...YOUR WORD IS TRUTH. (JOHN 17:17)

QUESTIONS ANSWERED FOR NON-CHRISTIANS

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  • 1. How do we know what we know?

    To know something, that “something” must be true, because we cannot know something if it could be false.

    Wouldn't you agree?

    If I were to ask you the speed limit of the road outside your house, and you answered, “It’s 30mph, but I could be wrong,” do you know it’s 30mph? Well, not if you could be wrong. Similarly, if I were to ask you to name for me the capital of Brazil, and you answered, “Brasília, but I could be wrong,” do you know it’s Brasília? Again, not if you could be wrong.

    And yet, you do know some things. We all know some things. To deny knowledge is a logical fallacy. However, can you know that something is true in and of yourself? Put simply, can you make yourself the ultimate judge of truth, concerning that which you claim to know?

    Well, to make yourself the ultimate judge of truth is to make the claim that you know everything. You see, unless you knew everything, or had revelation from someone who does know everything, you couldn't know anything. And the reason for that is quite simple: what you don't know could always contradict what you think you know.

    Allow me to elaborate: Let's say you claim to know 5% of everything. Is it possible, in the 95% you do not know, that there may be knowledge that contradicts what you claim to know? You would have to say yes, because you do not know the 95%. Therefore what this really means, is that in and of yourself, you could be wrong about everything you claim to know. Now, on the surface of it all, this presents a serious problem for you: How can you know anything, if you could be wrong about everything?

    However, you do know some things! We all do; for God (the one, true God of the Bible) has revealed Himself to all of us so that we can know some things for certain. How has He done this? He has revealed Himself to us in the form of truth — for truth comes to us from God. And truth is important, because in order to know something, we must first make an appeal to truth, because in order to know something it must be true.

    Every day, we take it for granted that truth exists. And every day, we appeal to truth, when we make knowledge claims. This is what brings us certainty, for without appealing to truth itself, we couldn’t be certain of anything. For example, we can know, with certainty, that our memory is valid. Similarly, we can know, with certainty, that our reasoning is valid. God, who is truth, is the one who makes us certain.

    Without question, we all know some things to be true. But this is only because we know, in truth, that there is one who knows all things — and He is the one who says that those things are true.

    Put simply, knowledge is made possible by God. To know anything at all, we must start with God. This is why we read in Scripture: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7)

    There is, however, a further question for you: Have you surrendered your life to God? — Have you surrendered your life to the One who makes knowledge possible? This question is so important. In fact, it is the most important question you will ever consider.

    Click HERE to find out why.

     

  • 2. What is truth, and where does it come from?

    Very often the answer to this question is limited to an expression of truth — “Truth is that I am tall,” or “Truth is that the earth is round.

    However, these are expressions of truth, and as such they do not define what truth is. Furthermore, it is important to understand that expressions of truth presuppose the very existence of truth (before you can form an expression of truth, truth must first exist).

    It is truth itself which must be accounted for. To provide varying expressions of truth is clearly superfluous, for it does not deal with the question at hand; namely, what is truth?

    Sometimes truth is defined as the mere by-products of the electrochemical processes in our evolved brains. However, if this is true, we wouldn't get truth, we would get “brain-fizz.” When chemicals react in a laboratory, we do not think of the reaction as being true or false. It just is. But to the evolutionist, my Christian beliefs are just a complex chemical reaction within my head. So why would he think them to be false? Moreover, his beliefs are simply a different chemical reaction. Why then would he think they are true?

    At the end of the day, it’s a bit like shaking up a can of Pepsi, and a can of Sprite, opening them, and watching them fizz. Neither fizz is “true”, or “false”  — they simply are what they are. 

    Truth has also been defined as nothing more than a word that we use to describe what is real. However, this begs the question: how do we know what is real? This is an important question, because we have to assume that we can know what is real before we can know whether or not something is true. We are now in tricky waters, for if we make ourselves the final determiner of what is real, we are saying that we cannot be contradicted, and if we cannot be contradicted, we know all things.

    Consider for a moment the properties of truth. Truth is absolute. This means that truth is true for all people, at all times. Truth is also universal. It is true for all people, at all times, everywhere. However, as I am sure you will have experienced, this flies counter to the popular notion today that truth is relative. In common parlance, people will say something like this: “What’s true for you is not true for me.” But what if I were to respond with the following: “Well, I believe that what’s true for me is true for you?” What happens now? Which is true? Who is right? Are we both wrong? Are we both right? Are both statements false? Or perhaps both statements are true?

    Imagine I said to you, “My letter is in the post.” Would it make sense to say that it’s true for me that my letter is in the post, but it’s not true for you that my letter is in the post? Of course not. My letter is in the post, or my letter is not in the post, and that’s all there is to it.

    Can you see the problems that arise from saying truth is relative? It is an absurd notion, for it is completely self-refuting. Truth is, most certainly, absolute. Moreover, it does not rest within the mind of any one person. Even if all people were to cease to exist at this very moment, truth would still exist.

    How then do we define it? What is truth, and where does it come from?

    Let me begin at this point by saying that nothing can be known to be true without somebody making the claim that it is true (that the thing is true). In other words, truth cannot do “its job” without a person because truth is meaningless if there isn't a mind to make truth claims. We know that there is truth in this world, because people make truth claims, and so this tells us that truth cannot function without a mind.

    Let’s say I tell you that I had porridge for breakfast. Now, if I am making the claim that I had porridge for breakfast, I am making a truth claim; I am telling you it is true that I had porridge for breakfast. But who says it is true? Am I the final arbiter of truth concerning the claim I am making? In other words, is it true simply because I say it is true? Can I confidently say, with absolute certainty, that nothing could contradict my claim that I had porridge for breakfast? Am I absolutely convinced that there is no knowledge in the entire universe that would say otherwise? Well, do I know everything? No, I do not. And so as silly as it might sound, I cannot say it is true because I say it is true.

    When you or I say something is true, we are not saying it is true because we say it is true. We are using our minds, however, our minds are finite, i.e., we do not know all things. How then are we able to make truth claims? We make truth claims because we appeal to the One who knows all things, i.e., we appeal to Truth itself. And we all do this, because there is no other way to make a truth claim. 

    The Bible tells us that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). Notice that the verse does not say God’s Word is true, it says God’s Word is truth. According to Scripture, truth is that which conforms to the mind of God, i.e., if something is true, it is true because God says it is true. And this makes perfect sense, for we have already seen that truth must come from a mind, and not just any mind, it must be a mind infinite in knowledge, for everything that truth says is true — absolutely true

    Scripture reveals for us a God who is all-knowing, and absolute in all that He says and does. And so because of the Bible, we can account for truth. Of course, this poses a serious question for those who would deny the God of the Bible. Put simply, where do you get truth from without God? As we have seen, apart from God, there is no answer. Truth is that which conforms to the mind of God, because truth comes from God, because apart from God we simply cannot account for truth.

     

  • 3. Isn’t truth just an opinion?

    If truth is just an opinion, there cannot be some things that are absolutely true. Allow me to explain:

    Consider the question, “Is it true that truth is just an opinion?” Now of course, to answer this question one must answer with either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ So let’s think this through.

    If the answer is no, we affirm that truth cannot be an opinion.

    However, if the answer is yes, one must ask, does this mean true in an absolute sense, or does it mean true for select individuals only? Or perhaps it means true in some instances only? This presents a problem because if it's not true for all people everywhere, then it's not true.

    The point of the matter is clear. There are some things that are absolutely true. So it really is quite absurd to say that truth is just an opinion. Moreover, the words ‘truth’ and ‘opinion’ are completely different words, distinct from one another. Therefore, to force them together would be to destroy both.

     

  • 4. Why is truth limited to the Christian God?

    The claim being made on this website is that apart from the God of the Bible, you cannot know anything. This is because apart from the God of the Bible, you cannot account for truth itself. This leads to serious implications for every person. Consider the following preconditions to intelligibilityconditions which must exist before we can make sense of reality:

    • Laws of logic (propositional truths foundational to the study of correct reasoning)

    • Moral absolutes (propositional truths foundational to the study of morality)

    • Laws of nature (propositional truths foundational to the study of nature)

    Notice that each of these preconditions presuppose the existence of truth. In other words, if truth does not exist, there could be no logic, morality, or uniformity in nature.

    Truth is therefore pivotal.

    But what of other religions (other worldviews)? What about their version of God (or gods)? Are they not able to account for truth? Firstly, we must recognise that no two worldviews say the same thing. And even if there are some similarities, each worldview is fundamentally different from the next. This tells us that they cannot all be true, and if they cannot all be true, they cannot all account for truth.

    Secondly, truth makes no sense if there are errors/contradictions in its claims. As I have said previously, everything that truth says is true — absolutely true. So let’s consider some of the alternate worldviews that exist in the world today (see question five below).

     

  • 5. What about all the other religions and worldviews?

    Atheism/Agnosticism:

    Atheists/Agnostics believe that all knowledge is gained through their senses, their memory, and their reasoning. However, there are significant problems with this belief:

    1. Humanity is made up of fallible, finite beings. Therefore, no one person can ever be the ultimate judge of truth concerning that which he claims to know. This is important because how does the atheist/agnostic know that his senses are valid? How does he know that his memory and reasoning is valid? (Using our senses, memory, and reasoning to validate our senses, memory and reasoning is known as “circular reasoning.”)

    2. Without appealing to an absolute standard of truth, the atheist/agnostic cannot claim that anyone (or anything) is wrong. Furthermore, if truth is relative, all claims that would refute the atheist’s/agnostic’s position could not be wrong.

    3. Limited personal experience cannot account for universal rules of reasoning (logic) because universal laws require universal knowledge.

    4. Morality makes no sense without God. If humans are merely evolved bags of primordial soup, ultimately what one bag does to another is neither moral nor immoral, it just is.

    5. Science makes no sense without God. If the universe is constantly changing, there is no reason to assume that the rules with which we practise science have not changed.

    6. Truth makes no sense without God. If thoughts are merely the result of the electrochemical reactions in evolved brains, they are neither “true” nor “false,” — they just are.

     

    Islam:

    Muslims believe that all knowledge is gained through revelation from Allah in the Qur’an, the Hadiths, and the Book; i.e. the Bible. (1) However, there are significant problems with this belief:

    1. The Qur'an claims that Allah deceived Muhammed, (2) yet it also claims that Allah is truth? (3) If truth comes from Allah, how can there be deception in him?

    2. The Qur'an claims that the Bible, which predates the Qur'an by more than two centuries, (4) was unchanged at the time of Muhammed, (5) yet Muslims today claim that the Bible has been changed.

    3. The Qur’an claims that the words of Allah cannot be changed, (6) yet Muslims today claim that the words of Allah in the Bible have changed?

