The Thematic Unity Of The Bible

The Unity Of The Bible: Biblical Themes

“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25–27)

 

Among the things that show that the Bible is intended to be taken as a whole are the themes of the Bible. Far from being a book of many differing books, as the modernists and neo-evangelicals would have us believe, the Bible is united from the beginning to the end by the very themes, or motifs, that run from Genesis through the Revelation. There are five motifs that are in the first three chapters of Genesis that run throughout the whole of Scripture: this is what we shall consider in this article.

Genesis chapters one through three present to us the following themes:

Creation- Genesis 1-2, where we see that God created all things.

Sin- Genesis 3, where we see that man fell into sin.

Judgment- Genesis 3:14-24, where we see God’s pronouncement of judgment upon mankind, and the curse that also came upon the earth.

The seed- Genesis 3:15, in which we see that God promises that the seed of the woman will conquer the serpent and his seed.

Redemption-Genesis 3:15-24, wherein we see the shedding of the blood of an innocent to cover man’s shame, and to symbolically hide his sin from God’s sight.

These themes are not separated throughout the Scriptures, but are often found conjoined, as our text shows us that Jesus taught from the Old Testament Scriptures about Himself.

 

After the fall of man, the hope of the promised seed, who would redeem mankind was alive in Adam and Eve; and Eve seems to have thought that Cain was that seed, as she said, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” (Genesis 4:1) Later, when Noah was born, the same hope alive in his parents. “And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” (Genesis 5:28–29) Then we find that God renews His promise to Abram: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1–3) Not only do we see the seed theme, but also we see the theme of creation is here, as God said He would create a great nation of Abram. We shall see that this continues throughout the rest of the Scripture, with Abram’s descendants being given more and more specific promises concerning the seed, who would be redeemer and king.

The theme of the seed continues in Genesis chapter twenty-two, when the LORD told Abraham, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:18) It is this verse that Paul quotes to tell us that He spoke of Jesus: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16) Not only so, but we see the theme of redemption through sacrifice and bloodshed, as there was a lamb/ram offered in the place of Isaac on Mount Moriah. Later we see Jesus proclaimed to be God’s lamb: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) In the days of the patriarchs, the theme of the promised seed continues as we see that God chooses Isaac, then Jacob, and then tells us through Jacob, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Genesis 49:10)

It seems that, for a while, the hope dimmed and almost died in Israel; but God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt and into the land of Canaan, thus continuing to fulfill His promises to us all. It is then that Moses told Israel that the promised seed will come, and he said, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15–19) Then there was a man whose name foreshadowed the One who was to come- Joshua. Joshua, the LORD saves, means the same as Jesus: “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) And so we see that the theme of the redeeming seed continues.

In the days of the Judges, it looked very bleak in many ways; but the period of the Judges presents us with a continuation of the themes of sin, judgment, and redemption, as we read of the various failure of Israel, and how that God would raise up a judge to rescue them. Furthermore, it is in the days of the Judges that we read the book of Ruth and see God continuing His work of bringing the promised seed into the world. The book of Ruth is not the sweet love story that many think that it is: it is the story of God’s providential working in Israel, and in the tribe of Judah to bring the seed of the woman into the world. In the end of the book, we see that Ruth bears a son, and that son was the grandfather of David, who we shall see foreshadows the coming king and promised seed.

When God began to narrow things down from the tribe of Judah to a particular family through whom His promised seed would come, He used the times of the Judges and the sad failure of king Saul to show us that a king was needed. He told Saul, “And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” (1 Samuel 13:13–14) Notice how Paul uses this theme in preaching, and shows that God was keeping His promises.  “And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:” (Acts 13:21–23) The theme of the seed who would be the sin-conquering king continues to be seen in the Scriptures, thus tying all of the Scriptures together in a coherent whole.

When David wanted to build a temple for the LORD, God promised to build David a house. This house was not a literal house, but a household, or a family. The promise was that there would be an eternal kingdom and king who would be of the seed of David. “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.” (2 Samuel 7:12–17) (See also Acts 15:13-18.) This promise of the seed and theme of the seed continues. The histories of Israel and Judah during the days of the divided kingdom all present to us God’s working to bring His promised seed into the world. This is why we read Isaiah saying, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6–7) It is this theme that appears in the words of the angel to Mary, when he told her that she was going to be the mother of the Christ. “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:30–33) The theme of the king and the seed find their fulfillment in Jesus.

