1) God vs gods - Keaton Halley, Wilhelm Schmidt, G. K. Chesterton, 2) Why Christianity?
CMI today asked readers "how would you answer the question" when linking to the feedback. So, I'll take the liberty to link to Lita Conser's feedback, quote the question, and answer it my way:
Hello, I have a question regarding Christianity and other religions. It basically is why Christianity? What makes it stand out more and much more believable than the others? Why not believe in Gods like Thor or any of the greek gods? There are so many religions out there, why go for Christianity? Is there more proof of Christianity being more factual or signs that people in other parts believe in the Christian God and Christ and/or had encounters with them?
Let's break it up.
1) It basically is why Christianity?
It is verified by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and by many miracles since then throughought the ages of the Church, as well as this miracle is prepared throughought all times of the OT since Adam.
The transmission of the Scriptures without falsification since Christ and the records of miracles are guaranteed by the Catholic Church.
For most OT Scriptures, Jews have independently of the true religion kept a corroborating record separately.
2) What makes it stand out more and much more believable than the others?
Best miracles best recorded.
3) Why not believe in Gods like Thor or any of the greek gods?
I do believe some of them existed as men, and others were directy devils. They do not have either the morals of a True God, truly worthy of worship (as a Greek tragedian made a character say : if gods do sth shameful, they are not gods), nor the metaphysical qualities necessary to be upholding the universe as we observe it. It was easier to believe Helios drove a chariot behind just four horses, same size as ours, before astronomy. And if we grant spirits do guide heavenly bodies, as Abraham noted according to Josephus, they do so in physical independence of each other and at same time moral interdependence, they need a very good director. If we also think the daily motion is a unified one, it needs a great mover. Zeus is not up to that one.
Now, Thor and Odin showed up in Uppsala a little more than 2000 years ago, in Julius Caesar's time (according to Snorre, though as per Saxo, it might be more like Alexander or Cyrus - I think he explanded the Danish genealogy). People in Uppsala hardly saw Thor get up in a wagon drawn by goats and flying through the air, but if they did, it is in the power if demons to do so, if God allows it. Even if he showed off by making his hammer make a lightning, that could be electric engineering learned from Sumerians. And not only no man was there when Odin and his brothers was supposed to have beaten Ymer, but Scandinavians do not even claim to have any straight tradition from Ask and Embla about it, nor, except for class distinctions, from Heimdall's adultery in three families. The tradition starts with Yngling dynasty starting with Odin and a generation later Thors stepbrother Frey - or Yngwe. Whose son drowned in a vat of mead. Neat proof Fiolner was not divine, and it kept Norsemen from divinising the later Ynglings, unlike the Caesars.
The Greeks got their info on the gods from Hesiod (ab. 700 BC), who got it from the Nine Muses. I don't know if they were witches or demons or elves, and in latter case, I don't know if they were impish ones wanting to deceive or naive ones who on doomsday might excuse themselves "but how could we know Hesiod would fall for that? The gross joke was so obvious". Hesiod had no miracle to prove the story, except its latter parts agreeing with traditions on Hercules, for instance, who was a historic character. He only had one revelation, no miracle to prove it divine.
There is even a reason he was given to take it as diabolical : if their hymns started with "Zeus with the Aegid", they ended with "Kronos of the Crooked Mind" - I would not trust people or fairies or whatever who had sung a hymn to Satan. Also, he was the guy, and he was a shepherd and they insulted shepherds.
So, no, the sources of pagan beliefs are not credible.
That the resurrection is, I have argued elsewhere on this blog.
4) Is there more proof of Christianity being more factual or signs that people in other parts believe in the Christian God and Christ and/or had encounters with them?
Other religions are not fact free fictions. It is just that the facts of other religions do not fit good criteria for being really from God. Hercules lived. No one saw him go down to the netherworld, at the most one could have seen him carry Cerberus (which some demons could have fixed as an illusion) and no Greek saw him carry the vault of Heaven in the place of Atlas - that could be bragging. But one could see him go to places infested with monsters and then cleaned up. But that does not prove he was "son of Zeus" in any sense other than a son of Belial - he killed off his family once. And of course, when he was burned, one did not see his soul ascend to Olympus and become a god. In the case of Krishna's soul after death, a poet dreamed about it - who was probably a believer in Krishna beforehand.
Christ's resurrection is so much better documented than ALL this.
It is better documented than Joseph Smith really seeing Moroni as a real angel from the true God and it is better documented than Mohammed seeing Jibreel as a real angel of God, though he believed it was.
5) or signs that people in other parts believe in the Christian God and Christ and/or had encounters with them?
The Catholic Church is the widest spread religion, and miracles are documented from all over the world.
Hans Georg Lundahl