An Argument for the Ages 2

From Commonsense Christian Apologetics

At this point it should be remembered that in this story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah…to borrow the concise words of Ravi Zacharias he uses in describing this biblical scene in his public lectures…God shouts from heaven at the last moment as Abraham is raising his knife to kill Isaac his son on the altar of sacrifice: “Stop…I myself will provide.”

The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews (who I believe was Paul), wrote in chapter eleven:

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

It was in part the advance preparation for Abraham…in patient waiting for the birth of Isaac…”from whence also he received him in a figure” …that enabled God to take Abraham and us up to the singularly high vantage point of being able to peer ahead into the future and see the second Person of the Trinity…Jesus the Son of God…on the cross as the sacrifice for human sins past, present, and future…and then God the Father three days later “able to raise him up, even from the dead.”

In the 8th chapter of the gospel of John…in one of His verbal exchanges with the religious leaders in Jerusalem, Jesus says something enlightening on the question of what did Abraham think about God…after the events of Mount Moriah…and as he and Isaac came down from the mountain to safely return home:

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad” (Jn. 8:56).

What makes the story of Abraham so important in human history…and a nearly irrefutable apologetic argument for the divine origin of the Bible…is that as Abraham received his calling to leave the city of Haran and go to the Promised Land of Canaan…with each step that Abraham takes God is displacing whatever normative life Abraham might have lived back in Haran…with a new life that Abraham would never have dreamed up in his wildest imagination.

No human writer using fictional imagination…working from the limited zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…could get Abraham or us up to this lofty, looking-point foreglimpse on Mount Moriah of an upcoming, eternally important epiphany…in this dress-rehearsal of the sacrifice for sin that Jesus Christ would accomplish on the cross at Calvary in the first-century of our modern era.

No human writer could or would invent this life-script story having a tightly specified, advance preparation that encompassed a brilliantly conceived message wrapped within another message (a nested hierarchy)…that had as its targeted end-point the utter unconventionality of a supernatural finale…a humanistically unimaginable final chapter ending that was non-natural…of a ram caught in a thicket to symbolize Jesus on the cross as the substitute for mankind…in this case Isaac (Gen. 22:13).

No human writer could or would compose narrow, highly specific, complex scenarios of advance preparation that lead to goals, outcomes, callings, and promises of God that are unreachable by human abilities or intellect…that is universal in the biblical narrative stories of faith.

Abraham can no more make himself the “father of faith” through his own imagination or actions…any more than you or I could make ourselves the “father of faith” through self-contrivance.

But that is the point.  A novel and creatively unconventional amount of storyline information enters into human experience in the ancient time of Abraham…which is as profoundly innovative and complex as any in all of history…at the very start of the biblical record.

The life-script of Abraham…from beginning to end…has premeditated foresight and prophetic “far”-sight written all over it…that is so deep…so forward looking…so ingeniously creative…and so thoroughly outside of the aspirations and expectations of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…that to categorize this opening story of Abraham in the Bible as fiction…as a humanistic production of mythological literature…to this Christian writer seems to be simplistically nonsensical.

How and why would any human literary genius create such a fictional worldview?

All such literary fictional attempts would traditionally and historically be grounded in a projection…a reflection…of ourselves, coming exclusively from the self-autonomous and pride-filled zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…where self-reliance rules and reigns…and where displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways is unthinkably non-existent.

How would over 40 different authors, spanning 1,500 years…artistically create the varied books of the Bible…all consistently and coherently having this unconventional message of the cross of Christ that displaces our ways with God’s higher ways and thoughts.

The ingeniously innovative, advance, upfront preparation for Abraham matches perfectly the final, later test on Mount Moriah…perfect and complete right out of the box the first time…no assembly instructions needed…and no time spent on Darwinian evolutionary development.

This is precisely what we also see in the advance preparation for Joseph to become governor of Egypt, Moses to deliver the Israelites from bondage as slaves and lead them to the Promised Land, David to become king of Israel despite being the youngest and least valued son of Jesse, Peter the common fisherman learning the humility of walking and listening in the Spirit to become the leader of the early Christian church in Jerusalem, and Paul the persecutor of the early Christian church experiencing the grace of divine forgiveness that he can then take with him to give to the polytheistic, idol-worshipping Gentiles…in becoming the premier missionary evangelist to the first-century Greco-Roman world.

If the complex storyline of Abraham…having the element of displacement, an advance upfront period of highly specified preparation, and a nested hierarchy of a supernatural message wrapped up within an unconventional life-script plotline that Abraham could not self-compose, contrive, or self-orchestrate into a positive outcome using human abilities and intellect…then the obvious remaining conclusion is that God is actively participating in the lives of those people who will place their faith and trust in Him.

This is one of the most important facts in all of human history…one of the most important developments in all of human civilization.

Author: Barton Jahn

I work in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have six Christian books self-published through Create Space KDP. I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on two more books on building construction.

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