The New Testament writers build upon these things and show us both the fulfillment of the promises and the continuation of the Old Testament themes as they find their perfection in Christ. Paul shows us both the seed and redemption: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4–5) We again see the seed and redemption themes fulfilled in Christ’s sufferings and resurrection: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14–15) The eternal Son of God was made flesh as the seed of the woman, and He crushed the serpent under his heel, being bruised in the process, in order to redeem His people. (See also Colossians 2:13-15.) This motif has a future fulfillment, in that “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” (Romans 16:20) We also read that He will make His enemies His footstool, and will reign over all things (1 Corinthians 15:26-28;Hebrews 10:11-14).

We see the creation theme here as well, because in Christ we are born again (John 3:1-16), and become new creatures. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) We also know that He promises to bring in a new heaven and a new earth filled with righteousness (2 Peter 3:10-14), which shows the issue of sin being dealt with and conquered, as well as redemption purchases, accomplished, and applied.

These motifs find their fulfillment in the end, as the Revelation shows us. Christ, the atoning and redeeming lamb is also the conquering lion of Judah (Revelation 5:1-14). He is the seed of the woman, as seen in Revelation chapter twelve. Then we see Him as the conquering seed: “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Revelation 20:1–3) “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:7–15) Sin is conquered! The seed of the woman has crushed the serpent under His feet! And finally, we read of the great creation in which He says, “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:5–6) Is it any wonder that the apostle would tell us that God says, “yes and amen” to His promises in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20)? He fulfills them all! The great themes of the Bible find in Him their perfection and fulfillment, as the Scriptures are given to point us to Him (John 5:39).

These are a few of the great themes of the Scripture, which show us the unity of the Bible from the beginning to the end. While skeptics scorn, modernists delete verses, and some neo-evangelicals split the Bible into varying and contradicting parts, God’s Word stands boldly declaring its unity, because it is God’s Word about His Son, and it is perfect. Let us then rest assured that our Bibles are indeed true, infallible, and inerrant: how could they not be? God created the Bible to be the message of His glory and grace in Christ; and His Word shall not return unto Him void, and the Scriptures cannot be broken (Isaiah 55:10-11;John 10:35).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Unity Of The Bible 2

Is The Transcendental Argument Circular Reasoning?

It is said that the transcendental argument, which states that truth and meaning exist and therefore the God of the Bible exists, is circular reasoning. The claim is that we are using the Bible to prove that the Bible is true.

This argument fails to take into consideration the linear nature of the transcendental argument, which would say:

There is truth and meaning.

Therefore there is a standard of truth and meaning.

There is a standard of truth and meaning.

Therefore the God of the Bible exists.

and

There is a source and standard of truth and meaning.

Therefore the God of the Bible exists.

The God of the Bible exists.

Therefore the Bible is true.

That is what is presented in the articles ( Here and here) regarding the existence of God.

See also

https://frame-poythress.org/transcendental-arguments/

https://frame-poythress.org/presuppositional-apologetics/

The Triune God

3 Trinity 1

 

The Triune God

Genesis 1:1-3

This text, in the context of the totality of Scripture, gives to us an understanding of God as a plurality in unity, as it speaks to us of God creating and the Spirit being present. We must specifically, when speaking of the God of the Bible, speak of God as a Tri-unity, or Trinity. The one God is three persons in perfect unity of being, essence, and agreement. We see this by considering the fact that the Son is as much Creator-God as the Father (See John 1:1-4,14 and Hebrews 1:1-3), and by understanding that the Spirit of God is equally Divine (Job 33:4, Acts 5:1-5 and Romans 8:9-10). These three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, are the One God.

 

Why Is The Triune God Necessary?

Why would we say that the Triune God of Scripture is necessary to knowledge?

First of all, truth is expected to be an unity. We expect that which is true in one field of study to agree with what is true in any other field of study in whatever fashion those fields of truth intersect. For example, we would expect that mathematical truth would be the same whether it were applied to governments or to a building contractor’s business. We would not expect the realities of mathematics to change simply because of the field in which math was applied changed. We expect truth to be true wherever truth appears.

What this means is that we expect there to be unity in plurality. While there are many fields of knowledge, we expect the truth to be united across the plurality of fields. There is one body of truth, though many fields of knowledge; and the truths found in every field of knowledge agree, as truth is an unity.

The problem is that we must then find a source and standard for truth and knowledge that can provide unity in plurality.

