“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentile, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (Jas. 3:17)
In the contemporary Christian apologetics debate…about the reasonableness of faith and the existence of God…the questions raised and the answers given in response…are both equally brilliant and well-articulated. They represent the highest and the best of human thinking, knowledge, research, and argumentation.
But the program of Christian apologetics…as brilliantly persuasive as it is…is largely the product of responses to criticisms and objections originating out of philosophical atheism over the past three or four hundred years…coming up to current issues in today’s modern times.
The formulation of the systematic Christian apologetics argument has been largely reactive…ably constructed piece-by-piece in response to criticisms about the existence of God and the truthfulness of the Bible…criticisms coming naturally and historically from the atheist viewpoint out of the Scientific Revolution, the Doctrine of Progress stemming from the two Industrial Revolutions, and the enormous, thought-provoking, beneficially progressive changes that have been made in the political, economic, social, and cultural structures of modern societies.
But the problem here is that in the reactive mode…in the defensive position of responding to criticisms and objections raised by atheists and skeptics…the starting point of most if not all of the issues debated…land within what I call in this book worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…the large zone of normal human experience, inquiry, and investigative research…which when situated on a graduated vertical spectrum of goodness and light (discussed here and throughout this book)…falls below in terms of goodness and light the experiences described in the biblical narrative stories of faith…which define from God’s perspective the whole point of true religion: a personal relationship with Himself…again by divine definition…a supernatural relationship that is non-natural.
Such issues as the hypocrisy of institutionalized, historical Christianity when it overlaps into “religion” that produces un-Christ like religious intolerance…the seeming difficulty in explaining the presence of evil and suffering in a God-created world…whether or not the multi-verse or many-worlds hypothesis is a plausible, random chance, substitute explanation for the obvious intelligent design we observe in the fine-tuning of the natural world from the galactic scale in the expansion speed of the universe down to the microscopic scale in the inconceivably complex and organized information content of DNA…the reliability of the Old and New Testament texts as ancient documents…the historical validity of the gospel records of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ…these and other issues belong to a group of typical and repetitive topics that …due to change and progress over time…have arisen from within the skeptical and anti-theistic portion of the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking (1 Cor. 2:6-12)…where by definition and necessity…being ordinary, commonplace, and non-supernatural…atheists, agnostics, and skeptics live and think.
But arguably the centermost human issue at the heart of reality…the displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways…which enables God-sovereignty to become actualized in people’s lives…as portrayed throughout the Bible and as a reality in the lives of tens of millions of Spirit-born Christians today…including this writer…is entirely missed by religious skeptics…and avoided at all costs by Satan.
Atheists and skeptics cannot see the displacement element within biblical journeys of faith…first because their starting worldview bias of unbelief so thoroughly blinds them they cannot see the data…and second this concept does not exist anywhere within the wide expanse of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…to draw meaningful comparisons with.
This is why the concept of biblical faith…of God displacing our ways with His ways according to the cross of Christ…falls outside of the field of comparative religious studies…because the starting premise of comparative religious studies is that all religions have a humanistic origin…that all religions are man-made…and thus can fall within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and are thereby accessible to study, analysis, comparison, and criticism.
But the critical point I want to make here is that Satan does not want to get anywhere near this central biblical concept of the inducement of God-sovereignty into people’s lives by means of the displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways…this uniquely inexplicable transition from worldly conventional self-sovereignty to God-sovereignty…that is built into every narrative story of faith in the Bible.
Satan will not attack this exclusively biblical concept outright and directly…because he does not want it out in the open. This is an element of cunning malice and diabolical deception that has yet to be fully unearthed and articulated within the apologetics arena…because it will not originate from the direction of philosophical atheism to be responded to in the historically “normal” way in the Christian apologetics reactive mode.
This specific argument for the existence of God and the truthfulness of the Bible…must originate from within Christian experience and theology. It cannot possibly come from within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…because it does not exist there.