Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rudimentary Apologetics

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer (apologia) to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear, 1st Peter 3:15.

Here is the foundation of Christian apologetics. We, the body of Christ, are to have an answer, a defense, a logical and biblical reason for the hope that is in us; not wishful thinking or tilting at windmills. We must know what we believe, and why we believe it to answer those in opposition; and we must not err by being aggressive and arrogant, as Peter cautions. We are to storm strongholds by the Spirit’s power (2nd Corinthians 10:5), but our duty is to take the enemy alive; we are fighting to preserve life!

Having that said, I would like to press on to my point. It is this: there are many today who believe that all religions are various reflections of God as man has perceived him/her/it. Indeed, even my own wife wrote in an old letter (years before her conversion) about who “God” was. She envisioned him however she wished. This mentality is called “God as you conceive him.” But is this logical biblical? There’s a certain whimsy to it, but I will attempt to display why this line of thought lacks coherence or depth.

Mankind only knows what it is familiar with. I know the earth because I live on it; I know about animals because I see them; I know about people because I am one, etc. In other words, we can only know experientially what we are acquainted with by firsthand knowledge. Note this: knowledge MUST precede experience. The essence of idolatry is likening God to something familiar to our finite experience. Religions reveal more about their founder(s) than they reveal the nature and person of deity. Look at the founders of Mormonism or Islam, for example. The reason that idolatry is dangerous is because God already made an image in His likeness: us. Human beings are most like God in our intellectual, moral, and emotional capacity than any other created thing in the universe. Man searching to create an “image” of or for God overlooks the vital point that we are His image; in fact we were created to be dwelling places of God in the Spirit. Since God is Spirit, and not of His creation, we cannot know Him by our senses, intelligence, emotions, etc. We need God to reach in, as it were, and give us light to see by; otherwise we are like men stumbling around a dark room; we don’t even know what we’re looking at or for, because we can’t (by our natural perception) see! If this is true, then it stands to reason that every “god” created by man is not God’s image, but our own. There is nothing comparable to the genuine God in His creation with which to even begin likening Him to.

Revelation is a term used to describe the unveiling of divine knowledge to benefit and enlighten mankind. When God gave His word through the pages of the Bible, He gave us a revelation of His person. We were taught about His nature, thoughts, righteousness, love, power, etc. In short, we were informed. We learned about God via knowledge; God explained who He was, and by doing so eradicating all erring views of who He is not. It is like a padlock. When you learn the three digit code, you are gaining knowledge that will permit you to open the lock; but first you must receive this information, and then employ said information exactly as it is relayed. Using creative license at this point to “conceive” the numbers of the lock still won’t open that lock. Heaven was locked up tight with a divine padlock; God bent down to earth, gave us the words of life, and in essence opened Heaven for us. Since He knew it (being God) and we didn’t (being human beings on earth) we needed that knowledge revealed to us in simple, practical language that could be related to us. The Bible is such a revelation. In short, the Bible is a manifestation of God’s revealed will; something one would NEVER know unless God deigned to tell us.
To be Continued.

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