Pantheism cannot provide this unity in plurality. If all is god, then there is actually more of a monad than a plurality. Not only so, but all is subsumed into god leaving us with obscurity. There would be no true revelation, because all is god and there would be nothing distinct from the god to receive knowledge. In fact, we would be unable to even know what to call this god. This would cause everyone and everything to be a standard of truth in and of itself/ourselves. This would leave us with relativism, because we would be unable to point anywhere to a united standard of truth that addresses the problem of plurality in unity.

If God were totally one in the sense that Allah, the god of the Muslims, is one, then we would again have an unknowable standard. The god would then be so utterly other than the world and humanity that the god would be unapproachable and unknowable. There would be no way to have a divine revelation that would give us truth and knowledge. Neither would we have a standard by which to know truth. We would be left in the dark.[1]

What, then, is the answer to our dilemma? The Triune God of Scripture is the answer. He alone meets our need for a single, sovereign, intelligent Creator God who is the source of all knowledge and truth. Apart from the Trinity there can be neither truth nor knowledge.

The Bible, as the source of our knowledge of this Triune God, is our only ground of rational thought. It is in the Christian Scriptures that we find that God is:

  1. Our Creator (Genesis 1:1-3;Jeremiah 32:17;Hebrews 1:1-3;11:3).
  2. The God of knowledge and truth who judges us (Deuteronomy 32:4;1Samuel 2:3).
  3. The God who is one God, yet three persons (Genesis 1:1-3,26-28;Psalm 110:1-7;John 1:1-4,14;3:16-17;5:17-21;Hebrews 1:1-3).
  4. The God who makes Himself known to His creatures (Genesis 1:1-31;2:1-25;Psalm 19:1-11;Isaiah 40:1-8;John 1:18;Hebrews 1:1-3;Revelation 1:1-8;22:1-6,16-21).

With this in mind, we need to approach our Bibles as God’s revelation of Himself; and, if God reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures, we must acknowledge that the Scriptures are true.

 

 

[1] Thus, ipso facto, the Koran is no revelation of God, nor is it true.

 

God The Fount Of All Truth And Rationality

2 The Existence Of God 2.docx

God The Fount Of All Truth And Rationality

“Without God there is no meaning (truth, rationality, etc.); therefore God exists.”[1]

 

 

 

Many years ago a man asked the question, “What is truth?”[2]We can only speculate about why he asked this question. It is, however, a question that we all must ask. What is truth? Truth is that which conforms to reality. It is the actual state of a matter, and it is also fidelity to a required standard or law[3]Having this answer will help us move forward.

The greater problem is that all of us believe that we have truth on our side. Folks who believe in absolute truth argue for their position and do so quite strenuously. Those who do not believe in absolute truth are often absolutely sure of their position as well. Those who believe that there is no such thing as truth and that all things are meaningless are also convinced that their arguments have meaning and are true. How do we judge these claims? How do we deal with this issue? Who is correct? Whose truth is true?

The answer to the above questions brings us back to our definition of truth as that which is faithful to a required standard or law. There must be a standard of truth or we will never have anything by which to measure truth claims. Every man could, and would, be a law unto himself. Truth would be relative without an absolute standard. One man’s truth would be another’s lie, and one nation’s lie would be another nation’s truth. There must be a standard.

What is this standard? First of all the standard must be absolute, or else there will be no consistency or rationality. After all, if truth is forever changing, there is actually no truth at all; because what is true at one point in history would susceptible to becoming an untruth in a moment of time, though nothing but the standard changed. The goal posts would forever be moving and mankind would have no ability to be rational.“David Hume, the great skeptic, has effectively argued that if you allow any room for Chance in your thought, then you no longer have the right to speak of probabilities. Whirl would be king. No one hypothesis would have any more relevance to facts than any other hypothesis. Did God raise Christ from the dead? Perchance he did. Did Jupiter do it? Perchance he did. What is Truth? Nobody knows.”[4]There must be an absolute standard of truth.

