Two weeks ago, I wrote the first part of this segment showing how God is revealed in His word. That the bible to true, accurate, divinely inspired, and infallible. I think this is the harder one for Christians to present to unbelieving friends, because as I try to put myself in an unbelievers shoes, I think it is easy to dismiss the infallibility of the Bible as opinion. Culture has made it easy to do so too. Many libraries will put religious texts like the Bible in the fiction section. This only furthers the argument that a Christian’s view of the Bible is an opinion. That is a difficult thing to battle against when you are trying to show an unbeliever that God’s Word is indeed the truth. And there are plenty of people who would look at me and say, “what if you’re wrong?” When I get that question, my usual reply is this:
“If I’m wrong about the whole thing, then all I’ve done is spent my life trying to be the best person I can and make a difference in other’s lives. However, if you’re wrong and I’m right, the consequences are far greater AND eternal. Given those odds, isn’t it at least worth looking into?”
I know what you are thinking- easier said than done and you’re right; but remember, we aren’t responsible for the results of the gospel, we are responsible for the message.
I think the harder part to refute for unbelievers and the easier route (for the unbeliever) to begin our evangelistic efforts is by looking at God’s creation. My oldest son isn’t exactly what you would consider a social butterfly, but we have done our best to raise him how to speak up for his faith and what he believes. Granted, that comes out in the form of sarcasm a lot more than we would care to admit, but we know he IS having these conversations. I picked him up from school a couple of weeks ago and he asked me how to handle the statement, “I will believe in God when I can see Him.” This is a good one. How do we share the love of God and His awesome majesty if people cannot see Him? I asked my son how do you know there is wind? We can’t see it. What about oxygen? I told him to share God’s creation. We can’t use church speak and talk about prayer right off the bat, because that will easily be dismissed. God’s revelation of himself through the Bible, prayer, and Jesus Himself (like we discussed last time) is known as “Special Revelation.” This revelation is often best shared second simply because many unbelievers have not grown up in or around church and have not reached the point of grasping what they may think to be “supernatural things.” However, God revealing himself through His creation is known as “General Revelation.” This is a much easier starting point for the unbeliever because it deals with things they can see and touch. You need to understand, this is not the easier route for us. We often want to dive into the spiritual too early and if the person is not ready for that, they will quickly dismiss us. We usually don’t like to begin evangelizing with this because, quite frankly, we need to prepare more for this conversation. However, if we can get an unbeliever to understand that we can see God in everything around us, then we have (to put it in video game terms) unlocked a new level on which to take the person through.
Even if we look at the world through a scientific lens, it is difficult to refute the concept of design. There are people on both sides of the Religion vs. Science argument. I am not one of those people who believe they are incompatible. I firmly believe that God has given us the sciences to continually prove not only His existence, but concrete proof of His design. As we have seen over the years, the more science unlocks about DNA, about the inner workings of the human body, and the intricate details of animal and plant life, it consistently points to one conclusion- intelligent design. So, what do you do when your own discipline and devices prove the point you’re trying to disprove? You concede some, but still refuse to acknowledge God exists because that means you’d have to admit there was something you didn’t know or understand. Now, if an evolutionary biologist happens to be reading, I’m sure they would be ready to throw down a lot of facts they have learned over the course of their Ph.D.; and I have no doubts that they could make me sound less intelligent than they are- and they are right, they are smarter than me. The problem, however, lies not in being able to refute an insignificant pastor, because I’m not who they really need to prove wrong. They are up against a truth that is far greater than their intellectual capacity and the more they have tried to disprove His existence, the more Science has backed the idea that the universe was designed. Don’t take my word for it. Like I said, I’m nobody in this field. But, I would be remiss if I didn’t quote David Berlinski, noted philosopher, scientist, and self proclaimed agnostic. Here is what he said in his book The Devil’s Delusion:
“Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close. Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough. Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough. Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough. Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.”David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion
No matter how we look at it, God’s fingerprints are all over His creation. I have a hard time believing that people can marvel at the intricacy and design put into every detail of every living thing only to think that it all came from some cosmic accident. So, the real question is, do people think that God isn’t real because they can’t see Him, or are they just choosing to ignore Him for one reason or the other? The science seems clear. The Bible is clear. We need to be diligent in delivering the message to people who need to know that He is real and He wants a relationship with Him. We should never assume that people’s rejection of God is a permanent thing. We need to faithfully share His love and then sit back and watch God do the work. I will leave you with the words of the great C.S. Lewis:
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.C.S. Lewis
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach