choose to
believe? Just eternal life or damnation!
The Old Testament contains well over 2,000
predictive prophecies, which are very specific and detailed. [page 53]
Only in the Bible does one find predictive
prophecy. This important verification is noticeably absent from all other major
religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, or in the writings of
Confucius and Lao-tse.
Other self-proclaimed prophets such as
Nostradamus, Mother Shipton, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon have delivered
prophecies of which almost all have failed. [page 54]
There is no other God besides me, says Isaiah
45:21. [page 55]
Leviticus 26 talks about the Jews being
scattered across the earth if they were disobedient to God.
That promise is indeed fact.
For 1,900 years Jews wandered the earth being
scattered and persecuted, yet Jesus predicted the Jewish race would be intact
when He (Jesus Christ) returns to this earth.
One never hears today of the other peoples of
the Old Testament like the Hittites, Philistines, Hivites, Moabites, Jebusites
Who remains? The Jewish people, just as the
In Ezekial 36 and Amos 9, the Bible says the
once-scattered Jews would one day return to their homeland, Israel.
Impossible thought, but in 1948 the Jews
returned to their homeland from all parts of the earth. [page 57]
Just as God judged people in the past for
rejecting Him, He will judge men for rejecting Him in the future.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
says 2 Timothy 3:16. [page 58]
God does not use men as tape recorders making
the Scripture some kind of mechanical dictation. God did not place each writer
in an unconscious trance to deliver His message. [page 59]
The material in the Bible comes directly from
God. Moses was not present at the creation and had to be provided with the
details of the creation in a supernatural way. [page 60]
The Bible is God's method of communication to
us. [page 60]
Some assert that only parts of the Bible are
true. If this is so, how do we know that any of it is the truth? [page 61]
What most people claim as errors in the Bible
are not "errors" but "difficulties." [page 61]
In all places that the Bible deals with
scientific matters, it is completely accurate. [page 64]
The Bible forbids murder but allows capital
punishment of a "guilty" person for the reason of justice and
deterrence. [page 66]
Prior to 1947 the oldest existing Old
Testament copy was the Massoretic Text which is dated about A.D. 900. In 1947
the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves at Qumran, in Israel.
Many of the scrolls dated back to around 150
B.C. making them almost 1,000 years older than the Massoretic Text.
The Dead Sea Scrolls read identical to the
Massoretic Text. [page 67]
More than 24,000 partial and complete copies
of the New Testament are available today.
No other document of antiquity can even come
close to such large numbers. Homer's Iliad is second with a mere 643 existing
manuscripts. [page 67]
Unlike Buddha, whose sayings were not recorded
until 500 years after his death, all the books of the New Testament were
probably written within 30 years of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Archaeologists have uncovered over 25,000
sites which have a connection with the Old Testament period. [page 70]
The Bible towers above all other books as the
all-time bestseller in history.
Over 40 authors combined to write the 66 books
found in the Bible.
It was written over a span of 1,500 years, in
three languages, and was composed in 13 countries on three continents.
The Bible was written by men from all walks of
life including kings, peasants, herdsmen, tax collectors, philosophers,
statesmen, fishermen, poets and scholars.
It uses various literary forms such as
history, poetry, proverbs, preaching, prophecy, parables, allegories,
biography, drama, exposition , law and letters.
In spite of all this diversity, the Bible is
not a mere collection of books—IT IS JUST ONE BOOK. [pages 72-73]
No human conspiracy could supervise such a
Only an omniscient, all-controlling,
all-directing architect could construct such a drama and such a book.
Every single author in the Bible is in perfect
harmony with all the other writers in the areas of doctrine, ethics, faith, and
the plan of salvation. [page 73]
The theme of Jesus Christ runs throughout the
entire Bible. The Old Testament is the preparation for the coming of Christ.
The Old Testament closes with the Book of
Malachi where the promise of the appearance of Messiah is the next major event.
Four hundred years passed before the writings of the New Testament begin with
Jesus Christ being proclaimed as the promised Messiah. [page 74]
There is no chance of human conspiracy in the
writing of the Bible. The first writers had no way of knowing what others would
write centuries later. [page 75]
To reject Scripture is in essence to reject
Jesus. [page 75]
Jesus used the Old Testament to validate who
He was. See John 5.
Jesus rebuked the religious Pharisees for
making their traditions equal with the Scriptures (Matthew 15:6).
He authoritatively answered His critics with
statements like, "It is written," "Have you not read," and
"Search the Scriptures." [page 76]
If the Bible was the invention of human minds,
the characters of the Bible would have been cast in a favorable light.