    4. A God who is truth makes no sense with the possibility of deception. Truth cannot have the possibility of being false.

    5. A God who is love makes no sense without plurality in His being. God is one, however, without plurality in His being He could not be love, as prior to creating man He would have had no one to love.

    6. A God who is perfect in justice (7) makes no sense without a perfect payment for sin. Without a perfect payment for sin, God would be merciful in granting salvation, but he would not be just.

    (1) Surah 2:136; 4:136; 5:68; 17:55 (2) Surah 8:43-44 (3) Surah 22:62 (4) Complete copy of the Bible “Codex Vaticanus” — 4th century A.D.; the Qur’an — 6th century A.D. (5) Surah 35:31 (6) Surah 6:34, 115 (7) Surah 24:25

     

    Eastern Philosophies:

    Followers of Eastern Philosophies believe that all knowledge is gained through personal experience (from without and within), as taught by their respective sages/deities. Consider the following sources:

    “Find out for yourself what is truth, what is real.” — Siddhārtha Buddha

    “He (Brahman) is knowledge… He is situated in everyone’s heart.” — Bhagavad-gita 13:18

    However, there are significant problems with this belief:

    1. Humanity is made up of fallible, finite beings. Therefore, personal experience cannot serve as an ultimate judge of truth. (Using our experiences to validate our experiences is known as “circular reasoning.”)

    2. If truth comes from within, the eastern philosopher cannot claim that anyone is wrong. (If truth is up to the individual, all claims that refute our worldview could not be wrong.)

    3. Limited personal experience cannot make sense of universal rules of reasoning (logic) because universal laws require universal knowledge.

    4. Revelations makes no sense if “all is one.” If all is one, there could be no revelation from one to another because one is the other.

    5. Morality makes no sense if your worldview has no absolute standard of right and wrong. Followers of Eastern Philosophies strive for “right behaviour,” but without an absolute standard of right and wrong, no behaviour could be could be right or wrong and morality is meaningless.

    6. Freedom cannot make sense if your past transgressions are inescapable. According to Eastern Philosophies, you are trapped in an ongoing cycle of reincarnation (rebirth) with no escape from your karma.

    7. Enlightenment cannot make sense without distinctions. If “all is one”, you would be in your enlightened state (Nirvana - Buddhism; Moksha - Hinduism) already, as there could be no distinction between enlightenment and illusion.

     

    Jehovah’s Witnesses:

    According to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jehovah (God) is the source of all knowledge:

    “Jehovah is actually the basic Source of knowledge.” (1)

    Furthermore, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that all knowledge is gained through the New World Translation of the Bible (NWTB) and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS). — see Watchtower Magazine, Aug. 1, 2001, p. 14

    In other words, Jehovah is the source of all knowledge, and his knowledge is revealed to people through the New World Translation of the Bible (NWTB) and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS).

    In contrast, Christianity teaches that the God of the Bible is the source of all knowledge:

    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” — Proverbs 1:7

    So there are significant issues for Jehovah’s Witnesses to consider:

    1. The WTBTS claims to be a prophet, (2) however it denies the gift of prophecy (3), admits that it has given false prophecies, (4) and then claims that false prophets are of Satan. (5)

    2. Jehovah’s Witnesses point to the NWTB, which states that Jehovah cannot die, (6) in support of their assertion that Jesus (who died on a Roman cross) could not be God. However, the NWTB states that Jehovah “the first and the last” (7) died. (8)

    It must be correctly understood that the Bible does not say that Jesus’ physical death on the cross “killed” God. The Son of God, who took on human flesh, (9) died a physical death, yes. (10) However, prior to His death, He told His disciples that after His death He would rise again. (11) Clearly, He had power to lay down His life, and He had power to take it up again. (12)

    3. The WTBTS claims that Jesus is not Jehovah. (13) However, elsewhere the NWTB and the WTBTS claim that Jehovah is the only Saviour, (14) and that Jesus is the only Saviour. (15)

    4. Truth makes no sense when your authority makes errors. The WTBTS forbids reading outside literature (16) and claims that studying the Bible alone leads to apostasy, (17) yet its false prophecies destroy its claim to sole authority and any truth. (18)

    5. A God who is love (19) makes no sense without plurality in His being. (20) God is one, (21) however, without plurality in His being He could not be love, as prior to creating man He would have had no one to love.

    6. Salvation makes no sense if works nullify Christ’s sacrifice. If good works are necessary for salvation, (22) then salvation by faith alone is false, (23) and Christ died for no purpose. (24)

    (1) Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 180, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (2) Watchtower Magazine, Apr. 1, 1972, p. 197 (3) Watchtower Magazine, Jan. 1883, p. 425 (4) Awake Magazine, Oct. 8, 1968, p. 23 (5) Watchtower Magazine, May. 15, 1930, p. 153 (6) Habakkuk 1:12 (7) Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:8; 22:13 (8) Revelation 1:17-18 (9) John 1:14 (10) Matthew 27:50 (11) Matthew 16:21 (12) John 10:18 (13) Reasoning From The Scriptures, p. 198 (14) Isaiah 43:11; Watchtower Magazine, Sept. 1, 2008, p. 7 (15) 2 Timothy 1:10; Watchtower Magazine, Jan. 1, 2010, p. 25 (16) Watchtower Magazine, Mar. 15, 1986, p. 12 (17) Watchtower Magazine, Sept. 15, 1910, p. 298 (18) Watchtower Magazine, Jul. 1, 1973, p. 402 (19) 1 John 4:8 (20) WTBTS denies the Trinity (Watchtower Magazine, Feb. 15, 1955, p. 120) but the NWTB attributes the resurrection to the Father (Acts 2:24), the Son (John 2:19-22), and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11) and says to baptise in the name of all three (Matthew 28:19) (21) Deuteronomy 6:4 (22) Watchtower Magazine, Feb. 15, 1983, p.12 (23) Ephesians 2:8-9 (24) Galatians 2:21

     

    Mormonism:

    According to Mormonism, God is the source of all knowledge.

    “I would exhort you that ye would ask God… and by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” — Moroni 10:4-5

    Furthermore, Mormons believe that all knowledge is gained through revelation from their prophets, apostles, and the scriptures (the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrines and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price).

    In contrast, Christianity teaches that the God of the Bible is the source of all knowledge:

    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” — Proverbs 1:7

    So there are significant issues for Mormons to consider:

    1. The Doctrines and Covenants (D & C) claims that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. (1) However, it is clear (from the D & C) that he has made false prophecies, (2) which exposes that he is not a prophet of God. (3)

    2. The D & C claims that God is Spirit, (4) however it also claims that God is flesh and bone. (5)

    3. The D & C claims that men can become gods, (6) however the Book of Mormon claims that there is only one God, (7) and the Bible claims that there are no other Gods before or after Him. (8)

    4. Truth makes no sense when the test for truth is arbitrary. An arbitrary “burning in the bosom” (9) fails as a test for truth because the Bible clearly teaches that the heart of man cannot be trusted. (10)

    5. Attaining peace makes no sense if one must be perfect. (11) Since all have sinned, (12) no one is perfect, which means no one could ever have peace.

    6. Salvation makes no sense if works nullify Christ’s sacrifice. If good works are necessary for salvation, (13) then salvation by faith alone is false, (14) and Christ died for no purpose. (15)

    (1) D & C 135:1 (2) D & C 84:4 — Missouri temple would be built in “this generation”; i.e. before those who received the prophecy had passed away (Orson Pratt – Journal of Discourses, Apr. 1871, Vol 14, p. 275) (3) Deuteronomy 18:22; 1 John 4:1 -6 (4) Lectures on Faith 5:2, 1835 (5) D & C 130:22 (6) D & C 132:20 (7) Alma 11:28-29 (8) Isaiah 43:10 (9) D & C 9:8 (10) Jeremiah 17:9; Proverbs 28:26; Mark 7:23 (11) Matthew 5:48; 3 Nephi 12:48 (12) Romans 3:23; James 2:10 (13) 2 Nephi 25:23 (14) Ephesians 2: 8-9 (15) Galatians 2:21

     

    Judaism:

    According to Judaism, the G-d of the Hebrew Scriptures is the source of all knowledge.

    “The fear of the Lord (HaShem) is the beginning of knowledge.” — Mishlei 1:7

    Furthermore, followers of Judaism believe that all knowledge is gained through the Hebrew Scriptures, and oral tradition.

    In contrast, Christianity teaches that the God of the Bible is the source of all knowledge:

    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” — Proverbs 1:7

    So there are significant issues for followers of Judaism to consider:

    1. Scripture claims that all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment, (1) whereas oral tradition claims that righteous deeds atone for sin. (2)

    2. Scripture claims there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood, (3) whereas oral tradition claims that there can be atonement without a blood sacrifice. (4)

    3. From Isaiah 53, Scripture claims that the redeemer is a righteous suffering servant, (5) whereas oral tradition claims that Isaiah 53 refers to the unrighteous (6) nation of Israel, (7) which needs a redeemer.

    4. Truth makes no sense when Hebrew Scriptures conflict with moral tradition. One’s source of truth cannot be contradictory.

    5. A God who is perfect in justice (8) makes no sense without a perfect payment for sin. Without a perfect payment for sin, (9) God would be merciful in granting salvation, but unjust.

    6. Forgiveness makes no sense without perfect obedience to the law. Since God demands perfect obedience, (10) no one could be forgiven, as no one is good in His sight. (11) — this is why Christianity teaches that there must be a mediator between God and man. (12) Indeed, there is a mediator, Jesus the Christ. (13)

    (1) Isaiah 64:5-6 (2) Mishnah - Yoma 8:8 (3) Leviticus 17:11 (4) Yoma 8:9 (5) Isaiah 53:11 (6) Isaiah 1:4 (7)  Talmud - Berachot 5a (8) Deuteronomy 32:4 (9) Leviticus 22:20 (10) Deuteronomy 28:58-59 (11) Psalm 14:3 (12) Romans 8:3-4 (13) 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Timothy 2:5

     

    Roman Catholicism:

    According to Roman Catholicism, the God of the Bible is the source of all knowledge.

    “God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge.” — CCC 216 (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

    According to Christianity, the God of the Bible is the source of all knowledge:

    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” — Proverbs 1:7

    Although these claims appear the same, Roman Catholics believe that all knowledge is gained through Sacred Scripture AND Sacred Tradition. (1)

    So there are significant issues for Roman Catholics to consider:

    1. Sacred Scripture makes the claim that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man, (2) however Sacred Tradition claims that Mary is also a mediator. (3)

    2. Sacred Scripture teaches that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone, (4) whereas Sacred Tradition claims that faith alone in Christ alone makes one accursed. (5)

    3. Sacred Tradition claims that denying the Trinity makes one accursed. (6) However, Sacred Tradition also claims that Muslims, who deny the Trinity, (7) adore the same God. (8)

    4. Truth makes no sense when Sacred Tradition conflicts with Sacred Scripture. One’s source of truth cannot be contradictory.

