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KJV Defended

Introduction

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

 

Second Pages to Chapters

1  2  4  6  8

 

 

 

   
     

 

A SHORT HISTORY OF UNBELIEF

CHAPTER TWO

Continued

 

(b) The Origin of Life—Pasteur, Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel



During the 19th century the controversy between materialists and orthodox Christians shifted from the question of the relation of soul and body to the question of the origin of life. This change was brought about by the theory of evolution, which logically involves some type of spontaneous generation. At first this was no problem, for from the days of the ancient Greeks until the mid-19th century almost everyone believed that life could be generated spontaneously. For example, the famous Brussels physician Van Helmont (1577-1644) claimed to have generated live mice by placing a dirty shirt in a bowl of wheat germs and keeping it there for three weeks. William Harvey (1578-1657), the discoverer of the circulation of the blood, believed that worms and insects could be spontaneously generated from decayed matter, and Descartes and Isaac Newton held similar views. Even Lamarck mentioned the possibility of the spontaneous generation of mushrooms. (75) But in 1862 Louis Pasteur proved that no known form of life, not even bacteria, could be generated spontaneously, and evolutionists were compelled to adjust their theory to this new discovery. (76)
 


Some evolutionists made this adjustment by giving God a small part in the evolutionary process. God, they said, created the first germ of life, and then evolution did the rest. This was the view that Darwin had already advanced publicly in his Origin of Species. (77) Privately, however, he preferred a materialistic explanation of the origin of life, suggesting that life might have arisen from a protein compound in a warm pool in which ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity and other ingredients were present. (78) Huxley and Haeckel, Darwin's foremost disciples, believed that life had originated in the sea. When some slime was dredged up from the bottom of the ocean, Huxley proclaimed it the simplest form of living matter and named it after Haeckel, but later it proved to be only some inorganic salts. (79)



Present-day followers of Darwin, Huxley and Haeckel look eagerly to space science to confirm their views. In 1959, for example, Urey and Miller expressed their opinion that all the projected space flights and the high costs of such developments would be fully justified if they were able to establish the existence of life on either Mars or Venus. (80) And in the same year M. Calvin named the moon, Venus and Mars as three non-terrestrial environments which might possibly contain life or the traces of life. (81) But subsequent investigations have not encouraged these hopes. Astronauts have walked the moon and found it lifeless. Three American and two Russian spacecraft have sailed past Venus and sent back their reports. According to this new data, Venus is the hottest of all the planets with temperatures reaching 1,000 degrees F. thus rendering the existence of life impossible. (82) As for Mars, in 1976 this planet was canvassed very carefully for signs of life but with negative results. Two space craft were landed on Mars with equipment to test the soil and transmit the results to earth, but the experiments were inconclusive. (83)
 


What about the possibility of creating life in a scientific laboratory? Some materialists claim that this feat has already been accomplished. Experiments with viruses, for example, have sometimes been so interpreted. Viruses are minute particles which cause certain diseases. When they are not in the cells of an organism which they can infect, viruses seem entirely lifeless, even forming crystals after the manner of inorganic chemicals. But as soon as a virus penetrates a living cell, it reproduces (makes copies of) itself just as if it were alive. Viruses, moreover, consist of two parts, a protein shell and a core of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA). (84) In 1955 at the University of California H. L. Fraenkel-Conrat accomplished the remarkable feat of disassembling two breeds of the tobacco mosaic virus and then successfully combining the protein shells of one breed with the RNA nuclei of the other. But as Fraenkel-Conrat himself observed, this was not a creation of life but an analysis of biologically active structures in terms of chemistry. (85)
 


Other experiments have proceeded along similar lines. In 1957 A. Kornberg and his associates in St. Louis caused DNA nucleic acid molecules to reproduce themselves by mixing a small "primer" of DNA with a ferment (enzyme) taken from colon bacteria and then adding the proper building materials of nucleic acid (nucleotides). (86) And in 1965 Spiegelman and Haruna of the University of Illinois did the same thing with RNA nucleic acid, using a ferment (enzyme) taken from cells infected by a certain virus, a small amount of RNA as a primere - magnesium salts, and the proper building--materials. (87) But as Dobzhansky (1964) admits, such experiments, though very impressive, do not really involve the creation of life from non-living constituents, since some of the materials are taken from living cells and, in any case, no living cell is produced. (88)
 


