Posted in Christian Witness, Communication, Reason, Theology, Worldview Analysis

The Hammer and Nails–An Analogical look at Reason

How many of you have used a hammer? What would you rate your level of expertise? A novice, a tradesman, or an expert craftsman? A hammers primary purpose is for driving something. There are several types of hammers that have been created for specific purposes. The hammer you chose to use will be dependent on the project you are attempting.

My wife has a tack-hammer for driving small nails to hang pictures, or Christmas lights, or any other decoration that her little heart can imagine. Her hammer is small and light and made specifically for the purpose she uses it. That’s the only hammer she possesses, but I have several different types in my garage.

There is the sledge-hammer that is used to deliver blows with extreme force. Say, for instance, when I am splitting firewood and my maul gets nicely lodged. I use the sledge to pound the maul through a tough piece of ash or oak. I have a hammer with a hard rubber head (aka. a rubber mallet). This hammer is used for hitting things that I do not want to ding or damage. For example, when I’m installing wood floors in a home. When I was younger I would watch my grandpa and dad use a ballpeen hammer for various mechanical work (i.e. automotive, etc.) I’m not much of an auto mechanic so I don’t own one.  And then, there is the nail-driving hammer (to say nothing of the hammers used by brick layers, drywall hangers, and HVAC workers).

A nail-driving hammer comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Some have straight claw and others have a curved claw (for pulling nails). The weight (at least here in the US) is measured in ounces (16, 20, 24). I would imagine most use a 16oz to 20oz variety, but when I’m doing a lot of rough framing I prefer my 24oz framing hammer. The longer handle and heavier weight of this hammer makes driving nails possible in one blow. Of course, if you are not careful the force of your swing and its consequent impact may just bend the nail.

It is always somewhat amusing watching people try to effectively drive a nail for the first time. Inexperienced nail-drivers tend to choke up on the hammer to swing and hit their target. They normally have a hard time hitting the nail in the center of the hammer’s head. As I teach my boys how to use a hammer, I am reminded of my younger days, when my grandpa first instructed me in this fine art.

“Wait a minute, did you say art?”

Oh yes, my friends there is an art to swinging a hammer and driving a nail. If you use the tool properly, then it is a wonderful thing. However, if you do not use the tool correctly there are worse things that can happen than bent nails. I learned this the hard way in my late teens, when I lost not one, but two thumb nails in the same week. A beautiful day, to be sure, but painful nonetheless.

At the time I was working for my grandfather’s construction business. We were building a new home and this was going to be the first time I would get to use my new hammer; freshly purchased. As we began laying the subflooring on the main floor of the home, I eyed my target and began my swing. The arc of the swing and its accompanying speed seemed perfect. The hammer’s grip felt wonderful in my hand. The nail was done for, it days of being on its own were over, for it was about to be joined between two pieces of wood. However, I missed my intended target, it was safe, my left thumb was not so fortunate; it paid the bloody price. A little while later (not the same day), his twin on my right hand joined the party. To this day both of my thumbs are still sensitive to too much pressure.

Now, I do have a point with all this talk of hammers, nails and bloody thumbs. Tools are created for specific purposes. If they are used as intended, then they are truly wondrous things.

“You mean there is a right way and a wrong way to use a tool?” Yes, there is.  However, to use them correctly and effectively requires much practice. Any fool can swing a hammer to drive a nail, but not any fool can swing a hammer and drive a nail correctly/effectively. The same is true with reason.

Reason is a mental tool. Everyone uses reason, but not everyone uses it correctly and effectively. From the moment we entered this world we have had the capability to reason. This is a gift of God given to His creatures as His image bearers. Whenever we are presented with a problem or a line of evidence, we use the tool of reason to find the best possible solution and make the right logical inferences. The use of reason is what enables us to come to truth.

A very simple case of reasoning is found when we teach our children to cross the street. As adults we know that there are a variety of dangers which are present any time we approach an intersection of traffic. Bicycles, cars, trucks, buses all have the potential of seriously harming, maiming or killing us at any moment. To protect our children, we give them some simple instructions to avoid the danger of these things: “Look both ways before you cross. Look left, look right, and look left again, then hurry your little butts across the street.” At that moment we have just aided their reasoning ability.

