Posts Tagged With: amnesia

Christianity Answers our Universal Amnesia (Worldview pt. 4)

We Were in a Bad Crash

But it was no accident when Eve disobeyed God and Adam let her. It was a willing crash into the brick wall of death while going 1,000 miles per hour, and all while the whole human race slept in the back seat.car-crash

As John Piper said, “we are all of us like car accident victims, walking around asking ‘who am I,’ and ‘where did I come from?’ And the only means by which we will get the right answers is to get them from someone who is not affected by the same disaster that we are all a part of” (paraphrase).

So then, who has perfect knowledge of all things before, during, and after the creation of the universe; how everything came into being, the fall of humanity into sin, and the subsequent disaster zone on earth?

God does. He has perfect knowledge, memory, and foreknowledge of absolutely everything, and this is the foundation of all true knowledge. The objective definition that no atheist can ever give is that of reality. What is reality? What is true? Where do logic and reasoning come from? If we do not begin with the existence, preeminence, omniscience, and omnipotence of God, then we cannot make justified knowledge claims about anything.

Standing on the Rock

What we believe about reality is the foundation of everything we think and do. What we believe is the most important part of ourselves. Yet because of our separation from God when Adam and Eve sinned, none of us is born with clear thinking about reality. Our biggest problem is that each one of us tends to base our beliefs on what we can feel, touch, and test within our experience. We innately believe that we are autonomous – that we are perfectly capable of discovering reality on our own.

We don’t think we need the input of God. We see Him as a rival God – someone who will take away our own lordship. “I’m my own judge.” “I’m the master of my own fate.” “I say what’s right and wrong.”

Or a real life example from a 2004 interview with then Senator Barack Obama:

FALSANI: “Do you believe in sin?”

OBAMA: “Yes.”

FALSANI: “What is sin?”

OBAMA: “Being out of alignment with my values.”

FALSANI: “What happens if you have sin in your life?”

OBAMA: “I think it’s the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I’m true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward; when I’m not true to it, it’s its own punishment.”

In other words, Mr. Obama represents all of us when he represents himself as a god here. Yet the Christian response must be to lovingly dig down underneath such a fallacious mindset.

“Mr. Obama, how do you know that?” We look to expose the inconsistency of their worldview, because at the end of the questions, Christianity remains the only consistent, reality-based worldview there is. Logic demands it. Intuition leads to it. God made us to find Him.

“Mr. Obama, from where do you derive your knowledge that you are your own judge and measure of sin?”

Without the God of the Bible as his (and our) foundation, the only answer left is “from within myself, and from the pooled experiences of humanity.” Yet you may be seeing it now: if we are all of us amnesiacs who have forgotten who we are and from where we come, then how can we know with any certainty that we are not all deluded? How can we base our choices on faith assumptions – on a perception of reality that could be totally false?

We cannot, and so any truth claims, any worldview that does not begin with God is fatally flawed. All attempts to make knowledge claims (e.g. the universe began with a spontaneous big bang, creating itself) are therefore founded on assumption… and assumption is faith without justification. This kind of ruins the atheist party, although of course there are 1,000,000 arguments to be had to obscure the plain, elementary truth.

God has Spoken

No matter who you are, you wouldn’t deny this, right? God, who is the source of logic and sentience, is also omniscient and omnipotent – and He is therefore capable of revealing knowledge to us, His creatures, such that we are able to rise above our amnesia. When God communicates to us, we break out of the vicious circle of subjectivity that poor President Obama illustrates above. We can relinquish the devastating slavery of self-godhood once the one, true God has revealed Himself.

Once we get this simple, unavoidable axiom on the table, we can be reconciled to Him through what He has done for humanity in Jesus Christ. Sadly, our great barrier to reality is that we are at enmity with God, as I discussed earlier in this series.

Yet in His Word to humanity, God tells us who He is, how He created everything, why humanity is in turmoil, and why there is hope in Him. Nothing in the Bible is a contradiction of logic. This is the key. Honest atheists and those of other religions should be able to admit this. A universe spoken into existence in six days? If God is who He says He is, of course! A global flood to destroy a decayed, rebellious humanity while 8 people and some of all the animals survive on a big boat? Why not?

A talking donkey? Child’s play for the God who created everything.

Sun standing still for a while? Yes. God is who He says He is.

Atheism? Absolutely indefensible. That’s not an insult to anyone’s intelligence. That’s our shared reality.