(c) Positivism—Comte. Russell, The Vienna Circle
 


Positivism was a type of scientific atheism first advocated by Auguste Comte (1798-1857). His fundamental doctrine was the alleged three stages of human thought. The first stage, according to Comte, was the theological. As men passed through this stage, they were first fetish-worshipers, second polytheists, and finally monotheists. The second stage was metaphysical. In this stage men no longer referred phenomena to supernatural beings but to unseen causes, to occult powers or forces which can not be detected by the senses. But this stage, Comte believed, had also been outgrown, and thinking men had now entered the third stage of development, to wit, the positive stage. Men living in this third stage have come to recognize that there are no spiritual agencies in the universe, no efficient causes, nothing but facts discoverable by the senses, nothing but events which take place according to natural law. In this positive stage, Comte insisted, it has become evident that theological and metaphysical problems are insoluble and senseless. All that we ought to attempt is to discover and systematize the laws of nature. (89)



Comte's wide-ranging theories won him friends and adherents in England as well as in France. John Stuart Mill and the historian Thomas Buckle were numbered among his admirers. Of the later 19th-century positivists Kirchhoff and Mach, noted physicists, were especially prominent. And throughout the century there were many other scientists who, though they refused the positivistic label, yet by their contempt for religion and metaphysics showed themselves to be thoroughly imbued with the positivistic spirit.
 


Early in the 20th century, however, positivists began to discover that they had not really succeeded in eliminating metaphysical problems. They had only created a new one, namely, the problem of meaning. For if the religious and metaphysical ideas of the past are meaningless, how can positivists be sure that their own ideas have meaning? What is meaning? What does "meaning" mean? (90) The study of this question was given the name Semantics (science of meaning ).
 


Semantic studies were carried on first in England by Bertrand Russell in the early 1900's. A pioneer and outstanding authority in the field of symbolic logic, he applied this technique to the propositions of Kant and other great philosophers of the past in order to discover their meaning or lack of meaning. This procedure he called logical analysis. (91) Although Russell refused to be called a positivist, he leaned in this direction, and his achievements in symbolic logic had great influence on 20th-century positivism, so much so that it soon became known as logical positivism.



Shortly after World War I a group of logical positivists, usually spoken of as "the Vienna Circle", began to meet together at the University of Vienna under the leadership of Moritz Schlick, a professor of scientific philosophy there. (92) Ludwig Wittgenstein, who had studied logic under Bertrand Russell, was also influential in the group, although he never actually attended any of its meetings. (93) In Poland also during this same period similar groups were active. (94) Then during the 1930's interest in logical positivism spread to many lands, especially after the rise of Hitler to power, an event which had a scattering effect upon the whole movement. Many of its leaders fled to the United States and began to teach logical positivism and semantics in American Universities. And at the same time Alfred Korzybski, Stuart Chase, and S. I. Hayakawa introduced these subjects to the American public at the popular level. (95)
 


These semantic studies, however, have not led to any satisfactory conclusion. Positivists now maintain that meaning is a matter of convention. Whether you find meaning in a proposition or not depends on the semantic system which you adopt, the linguistic rules which you choose. Positivists say that they prefer to follow a semantic system in which only propositions, which can be verified experimentally, are meaningful. (96) But this is a purely arbitrary and subjective way to handle the question of meaning. If meaning is anything at all, it must be objective and independent of our wills. The Christian finds this meaning in God, his Creator, and in Jesus Christ, his Redeemer and Saviour.