We all are convinced that we have truth. Even the person who believes that truth does not exist, or is relative, is ironically certain that his position is the truth. The one who says that there is no truth, and that words have no meaning, still expects us to find meaning and truth in what he says. Cornelius Van Til responded to such ideas and said, “No human being can explain in the sense of seeing through all things, but only he who believes in God has the right to hold that there is an explanation at all.”[5]

How does God even come into this discussion? Does logic equal God? Hardly, but, on the other hand, logic cannot exist without God. Truth cannot exist without God. Speaking of the Van Tillian view of knowledge, John Frame says, “Without God there is no meaning (truth, rationality, etc.); therefore God exists.”[6]Greg Bahsen spoke of God and said, “His existence is required for the uniformity of nature and for the coherence of all things in the world.”[7]This necessity for God is the thing we must prove.

We have already seen that there is a necessity for an absolute standard of truth if we are to have rationality. Why must this standard be God? First of all I must be clear that I mean the transcendent, immanent, eternal, immutable, personal, Trinitarian God of the Christian Scriptures. “Nothing is intelligible unless God exists, and God must be nothing less than the Trinitarian, sovereign, transcendent, and immanent absolute personality of the Scriptures.”[8]Here I speak of Him only as the eternal and immutable God. (The other attributes will be addressed later in this series.) This God is the standard of truth. He is the truth. John Frame has said that “the argument is transcendental. Rather than offering straightforward empirical evidence for God, it asks the deeper question: what must be the case if evidential argument and knowledge (and hence objective moral standards) are to be possible?”[9]The answer is that God exists and the Bible provides the only grounds for truth and rationality. But we still must prove God’s necessity.

This world has no other standard of truth than God. God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4-5), and He alone is the arbiter and source of knowledge and truth (Deuteronomy 32:4;1Samuel 2:3;John 14:6[10];2Corinthians 1:18;1John 2:27). Why is He the standard? Because He is the only absolute, eternal, unchanging God. He also is our Creator. “If the Christian position with respect to creation, that is, with respect to the idea of the origin of both the subject and the object of human knowledge is true, there is and must be objective knowledge. In that case the world of objects was made in order that the subject of knowledge, namely man, should interpret it under God. Without the interpretation of the universe by man to the glory of God the whole world would be meaningless. The subject and object are therefore adapted to one another. On the other hand if the Christian theory of creation by God is not true then we hold that there cannot be objective knowledge of anything. In that case all things in this universe are unrelated and cannot be in fruitful contact with one another. This we believe to be the simple alternative on the question of the objectivity of knowledge as far as the things of this universe are concerned.”[11]There is simply no other way that there can be coherence and rationality. Either God the Creator is the sole and absolute standard and authority, with all things relating to Him and subordinate to Him, or there is no knowledge, truth, or rationality.

Thus we conclude by saying, if God then absolute truth. If we know anything at all, it is because God is the fount of all knowledge and truth.

 

[1]. John M. Frame, Apologetics To The Glory Of God,P&R, Phillipsburg, NJ,1994,pg 70

[2] John 18:38

[3] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/truth?s=t

[4]  Cornelius Van Til, Defending The Faith, Torch and Trumpet,1951,Volume 1, Issue 1. Page 40

[5] Cornelius Van Til, quoted by Greg L. Bahnsen, Van Til’s Apologetic, P&R, Phillipsburg, NJ, pg 142

[6]  John M. Frame, Apologetics To The Glory Of God,P&R, Phillipsburg, NJ,1994,pg 70

[7]  Greg L. Bahnsen, Van Til’s Apologetic, P&R, Phillipsburg, NJ, pg 78

[8]  John M. Frame, Apologetics To The Glory Of God,P&R, Phillipsburg, NJ,1994,pg 89

[9]  John M. Frame, Apologetics To The Glory Of God,P&R, Phillipsburg, NJ,1994,pg 101

[10] It is interesting to note the bearing that this has upon the discussion of the Genesis Creation Account, because John 14:6 builds upon John 1:1-4 and Jesus’ being the creator. Cornelius Van Til said regarding this, “If the Christian position with respect to creation, that is, with respect to the idea of the origin of both the subject and the object of human knowledge is true, there is and must be objective knowledge. In that case the world of objects was made in order that the subject of knowledge, namely man, should interpret it under God. Without the interpretation of the universe by man to the glory of God the whole world would be meaningless. The subject and object are therefore adapted to one another. On the other hand if the Christian theory of creation by God is not true then we hold that there cannot be objective knowledge of anything. In that case all things in this universe are unrelated and cannot be in fruitful contact with one another. This we believe to be the simple alternative on the question of the objectivity of knowledge as far as the things of this universe are concerned.”