We Are Who God Says We Are

According to God’s Word, we are His special creation – sharing with Him in our sentience, creative ability, and in our morality. Our right and wrong is generally universal, though may be seriously distorted in certain cultures. Our knowledge and assumptions about the past, present, and future are based on a belief in God. Yes, even atheistic parents, bus-drivers, and scientists are founded on an innate belief in God. This does not mean that they make a conscious acknowledgment of it, as they suppress the truth in unrighteousness; but through gracious interaction we can help people to recognize the reality they are bound to for eternity. Unfortunately, the internet is a terrible place to find gracious interaction. I’m fairly tremulous about hitting the “publish” key on this post, actually…

We do not create ourselves, we only live within the cosmos as God has determined things to be.

That is the Christian foundation and worldview. From this point we argue the biblical record and gospel.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

P.S. A related post from Apologia Radio: http://www.apologiaradio.com/?p=445

Categories: Foundations of ItC blog, Humankind in Distress, The Message of the Bible, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Bible is the Best Telescope

It is the most important conclusion you will ever draw – is the Bible truly God’s Word – and is its testimony about Jesus true? I contend that one cannot know the purpose of the cosmos without it, and therefore one cannot enjoy the pleasures of the cosmos without looking through this unique, supernatural lens.

The Bible says that the reason people do not believe in its divine origin is because of our sin nature, inherited from Adam. If you think that is circular logic, I challenge you to read on with an open mind and be ready to think deeply and to allow the searchlight of God’s truth to pierce the innermost parts of your heart and mind. If I am wrong, you have lost nothing by being open-minded.

The Bible claims to be not just a cosmic lens, but the ultimate cosmic lens. The claim is that humanity is like a bunch of car accident victims with amnesia who walk around looking at the cosmos asking “who am I?”

“Where did I come from?”

“Who are my mommy and daddy?”

“Why do I do the things I do?”

To get the answers to our deepest questions, we need one who was there at the beginning to tell us the narrative of history, because we have forgotten ourselves, and we have forgotten our Maker. We need the direct story from the mouth of the One who spoke it all into existence. We need a supernatural, inspired word from the omniscient Creator.

The claim of the Bible is that when one humbly looks through its lens, the cosmos as a whole is translated and finds proper unity and purpose. Mighty mysteries are solved. Through the lens of the Bible the world of men which each day seems so chaotic and filled with random evil is seen as a perfectly governed realm which has been created to serve and magnify the Creator.

Most importantly, the Bible is all about one central figure, Jesus. The point of all of history and the Scriptures is to reveal Him as the axis upon which the cosmos turns, and the Originator of human history. What you believe about Him is more important than anything else you could ever ponder. This is why your conclusion about the Bible is all-important – it claims that your beliefs about Jesus will determine how you live, and how you are ultimately judged by God. Hebrews 1:3b says “[Jesus] upholds all things by the word of His power.” That means He is God. Believe it or not, that’s the claim.

We have to look at the transcendent glory of the Bible to understand its true nature. The interwoven meta-narrative of the Bible tells of its genius. I have seen the screeds of the critics as they pick apart individual passages and stand as judges over the Bible. Many naysayers gleefully find the culturally strange and macabre parts of the Bible and because of that declare it all to be a fairy-tale, all the while not seeming to consider that it is the story of humanity, which is strange and macabre. “Missing the woods for the trees” would be an understatement here.

When one begins to see by faith through the lens of the Scriptures, written over the course of 1,500+ years, penned by more than 40 different authors from across the spectrum of humanity, and to behold the unity, clarity, and literary masterpiece in our hands, then one begins to draw near to the Author behind the authors. Each passage from Genesis to Revelation is a signpost pointing us to Jesus Christ the glorious Master of the cosmos.

How do we begin to trace out the evidence for all of this? We look at internal consistency: Same God, same attributes from Old to New Testaments. Things written in the Old Testament are echoed in the New, and things revealed in the New were hinted at in the Old. Keep in mind, 40+ authors over 1,500+ years, all writing about the same God, all saying the same things about humanity… but most importantly, all testifying to Jesus either directly or indirectly. Items of seeming discrepancy remain on the surface, but with careful study are seen as the different shaped cogs and gears within the same machine, working together to produce a unified story.

Within the big-picture of consistency and uniformity concerning the message and object of the Bible, there are literally hundreds and thousands of explicit or implicit claims that it is God who is speaking. On its face this proves nothing, but again I exhort you to consider the astonishing fact of many different, dissonant authors claiming the exact same thing on numerous items of discussion. Try getting 40 – 50 people in the same room from even the same time period to all agree completely on anything, let alone the subject of religion and identity of God… good luck.

Democats over Republipups!

Next post I will discuss some of the stunning external evidences which support the historicity of the Bible.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Foundations of ItC blog, The Nature of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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