In the article I wrote last week, we discussed how history is helpful in weeding out the religion that is true and the ones that are not. If a religion's history is false, then one cannot trust that religion's doctrine either. Another helpful measure of religion is the philosophical worldview that is taught in its doctrine. In other words, does a religion's teachings line up with the reality of life?
A religion that is true, must teach what is true about human nature, life, purpose, ethics and so forth.
One example of a worldview that is incongruent with the reality of human nature is atheism. Atheism is a belief in no God, which is a little misleading because it really just replaces worship of God with worship of mankind. However, the implications of a worldview without God is psychologically crushing. Atheism always leads to nihilism, which is the belief that life is meaningless. If there is no God then we are a cosmic accident and there is no purpose on planet earth. Makes you want to get up in the morning...right! Also, if there is no God who is for us, then looking at the universe around us we have to conclude that the cosmos is against us (the sun is slowly dying), which means there is no logical reason to have hope. There is only disrepair, which always leads to hedonism. If God doesn't determine what is right and wrong, then man does and we are only valuable as long as we are useful to each other. Human life then is expendable. Humanity cannot live without purpose, hope or the sanctity of human life. It goes against our nature. In fact, the philosopher Nietzsche could not live out his own atheistic philosophy either. In the end, his worldview drove him to insanity. He literally spent his final years in a mental institute; the natural conclusion of his own worldview without God.
C. S. Lewis wrote this about how to know the true religion, “I have sometimes told my audience that the only two things really worth considering are Christianity and Hinduism. (Islam is only the greatest of the Christian heresies, Buddhism only the greatest of the Hindu heresies. Real Paganism is dead. All that was best in Judaism and Platonism survives in Christianity.) There isn't really, for an adult mind, this infinite variety of religions to consider. We may [reverently] divide religions, as we do soups, into ‘thick’ and ‘clear’. By Thick I mean those which have orgies and ecstasies and mysteries and local attachments: Africa is full of Thick religions. By Clear I mean those which are philosophical, ethical and universalizing: Stoicism, Buddhism, and the Ethical Church are Clear religions. Now if there is a true religion it must be both Thick and Clear: for the true God must have made both the child and the man, both the savage and the citizen, both the head and the belly. And the only two religions that fulfill this condition are Hinduism and Christianity. But Hinduism fulfills it imperfectly. The Clear religion of the Brahmin hermit in the jungle and the Thick religion of the neighbouring temple go on side by side. The Brahmin hermit doesn't bother about the temple prostitution nor the worshiper in the temple about the hermit’s metaphysics. But Christianity really breaks down the middle wall of the partition. It takes a convert from central Africa and tells him to obey an enlightened universalist ethic: it takes a twentieth-century academic prig like me and tells me to go fasting to a Mystery, to drink the blood of the Lord. The savage convert has to be Clear: I have to be Thick. That is how one knows one has come to the real religion." -God in the Dock
Christianity is the apex of all religions and worldview philosophies because it doesn't just answer some of life's major questions, but it answers them ALL in a deep and profound way. Is there purpose in life? Yes, because God created you for a reason and everyone has a vocation to fulfill in this world. Is there hope in life? Yes, because Jesus's resurrection is the ultimate answer to the hopelessness of death. Is human life precious? Yes, because God created us in His image and all people have value not in and of themselves, but before their creator. Is there joy in life? Yes, because God originally created the goodness of the material world for man's pleasure and benefit, and He has redeemed the material world through Christ. Everything is now good and pleasureful if done to God's glory! Does Christianity explain human nature? Yes, because it has the answer for why there is good and evil in the fall of Adam and the redemption of Jesus. Does Christianity's ethics work? Yes, because every time mankind moves the ancient moral boundaries of God we create catastrophe rather than utopia. There is much more to be seen on the mountain peak of Christianity, for it has no equal when it comes to the area of religion.