Super long, but it’s mostly Scripture. Here’s the main idea:
Forgetting to start all our reasoning with the Bible can lead even the most godly person to majorly bad thinking
Last week I was reading The Case for the Creator for Kids with my oldest two and it was driving me crazy. Or rather, it was giving them a hands on chance to explore the limits of logic and our preexisting assumptions about life and the Bible.
Bonus Lesson, just because someone is right in one area doesn’t mean you can relax and trust them in everything else (or vice versa, for that matter).
So, I decided to write a critique of the book for CS4K.
Then, just a few days later I read an amazing article on a new favorite creation blog of mine:
at Creation Without Compromising (a blog for Canadian Reformed pastors who hold firmly to a Young Earth Creation view).
They didn’t mention the kids’ version, but I pricked up my ears when they mentioned the book Case for the Creator as a prime example of the kind of apologetics they were critiquing.
So, now what should I write about?
Here’s my plan: I’ll first share the big idea from the Follow the Evidence article and then give you the example bugging me in our kids’ book:
Can We Trust our Brains to Lead Us (and Others) to the Truth?
If you know what “Reformed” means, you know their answer is a shouted, “NO!” But I’m not Reformed, so do I disagree with them then? Let’s go to the Bible and see what it says about a person without God’s help figuring out the truth for themselves:
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Ephesians 4:17-18
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. I Corinthians 1:21
I also like the passage in Isaiah talking about the foolishness of worshiping a man made god in Isaiah 44:
They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? Isaiah 44:18-20
These passages and many more warn us not to trust our own ability to know and understand the truth.
Then Why Do So Many Appeal to our Intellect to Convince Us God is Real?
I can’t speak for others, but for me, it’s hard to remember my mind loves to lie to me. Plus, as the Evidence article points out, western thinking has worshiped our mental abilities since the 1700s. We are soaked in a culture that assumes human brain power is the greatest power in the universe.
Now for the Kids’ Example
The Case for the Creator for Kids opens with this mystery to solve:
Just as we know someone had to put it there for an elephant to be found on our roof, so we can know someone put the universe in place. Both are too big and improbable to have just happened.
No problem there. But then it’s straight to this:
Scientists today now believe in a Big Bang. They tell us long ago everything started from a tiny point. It burst apart with light photons being the first physical matter. All other things developed from these bits of light.
So, let’s pull out our Bibles, read the 1st four verses and see how beautifully these two ideas line up.
All you need is some worldly wisdom to filter Scripture through and everything fits just beautifully. Right?
Well, of course, it was easy to show they don’t line up well at all:
- God tells us the earth came before light Genesis 1:1
- Even water came before light. Genesis 1:2
- There was darkness at the same time, no cosmic glow unblocked by any heavier matter. Genesis 1:4
Trusting man’s reasoning about the origins of the universe had obviously blinded the author to the straightforward testimony God gave us of creation.
Does This Mean We Shouldn’t use our Minds?
Here’s where things get sticky:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: Isaiah 1:18
Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers. I Samuel 12:7
And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. Acts 24:25
Obviously, using our logical minds is something God approves of, but there’s an extra element added to Godly reasoning:
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Acts 17:2
Even when Paul was dealing with people who didn’t accept the Bible as an authority in their lives like the Jews did, he still used Scripture and its ideas as his basis. He never started from man’s ideas, but got right down to what God tells us.
Back to Our Example
The opening, “let’s look into this just like we would into an elephant” isn’t wrong in itself, but they didn’t bother to mention there is a journal by the perpetrator that tells us when and how he put the elephant on the roof. They assume we are left with just physical clues and our brains to come up with a reasonable scenario.
Rather than moving right into scientists’ ideas about the foundation of the universe, which are constantly changing to get further from any idea of a Creator, the next step in godly logic is to go right to the source of truth and logic.
In the beginning was the Word [logic], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended [to understand, perceive, learn, comprehend] it not. John 1:1-5
We have a Book! There is plenty of room for detective work and clue following, but we don’t have to start with humanistic ideas and hope for the best. We know the One who is Truth [John 14:6]!
Let’s honor and learn from brave people like Ken Ham and all the Apologists at Answers in Genesis who understand how vital understanding this is for the coming generations!
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. II Timothy 2:25-26