    5. Praying for forgiveness makes no sense if Jesus is robbed of His authority to forgive sins. If priests and penance are required for forgiveness, (9) then Jesus alone cannot secure forgiveness. (10)

    6. Salvation makes no sense if works nullify Christ’s sacrifice. If sacramental works are necessary for salvation, (11) then Christ died for no purpose. (12)

    (1) CCC 82 (2) 1 Timothy 2:5 (3) CCC 969 (4) Ephesians 2:8-9 (5) Council of Trent Canon 9 (6) Second Council of Constantinople (7) Surah 5:73 (8) CCC 841 (9) CCC 1459; 1462 (10) Mark 2:10 (11) CCC 1129 (12) Galatians 2:21

     

  • 6. Why is God the necessary starting point for the whole of life?

    When it comes to our ability to make sense of life, it is my contention that the God of the Bible is the one who alone provides the answer to life’s most fundamental questions: where have we come from, why are we here, what happens to us when we die. He is the conclusion to the argument.

    However, Christianity teaches that God is not just the conclusion to the argument; He is also the necessary starting point.

    Without God, how do you account for truth, knowledge, logic, reason, morality, or the uniformity of nature?

    The short answer: you can’t.

    This is what is meant when we say that God is the necessary starting point.

    Consider our ability to reason. Correctly defined, reason is our intellectual or mental capacity. It is our capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought: intelligence. When we calculate mathematically we are using our reasoning. When we draw a logical conclusion we are using our reasoning. When we recall to memory something we did yesterday we are using our reasoning.

    Every day, we reason about different things. We appeal to our reasoning from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. But it’s more than that. We don’t just appeal to our reasoning, we appeal to the validity of our reasoning.

    Let’s say I ask you to tell me something you know, and how you know it. Perhaps you say, “I know that yesterday I went to the post office and posted a letter.” Well, how do you know you posted a letter yesterday? You tell me you know that you posted it because you remember posting it.

    Consider what is now taking place. You are appealing to the validity of your memory and the validity of your reasoning (our memory is a key component of our reasoning).

    However, I have a question for you: “How do you know your memory is valid?”

    Can you, in and of yourself, attest to the reliability of your memory?

    Please understand that I am not questioning your ability to reason, or your ability to remember things. The question is not centred on your ability. As a Christian, I believe you have been created by God, and so I believe He created you with the ability to reason.

    The question is how do you account for your reasoning? In other words, what is your basis for trusting the validity of your memory, or the validity of your reasoning?

    How do you know your reasoning is valid?

    As a Christian, I have a basis. The God of the Bible is my basis. I can know what I know because of God. Indeed, before I can know anything, I must appeal to God. This may sound peculiar to some and outrageous to others. Even so, consider the following two points:

    1. Knowledge presupposes truth. In other words, before we can know something, truth must first exist, because knowledge rests on truth.

    2. Truth comes from God, because apart from God we cannot account for truth.

    Let’s address my first point: People believe many different things, and they believe freely. However, for a belief to make sense, the said belief must be objectively true (I could believe that I can fly, but this does not mean that I can fly). Knowledge of what we believe likewise only makes sense if the accumulated beliefs are themselves true. This is why we define knowledge as justified, true belief.

    You see, in order to know something it must be true, because we cannot know something if it could be false. If I were to ask you the speed limit of the road outside your house, and you answered, “It’s 30mph, but I could be wrong,” do you know it’s 30mph? Well, not if you could be wrong. Similarly, if I were to ask you to name for me the capital of Brazil, and you answered, “Brasília, but I could be wrong,” do you know it’s Brasília? Again, not if you could be wrong.

    So truth is necessary for knowledge. Knowledge rests on truth. Put simply, if truth did not exist, it would be impossible to know anything!

    We turn now to my second point: Apart from the God of the Bible, we cannot account for truth.

    What is truth?

    Very often the answer to this question is limited to an expression of truth — “Truth is that I am tall,” or “Truth is that the earth is round.”

    However, these are expressions of truth, they do not define what truth is. Furthermore, it is important to understand that expressions of truth presuppose the very existence of truth (before you can form an expression of truth, truth must first exist).

    It is truth itself which must be accounted for. To provide varying expressions of truth is clearly superfluous, for it does not deal with the question at hand, namely, what is truth?

    Sometimes truth is defined as the mere by-products of the electrochemical processes in our evolved brains. However, if this is true, we wouldn't get truth, we would get “brain-fizz.” Think of it this way: when chemicals react in a laboratory, we do not think of the reaction as being true or false. It just is. But to the evolutionist, my Christian beliefs are just a complex chemical reaction within my head. So why would he think them to be false? Moreover, his beliefs are simply a different chemical reaction. Why then would he think they are true?

    At the end of the day, it’s a bit like shaking up a can of Pepsi, and a can of Sprite, opening them, and watching them fizz. Neither fizz is “true” — they just are.

    Truth has also been defined as nothing more than a word that we use to describe what is real. However, this begs the question: how do we know what is real? This is an important question, because we have to assume that we can know what is real before we can know whether or not something is true. We are now in tricky waters, for if we make ourselves the final determiner of what is real, we are saying that we cannot be contradicted, and if we cannot be contradicted, we know all things.

    Consider for a moment the properties of truth. Truth is absolute. This means that truth is true for all people, at all times. Truth is also universal. It is true for all people, at all times, everywhere. However, as I am sure you will have experienced, this flies counter to the popular notion today that truth is relative. In common parlance, people will say something like this: “What’s true for you is not true for me.” But what if I were to respond with the following: “Well, I believe that what’s true for me is true for you?” What happens now? Which is true? Who is right? Are we both wrong? Are we both right? Are both statements false? Or perhaps both statements are true?

    Imagine I said to you, “My letter is in the post.” Would it make sense to say that it’s true for me that my letter is in the post, but it’s not true for you that my letter is in the post? Of course not. My letter is in the post, or my letter is not in the post, and that’s all there is to it.

    Can you see the problems that arise from saying truth is relative? It is an absurd notion, for it is completely self-refuting. Truth is, most certainly, absolute. Moreover, it does not rest within the mind of any one person. Even if all people were to cease to exist at this very moment, truth would still exist.

    How then do we define it? What is truth, and where does it come from?

    (If you would question why truth can only be limited to the Christian God, please see question four)

    Let me begin at this point by saying that nothing can be known to be true without somebody making the claim that it is true (that the thing is true). In other words, truth cannot do “its job” without a person because truth is meaningless if there isn't a mind to make truth claims. We know that there is truth in this world, because people make truth claims, and so this tells us that truth cannot function without a mind.

    Let’s say I tell you that I had porridge for breakfast. Now, if I am making the claim that I had porridge for breakfast, I am making a truth claim; I am telling you it is true that I had porridge for breakfast. But who says it is true? Am I the final arbiter of truth concerning the claim I am making? In other words, is it true simply because I say it is true? Can I confidently say, with absolute certainty, that nothing could contradict my claim that I had porridge for breakfast? Am I absolutely convinced that there is no knowledge in the entire universe that would say otherwise? Well, do I know everything? No, I do not. And so as silly as it might sound, I cannot say it is true because I say it is true.

    When you or I say something is true, we are not saying it is true because we say it is true. We are using our minds, however, our minds are finite; we do not know all things. How then are we able to make truth claims? We make truth claims because we appeal to the One who knows all things; i.e., we appeal to truth. And we all do this, because there is no other way to make a truth claim.

    The Bible tells us that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). Notice that the verse does not say God’s Word is true, it says God’s Word is truth. According to Scripture, truth is that which conforms to the mind of God, i.e., if something is true, it is true because God says it is true. And this makes perfect sense, for we have already seen that truth must come from a mind, and not just any mind, it must be a mind infinite in knowledge, for everything that truth says is true — absolutely true.

    Scripture reveals for us a God who is all-knowing, and absolute in all that He says and does. And so because of the Bible, we can account for truth. Of course, this poses a serious question for those who would deny the God of the Bible. Put simply, where do you get truth from without God? As we have seen, apart from God, there is no answer. Truth is that which conforms to the mind of God, because truth comes from God, because apart from God we simply cannot account for truth.

    In conclusion, it is clear that the Christian has a basis for his knowledge/truth claims. He can account for his knowledge; he can tell you how he knows what he knows. You see, if God does not exist, and all we are is the mere by-product of random evolutionary processes, how can we possibly know that the signals firing through our brain at this very moment are reliable? How can we know that they are able to attest to the reliability of something we did yesterday?

    There really is only one explanation. God has revealed Himself to all of us (through creation and His word), so that we can know some things for certain. We can know what God has revealed! For example, we can know with certainty, that our memory and our reasoning is valid, because God gives us certainty. It is God who gives us certainty, for we all know some things to be true. But this is only because we know, in truth, that there is one who knows all things — and He is the one who says that those things are true.

    What happens next? Click here to find out.

     

  • 7. Who exactly is this God, and how would you describe him?

