How much of Christianity can we demonstrate to be true WITHOUT even opening the Bible? (And thus evading fruitless debates on inerrancy, foolish chatter about "blind faith," etc?) I would suggest at least the following 26 points:
(2) Universal moral truths.
(3) General human depravity.
(5) Something happens after death.
(6) Sacrifice is a central to the human psyche.
(7) The concept of a Messiah, Savior, Sage, "true guru" is also universal, often connected with the idea of sacrifice.
(8) The ultimately true philosophy is likely to be one that integrates truth from within many different systems into
a systematic and unified whole. (How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test.)
(9) Human beings are self-deceptive and prone to deny their mortality and their sin.
(10) Creation is good.
Men and women are meant to complement one another. (I won't ask for
compliments, but of course appreciate any of those from the opposite
sex, too. : - ) )
(12) Children ought to have parents of both genders.
(13) Discipline and love are both good for young people, along with heroic examples and stories.
(14) Love is the greatest commandment.
(15) Many false prophets will come.
(16) Lies are hateful things.
(17) Human beings are not fully determined by their ancestry or backgrounds, but can change in response to truth.
(18) Pride is the greatest sin.
Government is inherently dangerous, given the sinful nature of human
beings. Therefore checks and balances, prophets and kings, are
(20) People invent idols because they have forgotten or left God behind, and prefer to create idols in their own images.
(21) Man is both the greatest and the most pitiful of creatures that walks God's green Earth.
(22) Given the paradoxical nature of man, ultimate, salvific truth must also be paradoxical.
(23) The universe had a Big Inning.
Nature exhibits the glory of God, and was not made for man, though a
space within nature was prepared for him. (I am reading Carl Sagan's
Pale Blue Dot -- he confuses this badly.)
(25) Skepticism is useful, but paradoxical. One should be skepticism of truth claims, but also of skepticism itself.
All empirical human knowledge comes from or through humans, and is
therefore essentially historical in nature. It would not, therefore, be
surprising to find that God reveals Himself historically.
Given that all these are true, we need not open our Bibles with so high a level of skepticism as we might otherwise.
don't need a hole-in-one -- a good putt will do. (And Jesus is the
Tyger, Tyger, burning bright, in the forest of that night on the golf
course -- the Tiger Woods, I mean.)