So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Cop Out Post!




Faith is a logical extension of historical or empirical fact into the non-historical (i.e. future) or non-empirical (i.e. not physical...or "spiritual" realm).

That's why in the Old Testament, God always defined himself by what he did. (As well as in the New)

In Genesis 15:7 God defines himself to Abraham as "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."

Then, on the basis of that historical occurrence Abraham asks how he will have assurance of God's promise that he will take possession of the land. (verse 8)

Then, in verses 12 to 19, God makes a covenant with Abraham in order to solidify Abraham's trust in God's promise.

God made an actual covenant with Abraham, in history, and did it so that Abraham would have something concrete to look back to and place his belief upon.

Same thing goes for Moses, the Kings, the Prophets, and ultimately Christ. God is a promise making and covenant making God, and on the basis of those real historical promises and covenants to I trust him.

Faith is trusting God's word, not believing whatever one wants to believe regardless of evidence. That's as biblical a definition of faith as I know how to deliver.

All facts become evidence upon interpretation, and what's really in question here is who's system of interpretation holds up to scrutiny, especially on the question of it's ability to verify, or not verity (as the case may be), the existence of a non-empirical being.

The thing is that the problem isn't with the Bible, or the evidence, or science. The problem is with the heart of man which has rebelled against God's moral law and MUST supress the truth of the data, seeing it as evidence as anything other than God.

A good example of this is in 2 Peter 3:1-14, where Peter talks about the flood of Noah's time and says:

"Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."

Paul makes a simple argument:

1. People will (all throughout history) come and mock the idea of a global flood on the basis of uniformitarian predictions regarding the past (verse 4)

2. They forget the flood "deliberately"; on purpose. (verse 5-6)

3. Because if God never judge the sin of the earth BEFORE, he'll never do it AGAIN (verse 7)

4. But God's slowness shows patience because he's giving people ample time to turn from sin (verse 8-9)

5. And judgment is CERTAINLY coming (verse 10)

6. And because of the certainty of the coming judgment, based on the historical occurrence of a global flood where God judged sin, we should live upright and righteous lives (verse 11-13) and "make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him" (verse 14)

*****So what?******

Well, if the bible is true when it talks about the flood actually occurring as a real event in history, then what it says about the purpose of that flood (Genesis 6:5-13 - God wiped out the entire earth due to their excessive wickedness) may also be true.

If the flood really happened, it's not JUST a geographic oddity. It also means that there is a holy and righteous God who judges sin.

And Peter makes the connection that if God judged the sin of the world ONCE, killing everyone because they actually deserved death (for Romans 6:23 declares that those who sin actually earn the reward of death), then God could and may do it again.

So if the flood is a historical occurrence, it reveals something about God and it also gives historical precedent for another coming day of judgment.

The historic reality of a worldwide flood in Noah's day may be a little bit unsettling for a person who has disobeyed God's moral law.

If the flood didn't occur and the Bible is a load of crap, then do whatever you want and who cares.

BUT, if the flood DID occur and the Bible is true, then it has serious ramifications for every aspect of life.

So, in a biblical worldview, a person who desires to reject God's moral law MUST also reject God's self revelation in creation. They can NOT see evidence for God, anywhere, simply due to the moral implications of God's existence at all.

AND what's more is that the Bible clearly says that everyone in the world (myself included) desires to reject God's moral law (Romans 3:10-18, 3:23) AND that everyone in the world actively rejects the truth of creation's data and suppresses it, twisting it to suit with their own hearts that reject him (Romans 1:18-23).

And, if the Bible isn't true about the flood, or the creation account, or the existence of the Patriarchs or whatever else, then there's no historical precedent to believe what it reveals about Jesus Christ...and he's really what's important.

If the claims of the Old Testament are not true, then Christ's claims to be the Messiah are in question.

- Who knows if he really is "the way and the truth and the life" or that he's the only path to get to God (John 14:6)

- Who knows if "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God"? (2 Corinthians 5:21)

- Who knows if "that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (Old Testament)" or if "he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (Old Testament)" (1 Corinthians 15:4)

- And ultimately "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost." (1 Corinthians 15:13-18)

The crux of the matter is Christ, and Christ is inseparable from the historicity of every single letter of the Old Testament.


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." (John 3:16-20)

The Bible is true because Christ is truth, and the Bible is truth because Christ is true.


Ramble Ramble Ramble...anways, I hope that at least gets me out of purgatory with some people. HA! Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian


Blogger Dusto said...

Nice post Lyndo! Some great points made! I appreciate them. It would help to know what you were responding to though..although for now I think this ramble will satisfy those in need of some Relfections from a Rogue Brain!

9:33 AM


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