There are basically two halves to the cross. Salvation by grace through faith…through the blood of Christ shed on the cross…the first half…is the way into the second half…a divinely composed journey of faith for new covenant Christians (Jer. 31:31-34; Jn. 14:6).
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Satan has been working to prevent people from entering into the kingdom of God…for thousands of years…through the use of cunningly deceptive arguments and the most alluring enticements of worldly wealth, power, and fame (Mt. 4:8-9; Mk. 8:36).
But Satan also does not want the second half of the cross…the displacement of our ways with God’s ways…out there in open debate for public consideration.
Satan cannot attack the displacement element that opens up the context for God-sovereignty to actualize in people’s lives…arguably one of the key components in a biblical journey of faith…in open debate coming from the zone of philosophical atheism as has been typical in the past…because this concept does not exist anywhere in worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
Acknowledging its existence indirectly validates and highlights its divine origin.
It cannot be brought lower…reduced down into the horizontal zone of worldly conventional thinking…without giving away the clear inference of its divine origin…because nothing in worldly conventional normalcy and thinking relates to this unique concept.
Elsewhere in the book, the question is raised about the difficulty of anyone other than God inventing and composing a life-script that can get a perfect person to the cross on Calvary Hill in first-century Jerusalem.
How do you get a perfect person Jesus Christ all the way to the outward appearing, utter failure of the cross…traversing through the narrowest and tightest of circumstances…while turning this most catastrophic event into the most positive and productive salvation for mankind?
Everything in the life-script of Jesus Christ the Son of God…imagined and composed eons of time ago by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…is designed to get Jesus to the cross.
God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit have known from eternity past that the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross…has divine life.
The blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross has power for redemptive salvation, spiritual re-birth, and moral transformation for believers, but also has thorough and complete justification that enables people of faith to enter into a dynamic journey of faith wherein they can personally know the living God of the Bible…because this justification comes to us signed and sealed through the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Here the biblical narrative stories of faith enter into the apologetics debate.
God displacing our ways with His higher ways…His higher thoughts…whether this results in an entirely new, major calling in our lives…like Abraham or the Apostle Paul…or staying exactly where we are but becoming changed people with new spiritual hearts and new attitudes for the better…is openly supernatural to the core…and is plainly there in clear print in the pages of the Bible.
What is the explanation for how this entirely non-natural concept came into existence within the human marketplace of ideas?
Is this truth as defined by God…divinely initiated through life-scripts that contain scenarios having goals and outcomes outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…which require God’s participation within joint-ventures with the people of faith that lift them up into a higher context where discovering the character and person of God is possible?
If this is the definition of truth actualized within people’s lives…non-natural and supernatural to the core…then this is the last thing Satan wants out in the open in public debate as a viable and rational alternative for the leading of our lives…God-sovereignty in place of self-sovereignty.
I have the greatest admiration for the Christian apologists who debate world-renowned atheists in an open public forum. I liken this to the steely courage and confidence needed by concert pianists or violinists performing concertos live on the stages of Carnegie Hall or the Hollywood Bowl…or to the confidence that major league baseball shortstops must have upon taking the field to start the game…knowing that the first pitch may be a groundball hit deep in the hole between third base and shortstop…necessitating getting to the ground ball…catching it…and then turning to throw a “bullet” across the infield diamond to get the speedy lead-off hitter out by a step.
The breadth of the preparation and the mastery of the subject matter are to be admired on both sides of the argument regarding the existence of God and the truthfulness of the Bible.
But I think one of the most important elements is still missing in the debate.
God displacing our ways with His higher ways…integral within every biblical narrative story of faith…in my opinion has not been fully recovered following the positive breakthrough made during the Protestant Reformation…namely the common people being able to directly read for themselves the Bible translated into their own language.
The outward display of the divine humility of Jesus that gets Him all the way to the cross…along with the humanistically revolting component of the gospel message that jettisons worldly conventional normalcy and thinking overboard…and the unthinkably unconventional process of a biblical-quality journey of faith that introduces God-sovereignty into our lives through the cross of Jesus Christ…consistently and uniformly portrayed throughout the Bible…is in my view almost irrefutable evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the Bible…because their origin cannot plausibly come from human literary invention.
Win the brilliantly laid-out, contemporary Christian apologetics argument raging within scholarly academia and the popular culture…using evidences from the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and Christians have thereby offered a compelling rebuttal to the objections originating from atheistic and skeptical unbelief…opening the way for people to work free from untruths…towards a personal relationship with God through belief in Jesus Christ as Savior.
But the biblical narrative stories of faith argue for a divine origin of the Bible…taking the debate upward a level or two…above worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and thus outside of the reach of skeptical criticism.
A journey of faith following the living God where He displaces our ways with His higher ways, using divine foresight in choosing goals and outcomes that are beyond our ability to self-compose and self-orchestrate…creating the humanistically unreachable context for biblical faith to actualize…is simply outside the imagination of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking to invent.
What everyone is missing in the Christian apologetics debate…is out there hiding in plain sight…in the Bible. It has been there all along.
It is clearly looking us in the face in the biblical narrative stories of faith…yet people have to seek God with all of their hearts to find it.
This is a main thesis put forward in this book…out in the open…and accessible to commonsense contemplation.