Tis true, before we spoke they could’ve used the tool of reason that they had been born with, but what would’ve been the result? Without the guidance offered by parental instructions, they may have just looked across the street and started advancing on what they wanted. Sometimes, kids are hurt or killed because they have chased a ball into a street. All they thought about the moment before impact was “I lost my ball…I need to get back to the game, I’m losing…or, something may happen to my possession.” Did they use the tool of reasoning? Absolutely, but they did so poorly, and the result was disastrous.

Parental instruction gives necessary guidance to help them use their tool of reasoning correctly and effectively. These guidelines warned them that there were dangers to crossing the street, and they needed to be aware of these hazards. When we teach our kids such things we are aiding their reasoning ability, teaching them to use the tool that God has equipped them with in the right way. And, this aid does not end with instructions on crossing the street.

We teach our children to walk around the pool (“Don’t run”), we instruct them to be careful when walking on ice (“take your time, go slowly”), we warn them that the stove is hot (“Don’t touch that, you’ll get burned”), to take a bath, to brush their teeth, to be kind and mannerly to other people, respect your elders, finish your homework, time to go to bed, etc., etc., etc. The list literally goes on and on. Every day of our life we have been given guidance on the proper way to think and to reason through every circumstance we face.

 “Okay, okay, we get it,” you say. “Why all this talk about hammers and nails and all this talk about reason?” you ask. To get you thinking. Hoping, that in so doing you will see that God never gave us the tool of reason to use as we see fit. Unaided reason is a farce, it is folly.

Over the past few posts I have addressed some important issues in regards to witnessing to the lost. We testify to the world the truth of the Christian worldview, because we are God’s creation, created to glorify and love Him. Our love for God spurns our love for our neighbors (enemies and all).  We do this by walking in the steps of our Lord and Savior, imitating him, honoring Him by standing firmly upon His Word. We dare not lay this precious Scripture aside, because neutrality is not possible nor desirable for the blood bought Christian. Our only common ground is in our heritage as fellow image bearers with all mankind (human beings, people) that is where we make our appeal. And as important as evidence and facts are, they must be interpreted…they do not speak for themselves. This interpretation will flow naturally from the worldview that the person adheres to. In short, they are incapable of reasoning out the truth on their own. Their reason needs guidance.

The very moment I present this claim internal objections are made. Objections from without and within the body of Christ. Everybody uses reason. “Reason is the intellectual common ground of all human beings,” some will say. I will grant that every person on this planet past, present and future has used the faculties of the mind named reason, but the point is that not everyone uses it well. What is necessary in order to reason correctly and effectively? To whom should we turn if we hope to come to the right conclusions about anything, any fact, any line of evidence, any propositional truth?

How about the one who created us?  God gave us the tool of reasoning to be sure, but He did not do so in order for us to use it in a cavalier fashion, apart from His revelation. Unaided reason is a farce, it is folly, because God never intended His creatures to use their reasoning abilities apart from His Word.

We’ve seen how this played out in various parental scenarios, in what follows, I will seek to demonstrate this from various biblical texts. Stay tuned…

Posted in Christian Witness, Communication, Salvation, Theology, Worldview Analysis

Addressing the Big “but” in the Room: Part 2

Anything “but” the Bible.

In my last post, we began to address the common objection presented to a Christian witness.

  • Non-Christian: You can share your faith with me and tell me about Jesus. You can tell me that you believe that God created all things and He destroyed them with a Flood. You can tell me that all humans beings are the works of His hands (anthropomorphically speaking) and that His one and only unique Son took on flesh, was sacrificed on a Roman Cross and arose three days later. You can tell me all you want to tell me; that’s your opinion you are entitled to it. But don’t try and force your views down my throat. More importantly, I’ll even let you try and prove these things to me—things that you sincerely believe, and I respect that—only leave the Bible out of the discussion. Anything, but the Bible. Show me the evidence. Give me the facts. Line up all the scholarly sources that you can; anything, but the Bible. Why should I believe in that book? Prove it too me first with something else, and then I’ll tell you what I think.

Granted, it would be nice if the “but” was only offered by unbelievers, but that is not the case. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is some of the greatest proponents of the “but” objection are offered by many well-meaning Christians.

First, let’s look at why the “but” is being offered, and then we’ll test the rationality of the stance.

