The Alpha of Apologetics…and Everything Else

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There’s a popular saying: ‘live and learn’. That is exactly the first lie that Satan told Adam and Eve. . . . what God was teaching was ‘learn and live’.  ‘Do what I tell you. You don’t have to experience it, just do what I tell you. If I tell you it’s good, it’s good. If I say it’s bad, it’s bad. Trust me on this.’ And then Satan comes along and says, ‘No, you have to experience this to know whether it’s right or wrong. You need to ‘live and learn.’ ~ Paul Washer

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We live in the age of the Precious Snowflake.

I’m a Precious Snowflake, you’re a Precious Snowflake, little Johnny is a Precious Snowflake, and everybody Johnny plays with at school is, you guessed it, a unique and beautiful little Precious Snowflake of their own.

Precious Snowflakes are special. They are pure. They are good. They are made aware of their specialness, their purity, and their goodness quite often. They are regularly and diligently reminded of their, um, precious qualities over and again by mommies, daddies, teachers, and McDonald’s commercials. These reminders make Precious Snowflakes very happy, and, after all, isn’t happy what Precious Snowflakes are s’posed to be?

Precious Snowflakes are told, tell themselves, and desperately want to believe that “they can be anything that they want to be”, “they are the masters of their own destiny”, and that they “deserve the best”. They believe that they are the standard against which all things are to be measured and the fixed point around which all other Precious Snowflakes are to revolve.

Lest you get the wrong notion in your not-quite-Snowflakey enough head, there is no contradiction in this. Well, there is contradiction in it, of course, but in the Age of Precious Snowflakes, such inconvenient rules as the law of non-contradiction are simply…gone.

Poof!

How precious is that?

What is right to one Precious Snowflake need not be right to another. What is good to one Precious Snowflake need not be good to another. What is true for one Precious Snowflake need not be true for another. There’s no need to argue. No need for coherence. No need for objective standards of truth, love, logic, beauty, or anything else. I’m okay, you’re okay, and we’re all Precious Snowflakes.

So it is that Precious Snowflakes are also blind and stupid, but we will get more into that later. For now, let’s focus on what the Word of God tells us about the comically tragic and universal affliction known as Precious Snowflake Syndrome.

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ALL KNOW GOD

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For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools… ~ Romans 1:18-22 (bold emphasis added)

 

All men (aka Precious Snowflakes) know God.

Not just a god, but the God. All men know Him. (Romans 1:19)

Not just some men, but all men. (Romans 1:20)

In strict theological terms, this is known as heavy.

It’s a big deal.

And it’s very bad news for Precious Snowflakes. This in turn makes this truth very unpopular everywhere that Precious Snowflake adoration is encouraged, which is another way of saying, “pretty much everywhere on earth”.

Yet there He is: The Truth. And they know Him; at least enough to hate Him and be held responsible for their hatred of Him.

This is a fundamental truth of humanity on a universal scale. It is also precisely the opposite of what we, even within the church, have often been led to believe and build our doctrinal, theological, and apologetic understandings upon. This is why we are well served to read, re-read, and breathe deep the crystal clear proclamation of the Word of God: All men know Him. All men are without excuse. There is no neutral ground.

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YES, REALLY. ALL KNOW GOD.

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For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. ~ Romans 1:19-20 (bold emphasis added)

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“Not like the fool who built his house upon the sand, the Christian apologist must, in love for Christ, found his whole life, including apologetical reasoning, upon the solid rock of Christ’s Word.” ~ Greg L. Bahnsen

The first thing that we must take from Scripture on the subject of convincing anyone that God exists is that it needn’t be done. It’s not necessary. Ever.

Everyone knows Him. He has revealed enough about Himself so that they are without excuse for their rejection of Him. Again, how do we know this? Because He has told us so.

This one truth is incredibly enlightening and liberating. At the same time, it is terrifying to some and something of a lesser bummer to others.

Let’s begin by addressing the “lesser bummer” category:

Back in the day, not that many years ago, a trend that had been building in my reading habits over a decade or so culminated in a torrent of Amazon.com orders that sent scads of “Christian apologetics” books to my doorstep, onto my nightstand, and, eventually, into my head. Truckloads (figuratively, barely) of good stuff on intelligent design, cosmology, microbiology, and other wonderful testimonials to the creative genius on display throughout God’s creation were in steady rotation in my reading line-up. I loved ‘em. Still do, though in a different way; a better way. Different because I no longer view them as good baseline arguments or presentations to be aimed at unbelievers, and better because, as a believer who loves his Creator, I am able to appreciate these magnificently detailed and splendor-laden works with more appropriately focused vision. This makes me even more appreciative of these books than I had been before, though not as primarily apologetic works.

The important, sad, and sometimes challenging truth is that these books, as with any other compelling witness to the glory of God, are incapable of piercing the inpenetratable bubble that is Precious Snowflake Syndrome.

Only the Gospel can do that.

Of course God’s matchless creativity and artistry are on vibrant display throughout His cosmos. Of course Christ’s infinite beauty and splendor is reflected throughout His creation. Of course the mind of God is evidenced throughout time and space in the immutable, immaterial laws that govern His material universe. His creation has always successfully made His nature plain to the observant image-bearers that He has placed therein, so that they are without excuse and incapable of credibly denying Him.

It’s not a matter of evidence.

Never has been.

It’s a matter of nature, and the nature of all Precious Snowflakes is to deny anything that would threaten the supremacy of  their own preciousness. Put another way, anything that would remove the Precious Snowflake from the throne of his or her life, or the center of his or her universe, simply is not allowed. It…is…gone.

Poof!

Remember?

Yes, remember.

Never forget these two central truths: (1.) In Precious Snowflake Land, all things are relative and bent to the desires of the Precious Snowflake, and (2) All Precious Snowflakes, deep down in their precious, flakey little hearts, know that Precious Snowflake Land is a fiction and that God is real – not just any god, but the God. We know this because He has told us so.

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DO IT FOR THE SNOWFLAKES

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“To present anything less than the fullest truth of God in the name of apologetics is thoroughly sadistic.” ~ Greg L. Bahnsen

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If we love the Snowflakes – and who doesn’t? – then we will not play their game, enable their rebellion, or share in their delusion. Of infinitely greater importance, if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, we will not share or defend the Precious Snowflake’s contention that they do not know God and that, consequently, His Word is proven wrong. We will affirm and stand upon the perfect truth of Scripture, rather than surrendering its clarity for the sake of appeasing the pride and ego of the Precious Snowflake.

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Christ needs no introduction. He is the God known by all in His creation.

Hold this immutable truth close, Christian. It is foundational to every sound biblical apologetic principle and strategy.

We must also never forget that we too were all born under the self-obsessive spell of Precious Snowflake Syndrome and would have eternally remained in its web had our loving Lord not seen fit to supernaturally intervene and free us from our self-focused life and the hell to follow. We were once as they are now, so…grace, grace, grace…but grace in truth, as lovingly commanded by Scripture.

When the unbeliever proclaims that “there is no God” or that they “do not know God”, they…are…lying.

And why should this surprise us?

That’s just what Precious Snowflakes do, after all. We oughta know that as former ‘flakes ourselves. We also ought to know this because the God that ‘flakes deny has told us so, and where the spiritually dead word of man collides with the spernaturally living Word of God…well…the man-centered side of that contest doesn’t have a snowflake’s chance in…

This post is a slightly modified excerpt from The Beginning of Knowledge: Christ as Truth in Apologetics, an introduction to Christ-centered apologetics.

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