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by Daryl E. Witmer
Every human has an intellect that is intended to be fully, constructively used. To disengage the mind can actually prove disastrous.
Adolf Hitler once said “What luck for the rulers that men do not think.”
In terms of the particular worldview which we individually hold, R. C. Sproul has stated: “The heart cannot trust what the mind does not affirm.” In other words, one can hardly, fully appreciate what he believes until he knows why he believes it.
Which raises the question – is your mind engaged as regards matters of faith and truth? Why do you believe what you claim to believe?
It is the work of apologetics to foster careful thought about the most important issues in life. This month we are set to consider a range of subjects.
“The fundamental tests of truth are: logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and existential relevance.” (CD 4/16/2005, Ravi at the Roxy; can be ordered at RZIM.org)
“The naturalist or atheist is never able to logically answer why there is any rationally compelling reason to be good.” (CD 4/16/2005, RZIM.org)
“This world may not be the best of all possible worlds, but it may be the best of all possible means to the best of all possible worlds.” -Q&A 4, RZIM.org, from a presentation at Columbia University
EXCELLENT APOLOGETIC RESOURCE JUST RELEASED
One Minute Answers to Skeptics’ Top 40 Questions, by Charlie Campbell; 137 pages, ©2005 Aquintas Publishing
If there was one apologetics text that I would personally be pleased to have authored, this would be that book. It’s readable, rational, Biblical, and unpretentiously straightforward.
Whether you are a skeptic yourself, or in conversation with a skeptic, this is a book that will easily prove worth your investment of less than $10. It can be ordered online at www.AlwaysBeReady.com, or by calling 1-760-806-5250.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD ABOUT JESUS?
Will God excuse those who’ve never heard the Gospel of Christ because of their ignorance, or will they be forever condemned to hell?
Jesus is clearly on record (John 14:6) as having said that that He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life – that no one is able to approach the Father except through Him. So in order to qualify for heaven there is no reason to think that anyone will ever gain admittance by avoiding Christ. And there is every reason to believe that Jesus alone is the way of salvation.
But having said that, consider also this answer to the exact same question by author Charlie Campbell, recorded in the book just reviewed: “The Bible says that God is loving (Psalm 103:8, 1 John 4:10) and that He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). If a person has never heard of Jesus, the Bible says that God is going to be absolutely fair with them (Psalm 98:9), and that He will judge them based on what they do know through the testimony of creation and their conscience (Romans 1:20, 2:12-15). If there is a person alive today who would receive Jesus if only he or she could hear about Him, I personally believe that God, in His love, would send them a missionary, give them a dream or vision, send them an angel or a Bible, or direct them to a web site, so that they could know the truth.”
Campbell then turns to address the reader himself: “You have heard the truth. You have heard of Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins, and God will hold you accountable for what you do with that…”
Have you ever received Jesus by faith as Savior? Contact us today. We’ll provide you with materials explaining how to take that step.
IS GOD PERSONAL?
How would you answer such questions simply (50 words) and rationally? Send us your response and we just might publish it (with credit) in a future edition of this thoughtletter.
From Volume 1, No. 1, April 1991: “…there appears to exist up to. . . 180,000 variations in the various copied New Testament manuscripts. These variations resulted from the sometimes flawed, always tedious, process of reproducing Scripture by hand. All but 400 of these variations involve only minor differences, such as spelling and rendition. All are easily discernible for what they are. Of the 400 occasions where the sense of the passage is involved, never once is a single essential doctrine of the Christian faith at issue. Explainable as they are, these alleged discrepancies need cast no doubt on the reliability of the Bible.”