(d) Cybernetics—The Philosophy of Automation



A new era in the history of materialism seems to have begun in 1948, for this was the year in which Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and world famous pioneer in the field of automation, published his well known book Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. The word cybernetics was derived from the Greek word kybernetike, which means the art of steering. Thus the title of the book conveyed Wiener's central thesis that there is no fundamental difference between animals and machines and that even human beings are basically mechanical. The principles, Wiener argued, that are valid in the realms of communication-engineering and automation can be applied also to human life. (97)
 


Wiener tells us that he was led to these conclusions through his work on anti-aircraft guns during World War II. These guns were aimed by computers which calculated the position of the enemy aircraft on the basis of statistical probability. If the gun failed to score a hit, radar-pulses would be reflected back to the gun both from its own bursting shell and from the enemy aircraft. (98) These radar-pulses would set in operation a correctional process called "feedback," namely an electrical current which was "fed back" into the gun's computer. This "feedback" would then correct the calculations of the computer and thus improve the aim of the gun. Computerized encounters such as these were regarded as contests between two machines, the automatic gun on the one hand and the enemy pilot and his aircraft on the other.



Wiener's work on anti-aircraft guns was soon utilized in the field of communication-engineering (telegraph, telephone, radio, television). In this realm also there is a contest between two opposing forces. The first of these is called information. When a message is received over a wire or over the radio waves, the exact content of the message is never absolutely certain. And so out of all the possibilities the most probable is selected by means of mechanical devices which operate on the principle of statistical probability. "Information" is the process by which this selection is made. The second and opposing process is called entropy, the scientific name for the electrical disturbances which break up the message and render its reception difficult by making all the possibilities equally probable. The use of Wiener's methods of computing probabilities provided a way to eliminate these electrical disturbances more completely and thus to improve the reception of messages.
 


Out of these principles of communication-engineering and automation Wiener developed his philosophic system. He regarded the history of the universe as a gigantic struggle in which entropy and information are pitted against each other. Entropy, he maintained, is the disintegrative force which dissolves the universe by making all the possibilities equally probable and thus doing away with all distinctiveness. Information is the constructive force which uses "feedback" (Wiener's new name for adaptation to environment) to make some possibilities more probable than others and thus to set in motion the process of evolution. Both human beings and machines are products of evolution. Human beings must be used humanly. Since they are high grade machines, they should be assigned tasks involving decision making. Boring drudgery should be reserved for machines of a lower order. But in the last analysis, according to Wiener, all human striving is in vain. Entropy must win the victory over information, and the history of the universe must end in chaos.
 


Wiener's cybernetic philosophy has been eagerly adopted by evolutionists the world over and now reigns almost supreme in scientific circles, but like all other materialistic thought structures it falls down when handled critically. What is back of the possibility out of which both entropy and information are said to flow? If nothing is back of it, why is there any possibility? Why isn't everything impossible? And what is back of the statistical probability which is said to guide both entropy and information? If nothing is back of it but chance, why isn't there chaos right now? Why don't all the possibilities become equally probable at this very moment? And in what sense can Wiener claim that his materialistic philosophy is true? For if materialism is true, then all ideas, theories and philosophies must be forms of matter or states of matter and as such cannot meaningfully be said to be true.
 


(e) Truth and Certainty, Probability and Error. Common and Saving Grace
 


Most modern scientists are convinced of one thing, however much they may differ in regard to other matters, namely, that science has no use for absolute or final truth. Professor Margenau (1963) of Yale is quite passionate, even violent, in his expression of this conviction. Science, he declares, harbors no absolute or final truth. Final truth, he asserts, is stagnant knowledge. Only a fool looks for it. Only a feeble soul insists on truth by revelation. (99) And others have expressed themselves similarly. For example, the eminent scientific philosopher Hans Reichenbach (1938) maintained that human knowledge includes no truth. "All we have," he said, "is an elastic net of probability connections floating in open space." (100)
 


But can the situation be as these scientists picture it? Can there be probability without truth? Is it possible to abolish truth and leave nothing but probability? Analysis shows that this is not possible. For when a scientist says that his theory is probable, he means that it is true that his theory is probably true. He does not mean that it is probable that his theory is probably probable, for this would be nonsense. In other words, probability makes no sense unless there is also truth.
 


It cannot be, therefore, that all propositions are merely probable. Some propositions must be permanently true. Otherwise the probability concept becomes meaningless. What are these permanently true propositions? God gives the answer to this question. The permanently true propositions are those propositions by which God reveals Himself in nature, in the holy Scriptures, and in the Gospel of Christ which is the saving message of the Scriptures.
 


