One obvious yet subtle observation about the narrative stories of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible…that strongly argues for their divine origin…is that God takes the initiative in calling people into their varied missions. People uncharacteristically respond to God’s enlistment into unique storyline callings…rather than the other way around. The life-script agenda of premeditated, purpose-saturated events in the biblical narrative stories of faith are proactively set by God…not engineered by the actors themselves.
This enlistment by God into the dynamic vehicle of a journey of faith…composed and introduced outside of human invention…is the diametric opposite of a worldly typical journey of self. Journeys of faith composed by God as recorded in the Bible actually displace our free-will natural tendency to stubbornly go our own way…to do things our way (Isa. 55:8-9)…with the novel alternative concept of a life-script having directed events and circumstances that now include faith and trust in God’s ways and plans…to the exclusion of our own.
By what stretch of the imagination would this be the sole product of human literary invention? Obviously we have the capacity within our human nature to respond to God and to enter into a walk of faith…otherwise there would be no narrative stories of faith in the Bible. Without the in-built, internal ability to answer the callings of God and to follow His lead into adventures of faith…there would be no biblical narrative stories about Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Ruth, Hannah, Esther, Daniel, Peter, or Paul…to name only a few.
But the fundamental question is: where did this singular capacity originate from? What brought it into real action…that it enters into the rational realm of human phenomenon to the point of being recorded in the Bible and to become a realistic, comprehendible alternative worldview instead of going our own way…if not from or by God?
All discussion of either divine or human origin in this area…rises above circular arguing when the totally unconventional element of God displacing our way in our lives with His way…is introduced into the equation.
There is no frame of reference…no known reality of experience…within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…that could possibly inspire either a real or a literary fictional journey of faith following the leading of God.
This concept does not exist anywhere outside of the biblical narrative stories of faith or outside of the biographical stories of Christians living in the church age. It will not be found in Shakespeare, Twain, Steinbeck, Hemingway, or Agatha Christie. It is not one of the great philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment. It will not be found as a topic of discussion in world history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, or even religious studies classes in secular universities and colleges around the world.
Yet this concept…of God displacing our thoughts and life-plans with His higher thoughts and ways…starting with Abraham the “father of faith” as he walks from Haran to Canaan…is one of the most ancient, innovative, and brilliantly imaginative ideas in all of human experience.
Our capacity within human nature to follow God into a walk-of-faith life-script displacing our way with God’s way…defines two distinctly opposing worldviews that separate into the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum…with worldly conventional normalcy and thinking at the other end.
Atheists and critical skeptics of the Bible assert that the biblical stories of faith are fiction…are part myth and part literary imagination…primarily because they run contrary to the philosophy of naturalism which excludes the miraculous…a paradigm in recent past history that was predominant in philosophy but now is greatly reduced and moderated by the theistic implications of the scientific discovery of the Big Bang, DNA, and the Cambrian Explosion…the near instant (as far as we can tell) introduction of complex information…inexplicable by gradualistic natural processes alone.
The big question here is how would a concept so totally contrary to our other innate, natural tendency to go our own way…to do things our way…to be independent, autonomous self-rulers…ever get started? What within the closed-system of worldly conventional life that we observe and experience every day…could and would introduce this second side of our nature that brings to life this novel and innovative game-plan of a journey of faith?
As Abraham the biblical “father of faith” travels from the city of Haran to the Promised Land of Canaan…with each step he takes God is displacing whatever normative life Abraham would have lived in Haran according to its culture and conventions…with a life-script containing the critically new element of faith in God…a life-script Abraham would never have imagined in his wildest dreams.
And with each step Abraham takes towards Canaan and away from Haran…the non-theistic starting hypothesis that this story is human invented fiction…that God does not exist and therefore could not have spoken to Abraham…is a door that is closed by reason of the sheer novelty of the setting aside of autonomous self-sovereignty…that this storyline introduces.
The initiative here…as in every narrative story of faith in the Bible…is with God. People of faith in the Bible react to God’s enlistment of them into a scheme of events and circumstances that stretch them…in terms of a relationship with God and in self-sacrificing service to others… far beyond anything they could have invented or contrived.
The origin of this concept…along with the concept itself…is supernatural. The concept of the cross of Christ (Lk. 22:42) embedded within the life-script of people…starting with Abraham…that exposes our innate capacity to follow God into a walk of faith…is inexplicable within the non-theistic philosophies of materialism and naturalism.
The default worldview for the majority of people is the worldly conventional mindset of self-sovereignty…of sitting atop the thrones of our lives in self-direction and self-rulership. This is the first major worldview that is and has been the predominant choice throughout human history (Rom. 3:11).
The second major worldview…and the only other fundamental worldview possible…is the option of biblical faith…of stepping down off the thrones of our lives to make room for the living God to assume His rightful place as Lord and Master in our lives…as the ruling King of the realm.
The argument for the divine origin of the narrative stories of faith in the Bible parallels and is similar to the argument made for intelligent design in the natural world.
At the microbiological level, for Darwinian evolution to produce the vast diversity of life…it first needs the process of macromolecular replication to be in place and fully functioning within already living cells…using the fantastically large, complex, and coordinated information code we find within DNA…the “language of life.”
Going from non-existent DNA to fully functional DNA in a long, continuous progression over time…is as unfeasible as taking a slow, running leap across the Grand Canyon. No simpler, transitional, intermediate form of DNA to span this gap has ever been found…and its incrementally gradualistic progression from simple to complex is hypothetically inconceivable…if functional utility and immediate survivability is the minimum allowable, start-up requirement.
In other words, at the microbiology level there is no past or present recognizable reality that something as complex and specified as the DNA information code could morph either slowly or instantly from the simple to the complex…through purely naturalistic means.
Translating this to the human reality of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…the jump to “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42)…as a product of pure naturalistic origin…is conceptually nonsensical. Yet this divinely original theme…at the pinnacle of moral reasoning within the context of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion…is written into the life-scripts of every person of faith…to a greater or lesser degree…recorded throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
The wide gulf from the self-sovereignty of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…producing journeys of self…to the innovative scenario of a journey of faith containing the concept of the cross of Christ…surrendering the course of our lives to the leading of God…is beyond a humanistic explanation.
Material particles and energy in the natural world cannot be the source of the existence of this brilliant dichotomy of worldviews.
The inventor of this second major worldview…introduced into the world from the outside…is also the divine inventor of our salvation through the life and death of Jesus Christ…and the divine inventor of the imperative of the spiritual rebirth described by Jesus in John chapter three.
The existence of this second major worldview of renouncing self-sovereignty to allow the space for God to insert a new script into our lives that displaces entirely our own plans…a displacement at the very core of our being and not some minor changes around the peripheral edges of our own life-plans, goals, and aspirations…argues compellingly for its divine origin.
Because of its instant arrival into human history…without any intermediate concept… transitional between following our own way or following a life-script composed by God…the counter-argument that a journey of faith following God was invented by Jewish writers around 1,450 B.C. during the composition of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible…on the commonsense plausibility meter…also seems nonsensical.