    The Bible tells us that there is one God, (1) living and true, (2) who is infinite and perfect, (3) a most pure spirit, (4) invisible, (5) without a body, multiple parts, (6) or human passions; (7) unchanging, (8) immense, (9) eternal, (10) incomprehensible, (11) almighty, (12) most wise, (13) most holy, (14) most free, (15) most absolute; (16) working all things according to the counsel of His own unchanging and righteous will, (17) for His own glory; (18) most loving, (19) gracious, merciful, full of patience, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; (20) the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him; (21) most just, and terrible in His judgments, (22) hating all sin, (23) who will by no means clear the guilty. (24)

    God has all life, (25) glory, (26) goodness, (27) blessedness, (28) in and of Himself; being all-sufficient, without need from any of the creatures He has made, (29) nor deriving any glory from them, (30) but only revealing His own glory in and through them. God alone is the source and fountain of all existence, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things. (31) He is sovereign over all persons, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever pleases Him. (32) He sees everything clearly, for everything is open to Him; (33) His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent of any creature. (34) Therefore, to God nothing is subject to chance, nor uncertain. (35) He is completely holy in all His decisions, actions, and commands. (36) To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them. (37)

    In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (38) The Father comes from no one — He was neither fathered by the Son or the Spirit, nor does He originate from them. The Son is fathered eternally by God the Father; (39) the Holy Spirit originates eternally from both the Father and the Son. (40)

     

    (1) Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 (2) 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Jeremiah 10:10 (3) Job 11:7-9; Job 26:14 (4) John 4:24 (5) 1 Timothy 1:17 (6) Deuteronomy 4:15–16, John 4:24, Luke 24:39 (7) Acts 14:11,15 (8) James 1:17, Malachi 3:6 (9) 1 Kings 8:27, Jeremiah 23:23–24 (10) Psalm 90:2, 1 Timothy 1:17 (11) Psalm 145:3 (12) Gen. 17:1, Revelation 4:8 (13) Romans 16:27 (14) Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8 (15) Psalm 115:3 (16) Exodus 3:14 (17) Ephesians 1:11 (18) Proverbs 16:4, Romans 11:36 (19) 1 John 4:8,16 (20) Exodus 34:6–7 (21) Hebrews 11:6 (22) Nehemiah 9:32–33 (23) Psalm 5:5–6 (24) Nah. 1:2–3, Exodus 34:7 (25) John 5:26 (26) Acts 7:2 (27) Psalm 119:68 (28) 1 Timothy 6:15, Romans 9:5 (29) Acts 17:24–25 (30) Job 22:2-3 (31) Romans 11:36 (32) Revelation 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:15, Daniel 4:25, 35 (33) Hebrews 4:13 (34) Romans 11:33–34, Psalm 147:5 (35) Acts 15:18, Ezekiel 11:5 (36) Psalm 145:17, Romans 7:12 (37) Revelation 5:12–14 (38) Matt 3:16–17, Matt. 28:19, 2 Cor. 13:14 (39) John 1:14, 18 (40) John 15:26, Galatians 4:6

     

  • 8. Belief in God requires evidence; what evidence can you give me?

    Unfortunately, this is a loaded question because it is founded on a false premise. You see, belief in God does not require evidence, rather, it is belief in God which allows us to make sense of evidence.

    Without presupposing the existence of God, I have no basis upon which to interpret evidence, for I would have no basis for trusting in the validity of my own senses or my own reasoning — if God did not exist. This is key, because if I cannot trust the validity of my own senses or my own reasoning, how can I possibly hope to interpret evidence?

    Without presupposing the existence of God, evidence means nothing to me — it is meaningless. So belief in the existence of God does not require evidence; belief in the existence of God is the evidence. God’s self-attesting worth is confirmed through our ability to make sense of evidence.

    Moreover, as a Christian there is substance to my faith. My faith has meaning because it rests on the one who serves as the very basis for the intelligibility of this world. So it is not an empty faith, rather, my faith in God is demonstrable evidence that God does exist.

    There is one final point that I would like to add. As demonstrated through The Knowledge Test, this website offers a clear and veridical defence for the God of the Bible — who is truth itself. Furthermore, since the Bible is special revelation to us from God, everything that it says is true. Therefore, there are no evidences against the God of Scripture. None whatsoever. The unbeliever has no evidences to bring against God, and he will never have any evidences to bring against God, because the very nature of evidence presupposes His existence. Evidence does not disprove God, for it can never disprove God; it can only shine light on the innate knowledge of God that has been afforded to every person.

     

  • 9. Religion is based purely on faith; therefore what proof do you have?

    Since this website is offering a defence for the biblical God, I offer my answer as a Christian, rather than defending “religion” as a single entity. The claim I am making is that Christianity is set apart from all the religions in this world, because Christianity is the truth — concerning all of life. Psalm 96:5 reads: “All the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.”

    Furthermore, please take note that this too is a loaded question, much like before. It is founded on a false premise, namely that faith is blind. In other words, there is an underlying assumption woven into this question that Christianity is against reason.

    But is this really the case?

    Consider for a moment one of the most basic assumptions that we bring to the reasoning process (for both the Christian and the non-Christian). Before we reason about something we presuppose the validity of our own reasoning. In other words, we take it for granted that our reasoning is valid. If we did not, we would never trust our own reasoning. But we do trust our own reasoning! And yet, in and of ourselves, we have no basis for doing so. Unresolved this presents a serious problem, because if our reasoning depends on faith — i.e. if we need to bring to our reasoning the pre-belief that our reasoning is valid — the obvious question that must be answered is this: how are we to go about validating our own reasoning?

    No pre-belief can ever be directed inwardly. We are imperfect and we are not all-knowing, so we cannot validate ourselves. We are not the ultimate judge of truth when it comes to knowledge. How do we know, for example, that our reasoning is valid? Our only solution is to first appeal to One who knows everything, before we can know anything. And so faith comes before reason. Indeed, reason presupposes faith! Moreover, the substance of our faith must be grounded on the God of Scripture, because the God of Scripture is the all-knowing, objective standard that brings meaning to our faith.

    Christians do not exercise a faith that is blind, i.e., we do not believe in something just for the sake of believing. If this were to be true Christian faith, we would be most pitied indeed! No, Christian faith is reasonable, and it is reasonable because without it reason itself is reduced to absurdity.

    But what of proof, you may ask. Proof, like evidence, presupposes truth. In other words, it assumes that truth must first exist because proof by it’s very nature is concerned with that which is true and with that which is false. Of course, proof also presupposes knowledge and logic, which in turn presuppose truth also. So it comes back to truth each and every time. The question therefore that must be answered is this: where do you get truth from without God?

    Do I have a proof for God? Absolutely. Since the very concept of proof is dependent on God, the proof that God exists is that without Him you couldn't prove anything. God is the necessary starting point — for everything. Unless we start with God, all of life is reduced to absurdity.

     

  • 10. Don’t you believe in evolution?

    The theory of evolution by natural selection is committed to the belief that natural selection is the mechanism and means that drives evolution, thus making it a reality. It may surprise you that I do not have a problem with the phrase natural selection — in and of itself, that is. However, the phrase can become an example of a fallacy known as reification (attributing a concrete characteristic to something that is abstract), if used in an argument. Literally speaking, nature cannot select anything. Yes, it is evident that the natural world has an effect on living things — organisms that are well-suited to an environment are more likely to survive than those that are not well-suited. However, if the evolutionist makes the claim that animals are well-suited to their environment because of natural selection, he has now committed the fallacy of reification. Nature is an abstract concept only, and therefore cannot select anything. Furthermore, it is important to understand that natural selection does not explain why we find organisms suited to their environment. It only explains why we do not find organisms that are unsuited to their environment (due to death, etc). It is God — not “nature” — who has given organisms the abilities they need to survive.

    Understood correctly, natural selection is limited to variational change within the family kind of an organism. There are numerous varieties of birds, for example, that have been produced through the process of natural selection. But this is where natural selection ends. It goes no further. Here's the problem: the evolutionist seeks to place weight upon a process which he believes to be completely random. He will say that natural selection “selects” brand new features found within a creature, causing it to eventually evolve into something completely different. This has never been observed. Furthermore, he will even say that natural selection “selects” that which is right and that which is wrong, on a moral level. But natural selection itself is not a living conscious mind. It is purely a natural process — a process ordained by God. The creationist (Christian) belief, therefore, does not work against science; our assertions are cogent and sound with respect to science. Indeed, we are not the ones operating beyond the limits of science. That's the evolutionist's department, I'm afraid.

    Furthermore, the theory of evolution by natural selection is at a complete loss when it comes to the area of metaphysicsthe study of the nature, structure, and origin of what exists. We can demonstrate, for example, that objective truth exists. How does evolution account for this? The electrochemical processes in our “evolved brains” are relative to each individual. Our minds are also finite. Therefore they can never produce objective truth. Moreover, if God does not exist, and all we are is the mere by-product of random evolutionary processes, how can we possibly know that the signals firing through our brain at this very moment are reliable? Without objective truth — without an ultimate standard of truth upon which to appeal — we could never know.

    Lastly, it’s important to point out that while the theory of evolution by natural selection fails terribly as a theory, in truth, it is not even a theory. A theory has observational support, and therefore this rules out darwinian evolution. How then should we define it?

    Put simply, evolution is an unsubstantiated conjecture about the unobservable past.

     

  • 11. Hasn’t science disproved God?

    Let me begin by asking a different question: what exactly is it that makes science possible?

    This is an important question to ask because it must be understood that science is a discipline, concerned not so much with results, but rather process. We want to understand how things work, and so we employ the scientific method to help us reach certain conclusions within any given field of study: What causes the human body to digest food? Why do the properties of H2O cause water to behave like a solid, liquid or gas — under different conditions? How does an aeroplane achieve flight, and what causes it to remain in the air during flight?

    Each of these questions are answered through the scientific method: a method of procedure consisting of observation, measurement, experimentation, and testing. More importantly, however, concerning each of these procedural criteria, consider the conditions necessary for each criteria to exist: preconditions such as truth, knowledge, logic, the uniformity of nature, etc. In other words, the scientific method presupposes truth, knowledge, logic, and the uniformity of nature. So they must be accounted for. What is the basis for these preconditions? Science cannot supply an answer, because these are conditions which must exist before we can even practise the discipline of science.

    Consider the uniformity of nature. Simply put, the uniformity of nature rests on the truth claim that the future will be like the past. I am referring here to the laws of nature, which have a direct bearing on the world we live in. It is important, however, not to be confused. Conditions do change. For example, the force of gravity exerted on the planet earth is far different to the force of gravity exerted on the moon. However, in both environments, it is the law of gravity which is in effect. Similarly, weather patterns change, from day to day, and from place to place. However, the physical laws in play are always consistent, even though the weather conditions are not always consistent. Our world is governed by uniform, physical laws; laws of nature which affect the world as we know it. And they are always consistent. If this were not true, science would be impossible, indeed we would not be able to make sense of this world.

    In the past I have asked those who would object against the truth claims of Christianity to tell me how they are able to know that the future will be like the past. For example, will light continue to zoom around at 300,000 km/sec fifty years from now? Will time ever speed up? Will the physical laws of nature ever change?

    How do we know the future will be like the past?

    Here is one such answer I have received: “I can know that the future will be like the past, because the future has always been like the future in the past.”

    Can you spot the absurdity here?? Appealing to the past to prove the future does not prove the future, it simply confirms what we already know about the past.

    By the way, everyone believes that the future will be like the past. You couldn't do science in a lab if you didn’t believe it. How could you proceed to solve an equation if you did not first believe that the mathematical laws—necessary for the equation—are laws which remain constant?

    We all believe the future will be like the past. But how do we explain it? What is our basis for believing that the future will be like the past? I submit to you that apart from God, the answer is always foolish, and riddled with absurdity.