God is the God of truth. Through Moses He proclaims Himself as such. A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (Deut. 32:4). And Jesus tells His disciples, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6). The significance of these biblical statements and many others like them is explained by the fact that the biblical word for truth is emunah, which means firmness, steadfastness, faithfulness. God is the Truth, the Supreme Reality on which all other realities depend, the unshakable firmness which supports the universe which He has created, the unchangeable steadfastness, the ultimate faithfulness. Truth is an attribute of God, one of the aspects of His infinite and eternal Being. His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations (Psalm 100:5).
 


If God is truth, what then is probability, and how does probability differ from certainty? In answering these questions we must remember that God is infinite and that therefore not all aspects of His revelation of His truth are equally clear to our finite human minds. Regarding the revelation which God makes of His operations in the kingdom of nature this is obviously so. Lo these are parts of His ways: but how little a portion is heard of Him? but the thunder of His power who can understand? (Job. 26:14). And in the realm of spiritual things also, in the study of the Scriptures, our limited human intelligence loses itself in wonder at the depths of the divine knowledge. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! (Rom. 11:33).



According to the Bible therefore, the difference between probability and certainty can be defined in the following way: Certainty is our clear perception of God's clearly revealed truth, especially His revelation of Himself in nature, in the holy Scriptures, and in the Gospel of Christ. Probability, on the other hand, is our dimmer perception of God's less clearly revealed truth. In other words, God's clearly revealed truth suggests further truth less clearly revealed, and this suggests yet further truth still less clearly revealed, and so we go forward until at last we stand before the unrevealed truth, namely, the secret things of God (Deut. 29:29). Similarly, statistical probability is the truth suggested, in varying degrees of clarity, by the statistical regularity which God establishes in the world and maintains by His providence.



But what about error and falsehood? Where do they come from? The Bible teaches us that Satan, the father of lies, is the ultimate source of both these great evils (John 8:44). From the very beginning down to the present time Satan has spread his falsehoods far and wide by means of doubt, denial, and deception. By casting clouds of doubt upon God's clearly revealed truth he makes it seem only probable. For example, Satan said to Eve, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Gen. 3:1). Did God really say anything like this? Then from doubt Satan brings sinners farther to an open denial of God's truth. Ye shall not surely die, Satan assured Eve (Gen. 3:4). And having thus prepared the way, Satan completes his work of deception by suggesting a false alternative to take the place of the rejected truth. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5). By such false hypotheses and theories down through the ages Satan has ensnared the lost members of our fallen human race and made them his willing captives (2 Tim. 2:26).
 


By his deceits and stratagems Satan reigns over the minds and hearts of unbelieving sinners and over their civilization and culture. He is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). Yet even here he does not hold undisputed sway. For the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit exercises a restraining influence over the minds and hearts of sinful men which prevents their wickedness from attaining its full potential and thwarts the evil purposes of the devil. This influence of the Holy Spirit does not save sinners. It merely restrains their wickedness, often making them capable of an outward righteousness (Matt. 5:20). It is called common grace because it is bestowed upon all unbelieving sinners in common, both upon those who like Nicodemus later repent and believe (John 19:39) and upon those who like the rich, young ruler persist in unbelief and finally perish (Mark 10:22). To this common grace of the Holy Spirit is to be attributed all the relative truth and goodness that is to be found in unbelieving thought and life. When the Holy Spirit withdraws this restraining influence, public morality sinks to record lows, as in the days before the flood (Gen. 6:3), in the days of the Roman Empire (Rom.1:24), and also, it seems, today.
 


It is possible, therefore, and useful to make a distinction between Truth and facts. Truth is eternal. It is an attribute of God. Facts, on the other hand, are the temporal truths which God establishes by His works of creation and providence. Facts are revealed by God to men through their thought processes, and in the facts God reveals Himself. Because of common grace unbelievers are able to know many facts. Often their knowledge of the facts is much more extensive than that of most believers. But since unbelievers reject God's revelation of Himself in the facts, their knowledge of the facts is incomplete, and their thinking is full of fallacies and inconsistencies.
 


