God's Word vs Human Reason

We’ve just now celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with a core belief in Scriptural authority. This commitment to God’s Word is in direct contrast to the belief that anyone stands over the Bible to judge it; rather God – and His Word – rules over every one of us.

Compare this with secularism. After the Enlightenment (a philosophical movement in the West starting in the 1700’s) momentum built toward the so-called enlightened belief that human reason stands above all points of view – especially religion. Even Thomas Jefferson published a “new” translation of the New Testament editing out any claims to divinity or any stories of miracles. All that Jefferson left were Jesus’ moral teachings. Reason could be respected; supernatural events are irrational so rational people know “those things can’t happen.”

So our culture has been overwhelmingly shaped by this assumption. “The Bible isn’t trustworthy.” “It’s been translated so many times, how can you tell what it really means?” “How can you believe some of those stories – Noah, Jonah, and Jesus’ resurrection – really?!”

Ironically, I learned in a class on logic & debate, with any value or philosophical claim to ask the question, “How do you know?” The Apostle Paul (and the other writers of the New Testament) answered the question, “How do you know?” by plainly declaring, “I am an eye-witness.” In the presence of many, Jesus claimed to be God and claimed to do all that was necessary to redeem people like us from our deepest sin – claiming to be god ourselves. Remember, sin is where we have tried to take a place that only God deserves (His throne), yet the miracle of salvation is where HE has taken a place that only we deserve (the Cross).

Things to pray for:

–  Gratitude. Give thanks to the Lord for the gift of Scripture. Praise Him that He has spoken and revealed 1) His works (creation and providence), 2) His own character so that we can truly know Him and 3) salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.

–  Humility. Ask the Father to help you humble yourself under what He knows versus how little we can possibly know about all time and all existence.

–  Wisdom. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom as you read His Word, as you live in community with other believers and as you continually seek to learn.

–  Compassion for the lost. Ask the Holy Spirit to grow in you a loving and kind disposition, especially in light of how you have opposed God by your pride, so that you would engage with others who do not yet believe respectfully.

Tim Rice
Lead Pastor & Director of Church Planting