Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Simple Apologetic

In light of the atheists getting bolder and colder and sensing the growing antagonism to religion in general, I feel it is time to publicly explain “the reason for the hope that is in me”.

My model begins with the existence of God. I believe that all arguments begin with, “Is there a God?” If we begin with man, we start at the wrong place. A lot of people base their whole world view within their own existence, what a mistake!

I answer the question in the affirmative. There is a God. There is too much order, too much beauty, and too much opinion regarding good and evil to explain it away to natural, random occurrences. My own inner life points to mystery beyond me. The world under the microscope is too wonderful for me to accept blind chance and the expanse and beauty of the heavens is too majestic to cynically attribute it to uncoordinated randomness.

General revelation also points to a life beyond this life. Are the seasons merely a coincidence? The life cycle of a butterfly points to rebirth. I was praying one day to see God and as I drove into work on a foggy morning, I saw hundreds of spider webs. They had been invisible for months, but now their design and beauty were clearly seen. The visible world does point to the invisible God.

My next question requires me to ask, “Is there revelation or evidence of specific communication from this God to man?” Again, I believe there are two that give credence to the other. Jesus Christ is a clear manifestation of God and His nature. He did make that claim. He gives support of both the New and Old Testament. Is there valid support of these two revelations? The answer is yes. History supports both in spite of an entire system bent on destroying this precious truth. A seven day work week has been handed down to us from somewhere. The disciples died for a myth? The Bible survives? How?

And no other purported revelation holds water. They are all cheap imitations from a constant enemy.

And finally the message: Who could have made this up?

THE SKEPTICS STRIKE BACK

So there are always the attacks. I’m simple-minded, poorly educated, and have committed intellectual suicide to shake hands with faith. How do you respond to this?

I feel like when someone discounts God on the basis of reason, they are doing the most foolish thing of all. When the Bible speaks of the ‘unforgivable sin’ and ‘blasphemy of the spirit’- it has to be this. When someone says, “There is no God, no angels or devils, no heaven or hell” they are lifting their life experience and powers of reasoning to a god-like status. ‘I must become God to kill God’, Nietzsche understood this.
I’m thankful that I am under-educated enough to keep a healthy self-suspicion of my intellect. Is reason trustworthy enough to gamble on eternity?

What does the Bible say about our ability to reason?

Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.


Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


I Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [6]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


If you are raising your fist against God, please reconsider. The promise is that those who repent and believe will be rescued. Cry out to Him before it is too late!

“The riddles of God are more comforting than the answers of man” G.K. Chesterton

1 comment:

rick said...

Hi

Thanks for the post. I Googled "simple apologetic" and came to your blog.

What you wrote was helpful.

I see you're also a fan of White Horse Inn. They're great, aren't they?

Thanks, again.