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)
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” ~ Jesus in Matthew 12:30 (bold emphasis added)
(This post is part of a series on biblical apologetics and will be best understood in context. If you haven’t yet read, The Alpha of Apologetics…and Everything Else, Meology vs. Theology: Putting God on Trial and Man on the Throne, and The (not so) Great I (probably) Am: The Man-Centered Myth of the “Probably God”, you might want to check those out first so that the approach and terms used here are understood in their intended context. Thanks!)
Our autonomy worshiping pop culture, as an unintended witness to its intellectual vapidity, is routinely about the business of rolling out mind-numbingly stupid proclamations of what it imagines to be profound “truth”.
Take Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, for example. In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan, when addressed by his nemesis, a sharp dressing up-and-comer named Darth Vader, with the proclamation that those who are “not with me are against me”, responded with this colossal gem of oxymoronic idiocy: “Only the Sith deal in absolutes.”
For those of you not up to speed on Star Wars lore, “the Sith” of which Obi-Wan spoke are the baddest of the bad guys in Star Wars land – the embodiment of evil. And, apparently, only they deal in absolutes.
Whether Kenobi even realized that his response could be taken as his way of coming out as a Sith or not is a discussion for another time. Assuming that the intent of Obi-Wan’s comeback was not to proclaim his heretofore secret Sithiness, he then indeed made a glaringly self-contradicting statement – a pronouncement that, by the time it finishes rolling out of one’s mouth, has already disproven the point it was trying to make in the first place. This, in strict linguistic terms, is known as “really dumb”.
Professing atheists tend to do this kind of thing all the time.
‘Cause they have to.
It’s all they’ve got.
“There are no absolutes!” is the never-ending nonsensical battle cry of many of those whom Scripture describes as willful idiots, or “fools”. So entranced are these fools by the pursuit of autonomous rule over their lives that they are blinded from noticing even the most egregious of logical bloopers as they roll one after another after another off their tongues and out of their mouths…again and again as unintended acknowledgments of their intellectual vacancy and foolishness.
The myth of neutrality is one of the most cherished myths of the fool who says in his heart that “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). It should not be the least little bit surprising then that this myth is easily exposed as fiction by the light of Scripture. Our aim as believers is to embrace the Scripture’s proclamation on this matter and never let it go – never surrender this fact, even in the face of the loudest, boldest, most passionate proclamations of protestation emanating from…the fool who hates the God that they know.
If we love the fool, that Precious Snowflake, we will not play his game. We will not agree with his biblically impossible-to-believe claim. We will not surrender the authority of the crystal clear Word of God in order to somehow then inch the unbeliever towards belief in the authority of that same Word. Such an approach would be every bit as idiotic as the Obi-Wan quote mentioned earlier, and we don’t wanna go there, do we?
HELPING THE FOOL (BY CONFRONTING HIS FOOLISHNESS)
“If you start with the neutrality of reason as your premise, you have no way, legitimately, to bring in another authority that grounds that reasoning process. That becomes the problem. ~ K. Scott Oliphint
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
Psalm 14:1 (bold emphasis added)
The fool denies the God he knows because that God has spoken authoritatively against the manner in which the fool desires to live. The fool utterly rejects the authority of the Word, as it constantly condemns the self-centered desires of men who are determined to do things and live life in their own way and on their own terms…also known as, you guessed it, the pursuit of autonomy. Autonomy is all about the authority of the individual. Christianity is all about the authority of God over everyone, and the authority of His Word as the perfect revelation as to what that means in every area of life.
CONFRONTING THE REBEL’S DARK (AND DUMB) PRESUPPOSITIONS
“Since neutrality is unattainable for either the unbeliever or believer, and since they have conflicting ultimate standards for judging claims to knowledge, the task of apologetics will ultimately be carried on at the presuppositional level.” ~ Greg L. Bahnsen
When we play along with the fool’s contention that they “don’t know God”, which is born of the presupposition that God is not known to all men, we are joining them in their rejection of the authority of Scripture.
We are validating their contention.
We are playing the fool.
Or the Precious Snowflake.
Or some other similarly awful thing (feel free to revisit the list of six biblical tags for unbelievers presented in Chapter Two).
Neutrality is a fiction. It does not exist.
How do we know this?
Because God has told us so in His Word.
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When we embrace this truth, we honor the Person of Christ, whose nature we are defending. In doing so we position ourselves to better understand and confront the many other cherished myths of the unbeliever in a manner that brings glory to God, growth to His people, and, Lord willing, the expansion of His Kingdom through the supernatural salvation of souls.
This post is a slightly modified excerpt from The Beginning of Knowledge: Christ as Truth in Apologetics, which I published late in 2013 as an introduction to Christ-centered apologetics. (An edited and revised version should be available soon.)
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