 

Cornelius Van Til, The Defense Of The Faith, P&R, Philadelphia, PA, pg 43

 

[11]  Cornelius Van Til, The Defense Of The Faith, P&R, Philadelphia, PA, pg 43

The Existence Of God

1 The Existence Of God

 

The Existence Of God

 

Is God real? This is among the most important of all questions asked. It is also the one that we must settle before we begin a long series on Christian doctrine. After all, Christian doctrine is of no use if there is no God.

 

How does one go about proving the existence of God? He cannot be seen with the eye. God cannot be measured with a scale or a ruler. God cannot be found through scientific experimentation. Christians, however, are convinced that the Trinitarian God of the Bible is real. How can we ever establish His existence as a matter of fact?

 

As we begin with the existence of God, we must go to one of the most basic and most important issues of life: meaning[1]. Once we begin to speak of meaning, different ideas arise. Some believe that there is no meaning. Ironically enough, they expect us to understand the meaning of their words as they speak to us. Others say that all is relative[2], and that meaning changes. Yet others speak of absolutes[3], and declare that meaning is neither related to, nor dependent upon, anything; but meaning exists independently.

 

All of us live as if there is meaning, and as if there are absolutes. When we get a paycheck, and when we make our deposits in the bank, we are definitely convinced that math has meaning, and that the principles of addition and subtraction are absolute. We have no desire for anyone to deal with our money (And we feel the same about the rest of our lives, too.) as if mathematical principles are relative. Furthermore, we live with the understanding that time is an absolute. We all mark time in hours, minutes, and seconds. Though the language may be different from one nation to the next, we all understand that time has meaning, and that there are twenty-four hours in a day. If we did not do so, all would be chaotic.

 

This belief in absolutes is especially relevant when it comes to the things that we know and consider to be true. Truth cannot be relative. By nature, that which is true cannot be false at the same time. This is called the law of non-contradiction, and it tells us that something cannot be A and Non-A simultaneously.

 

For us to have absolutes, we must have an absolute standard[4]. We measure our days by the rotation of the earth. We measure our years by the orbit of Earth around the sun. This means that we recognize that our watches and our calendars have to be reset at times, because a solar year is a bit longer than our calendar year is. Thus we have a leap year every four years. Why? Because we are measuring our time by the standard of the time it takes the earth to make a complete revolution around the sun.

 

Now, the rotation and orbit of the earth are not necessarily absolute. They are subject to change. When it comes to truth, we need an absolute standard, because we speak of truth versus falsehood; and we recognize that truth is absolute. But where does truth get its truthfulness? What is the standard of truth? What is the source of truth? For the answer to these questions, we must turn to the Scriptures, and we shall see that the Christian’s Bible gives him the only logically coherent view of truth, knowledge, and the world.

 

 

 

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

 

There must be a source of all things. There must be a cause of all things. There cannot exist an effect without there first being a cause. The world did not come into being on its own power. There must be a beginning cause that is uncaused. [5]  Christians understand that this uncaused cause is the Creator, the God who is presented to us in the Bible.

 

Creation testifies to us that God exists. The Psalmist tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, Where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1–3) Wherever one goes there is testimony to the existence of God. The starry heaven and all that is in the sky above us tell us that God is great, valuable, and is beautiful. Their beauty, balance, and order tell us that they were designed by a mighty, beautiful, and intelligent person.

 

Not only do the skies and heavens above us testify to the existence and presence of God, but all of Creation tells us that He is here with us. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:18–20) Creation testifies to us that God exists, because we know that there must be a cause for all things, and that cause must be beautiful (i.e. glorious), eternal (timeless), and forever powerful. After all, matter, beauty, and time could not exist except a beautiful, all powerful, and intelligent person existed outside of time and made it all.

 

There is also a seasonal cycle that testifies to God’s personal existence. The succession of the four seasons provides us with that which is necessary to the production of the food that sustains us. This order of events speaks to us of the fact that an orderly and intelligent person made the Earth to do these things.  Paul preached telling some idol worshipers, “We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:15–17) This Creator must be a person, because He made persons who, and He acts in a personal manner by showing kindness to His creatures: kindness that gives us joy.

 

If one were to believe the illogical theory that everything came into being by nothing, out of nothing, by random and meaningless processes, there would be no reason for them to think that there was any meaning to anything. After all, there would be no intelligent creator and ruler who had the ability and authority to give meaning. On the other hand, those of us who understand that God created all things believe and know that He has a purpose for all things and gives all things meaning.

