God wants us to reason with him

Monday Musings for August 30, 2021

Good morning, Musers,

God is eminently reasonable. This is the natural outfall of him being true. Reason relies on logic, and logic requires that objective truth exists. But God doesn’t just do true things. He is truth itself. This means, not only is God the source of truth, he is the only source of truth. Wherever you find truth, he is there… because he is the fount of anything that is truly true.

Postmodernism attacks God precisely at that point. It avers that objective truth does not exist. It says that what people agree on to be true is not true at its core; it is relatively true. To postmodernists, morality is a social construct. Things cannot be right or wrong within themselves.

The physicalists among them say that we’ve evolved in a way that our brains fool us into behaving morally because that’s the best way to increase the numbers of the herd. In their defense, they have to say something like that. They have to “explain away” the moral tendency in human beings… which is ubiquitous and overtly metaphysical.

We all have a choice to make here: if Darwin is God, follow him. But if God is God, follow him (Joshua 24:15). The thing you can’t do is stand there being of two opinions… not forever, anyway. Logically speaking, no decision is a “no” decision. People must “decide” to repent; they must “decide” to receive Jesus… because spiritual osmosis may feel good, but it does nothing.

Now, I need to confess here. I have trouble with some aspects of faith. But don’t panic. I know I’m saved! I know that I’ve confessed my sin, relied on Jesus to save me and have the internal witness of the Holy Spirit. But that’s about saving faith — and there’s another kind: living faith. You need living faith to make the ongoing decisions that will help you conform to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).

It’s helpful to think of this type of faith as a gradient. Some people live at the right extreme. They rest in their faith and rely minimally on reason. I envy those people — and I bless them! There are a lot of ways to “do” Christianity, and this is one of them.

I live at the other end of the spectrum. I rest in my salvation… but not in my congruency. I’m constantly challenged to find out more about the physical world and the philosophical world to make all the “truths” fit together peaceably under “The One who is True” — the One revealed in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16), the cosmos (Romans 1:18-20) and humankind (Romans 2:14-15).

To people on the right side of the faith continuum, I’m flailing about for nothing. To people who are outside of Christ, I am insane… and they could make that argument! You see, I share a characteristic with many who are clinically insane. In life, I think I am being reasonable.

“At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.” (Acts 26:24–25, NIV, emphasis mine)

To people who do not believe in God — or who have been brought up believing that they have to curry God’s favor through good works or sacraments to be saved — the gospel sounds insane! I’ll be the first to admit that it has a “too good to be true” aspect. But I thank God every day for its insanity… for the unreasonable yet reasonable grace that saved my soul (1 Corinthians 1:23).

 

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