    The Christian answer, on the other hand, is not foolish. It makes sense, and it provides the perfect basis for our understanding. Apart from God, all we can do is simply assume that the future will be like past. But with God, we can know that the future will be like the past. Scripture makes this very clear for us:

    • “In [God] all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

    • “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)

    • “He [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:3)

    In conclusion, then, we need to recognise that the question “Hasn’t science disproved God?” is a question that is built on a false premise. It is founded on the idea that we do not need God to prove things, we do not need God to practise science. Yet God is the necessary starting point for science, because apart from God we cannot account for knowledge, logic, truth, and the uniformity of nature. Indeed, God is the Precondition for these preconditions. Take note, therefore, of the fatal error behind the question — attempting to make sense of this world at the expense of the one, true God of the Bible.

     

  • 12. How do you know the Bible is true?

    Arguably, this is perhaps the biggest question put to the Christian today. It therefore deserves a solid and robust answer.

    I’d like to begin by quoting from Christian apologist and astrophysicist, Dr. Jason Lisle, who sums up for us well the uniqueness of the Bible:

    “The Bible is remarkably self-consistent, despite having been written by more than 40 different writers over a time span of about 2,000 years. God’s moral law, man’s rebellion against God’s law, and God’s plan of salvation are the continuing themes throughout the pages of Scripture. This internal consistency is what we would expect if the Bible really is what it claims to be — God’s revelation. Moreover, the Bible is uniquely authentic among ancient literary works in terms of the number of ancient manuscripts found and the smallness of the time scale between when the work was first written and the oldest extant manuscript (thereby minimising any possibility of alteration from the original). This indicates that the Bible has been accurately transmitted throughout the ages, far more so than other ancient documents. Few people would doubt that Plato really wrote the works ascribed to him, and yet the Bible is far more authenticated. Such textual criticism shows at least that the Bible (1) is unique in ancient literature and (2) has been accurately transmitted throughout the ages. What we have today is a good representation of the original. No one could consistently argue that the Bible’s authenticity is in doubt unless he is willing to doubt all other works of antiquity (because they are far less substantiated).”

    Click this link for an info-graphic depicting the reliability of the New Testament.

    Dr. Jason Lisle continues:

    “To be sure, this is what we would expect, given the premise that the Bible is true. And yet, uniqueness and authenticity to the original do not necessarily prove that the source is true. They simply mean that the Bible is unique and has been accurately transmitted. This is consistent with the claim that the Bible is the Word of God, but it does not decisively prove the claim.”

    Dr. Lisle’s last point is so important. It is one thing to show that a work of antiquity is authentic, however, when the content of that work is put forward as the basis for the fundamental truths of the universe (and beyond) it goes without saying that the content itself must be examined.

    The proof that the Bible is true is demonstrated in its ability to account for the standards that govern the very intelligibility of life. Put simply, the reason we say the Bible is true is because if we remove the Bible, if we deny the Bible, all of life is reduced to absurdity. This is because the Bible provides a basis for the intelligibility of life — on a moral level, when we speak about logic, the uniformity of nature, etc; indeed, even truth itself.

    This is why I defend the Bible as a unit, rather than piece-by-piece. There are elements of Scripture which simply cannot be proven, empirically. Take for example, the transfiguration of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 17:1-13. How is one to go about proving it happened the way it was written? By citing archaeological evidence? I will freely admit that I can cite no archaeological evidence for its occurrence. But what about eyewitness testimony? Equally so, for there are no eyewitnesses who I can call upon. Where does this leave the defender of the Christian faith? It would appear he is in somewhat of a precarious position, for he would present to the world the Bible as revelation from God, free from error and incapable of error. However, if he cannot prove all of the Bible, why should he expect someone to believe any of it?

    However, the concept of proof itself turns out to be the very proof people are asking for. Why do I say that? Well, since the concept of proof is dependent on God, the proof that God exists is that without Him you couldn't prove anything.

    Allow me to explain: Proof presupposes knowledge, logic, and truth (a presupposition is a pre-belief, i.e., I must first believe in the existence of knowledge, logic and truth before I can prove anything). Moreover, proof brings a person to a conclusion, whereby he judges the facts and the evidences to be true. However, can it be said that truth [as an existential reality] comes from a conclusion? Not at all. Rather, truth is used to reach a conclusion. Therefore, the question which must be answered is simple and clear:

    How do we account for the existence of truth?

    This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Indeed, it is one thing for a person to deny the Bible. However, I would submit to you that every person is called upon to account for the world in which we live. Since people make their appeal to truth, logic, and the uniformity of nature on a frequent and consistent basis, every person is obligated to make sense of this world — to provide a basis for it.

    But apart from God’s word, there is simply no such basis to be found. The Bible is therefore true in all that it says, and as such it is the authoritative standard for the intelligibility of life itself.

    If you would like to learn more about truth, logic, knowledge, and the uniformity of nature, I would encourage you to read some of the other answers in this section.

    The Lord bless you.

     

  • 13. Could you be wrong about the claims of Christianity?

    The short answer? No.

    Even so, Christians have been wrong in the past, in some way or another.

    There has been, at times, portions of the Bible that I have misunderstood. However, after going back and rethinking some of those things I’ve changed my views accordingly. You see, Christians cannot say to you that they have a 100% understanding of Scripture. We are still learning and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And we are imperfect, which means we need to adjust our views to conform to the word of God.

    It is the word of God which can never be wrong. For many, that may sound like far too bold a claim to make. However, as I have already demonstrated on this website, the Bible defends itself because the Bible authenticates itself.

    Put simply, the proof that the Bible is true is demonstrated in its ability to account for the standards that govern the very intelligibility of life. This is important because we must recognise that there is always the need for an ultimate standard whenever we speak about morality, logic, how we know what we know, etc.

    Moreover, when people speak about morality, logic, and knowledge, they take as an unstated premise that there is an ultimate standard by which we judge something to be true, and that standard applies universally, whether we are speaking about morality, logic, knowledge, etc.

    • Before we reach a logical conclusion, we appeal to absolute laws of logic in order to reach that conclusion.

    • Before we make a moral judgment about something, we appeal to moral absolutes in order to make that judgment.

    • Before we make a knowledge claim, we appeal to absolute truth, for the claim we are making rests on truth.

    In each instance, we are appealing to that which is absolute, we are appealing to truth itself. But for truth to be absolute, there must be an ultimate standard of truth.

    Therefore, the question must be the following: how do we account for this standard? Moreover, can we account for this standard, apart from God’s word? I would submit to you that apart from God’s word, no such standard can be found (further support for this claim can be found elsewhere on this website).

    For this reason, therefore, we ought to conform to God’s word, because God’s word is the precondition for morality, logic, science, knowledge, truth — indeed, a precondition which is an objective standard.

     

  • 14. If the Christian God really exists, why is there so much suffering in this world?

    One of the hardest things to deal with in life is suffering. Some of us have experienced a great deal of suffering. Others have barely suffered at all. Sometimes we have watched on in agony as those we love have had to endure terrible suffering. Sadly, for those who have suffered, and are currently suffering, it is even harder to deal with, when we view those around us who’s lives seem completely free from suffering. “Why is it that I must suffer when all those around me seem so healthy and so happy?”

    In the midst of suffering, it can seem like there are no answers to the questions we are asking. How do we make sense of it all?!

    There are two big questions we need to ask when we talk about suffering:

     1. Why is there suffering in this world?

     2. What are we to do when we suffer?

    Firstly, then, why is there suffering in this world? The Bible tells us that this world is cursed because of the sin of man. But it was not always this way. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” (Genesis 1:1) and when He had finished creating, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

    So what happened? Sin happened.

    God had placed Adam and his wife Eve in the garden of Eden, which was paradise on earth. (Genesis 2:15, 18) Furthermore, there was an order that God had set in place: within the confines of a God-ordained marital union, it was for the man to lead his wife accordingly.

    And so the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

    The LORD had spoken. Man was to obey the voice of the LORD. But tragically, he did not, and what followed next is undoubtedly the greatest tragedy to fall upon the sons and daughters of men. Adam and his wife succumbed to temptation (Genesis 3:1-7), and in so doing paradise was lost to sin and wickedness. This brought dire consequences to the world.

    In Genesis 3:17, the LORD said to Adam: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3:17)

    As a result of the fall, there is now great pain in this world, suffering and hardship that befalls so many people. Disaster strikes without warning, whether in the form of a natural disaster or the contracting of a terrible illness. Death and suffering has become a stark reminder of that which has come upon this world, because of man’s fall.

    Yet there is hope! The Son of God, Jesus the Christ, came to this world to destroy the works (sin and death) of the Devil. (1 John 3:8) Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the day will come when the dwelling place of God will be with man. “He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)

    Death and suffering will one day be defeated. God has made this certain for us, through his Son Jesus. So the right response which ought to come from this world is a heart of trust, and a confident hope, in the God who created it all.

    Without question, there is great hardship in this world. But for those who would trust in the Lord, with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind, and with all their strength, the apostle Peter has these words: “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed… For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:14, 18) Jesus Christ died on a cross for His people. (Matthew 1:21) He paid the penalty for sin, as a willing substitute, to undo the effects of sin and restore man to God.

    So it is my prayer that you would know the Father, through His Son, Jesus the Christ. I am an ambassador for Christ, and God is making His appeal to you through me. I implore you, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    Please know this: Through Jesus Christ, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:54) Therefore, we can boldly say, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)

    There is victory, over death and suffering, through Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone.

    The Lord bless you.

     

  • 15. There is far too much evil in this world; how can there be a God?

    Here’s a question for you: what is evil?

    Most often, evil is defined as that which is not good. In other words, evil opposes what is good, it sets itself against what is good.

    However, this begs the question: what is good?

    This is an important question, for if we cannot know what good is, how can we make sense of evil? It is one thing to acknowledge that evil exists and that evil is the antithesis of good. However, before someone can use the existence of evil as a legitimate objection against the God of the Bible, it is necessary for that person to first account for the existence of both good and evil. What is good? Moreover, what measure do we use in determining what is good?

    In his book, The Doctrine of God, John Frame writes: “Unless God’s standards govern our concept of goodness, there can be no talk of good or evil at all. If there is no personal Absolute, values must be based on impersonal things and forces, like matter, motion, time, and chance. But values cannot be based on any of these. They arise only in a context of personal relationships, and absolute standards presuppose an absolute person… Without God, there is neither good nor evil.”

    Yes, evil exists. However, can it be said though that evil disproves God’s existence? Certainly not, for apart from God one cannot make sense of evil. However, there is still a lingering question: “Why does evil exist?” Ultimately, there can be only one answer that satisfies: Evil exists for a reason that is perfectly sufficient for God. This does not mean that God Himself is evil. The beauty of creation depicts the handiwork of a good God and Scripture abounds with revelation of a God whose attributes are holy, just and good. However, this world is cursed, because of the fall of man (see Genesis 3:1-24), and ever since the fall, a darkness has enveloped this world. Yet the fault cannot be levelled at God. Man has been kept in darkness because of his sin. But sin itself is simply a manifestation of the human heart. Indeed, sin is a wilful action, which is the by-product of a wicked heart. Wickedness is therefore rooted in evil, because evil sets itself against God. Without question, the greatest tragedy concerning the fall of man is that man chose to embrace evil, he chose to embrace that which sets itself against his Creator.