Yet, the great victories of the Israelites are
never attributed to courage or superior strategy.
The weakness of men is exposed, as the
greatness of God is extolled.
Even the greatest heroes of God are exposed
when they erred in their own judgement.
A forged Bible would have tried to cover up
all the negative elements.
One finds the prominent disciples arguing,
struggling with doubts, and giving up hope. [page 78]
If the writers of the Bible did not tell the
truth, there were plenty of people around who could refute them.
Because most of the New Testament was written
between A.D. 40 and 70, there was not enough time for myths about Christ to be
told without refuted. [page 79]
Even when subjected to persecution and
martyrdom, the New Testament writers maintained that what they had preached and
taught was truth.
No atheist would be willing to die for such an
elaborate religious sham. [page 79]
In A.D. 397, a church council was held in
Carthage which endorsed the exact same 27 books of the New Testament we now
regard as canonical. [page 80]
Attacked by emperors, popes, kings, and
scholars, the Bible has endured attacks by intellectual, political,
philosophical, scientific, and physical forces. [page 81]
In the early years of the Bible, the Roman
emperor Diocletion not only burned every confiscated Bible, but put thousands
caught with a Bible to death.
His efforts failed, for within ten years
Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. [page 81]
Eighteenth century Voltaire attacked the Bible
and predicted that within 50 years it would be forgotten.
However, 50 years after his death, the Geneva
Bible Society used Voltaire's printing press and home to produce Bibles.
Today, more has been written about the Bible
than any other 1,000 books put together. It has now been translated into over
1,700 languages. [page 82]
God himself promises the perseverance of His
Word: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass
away." (Matthew 24:35) [page 83]
The Bible is at the same time the most loved
and the most hated book of all time. [page 83]
The problems most people have with the Bible
are not its alleged difficulties, but with its teachings on how sinful man is
reconciled to a Holy God. [page 83]
Mark Twain once said, "Most people are
bothered by those passages in Scripture which they cannot understand. The
Scripture which troubles me the most is the Scripture I do understand."
Acclaimed British thinker and author C.S.
Lewis in Mere Christianity proclaims, "Either this man (Jesus Christ) was,
and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse."
Jesus Is God
Jesus Christ claimed to be God—a claim
which Buddha, Confucius, nor Mohammed never made. [page 87]
Jesus not only claimed to be God, but also He
claimed that His way of salvation is the only way sinful men can be restored to
a right relationship with Holy God. [page 87]
Amazing similarities exist between the lives
of Socrates and Jesus.
Both strived to improve mankind, gathered
disciples, and unjustly died.
However, Socrates left this world unchanged,
and his teachings soon were forgotten.
When Jesus departed, He had forever changed
Whereas Socrates was found to be a man, Jesus
was found to be God.
History has never been the same since.
History itself is divided by two
epochs—before Christ (BC) and after Christ (AD). [page 90]
Jesus never wrote a book and yet He remains
the subject of more books than anyone in history. [page 90]
The name Christ is the Greek equivalent of the
Jesus is one of over 40 Jewish men who have
claimed to be the Christ, so how do we know that Jesus of Nazareth is really
the promised Messiah?
Jesus of Nazareth is the only one person in
history who has fulfilled every one of the many specific messianic prophecies.
These prophecies, found in the Old Testament
and written over 400 years in advance of Jesus' birth, serve as a screening
process for anyone who would claim to be the Messiah so that He could be
identified upon His arrival. [page 91]
In Jesus Christ, 456 identifiable prophecies
were uniquely fulfilled. [page 93]
Being born of a virgin—Isaiah
7:27, Matthew 1:22-23
Being born in Bethlehem—Micah
5:2, Luke 2:4-11
Betrayed for 30 pieces of
silver—Zechariah 11:12-13, Matthew 27:9-10
Crucified with thieves—Isaiah
53:12, Luke 23:33
His side would be
pierced—Zechariah 12:10, John 19:34
He would be buried in a rich man's
tomb—Isaiah 53:9, Matthew 27:57-60
His betrayal money would be
returned—Zechariah 11:13, Matthew 27:3-10
None of His bones would be
broken—Psalms 34:20, John 19:33-36
His resurrection from the
dead—Psalms 16:8-l0, 30:3; Luke 24:6; 31-34 [page 90]
Some today advocate the miracles of Jesus with
naturalist explanations... A denial that Jesus performed any miracles is
tantamount to denying that Jesus is the Christ. [page 94]
Jesus told His disciples that those who had
seen Him had actually seen God (John 14:9). [page 98]
Do you believe that Jesus is God? Jesus
emphatically declared, "If you do not believe that I am he, you will die
in your sins." [page 102]
Jesus Rose From the Dead
What makes Jesus different from all other
The answer is found in the tomb of Jesus of
Nazareth—it has no tenant.
