“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
I would like to expand further on this idea that the Christian apologetics program is incomplete without an appeal to the divine, supernatural element of the displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways…contained within the biblical narrative story of faith life-scripts.
The Christian apologetics debate…as brilliant as each topic is argued back-and-forth…when broken down into greater supportive detail on each side of each argument…naturally, expectantly, and invariably lands within the realm of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
For example, all of the arguments pro and con for the existence of God that use evidences from the natural sciences…such as the Big Bang, the Anthropic Principle, the complexity of the information content in DNA, the mathematical improbability of the folding of amino acids into functional proteins within living cells…on the one side…and Darwinian evolution and anti-supernatural philosophy on the opposing other side…and a host of similarly important and applicable topics for debate…use evidences from the natural sciences and not the supernatural sciences.
Human scientific investigative techniques are strictly limited to the confines of natural science.
We currently have no investigative access to the workings of supernatural science…which exists probably at the outside boundaries of absolute physics, chemistry, and mathematics…and possibly overlaps into the zone of the divine spiritual capacity to create out-of-nothing according to the biblical formula: “and God said…” with whatever it was that He spoke…coming into being.
This creation ex-nihilo may be outside the current boundaries of the orderliness and intelligibility of our natural world…both these elements being the two foundational pillars necessary for modern scientific investigation to function.
Similarly, debatable apologetic topics in history, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, biology, paleontology, philosophy, and theology…when reduced down to their detailed, individual evidences…as expected…fall within arguments that can be made coming from the natural world and those things common to human experience…information and evidences within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
Setting aside the full, deeper context of the parable recorded in Luke 19:12-27…the statement to his household servants and outside groundskeepers of the departing nobleman before leaving on a foreign business trip to: “Occupy till I come”…describes a large portion of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking that is commendable, admirable, and completely within our normal abilities and capacities to perform.
Servants capably “occupying” until the return of the nobleman…already and naturally know how to dust, sweep, and clean the interior of the manor house, and to trim the bushes, tend the vegetable garden, pick fruit from the trees, and care for the domesticated animals on the exterior grounds…all within their normally routine, assigned duties…without a supernaturally composed life-script game-plan…from God.
The unique and innovative main theme of the biblical narrative stories of faith…not found anywhere else in human literature or experience…is that the storylines take people to unimaginable scenarios…outside of conventionally normal experience…to pursue humanistically unreachable goals that require divine participation to actualize into being and fulfillment.
This is what elevates the biblical journeys of faith experience to the pinnacle of human thought, reason, and purpose. This is the apologetics aspect of biblical journeys of faith that places them above and outside of the reach of the standard, skeptical criticism…coming from the realm of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
When atheist and skeptics attack Christianity alongside other religions…they are sometimes attacking…and sometimes accurately…that portion of Christianity that entails the “occupy till I come” activities of “dusting, sweeping, cleaning, and trimming shrubbery” whenever and wherever Christian practices overlap into the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…practices that are not being done very well…are not Christ-like…that do not pass the “white glove” critical inspection of perfect performance..
They are attacking practices, techniques, and beliefs that by their location within worldly conventionality…within “occupy till I come”…are susceptible to human corruption and deterioration, and therefore “fair game” to conventional analysis and legitimate criticism.
The parts about Old Testament Judaic and New Testament Christian experience that are above and outside of such criticism…are the perfect life-scripts composed by a perfect God for imperfect people…that have the all-important component of God displacing our ways with His higher ways…but that also anticipates and factors into account our many mistakes along our journey of faith…from the perspective of the timeless dimension of the Scriptwriter God (Ps. 32:1-2).
Our performance as flawed and imperfect people as recorded in the narrative stories of faith…and in our Christian journeys of faith today…does not take away from the perfection of God-composed life-scripts…each containing uniquely individual game-plans designed to get every Spirit-born Christian today to the finish line.
Here also I am responding in the reactive mode to criticisms coming from atheistic and skeptical philosophy…but I am responding with a rebuttal argument that falls above and outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
This response falls higher up on the vertical spectrum-line of goodness and light…involving God-composed journey of faith life-scripts…because the components of these life-scripts do not contain universally typical elements coming from within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
This is the great divide between God-sovereignty and self-sovereignty…between belief and unbelief.
God takes people of faith…who will pick up their cross to follow God within their God-composed life-scripts in the Old and New Testaments…to a zone of experience that is incomprehensible and unfathomable to people committed to self-autonomous rulership sitting atop the thrones of their lives…awash in worldly conventional thinking.