    The critic of Scripture would still seek to hold the Christian accountable at this point. Allegedly, there is a paradox which undermines his most basic beliefs concerning his God. He is locked into a logically incoherent position by maintaining the following three propositions:

    1. God is all-good.

    2. God is all-powerful.

    3. Evil exists.

    Seemingly, it would appear that the Christian is without an answer. It would appear that he has been logically defeated. However, this is not the case, for the apparent paradox created by the above three propositions is easily resolved by adding a fourth premise:

    4. God has a morally sufficient reason for the evil which exists.

    The late Dr. Greg Bahnsen offers further insight: “If the Christian presupposes that God is perfectly and completely good—as Scripture requires us to do—then he is committed to evaluating everything within his experience in the light of that presupposition. Accordingly, when the Christian observes evil events or things in the world, he can and should retain consistency with his presupposition about God’s goodness by now inferring that God has a morally good reason for the evil that exists. God certainly must be all-powerful in order to be God; He is not to be thought of as overwhelmed or stymied by evil in the universe. And God is surely good, the Christian will profess—so any evil we find must be compatible with God’s goodness. This is just to say that God has planned evil events for reasons which are morally commendable and good.”

    Romans 8:28 makes this very clear: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (emphasis added)

    Bahnsen continues: “It turns out, therefore, that the problem of evil is not a logical difficulty after all. Rather, it is a psychological problem. If God has a morally sufficient reason for the evil which exists, as the Bible teaches, then His goodness and power cannot be challenged. The only logical problem (concerning the existence of evil) that needs to be addressed is the unbeliever’s inability to account for the objectivity of his moral judgements.”

    The existence of evil must never be overlooked or dismissed. Indeed, we ought to acknowledge with great sadness the rampant evil we see in this world. The Christian answer does not take anything away from this reality. We acknowledge the evil we see. However, unlike the worldviews which are set in opposition to Christianity, it is only the Christian worldview which is able to make sense of evil. Therefore, to speak of evil as a legitimate objection against the existence of the Biblical God is to argue arbitrarily against Him. Apart from the biblical God, there is simply no basis, either for good or evil.

     

  • 16. Why is God so cruel in the Old Testament?

    There are a number of problems with this question.

    Firstly, before one can judge God as being cruel, one needs a standard of cruelty upon which to appeal. What is it that makes something cruel? Surely it makes no sense to say something is cruel if we do not even have a standard that tells us when something is cruel.

    There is therefore a question which must be answered: Why are the acts of God in the Old Testament deemed cruel? Furthermore, if there is no ultimate standard which sets the bar, how can we determine what is cruel and what is not?

    Furthermore, the standard itself must be an objective standard. This is because a subjective standard is based on personal feelings, which means it brings a person to an arbitrary opinion only — an opinion based on wishful thinking. Surely, this will not do. If the judgment being made is to carry any weight, it cannot rest on personal whim or random choice. It must be objective.

    Does the opponent to Christianity have such a standard? And what would this standard be? Is it an objective standard, i.e., does it transcend the ideas and opinions of men? These are important questions. If there is to be any merit to the question being asked (concerning the alleged cruelty of God) one is obligated to provide an answer.

    The Christian has an answer. He argues objectively because he appeals to an objective standard, a standard that transcends this world. Now of course, those who would challenge Christianity are free to do so. However, it simply makes no sense to argue arbitrarily.

    This then leaves the challenger to Christianity with a challenge of his own. What standard is he appealing to when he judges the God of the Bible? This is his dilemma, for until he is able to answer satisfactorily, the question he is asking is dismissed altogether.

    Secondly, the question being asked is a classic case of a logical fallacy known as a complex question. This is an interrogative form of begging the question — when the arguer attempts to persuade by asking a loaded question. A typical example would be something like this: “Have you stopped driving recklessly?” Either a yes or no answer would seem to imply that the person drove recklessly in the past, which may not be the case.

    The question in point is therefore “complex” because it should be divided into two questions:

    1. Is God cruel in the Old Testament?

    2. If so, why is God cruel in the Old Testament?

    Since the answer to the first question is no, the second question is not necessary. Study of the Old Testament does not reveal a God who is cruel, but rather a God who is just. Moreover, the justice He dispenses He dispenses towards those who are guilty of sin — they are not innocent. God is also a sovereign God. This is why He says in His Word, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:15) God is the potter, we are the clay.

    But again, if one wishes to say that this is unjust, one must appeal to an objective standard, which of course brings us back to our first point. The onus is therefore on the unbeliever, who would challenge the God of the Bible. His task is simple — provide a satisfactory answer for each of the following:

    1. An objective standard, a standard which is non-arbitrary, through which to appeal.

    2. Fair representation from the Bible that God has acted in a cruel way.

    I would submit, however, that he cannot answer, for his worldview would leave him wanting in both. The God of both the Old and New Testaments is not a cruel God — He is just, holy, and good.

     

  • 17. How can you believe in a God you cannot see?

    Much like before, there is a tacit assumption implicit in this question, namely, that God must be seen to be believed. In truth, belief in God does not require sensory confirmation, because the existence of God is self-evident to all.

    What is my basis for saying this?

    God has revealed Himself to all of us (through creation and His Word) so that we can know some things for certain. For example, we can know with certainty that our senses are valid. It is God who gives us certainty. Indeed, we all know some things to be true. But this is only because we know, in truth, that there is one who knows all things — and He is the one who says that those things are true.

    In other words, we trust our senses, but not because we validate for ourselves that our senses are valid. Rather, we trust our senses because we know, in truth, that we have been created purposefully. God has created us with sensory ability that we can trust. When we look at something we look at it believing that what we are seeing is real. Trust of our senses therefore depends on faith; before we use our senses we believe that our sensory input is valid. And this belief is not confirmed internally, for we are begging the question when we validate ourselves by appealing to ourselves.

    Why do I believe in a God I cannot see? For this reason: I believe in Him because if He did not exist I would have no basis for believing that what I am seeing is real. Therefore, I believe in order that I may see. Moreover, the time will come when I will stand before my Lord, and on that day I will be like Him, for I shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2)

     

  • 18. What logical reason do you have for believing in God?

    Logic itself is predicated upon laws of logic. This is self-evident. If there were no laws of logic, logic would be random in its application, which would make logic illogical, which of course is nonsensical.

    Without question, there are laws of logic. The following three principles are prime examples of such laws.

    • The Law of Identity: every true statement is true and every false statement is false.

    • The Law of Non-Contradiction: no statement can be both true and false.

    • The Law of Excluded Middle: every statement must be either true or false.

    Furthermore, laws of logic are universal, immaterial, and unchanging in their nature. Again, this is self-evident. If there are laws of logic which apply in one part of the world, but not another, how could different people groups hope to achieve a logical consensus when in discussion between themselves? Laws of logic apply universally. Secondly, laws of logic cannot be held physically, they are abstract and intangible in nature, but no less real. They are immaterial. Thirdly, laws of logic do not change. If laws of logic were to change, what confidence could you possibly hope to have in your own logic right now? They are unchanging.

    Consider now the following: the Christian worldview can account for laws of logic, because laws of logic mirror the nature and character of God. Indeed, laws of logic reflect the very nature and thinking of God.

    For example, the Bible accounts for immaterial entities. John 4:24 states: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    In Malachi 3:6 God says: “I the LORD do not change.” This accounts for His unchanging nature.

    Psalm 90:2 states: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” In Psalm 139:7-10 we read these words: Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” — These verses account for God’s universality.

    In Jeremiah 33:25 God speaks of how He has “fixed the order of heaven and earth.” Clearly, an understanding of this world must begin with God. The apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians that in Christ “…are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3) Proverbs 1:7 says: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.”

    Here’s the clincher. There are universal, immaterial, unchanging laws of logic — laws which people use, every single day. How do we account for these laws? Where do they come from? Where do we get universal, immaterial, unchanging laws from, without a universal, immaterial, unchanging God?

    Christianity has the answer: “For from him (God) and through him and to him are all things.” (Romans 11:36)

     

  • 19. Why doesn’t God reveal Himself?

    Implicit in this question is the assumption that God has not revealed Himself. In truth, God has revealed Himself — through creation, conscience, His Son Jesus, and through Scripture.

    Firstly, then, God is revealed in creation.

    “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-6)

    “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him.” (Psalm 8:3-4)

    “His (God) invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:20)

    Secondly, God is revealed through conscience.

    “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” (Romans 2:14-15)

    Our consciences bear witness with the law of God, which He has written on our hearts, and when we are confronted with God’s law our conflicting thoughts either accuse us or excuse us.

    Thirdly, God has also revealed Himself to this world in the person of His Son.

    “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)

    Jesus Himself testified that He had come to this world to do the will of God the Father.

    “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)

    Lastly, God is revealed through Scripture.

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

    God has revealed Himself in a very special way, through Scripture. We learn of His attributes and His person in a more comprehensive way through His Word. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to this world. It is our source for the knowledge of God and His purposes for His creation. Moreover, we are able to make sense of this world through Scripture, for it provides a basis for us — on a moral level, when we speak about logic, how we know what we know, science, even truth itself. The very intelligibility of life is accounted for through God’s Word.

     

  • 20. Why are Christians so judgemental?

    Once again, the same logical fallacy as before has been committed in this question: the complex question fallacy. The question in point is “complex” because it should be divided into two questions:

    1. Are Christians judgmental?

    2. If so, why are Christians judgmental?

    If the answer to the first question is no, it follows that the second question is not necessary.

    Firstly, then, are Christians judgmental? In the popular sense of the word, no, they are not. It is very important that I am clear here. Christians do bring a message and a lifestyle to this world which highlights and exposes sin. When a fallen sinner is radically converted by the power of God, such that the desires of his heart are changed forever, the outcome will always be to live a life that is honouring and pleasing to God. This is played out through what he does and through what he says. Indeed, it is not simply what a Christian says that exposes sin, it is also the life he lives. Morally speaking, when a Christian lives a life that is distinctly different from the world, the result will be that people are exposed for what they have done, or for what they have not done.

    The truth of the matter is that nobody likes to be exposed for their sin. And yet, this is what God desires. Naturally, then, it is also what the Christian desires. Christians have been commanded to preach the gospel to all of creation (Mark 16:15). Therefore, it follows that the Christian would seek earnestly to help unbelievers see their sin — for this brings godly sorrow, which in turn produces genuine repentance, which then leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10).