The bones of all other dead religious leaders
may be found buried here on earth; however the tomb of Jesus remains empty.
Christianity does not ask its followers to
follow a dead religious leader, but to follow a resurrected Christ.
Every encyclopedia and history of the ancient
world records the fact of Jesus' existence.
More information exists about His death than
any other person in the ancient world. [page 109]
Jesus repeatedly predicted His death and
subsequent resurrection. Such an original claim cannot be found falling from
the lips of any other great religious leader. [pages 112-113]
The tomb of Jesus never became a place of
veneration as the tombs of other famous prophets. Why? Jesus is not there!
The appearances of Jesus lasted for over 40
days until His ascension. He appeared to a variety of people from individuals
to large groups in various locations. [page 116]
Many people have died for a cause they
believed was true even though it was false; however, no one ever eagerly dies
for a cause knowing it to be false. [page 119]
The Church can be historically traced back to
A.D. 30 in Jerusalem. At this time Sunday replaced the Sabbath as a day or
worship. [page 121]
Women at the time of Christ held low social
status and did not even qualify to be legal witnesses.
First century Jewish historian Josephus wrote,
"From women let no evidence be accepted, because of the levity and
temerity of their sex."
If the account was truly a legend, then male
disciples would have been the ones to make the Resurrection discovery, and not
women as the Bible points out. [page 123]
The risen Christ is said to have eaten.
Hallucinations do not eat. [page 124]
If the authorities had stolen the body of
Christ, they would only had to display the corpse to end the birth of
Christianity. [page 126]
If one contends that Jesus was entombed alive,
how could a beaten man in need of medical attention trick a trained Roman
execution squad, escape from heavy wrappings, move a two-ton stone, overcome the
soldiers at the tomb, walk 14 miles to Emmaus, and then convince His disciples
He was the mighty conqueror of death? [page 127]
The key to Christianity is the Resurrection.
Jesus Is the Only Way to God
One of the greatest stumbling blocks in
accepting Jesus as Saviour is Jesus' claim to exclusivity.
Jesus claimed that He is the only way of
salvation and that the teachings of different religious leaders are false. (See
He promised that those who believe in Him will
have eternal life and all who did not believe will suffer the wrath of God.
(See John 3:36)
Jesus did not merely claim that His teachings
are the truth; he claimed that He is the only truth for mankind. (See John
14:6) [page 133]
Non-Christian religions are man's search for
God, but Christianity is the story of God's search for man. All other religions
were founded by sinful men, whereas Christianity's founder is God. Other
religions were founded upon teachings, Christianity is based upon a person.
Jesus is not simply another religious leader
who spoke to us in a new way. He is God among us, showing us the way to
everlasting life. [page 135]
The world's major religions are based upon
earning one's salvation, whereas Christianity is based upon faith in what God
has done in Jesus Christ. [page 135]
Sincerity does not determine truth. One can be
sincerely convinced of the truth and be sincerely wrong. [page 136]
If Christianity truly is the only cure for
mankind's problem, would not Christians be cruel and unloving if they did not
share the real truth with the world? [page 137]
Some who raise questions about the fate of
those who have never heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ, often use it as a
smokescreen to try to rationalize their own rejection of Christ. [page 137]
God himself determines what will happen to
those who have not heard. [page 138]
Jesus died on the cross to become the Saviour
of the world, but He cannot become "your" Saviour until you receive
Him. [page 138]
Those who teach anything other than the true
gospel are "accused". (See Galations 1:9) [page 139]
Because hypocrites attend Christian churches
does not nullify the entire structure of Christianity. [page 143]
Christ's harshest words were reserved for
hypocrites. (See Matthew 23: 27-28) [page 144]
Jesus foretold the ultimate fate of
hypocrites: they will be identified and separated from true Christians for
judgement. [page 145]
Skeptics expect Christians to hold to
standards they themselves could never dream of attaining. Morever, when
Christians do try to live up to these standards, they are often accused of
false piety and pretense. [page 146]
Much evil has been perpetrated by
"so-called Christians" who did not practice true Christianity.