When a sinner repents and believes in Christ, he is lifted out of the realm of common grace into the realm of saving grace. The Holy Spirit no longer merely restrains his sin but progressively eradicates it. The converted sinner becomes a new creature in Christ and acquires a new way of looking at every question (2 Cor. 5:17). He no longer sees the truth as unbelievers do in disconnected flashes but as an organic whole which has its center in God's clear revelation of Himself in nature, in the holy Scriptures, and in the Gospel of Christ. Beginning at this central point, he strives to follow this divine truth out into every sphere of thought and then to communicate this truth to others. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee; that it may be displayed because of the truth (Psalm 60:4).
 


(f) Christian Truth Versus Godless Economic Theory
 


Currently there is perhaps no area of human thought in which the application of Christian truth is more needed than in the realm of economics and sociology, for it is here that Satan today seems to be making his most deadly impact. It is fitting therefore that we conclude our history of unbelief with a few remarks in this field.
 


The modern science of economics is generally considered to have originated with the Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, who in 1776 published a book that won him lasting fame, entitled, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. In this treatise Smith contended that there are three factors on which the wealth of any nation depends, namely, labor, capital, and the law of supply and demand. The operation of these three factors should be left to the control of private individuals without any government interference or control. "All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest in his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men." (101) This principle of non-interference on the part of government has often been called the laissez-faire (hands-off) principle.



Adam Smith's famous book had far-reaching effects. For one thing, it transformed economics from a practical concern into an academic matter. Soon economics was taught in universities and written about in scholarly publications by theorists, many of them with little actual experience in commerce and industry. Then, as the years rolled by, these scholarly "economists" grew more ambitious. No longer content merely to teach and write but desiring to rule, they gravitated more and more toward socialism. Discarding Adam Smith's principle of laissez-faire, they founded organizations and political parties to work for state ownership and control of economic resources. One of the best known of these socialistic associations was organized in 1884 by a group of English radicals. Since their strategy was to bring about social changes gradually, they named themselves the Fabian Society after the ancient Roman general Fabius, who won a decisive victory through the policy of delay. Not less sinister, all through the later 19th century there lurked in the background the communist party of Marx, Engels, Bukharin, and Lenin, who developed Adam Smith's emphasis on the importance of labor into a program of world-wide revolution and world-wide governmental ownership and control allegedly for the benefit of the workers.



The catastrophic changes of World War I fanned all these smoldering embers into flames which reached our own country in 1933. Since that date the government of the United States has fallen increasingly under the domination of subversive elements (socialists, Fabians, communists) commonly called the "Liberal-left." With this Liberal-left at the helm, our American ship of state has met with disaster after disaster, especially in the international sphere. Since World War II communists have taken over Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, and parts of other regions such as Indochina, the Near East, Africa, and South America. More than one billion human beings have been enslaved. And when we come to armaments, the situation is still more frightful. In 1962 the United States had 2 1/2 to 10 times as much nuclear firepower as the Soviet Union. (102) In 1972, after the signing of the Salt I armament agreement in Moscow, Dr. Henry Kissinger acknowledged that the Soviets had a 3-to-1 advantage over the United States in explosive tonnage. (103) But the only response of the Liberal-left to this terrible danger has been to cancel the B-1 Bomber, delay production of the neutron bomb, and give away the Panama Canal.
 


For many years it has been evident that the long-term objective of the Liberal-left leaders is to bring about the surrender of the United States to the Soviet Union. This drastic step, they believe, is necessary in order to establish a World Government. In 1958 the U. S. Senate was thrown into furor by tidings of a book entitled "Strategic Surrender," which had been prepared by the Rand Corporation, the first and greatest of the federal government "think-factories," and distributed to the U. S. Air Force. (104) In 1961 a bulletin was prepared by the State Department proposing surrender of military power to a United Nations Peace Force. (105) This also was discussed in the Senate, but this time there was no furor. Instead the bulletin was defended by a liberal Senator as "the fixed, determined, and approved policy of the Government of the United States of America." (106) In 1963 a study was made by a group of 60 scientists and engineers headed by Nobel-prize-winning physicist Eugene P. Wigner in the area of civil defense.