An Issue of Neutrality

Why the “but?” What is the cause of the objection? Why is another alternative preferred over and above the Christian Bible? The suggestion of “anything but the Bible” assumes neutrality.[1] Admittingly, the goals of the believer and the unbeliever who hold this stance regarding the “but” are markedly different,[2] yet the presupposition is the same. Both are convinced that common ground is possible.[3]

The proposition to leave the Bible out of the discussion seeks an objectivity to the truth apart from revelation. That is to say, the belief behind the “but” is that people are capable of weighing the evidence/facts of the Christian worldview on their own, without any aid. The person reviewing the material presented is the real arbitrator of truth—i.e. judge. That is the true desire of the unbeliever and sad to say some professing Christians.[4]

The very nature of a worldview precludes this possibility. A worldview acts as an intellectual lens by which an individual perceives all of reality. Not some of reality, not part of it, but every conceivable aspect of it.

We interpret everything we see, hear, read, believe, know (sometimes without even realizing it) according to our worldview. Why? Because all worldviews are formed, established and built upon a primary (ultimate) foundation. A final court of appeals, if you will. We reference or cross reference every aspect of our existence in light of the foundational standard our lives are built upon.

This is precisely why taking a “neutral” stance is not the best stance. In truth it is utterly impossible. To assume that you can objectively discern the truth of some fact or evidence without any preconceived biases whatsoever (apart from your worldview) is an example of irrational thought.[5] Our thoughts are always aided by our reasoning facilities, and those reasoning facilities (i.e. the use of a rational mind) are aided, guided and led by that which we ultimately depend. You cannot convince someone of anything with an unbiased evaluation of the facts/evidences. Not only do evidences/facts not speak (they are always interpreted), but what we draw from them is dependent upon what we already believe to be true.

Take for example the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How does one prove this doctrine to an unbeliever? More importantly, we ought to consider beforehand, from a Christian standpoint the following: “is this truth a spiritual truth or a natural truth?” Actually, it is both. Why is that important?

Well suppose you begin sharing the gospel with an unbeliever and they stop you when they hear about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And they say,

  • Non-Christian: “That can’t possibly be true, because dead people do not rise from the dead. Let alone after three days in a tomb! Either Jesus didn’t die on the cross, or the disciples faked his resurrection.”
  • Christian: “Oh yes, it is true, and with God all things are possible. In fact, Jesus not only arose from the dead, but the prophets foretold this event hundreds of years before it happened (cf. Psa 16.10; Isa 53.1-12), and even Jesus warned his own followers that this was going to take place (cf. Luke 9.22; John 2.19-22). And it did, just like he said it would.”
  • Non-Christian: “Hold on a minute! Where are you getting this from? Your going to have to show me some proof…I don’t believe it.”
  • Christian: “Sure, just let me show you right here. The Bible says….”
  • Non-Christian: “Stop! I said show me some proof!”
  • Christian: “Yeah, that’s what I was going to do…”
  • Non-Christian: “No…you misunderstand, prove it to me without the Bible. I don’t care what the Bible says. You say it’s from God, but I’m pretty sure men wrote what’s in it. And it’s been translated so many times. There is no way I can trust that. Give me some evidence that what you are saying is real, that it’s not made up, that it’s true.”

At this precise moment you have a choice. Abide by the demands of the unbeliever and prove Jesus’ resurrection apart from Scripture using extrabiblical sources—i.e. sources outside the Bible—or stand your ground. Stand upon the Rock on which you have been placed. A fair number of believer’s cave on this point.

My personal library is filled with many Christian attempts to prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ without the Bible. They are based on the same faulty assumptions. The lean on the natural aspects of the resurrection, while neglecting the spiritual nature of the event.

Let’s be honest here, the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be adequately explained with an appeal to nature. Citing historic source after historic source will not prove the resurrection of Jesus. The fact remains that apart from biblical revelation you cannot make sense of it. In fact, Jesus points that out very clearly, but we Christians are sometimes just like Israel was, dull in our hearing.

  • He said… ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead’” (Luke 16.31).

Why?

  • None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory…these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God…The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritual discerned” (1Cor 2.8, 10, 14; emphasis added).

“Yes, but….” But nothing…pay attention please:

  • “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the [nations] do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart…But that is not the way you learned Christ!” (Eph 4.17-18, 20; emphasis added).