 

As we saw above in Romans 1:18-20 shown Himself to us in Creation. This means that the created order speaks to us primarily of God. In fact, Genesis 1:1 opens us the Bible telling us about God. He reveals Himself to His creatures by instructing them and giving them purpose. He also reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures. That is why the Bible begins by telling us that all started with God: He is revealing Himself to us so that we may know Him and His will and purpose for us.

God has revealed Himself to us, and Creation is first and foremost about God and His purposes. When we look around us and think about the world, we must think of it as God’s world that is filled with God’s meaning and made for God’s purposes.

 

Furthermore, This world has no other standard of truth than God. God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4-5), and He alone is the arbiter and source of knowledge and truth (Deuteronomy 32:4;1Samuel 2:3;John 14:6[6];2Corinthians 1:18;1John 2:27). Why is He the standard? Because He is the only absolute, eternal, unchanging God. He also is our Creator. “If the Christian position with respect to creation, that is, with respect to the idea of the origin of both the subject and the object of human knowledge is true, there is and must be objective knowledge. In that case the world of objects was made in order that the subject of knowledge, namely man, should interpret it under God. Without the interpretation of the universe by man to the glory of God the whole world would be meaningless. The subject and object are therefore adapted to one another. On the other hand if the Christian theory of creation by God is not true then we hold that there cannot be objective knowledge of anything. In that case all things in this universe are unrelated and cannot be in fruitful contact with one another. This we believe to be the simple alternative on the question of the objectivity of knowledge as far as the things of this universe are concerned.”[7] There is simply no other way that there can be coherence and rationality. Either God the Creator is the sole and absolute standard and authority, with all things relating to Him and subordinate to Him, or there is no knowledge, truth, or rationality[8].

 

If there can be no knowledge or truth apart from God, then God is a necessary[9]being. In other words, God must exist; because there is no logical way for there to be no God. If one denies God, he must also deny truth and meaning. If he denies truth and meaning, all is random, chaotic, and relative. No one lives as if that were true, however. We all live as if there is meaning and truth in life.  To speak of meaining and truth is to acknowledge taht there is a standard of meaning and truth, and that invariably brings us back to the necessity of God’s existence.

 

Finally, we should take notice of the fact that we have not only seen the logical need for God, but we have seen that the Bible presents to us the God who is needed. The Bible provides us the framework for rational thought in that it presents to us God as the Creator who is the source and standard of all knowledge and truth. This means that, not only have we established a good case for the existence of God, we have also found good reason to believe the Bible. Without the Bible, we have no means by which we can establish that there is absolute truth and meaning.

 

[1] Meaning is what is meant by a word, concept, or action. It also deals with the worthwhile nature and purpose of something.

[2] That which is relative is dependent upon something else.

[3] An absolute is a value or principle that is universally valid or able to be viewed without relating it to other things.

[4] A standard is that by which all else is measured.

[5] To say that there is no God is to hold that the world exists on its own as its own creator, or that there is an infinite series of causes that brought the world into existence. Neither of these ideas are actual solutions to the question of origins. The first presents the idea of a self-caused cause, which is impossible and illogical. The latter posits an infinite regress, which is impossible, because there will of necessity be a cause that is the first of all causes.

[6]   It is interesting to note the bearing that this has upon the discussion of the Genesis Creation Account, because John 14:6 builds upon John 1:1-4 and Jesus’ being the creator. Cornelius Van Til said regarding this, “If the Christian position with respect to creation, that is, with respect to the idea of the origin of both the subject and the object of human knowledge is true, there is and must be objective knowledge. In that case the world of objects was made in order that the subject of knowledge, namely man, should interpret it under God. Without the interpretation of the universe by man to the glory of God the whole world would be meaningless. The subject and object are therefore adapted to one another. On the other hand if the Christian theory of creation by God is not true then we hold that there cannot be objective knowledge of anything. In that case all things in this universe are unrelated and cannot be in fruitful contact with one another. This we believe to be the simple alternative on the question of the objectivity of knowledge as far as the things of this universe are concerned.”

 

Cornelius Van Til, The Defense Of The Faith, P&R, Philadelphia, PA, pg 43

 

[7] Cornelius Van Til, The Defense Of The Faith, P&R, Philadelphia, PA, pg 43

[8] Rationality is that which accords with reason or logic.

[9] That which is necessary is inevitable. It cannot be otherwise.