By: George William
With all of the scientific advancement over the past 120 years, we’ve come to see the world very differently. We’ve become a people of reason, method, and evidence. However, this can be detrimental. One of the ways this is so, we’ve come to relay on experts to tell us what the truth is based on these things, and we believe them. Even if it contradicts what we see.
This piece though is not to make some political statement, but instead one much more divisive. A religious one. That statement being, you cannot come to Christ through reason.
Let me first say that there a lots of logical, evidence based reasons to believe in Christ, but that is not how one comes to Christ.
Dennis Prager often says that the reason he is a believing Jew is because of rationality. He’s even finished two books of a five book series called The Rational Bible. (This series covering the first five books of the Bible.) Yet, if he was being perfectly rational he’d be a Christian.
He’d be a Christian because Christ Jesus fulfils the law and prophesies laid out in the old testament.
This list goes on into the hundreds of messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfils. Yet, Dennis Prager does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, which suggests that there’s something more.
Jordan Peterson, who is a Canadian college professor and many would acclaim to be a philosopher, is also a very smart and intellectual individual, always dodges the question on if he believes in God or not. For some good reasons, others not. However, he will say that he acts as if God exists, but that doesn’t allow him an escape from his own reasons he gives.
One of his reasons, and what I would say is the most notable, is what do you mean by God? That is a good and worth while question. For example, the God of the Bible which I believe in, is not the same God that the people of the prosperity movement, or Mormons, believe in. Peterson gets himself trapped in this question when he says he lives as if there’s a God, but he doesn’t define what or who that God that is.
The second most notable of his reasons is he’s always asking, what does this/that mean? Again, a worth while question. We use this question to dissect the Bible from English to the original Greek or Hebrew to gain context and understanding of the scripture. Peterson’s problem is that he never stops asking the question. He never settles on a definition, so he’s stuck like a dog chasing its own tail because his reasoning has failed him.
Now, I’m gonna do something you never see in a persuasive paper and say that these people and those like them are right. Christianity is absurd.
To explain this, I’ll use an illustration that Paul Washer uses in his sermon, The Gospel Call which covers Romans 1:16. You can listen to it here.
“Paul says, I’m not ashamed of the gospel. I don’t think you can understand this text until you understand that Paul’s flesh had every right to be ashamed of the gospel.
The gospel was absolutely ludicrous for the natural mind the fallen man. It is a, a plan devised, defined, created, designed by God, and it would have never entered into the mind of fallen man to have the Son of God die upon a cross bearing the sins of His people, and crushed under the weight of justice.
One of the greatest evidences to me that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, is the fact that it continues. If it had depended upon the eloquence, or the brilliance of the apostles, it would have died in its tracks. Not because they weren’t brilliant, not because they weren’t eloquent, but to the mind of their hearers the gospel of Jesus Christ had to be an absolute absurdity.
So Paul walks in, among all these philosophers, the most brilliant minds of the day, the epitome of human wisdom, I mean it at all come to this point, after generation and generation of philosophy handed down and had come to this point of the most brilliant men gathered together in here walks in Paul.
He comes to these men, and he says, You’re all wrong.
Greek/Roman: Well then what’s your opinion Paul?
Paul: The one true God has become flesh.
To the Greek, Roman mind that was absolutely the most absurd blasphemous thing you could ever say. I mean it would, it would be like telling someone that you saw a group of aliens in Antarctica and they all look like penguins. I mean this is something for the National Enquirer, of the Roman Empire, this is absolutely ludicrous.
So Paul comes. God became flesh.
Greek/Roman: Oh really. So what noble family in the empire.
Paul: Well actually, he was a Jew. (The most despised people grew up in the empire.)
Greek/Roman: Well, alright. What king among your people.
Paul: Well actually, his, his mother was married to a carpenter Nazareth. His father? His father’s God.
Greek/Roman: Okay. And how did, how did he become the Savior of the world?
Paul: Well, he died a blasphemer in the minds of his own people, and a traitor to the Roman Empire, upon a cross.
Greek/Roman: Hey guys, this is good, you got to listen to this. And then what happened? I guess, we’re to follow his life, you know the power of his martyrdom is to lead.
Paul: Well no, he rose again on the third day.
Greek/Roman: And presented himself I suppose to the entire nation, right?
Paul: Well actually no, he showed himself to his followers.
Greek/Roman: Yeah, okay.
Now I’m not trying to make a mockery of the message I’m just trying to show you something. How do you think you’re going to make anybody believe this. It’s ludicrous to the natural man.”
At the same time, I’m going to agree with Paul Washer when he says that “following Christ is the only sane thing a man can do” in his sermon, Who’s slave are you. The reason why this is, as he explains, is because everything else fades away and dies. We know this all to well in our human experience. So the only logical thing is to trust, believe, and follow something, or in this case, someone who is eternal.
With this being the most logical and also most illogical thing a person to believe in, it then makes sense that you cannot come to Christ through human reasoning. What then, is the thing that takes you over the edge?
Ephesians 2:1-9, Romans 3:10-11. We, in our sin, do not seek Christ. It instead, is Christ who reaches out to us in his grace, his love, and his mercy. A popular illustration that is used, and it is so because it is accurate, is that we are in an ocean drowning, Christ is in a boat and he tosses us the lifeline. So why doesn’t everyone grab it? Because we love the sin. We love drowning. Thankfully some of us grabbed the line and were saved. Sadly, most people who die every day didn’t. But there is fantastic news. It’s that the line is still out there for those who are willing to grab a hold of it. John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
And, it’s the most logical thing a man could ever do.