    Both in word and action, the Christian desires to help the unbeliever see his sin, that he might acknowledge his sin, repent of it, trust in Christ, and be saved. Christians today — men and women who are earnestly following Christ — are not seeking to condemn unbelievers beyond the justice of God — His just command for all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Rather, they desire to see people saved, they desire for people to know the grace of God, through His Son, Jesus the Christ.

    This does not depict a Christian who is malicious, callous or unloving. On the contrary, the person born-again of God is thinking God’s thoughts after him; the life he is living he is living for both the sake of the unbeliever and for the glory of God.

    The Lord bless you!

     

  • 21. What makes me a sinner?

    The Bible says that God has created man in His own image. (Genesis 1:26-27)

    But what does this mean, and why is it important?

    We learn from Scripture that man was created to represent his Creator. (Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:16) God created man in His own image so that man would image Him. In so doing he would honour Him, bringing glory to His name. Indeed, this is man’s ultimate purpose in life: to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31, Romans 11:36), and enjoy Him forever. (Psalm 73:25-28)

    And yet, man does not represent his Creator the way that he should. Instead, he misrepresents Him. This is so important to recognise. If we are made in the image of God, and yet at the same time we lie, steal and cheat our way through life… what is this really saying? In other words, what are we actually saying about God, as we do these things? We are saying that God lies. We are saying that God steals. We are saying that God does what we do.

    But God is not a sinner.

    Let me ask you a question: Why is it wrong to sin against God? Why is it wrong to lie? Why is it wrong to steal? The answer is quite simple. Lying is wrong because God does not lie. Stealing is wrong because God does not steal. God is holy, and He created us to be holy. (1 Peter 1:16) He did not create us so that we would sin against Him. God’s will is that His people would be holy before Him.

    So, why are we sinners? We are sinners because each and every one of us has misrepresented the God who made us in His image. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Notice why we fall short of the glory of God. We fall short because of our sin. We are sinners because our lives do not measure up to the standard of the God who created us in His image.

    All our lives, we have mocked our Creator, in thought, word and deed — for when we sin, we are not just sinning, we are effectively saying that God does what we do. However, “God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) Indeed, it is folly to ignore our sin, for “…each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)

    Therefore, do not be foolish. “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7)

    Repent this day, and believe the gospel!

     

  • 22. Why do I need to repent?

    Before answering this question, it is necessary to first define what repentance means. A prominent English theologian from the seventeenth century, Thomas Watson, defined it quite superbly as the following: “Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed.”

    However, this of course begs the question: why does a sinner need to be humbled, and why does a sinner need to be reformed? To answer these questions we must turn to the Scriptures, i.e., the Bible, the Word of God.

    We learn from Scripture that we are born in sin. King David wrote, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5) In Genesis 8:21 we are told that the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesian Christians, makes note of this truth when he reminds them of their former position before God: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked.” (Ephesians 2:1) Most assuredly, we are born dead to God, because of our sin. Our nature from birth is given over to sin. We are predisposed in our minds to think sinful thoughts, and to act sinfully — when it pleases us.

    The Bible is replete with verses that offer a sobering analysis of the nature of man. Consider the words of the prophet Jeremiah. He wrote: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) How deceitful is the human heart? Deceitful above all things.

    In the Psalms, we read:

    “The wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,

    and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the LORD.

     In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;

    all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’” — Psalm 10:3-4

    The message from Scripture is clear:

    “None is righteous, no, not one;

    no one understands;

    no one seeks for God.” — Romans 3:10-11

    Every person born into this world operates with a thought process that is given over to sin. From birth, we are driven by an insatiable desire to do what pleases us. We put ourselves first. We seek to elevate ourselves. We believe that there is virtue in human sovereignty. However, no creature is sovereign, save God alone.

    “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him.”

    This is the ultimate issue facing man. Consumed with pride, he will not put his trust in the God who gave him life. He will not seek God, for he cannot, and will not, bring himself to trust in God. Therefore, there needs to be a change to his thinking. He needs to have a change of mind — and this is exactly what repentance is calling for. The word “repent” comes from the Greek word metanoéō. It means to change one’s mind. Specifically, it means to change our minds in terms of what we are trusting in. When our trust is directed inward, i.e., when we set ourselves up as the standard of what is good, and we conclude that the rationality of our own thinking serves as the standard of what is true, the end result will be that we are to be judged accordingly. For we are not the standard of what is true, neither are we the standard of what is good — God is. Therefore, our trust needs to be in the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, because only Jesus has lived the life which we can never live. The only man to ever measure up to the standard of God’s own standard is the God-man Himself — Jesus, the eternal Son of God, who became a man.

    Knowing this, God now “…commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

    This then is my prayer: that the Lord would not count your sins against you, that you would trust completely in Christ, that His goodness might become your goodness. My prayer is that the Lord would graciously grant you the gift of repentance, that you might become a new creation in Christ, and so enjoy all the blessings that He bestows on those who follow Him.

    The Lord bless you indeed!

     

  • 23. What does it mean to be born again?

    As we observed in our previous question, the disposition of the human heart is given over to thoughts that are antithetical to the Word of God. Our nature is sinful in its very make-up. Indeed, we are all born dead to God, because of our sin.

    Spiritually, we need to be made alive, i.e., we need to be born again — we need to be born from above. Jesus made this very clear when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Notice the imperative that Jesus deploys here: “…unless one is born again…” Clearly, this is not something that is optional. Jesus continued: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6) Please take note, the phrase “water and the Spirit” is not used in order to distinguish between natural birth and spiritual birth. In the context of John’s gospel, “water and Spirit” represents birth from above. Jesus is informing us that without the spiritual washing of the soul, a cleansing accomplished only by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) through the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26), no one can enter God's kingdom.

    With this understanding, we need to move our attention now from the “what” to the “how.” In other words, how are we born again? In part, we already have our answer. In the Greek language, the word “again” (as it reads in John 3:3, 7) is purposely ambiguous, and can mean both again and from above. Understanding, then, that we must be born from above, it therefore follows that we cannot cause ourselves to be born again. This is a work that only God Himself can do. The apostle Peter makes this clear in his first epistle:

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-6 emphasis added)

    In John’s gospel, Jesus says these words: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44). It is clear that we must be born again, because we must be reconciled to God. However, we cannot come to Him unless He draws us, we cannot come to Him unless He does a supernatural work in our hearts — such that we hate the sin we once loved. And so the question for every person (as they hear the gospel message preached) is this: “Do I hate my sin? Am I grieved in my heart that I have sinned against the God who gave me life? Is my heart broken inside and filled with godly sorrow for the things I have done? Am I drawn by the lovingkindness of God to give up trusting in my own merit, and trust instead in the merit of Christ?”

    If the answer to these questions is yes, then repent. Repent today. Indeed, all who have been born again of God will repent, and they will trust in Christ. My prayer is that this would be you; may you know the grace of God through His Son, Jesus the Christ.

    Amen.

     

  • 24. What happens if I die without becoming a Christian?

    Before I address this question directly, it is important to define the word “Christian”. What exactly is a “Christian”? According to Scripture, the disciples of Jesus were first called “Christians” in the town of Antioch (Acts 11:26). A Christian is therefore a disciple of Jesus Christ. The word “disciple” literally means learner, or pupil. Rightly defined, a disciple of Christ is someone who follows Christ. Such a person is someone who has surrendered his or her life to Him. We encounter the word “Christian” three times in the New Testament: Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16. It comes from the Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos) and may have originated in the church, or it may at first have been a derogatory term used by outsiders.

    Scripture is clear that we must become Christians. We must call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved (see Romans 10:9-11). In the book of Acts, the apostle Peter boldly proclaimed, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Scripture is telling us that we need to be saved, we need to be saved from the wrath and judgment of a holy God (see Romans 5:8-11; 1 Peter 4:12-17).

    This is not something to be taken lightly. A stark warning is given in the book of Romans: “Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:5) God’s judgment is righteous because He Himself is a righteous judge. (Romans 7:11) Yes, He has promised to forgive iniquity and transgression and sin, however, He has also made it clear that He will by no means pardon the guilty. (Exodus 34:7) If we take our sin to the grave, refusing to repent; if we go to our grave believing that we are innocent in His sight when in fact we are guilty, the just Judge of all the world will treat us as our sins deserve, and we will be condemned to eternal punishment in hell. (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Mark 9:43-44, 46, 48; Luke 16:24).

    However, there is good news! “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Psalm 103:8) Because of Jesus Christ, salvation is offered freely to all who would repent and believe. (Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31) Those who have come to know the saving grace of God, found in Jesus Christ, are blessed beyond words. Today, this is the boast of their heart: “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10) May this too be the boast of your heart.

    The Lord bless you!

     

  • 25. If God is so loving, why does he send people to hell?

    Woven into this question is the assumption that love cannot stand with judgement. It is the belief that love is opposed to judgment. However, this is both misleading and fallacious. If we love what is pure, noble and true, it stands to reason that we should hate what is impure, dishonourable and false. As such, it is only right that judgment be brought to bear on such things.

    Moreover, the Bible says: “God is love” (1 John 4:16); it does not say: “Love is God.” Why is this significant? Well, if we say that love is God, we are limiting who God is; we are saying that God is only love. However, the Bible shows us clearly that this is not the case.

    We learn from Scripture that God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). However, He is also holy (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 15:4), and He is just (Deuteronomy 32:4).

    There are two key principles that must be expounded upon here: justice and mercy.

    Correctly defined, justice is the right treatment for any wrongful act. It is receiving what we do deserve. Conversely, mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. With this understanding, we can deduce that justice stands above mercy, i.e., it is pre-eminent over mercy. Furthermore, it is the duty of the judge to pronounce sentence upon those who are guilty. As their judge, he is obligated to grant them justice. He is not obligated to grant them mercy.

    Such is the case with the just Judge of all the world.

    The Bible makes it clear that no one is innocent in God’s sight (Romans 3:10). We have all sinned against Him (Romans 3:23), for no one is born without a sinful nature (Ephesians 2:1; cf. Psalm 51:5). Many would reject this, even though their conscience points to the contrary. Seeking to justify their sinful actions, they would even look to the outward appearance of “goodness” in others, that it might comfort them into believing that they too are innately good.

    In truth, hell is what we all deserve, for the heart of every person is set against God, from birth. Furthermore, as a righteous judge, God is obligated to treat us as our sins deserve. However, the good news of the gospel reveals to the world a God who does what He is not obligated to do, because of love. Astonishingly, we see a God who chooses to bestow mercy upon the undeserving. Yes, hell is real. However, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, guilty sinners can know peace with God, and so enjoy fellowship with Him for all eternity.

