Here is a useful and interesting sketch of a bare-bones case for Christianity from apologist Craig Hazen. There is significantly more that can be said about each of these topics, and there are other ways of framing the case, but this one is good and fairly easy to remember. Other nice features of this case are that you can start at any point in the sequence that you need, and that it grounds Christian ethical pronouncements in the truth of Christianity as a whole.
- On the basis of accepted principles of textual and historical analysis, the Gospel records are found to be trustworthy historical documents – primary source evidence concerning the life of Jesus of Nazareth. (Notice this is not a claim of scriptural inspiration or infallibilty, but merely saying the Gospels are good primary sources in the way that Josephus’s works are historically reliable.)
- In these records, Jesus exercises divine prerogatives and claims to be God in human flesh.
- In all four gospels, Christ’s death and bodily resurrection are described in detail.
- The explanation that best fits the accepted facts concerning these accounts is that Jesus really did rise from the dead. (See my previous posts, The Resurrection…Eggs in One Basket? and The Best Explanation for more details on points 3 and 4).
- His resurrection confirms the claims of Jesus, including his claim to be God.
- If Jesus is God, whatever he says is true.
- Jesus put his divine stamp of approval on the Old Testament and the soon-to-be-written, apostolic New Testament.
- The New Testament and Old Testament contain religious, philosophical, and ethical absolutes; these thus take on the character of divine or “higher” law, and remain valid even if vast numbers of human beings – or entire societies – choose to ignore them.