The first crusade was generated by Muslims who
captured Jerusalem and much of the Holy Land. Christians were slain, churches
were burned, and all who did not convert were killed by the sword.
When one considers that the so-called
Christian crusades were responses to the Muslim war, then balance and
perspective are found. [page 149]
In the last 50 years, more than 150 million
people have been killed by atheistic governments - in wars with no religious
Hitler was responsible for between 11 and 16
million deaths. Joseph Stalin was responsible for killing 40 million.
Mao Tse-tung is estimated to be responsible
for 72 million deaths.
More people have been killed by 20th century
atheistic states than in all the other wars combined in history.
No other organization in history can compare
to achievements of the Christian Church. [page 149]
The difficult question secular philosophy has
had to answer is, "If there is no God, why are so many people
religious?" [page 150]
It seems quite doubtful that someone with a
fear problem would invent the God of the Bible.
One would be far more likely to invent a less
threatening god who could be more easily managed or appeased. [page 151]
It is a false assumption that just because one
is a Christian, one is weak. Christians endure religious rejection, ridicule,
and persecution for their beliefs.
It would be a much easier path not to stand
for Christ. [page 152]
Man cannot live by bread alone (material
things) but craves spiritual fulfillment. (See Matthew 4:4) [page 153]
Many object to being punished for something
that Adam did. But this complaint does not reflect the fact that we are guilty
enough because of our own sins.
The key is realizing that God is not
responsible for sin, people are. [page 155]
Free choice gives possibility to wrong choice.
Evil is not discretionary; like a bomb where
the innocent may be injured by the blast. [page 155]
In a world where evil is allowed to thrive,
innocent suffering will occur. [page 156]
Just as parents often allow their children to
make mistakes and suffer, God similarly acts in a parental fashion with His
creation. [page 157]
Hypocritically, many skeptics who object to
suffering do not lift a finger to feed the hungry or clothe the naked.
Not all suffering is bad...The initial pain of
touching a hot stove can help a child to avoid permanent damage to his/her
hand. [page 159]
Suffering is a signal. C.S. Lewis writes,
"God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in our conscience, but
shouts to us in our pains; it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
The hope of heaven enables the Christian to
cope with suffering in a way those without hope will never experience.
Revelations 21:4 says, "And God will wipe
away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor
crying. There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed
away." [page 160]
Hinduism's concept of the law of Karma which
teaches that all suffering is the result of previous evil-doing. [page 160]
In Luke 13, Jesus answered a question about
why 18 people were killed by the collapse of the tower of Siloam with the
warning, "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
Instead of wondering why the tower fell on the
18 people, they should have been asking why the tower did not fall on them.
Instead of questioning God's justice, perhaps we need to give Him thanks for
His mercy. [page 16l]
Evil and suffering are temporary; all pain
will one day be eliminated. Though evil is very real, it is also very
temporary. [page 162]
The sad fact is that many people make the
decision not to be part of God's heaven. God will not send them to hell, they
will send themselves...Atheist Jean-Paul Sarte noted that the gates of hell are
locked from the inside by the free choice of men. [page 162]
Man cannot earn salvation by good works. (See
Ephesians 2:8) We are already condemned and have been judged as unrighteous by
God. (See John 3:17-18) [page 166]
Becoming a Christian is more than just
believing facts about Jesus.
It is about personally accepting what Christ
has done for you.
Mere intellectual belief in God will not get
you into heaven.
You must commit your life to Christ to follow
Him as your personal Lord and Saviour.
Trusting Jesus means that he becomes your
If you are not willing to live the Christian
life then you cannot become a Christian. [page 167]
How does a person become a Christian?
Pray a prayer something like this:
I now confess to You that I am a sinner.
As best I know how, I will turn from my
sin and place my trust in You.
I believe that You died for me on the
cross and rose again from the grave.
I ask that You to forgive me of my sins
as I now receive Your gift of eternal life.
In Jesus' name. Amen. [page 168]
A changed life is the most powerful evidence
that a person is a Christian.
The lack of a changed life is likewise a
strong indicator of the absence of Jesus Christ in a person's life.
When you receive Christ, the first step that
you will want to take is to publicly profess Jesus Christ in a local fellowship
Be sure and find a church which teaches
salvation through faith, believes in the authority of the Bible, and
demonstrates a love for reaching others in evangelism.
As you serve Christ in your local church,
pray, read your Bible, and share your faith with others.
Please take the truths of this book and share
them with a hurting world which longs to hear the truth about Jesus Christ!