    “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” ~ 1 John 4:10

     

  • 26. Does hell really last forever?

    There are many people today who look at the doctrine of eternal damnation in hell as something that could not be true, for it seems incompatible with a God who must be love. However, as we have seen in our previous question, God is not a God who is limited to love alone. God is love, most assuredly, however, He is also a God who is just. Moreover, love is not in conflict with justice; love does not stand against judgement.

    The Bible teaches us that God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day (Psalm 7:11).  In other words, God is angry with the wicked every day. This anger is not without reasonable cause. We read in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Please take note that this propensity to sin is not something that catches people off-guard. We are sinners from birth because our hearts and minds are wicked from birth, and that is why we are given over to that which is evil.

    As result of our sin, we face the just wrath of a holy God, and what follows is a stark warning for all who would refuse to take His wrath seriously. If we die in our sin — if we take our sin to the grave — God promises to treat us as our sins deserve (cf. Psalm 103:10). There is a promise of punishment, and the extent to which the sinner is punished is meted out in light of the glory of the Person who has been sinned against. This must not be overlooked. And so hell is reasonable justice. However, if we would repent of our sin and trust our lives to Jesus Christ, God promises to treat us not as our sins deserve. This displays the grace and mercy of a loving God, found only in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    But the question still remains… does hell really last forever?

    Yes.

    It needs to be brought to light that there is an unspoken assumption that stands behind this question, namely, the idea that there is a finite sin which then results in an infinite punishment. However, the assumption that people are operating on here is that when the fallen sinner dies, he stops sinning. Where is the evidence to support such an assumption? It does not exist. The Bible makes it clear that there is no remedy for the sin of those who will not repent and trust in Jesus Christ. And so if there is no remedy for their sin, they will continue to be sinners. Therefore, without a change in their nature, they can never (as unholy creatures) be brought into the presence of a God who is holy.

    Tragically, their punishment will last forever, because they will remain forever sinners in the hands of a just and holy God.

     

  • 27. How do I become a Christian?

    Becoming a Christian is a work of God’s grace alone. In other words, we cannot make ourselves Christians — we cannot make ourselves followers of Christ. The reason for this is that no human being born into this world, as a sinner, is capable of surrendering his or her life to the very God who has given us life. The Bible makes this plain: in and of ourselves, we will not come to Christ, that we might have life (see John 5:40; cf. Romans 8:7). And yet, this is something we must do. We must become Christians. We must call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved from the wrath and judgement of a holy God.

    However, we cannot come to Him unless He draws us, we cannot come to Him unless He performs a supernatural work in our hearts. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44)

    The question, therefore, that I would ask you is this: Is God drawing you? Has God so worked in your heart that you now see your sin, in all its wickedness, in all its filth, in all its obstinance — to the God from whom everything that is good comes. Are you deeply convicted for the things you have done? Do you feel broken inside that you have denied the very God who gave you life? Has God so humbled you that you feel you must cry out, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!”

    Are you burdened by your sin? Are you laden with guilt and shame for your transgressions against the LORD? Do you feel the weight of godly sorrow in your heart for the things you have done?

    If this is you, then I would plead with you, run to Jesus! Confess your sin to Him and cry out for mercy. And know that there is mercy and grace to be found, for all who would run to Him, for all who would cry out to Him!

    Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

    There is such freedom in Christ! He sets us free from the bondage of sin, because He died and rose again so that sinners could go free! Because He died and rose again, he has defeated both sin and death. And so we can know peace with God, because of Jesus Christ.

    Run to Him. Turn away from your sin, and receive His forgiveness. Do not trust any longer in your own “goodness,” instead, let His goodness become your goodness.

    Jesus is saying to you, RIGHT NOW, “Repent, and believe the gospel!”

    Please know that it is my earnest prayer that you would become a Christian. It truly is. Please know that this website is devoted to that very end, that you would find new life in Jesus Christ. I myself am simply a redeemed sinner, unworthy of His love, just like you. But He saved me, and He can save you too!

    You know, there is no magic formula to becoming a Christian. There are no “magic words.” It is the cry that would come from your heart that is most important.

    Romans 10:9 reads: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

    Even so, there are some steps to take in the lead up to this confession, and so I would encourage you to answer the following questions in complete honesty before the Lord:

    Do you… see your sin in the light of God’s holiness?

    Are you… filled with godly sorrow for your sin?

    Do you… feel shame for your sin?

    Do you… hate your sin?

    Are you… eager to confess your sin to God?

    And finally, will you… turn this day from your sin, and will you surrender your life to Jesus Christ as both Saviour and Lord?

    If this is you, then right now, wherever you may be, please, I urge you, get right with God!

    “Turn to Me and be saved,

     all the ends of the earth!

    For I am God, and there is no other.” — Isaiah 45:22

    The Lord bless you!

  • 28. What happens after I become a Christian?

    Becoming a Christian is the greatest moment of any person’s life. Of course, there are many moments in life that are quite special: starting college/university, getting married, acquiring a new home, etc. However, finding new life in Jesus Christ trumps all of these!

    Becoming a Christian is radical. It is radical because there is a fundamental change that comes with being a Christian, and there is nothing else on earth like it. In fact, nothing else comes even close.

    The reason lies in these two words: “New life.”

    In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul said these words: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

    Wow.

    If you are a new Christian, you are now a new creation. This means that you are no longer the same person! You have been forever changed, lovingly kept by the power of God, for God, forever.

    WOW.

    But what happens next? Do you simply carry on living your life as before?

    Well, that would be impossible. Before you became a Christian, you delighted in your sin — you delighted in that which is not righteous. As a Christian, you have now received from the Lord a new heart and a new mind. He has filled you with His Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:37-39), and that’s what makes you a new creation! He has birthed within you new desires, to lovingly serve Him, to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

    And yes, it is true that there is much that God now expects of you. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

    However, your God is with you! You are not alone. Therefore, you ought to begin your new life with overwhelming confidence and assurance. And as you serve Him, know that you are serving He who is love! (1 John 4:8) You are not serving a dictator or a tyrant. You are serving the God of the universe, a personal, Holy, awesome God, and a God who has set you apart for His good pleasure.

    Therefore, lovingly obey Him, in all things!

    • Immerse yourself in His Word, the Bible.

    • Be baptised, and become a member of a Bible believing church.

    • Give thanks to the Lord every day!

    • Pray continually.

    • Fellowship with other believers, that you might grow strong in the faith.

    • Tell others the good news, the gospel, through which you have been saved.

    The Lord bless you!

     

  • 29. Can Christians lose their salvation?

    In my answer to the previous question, I wrote: “If you are a new Christian, you are now a new creation. This means that you are no longer the same person! You have been forever changed, lovingly kept by the power of God, for God, forever.”

    However, could it not be that a new creation may revert back to what it once was? Scripture responds with a resounding “No!” Jesus Himself spoke these words: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” (John 10:27-29 emphasis added)

    In his first epistle, the apostle Peter wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

    Notice that it is God who has caused us be born again. And we have been born again to a living hope, with the promise of an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us. Moreover, through God’s power we are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Clearly, we are most blessed! In his epistle, Jude concludes his letter with a wonderful prayer: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

    Our God is able to keep us from stumbling, and He is able to present us to Himself as blameless! Certainly, He is able! The power of God both saves us and keeps us, and it is all for the glory of His name!

    This does not mean that we have a license to sin. We are not kept by God and for God simply so that we can abuse His grace for our own sinful gratification. The apostle Paul wrote: “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2) Notice his conclusion: “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Indeed, how can we?! You see, Paul is not just saying this because no born again, regenerated and redeemed sinner can, in actuality, remain in a habitual life of sin. Without a doubt, no sinner can, for God fills His redeemed with His Holy Spirit. However, this is not the whole point of what Paul is saying. Paul is appealing to hearts and minds that cannot but live to please their Saviour and their Lord. He is saying, “You have turned from your sin because God has opened your eyes to see how filthy and wicked and depraved it is. How then can you return to it?”

    Indeed, how can we?

    In conclusion, I want to comment briefly on a verse that is often used to justify the notion that we can in fact lose our salvation. Matthew 24:13 reads: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” In this verse, Jesus is not saying that if we endure to the end, we will be saved. He is simply making a statement of fact, that is, that those who endure to the end will be saved. Yes, there will be those whose love grows cold (Matthew 24:12). However, those who persevere are those who are saved — not those whose love grows cold. This does not mean that our perseverance secures our salvation. No, God secures our perseverance! And the guarantee of our perseverance is built into the New Covenant promise. God says: “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.” (Jeremiah 32:40 emphasis added) But what of those who do fall away from Christ? Well, sadly, in their falling away, they have given conclusive proof that they were never true believers to begin with (see 1 John 2:19).

    If you are hidden in Christ, have no fear, for no one can snatch you out of your Father’s hand!

    The Lord bless you!

     

  • 30. What church should I attend?

    In many ways, this question is relatively straight forward, but in other ways, it can be really difficult! Why do I say that? Well, we live in a world today that is made up of lots different types of churches. Some take the Bible seriously, which is what they should do; however, sadly, many do not.

    What should a person do?

    In 1 Thessalonians 5:21, we read: “Test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

    Sadly, there are many churches that do not hold fast to what is good. They do not use the Bible as their rule of faith — their plumb-line, if you will. Instead, they have taken a liberal path, questioning the authority and truthfulness of Scripture. Some delight in excesses, seeking an experience which is not rooted in God’s truth — experiences which are incompatible with God’s word. And then there are some churches that are just plain cold and unwelcoming, to the extent that the love of God cannot be found in any measure whatsoever.

    Avoid all such churches!

    Cling to God’s Word, and as you do, look for a church that is welcoming and friendly, made up of people whose lives have been transformed by both the power and truthfulness of God’s word — brothers and sisters in Christ who place their highest premium on the word of God.

    Look for a church that teaches and lives out what God’s Word says. This is where you will learn, this is where you will grow, this is where you will experience true biblical fellowship in the love of Christ. This is so important for you, for your spiritual growth and for the lives of others. For if you are hidden in Christ, you are part of the body of Christ, and if you are part of the body of Christ, you have been called by God to serve your brother and sister in Christ, as they in turn serve you. The body needs all of its parts, and so if you are now a member of the body of Christ — through your profession of faith in Christ — then make sure you serve Him well, standing shoulder to shoulder with those who believe as you do; who love the Lord their God with all of their heart and with all their soul and with all of their mind and with all of their strength.

    It is my prayer that the Lord would lead you to a church that honours Him, to a fellowship of believers who honour in their hearts Christ the Lord as holy. And I pray that this too would be your prayer.

    Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

    The Lord bless you!

     

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