I recently watched a couple of debates between Bill Maher and several leading Christian apologists including Bill O’Reilly and Kurt Cameron. Within these debates I noticed a startling reality, Christians cannot defend their beliefs! I know it may not come as a surprise to some, but I was taken by this. Sure, I may be naive and I obviously don’t pay much attention to Bill O’Reilly or Kurt Cameron when it comes to theological perspective; however, I never imagined these so-called “Christian leaders” stumbling around questions of morality, creationism and seemingly contradictory elements of scripture. As I watched this fiasco unfold I realized that Christianity is in trouble. Not because of these inept attempts at defending the Bible, but within the confines of modern Christianity the question must be raised, “why do we believe the Bible?”
Is the Bible really some make believe fairy tale as Maher would suggest? Is it simply the uneducated justification to the mystery of life? Are we really victims of the greatest farce in human history? How do you explain subjects like the law of Moses? Genocide? What about God’s plan of separation? Or issues of homosexuality? What about scriptures that appear to contradict themselves?
If your in the majority of Christian circles today you might be scratching your head as you read these questions. Yet these are the very questions atheist and agnostics present on a daily basis. Intellectualism is the focal point of their argument, they argue belief in supernatural elements defy human reasoning and rationale. Where do we begin with this attack? First of all let’s begin by discussing the validity of the Holy Bible.
As we begin to try and make sense of the complexity of the scriptures we must understand that the Bible, although written by men, is the inspired word of God.
1 Peter 1:20-21 CEB
“Most important, you must know that no prophecy of the scripture represents the prophet’s own understanding of things, because no prophecy ever came by human will. Instead, men and women led by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
2 Timothy 3:16 CEB
“Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good.”
Both Paul and Peter, the two patriarchs of the New Testament church made great emphasis that the Bible was God’s inspired word! We don’t shy away from the fact that ALL SCRIPTURE was given BY INSPIRATION OF GOD! Not just the good ones, not just the easy ones to defend but ALL SCRIPTURE! If God put it in His word there is a reason it is there! It is our responsibility to understand why.
So you can prove that your theology believes the Bible to the inspired word of God? Big deal, I don’t believe in the Bible or God. Here’s where the debate intensifies! How do we defend our “beliefs” to an all out atheist? The arguments usually revolve around two theories; creationism and evolution. Many well renown atheist, Maher included, will conclude that they have no idea how the world came to fruition, but they (atheist) attest that they follow after intelligent evidence and common sense, rather than believing in some supernatural fairytale.
Since the beginning of time man has attempted to make sense of “the mystery of life”. Using the limited education and understanding man had, theories about mythical gods were depicted to try and explain the phenomena of life. A plethora of “gods” have been created by the mind of man; Zeus, Thor, the Greek gods of nature, Isis, Horus, Osiris, pagan idolatry etc… Many atheist will point to these feeble “gods” as a sign that Jesus was nothing more than a man, and that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is also a fabrication.
But there is too much evidence to the contrary!
Jeremiah 10:12 CEB
“But God made the earth by His might; He shaped the world by His wisdom crafted the skies by His knowledge.”
Psalm 19:1-3 KJV
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”
Romans 1:20 CEB
“Ever since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities-God’s eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, because they are understood through the things God has made. So humans are without excuse.”
Science means knowledge, and true science always agrees with the observable evidence. Scientific research continues to unfold the manifold wonders and majesty of our universe. Interestingly, there is one book that foretold all of this… The Bible!
The Bible is inspired by the creator; so it makes sense that life’s ultimate questions would be found within it’s pages. Study the days of Christopher Columbus, not only did they believe the earth was flat, but that the Atlantic Ocean possessed creatures big enough to devour a whole ship. They also believed a myth about the earth resting on the shell of a turtle or an elephant (I can’t make this stuff up). The Bible however explicitly answers this question.
Isaiah 40:22 KJV
“It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth…”
Job 26:7 KJV
“He… hangeth the earth upon nothing…”
Creation is made of particles, indiscernible to our eyes. However it wasn’t until the 19th century that they discovered that all visible matter consisted of invisible elements. Yet scripture teaches…
Hebrews 11:3 KJV
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
Another example of scriptures uncanny ability to predict things that man would only discover recently is the mountains at the floor of the ocean. It is only within the last century that we have discovered massive mountain rages under the sea.
Jonah 2:5-6 KJV
“The waters compassed me about, even the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains…”
If Christianity were simply unintelligent calculations of why we’re here, then explain the accuracy in which scripture explains scientific “revelations”. It becomes apparent that the Bible knew these scientific breakthroughs well before scientists discovered them.
The reality is it requires MORE faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian! The Webster’s definition of the word atheism, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. It is a self appointed position that there are no deities. The stance of educated atheists is that “the burden of proof lies on religion”. In other words they demand Christianity, or all other religions of the world for that matter, to validate the existence of a deity. That’s fine, scripture in fact teaches this very principle, “prove all things; hold fast that which is good…” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) However, If science is the basis of their belief system then the burden of proof lies heavily on their shoulders. Yet to date, there has been no scientific evidence that would validate theories of evolution; adaptation maybe, but not evolution.
The question then is do I put my faith in an assumption or human reasoning? Or, do I trust the myriad of Biblical treasures that science has later verified as truth? The reality is Christianity can not be “proven” through intellect, rather Christianity must be experienced. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “…he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” It does require faith in God to experience God, but let it be clear, He IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him!
Regardless of your theological views, this truth will come to all men. Whether you choose to reject it as a fantasy, or whether you embrace it as truth is up to you.