 

The group proposed a tunnel grid system which for the price of $38 billion would provide all U. S. cities of over 250,000 population with protection against nuclear attack. Their report was submitted to the Defense Department and placed in storage. (107) Similarly, on Feb. 9, 1967, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended a plan providing a thin anti-missile defense for the entire United States and added protection for the 50 largest cities. (108) A bill endorsing this plan was passed by the Senate 86 to 2 on Mar. 21, 1967, but Defense Secretary McNamara said it would be too expensive ($4 billion a year for 10 years), and so nothing was done about it. (109)



In 1969 appropriations were voted for two anti-missile sites, but only one was constructed, and even this was abandoned in 1975. In contrast, the Russians have a fully operative anti-missile system around Moscow. Most of their new factories are built away from large urban areas, and Russian society is now equipped to go underground at short notice, with immense shares of foodstocks buried. Missile sites also have been hardened to about 15 times the strength of those in the United States. (110)
 


If the projected "strategic surrender" of the United States to a Russian dominated United Nations actually takes place, Bible-believing Christians everywhere will be facing persecution and death, and the preaching of the Gospel will well nigh cease. Until Jesus comes, therefore we must do our duty as Christian citizens. We must expose and oppose the evil program of the Liberal-left and work for the re-armament and security of our country. All available resources must be allocated to this end. Wasteful programs must be discontinued.



Does this mean that we are to return to the economic doctrines of Adam Smith? Not quite. For Smith was a skeptic, a friend of David Hume, and because he was a skeptic he failed to appreciate, or even to consider, the most important of all the causes of the wealth of nations, namely, the blessing of God and the influence of Christian Truth. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6-33). Even earthly interests prosper best under the sunlight of the Gospel. This is why even unbelievers, even those who reject the Saviour whom the Gospel proclaims, prefer to live in Christian countries rather than non-Christian countries and in Protestant countries rather than in Roman Catholic countries.

 

And the testimony of history is to the same effect. The Near East, for example, was once the richest region in Christendom, but after the Mohammedan conquest it speedily became poverty stricken. At the time of the Reformation Spain and Italy were the most wealthy nations in Europe, while England was poor and Scotland barbarous. Then the Gospel came to Britain, and this relationship was reversed. And in all North and South America the only wealthy nation is our own United States, in which alone (with the exception of the Protestant provinces of Canada) the preaching of the Gospel has had free course.
 


While defending our country, therefore, we must not forget to defend the Bible, for this is still more basic. Honesty, moral purity, and trust in God are the foundations of national and personal prosperity, and these fundamentals are taught only in the holy Scriptures. Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me (Prov. 30:7-8). But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).



(g) Victorious Faith! —The Difference Between Faith and Doubting



Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done (Matt. 21:21). Here Jesus promises us that if we have faith and doubt not, even that great mountain of unbelief which now encompasses the earth shall fall before us. But how do we obtain this faith? How do we know whether we have it or not? How can we tell whether we are believing or doubting? What is the difference between faith and doubting? The Bible answers these questions in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.



He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11 :6b). If I truly believe in God, then God is more real to me than anything else I know, more real even than my faith in Him. For if anything else is more real to me than God Himself, then I am not believing but doubting. I am real, my experiences are real, my faith is real, but God is more real. Otherwise I am not believing but doubting. I cast myself therefore on that which is most real, namely God Himself. I take God and Jesus Christ His Son as the starting point of all my thinking.
 


This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4). In the past true believers won great victories for God through their faith. Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of aliens (Heb. 11:33-34). Today we also can be victorious through faith if we doubt not, if we take God and His revelation of Himself in holy Scripture as the starting point of all our thinking. In science, in philosophy, in New Testament textual criticism, and in every other field of intellectual endeavor, our thinking must differ from the thinking of unbelievers. We must begin with God.
 


(For further discussion consult Believing Bible Study, pp. 2-3, 219-222.)

 

 

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