Christian, you became a believer because of the work that God has done in you. You who once walked in darkness have now been allowed to step into the light. You see, because the Lord has granted you sight.[6] And now, do you pretend to be blind because your sight (the light within you) offends those trapped in the dark? You did not learn Christ in such a manner, but your desire is to lead another in such folly?

Is there no common ground?  

Arguing in the fashion that I have thus far, is often discouraging or confusing to the believer. If our worldviews determine our interpretation/view of reality, and neutrality is an impossibility, then what hope is there to be an effective witness for Christ?

First, know that Christ knew these things to be true and yet He still witnessed to the lost. He knew who were His and who were not, and yet He witnessed to both. He never strayed away from biblical truth and neither did his apostles after him in the presentation of the gospel. The world in the first century was every bit as antagonistic to biblical faith as our world is, and yet no quarter was given to the unbeliever. No area of neutrality was suggested or broached. Why? Because, an area of neutrality does not exist.

Well then, is there no common ground between believers and unbelievers? The answer is both no and yes. There is no common ground in areas of commitment. By nature, we are either believers or unbelievers. We are either founded upon God’s Word or on the word of another (i.e. man’s). On this field there is no common ground. We will serve and love the one we bow to as Master (cf. Matt 6.24).

However, all hope is not lost.

There is a common ground ontologically speaking. Don’t be afraid of that big word (ontological) for it only speaks of our state of being. We are all human beings. We are all creations of our Creator. We are all made as image bearers of the one true God. And, we all entered this world “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Eph 2.1), knowing the God who created us for He has made it plain to us (Rom 1.19-20); and yet, at the same time suppressing the truth of the knowledge of Him in our own unrighteousness (cf. Rom 1.18).

The only difference between those who Christians and those who are not, is that God graciously granted repentance to us leading to the knowledge of the truth (2Tim 2.25). Before this event, we were in reality in opposition to the truth of God and who we are as His creatures (v. 26). The same means that offered and gave us life, is the same means by which all people might be saved (Rom 10.17).

So, you see, the moment you are tempted to lay aside the Word of God in order to convince the unbeliever of the truth, realize that the only common ground you share with that individual is revealed in that very book. By laying the Bible aside in an effort to witness to the unbeliever, you are throwing aside the very ground on which the two of you stand. For apart from God’s Word, there is no common ground.

ENDNOTES:

[1] Cornelius Van Til expressed how the first experience of human neutrality looked in the beginning: “When Eve became neutral as between God and the Devil, weighing the contentions of each as though they were inherently on the face of them of equal value, she was in reality already on the side of the devil!” Cornelius Van Til, Why I believe in God, 1st Electronic Ed. (ISBN: 978-1-62154-757-0), loc 119, Kindle Edition. Every attempt to model Eve’s position is a move against, and therefore not neutral, our Creator and Lord.

[2] What is the goal of the goal of the unbeliever? To weight the evidence/facts with their own mind and decide what is true or false; to hold the right of refusal. What is the goal of the believer? To convince the unbeliever of the truth. So compelling is the state of affairs from the believer’s point of view, there is no possible way that the unbeliever will not be compelled as well; to lead the person to Christ (even though they take a different path than they traveled to get there).

[3] William Lane Craig is of this position when he states, “…our common ground with unbeliever is: the laws of logic and the facts of experience [sense perception, etc.]. Starting from these, we build our case for Christianity.” William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd Ed. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008), 59.

[4] If you hold this position, I am not denying your status as a child of the Father, through Christ the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can be a true Christian and hold to some erroneous or ill-informed views.

[5] Greg L. Bahnsen writes, “It should be recognized that the claim to be, or the attempt to be, completely objective and value free in deciding an issue of truth is ridiculous; the very fact that evidence is collected, arranged, and evaluated by each man’s own mind and in response to his personality and past experience indicates the strong element of subjectivity that is involved in settling issues of truth.” In order for the following to truly work, Bahnsen adds, the person “would have to have a blank mind working on blank impressions.” Greg L. Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended, Joel McDurmon, ed. (Powder Springs, GA & Nacogdoches, TX: American Vision Press & Covenant Media Press, [2008], 2011), 91, Adobe Digital Editions

[6] See Psa 36.9. In the future, I want to return to this theme with what I hope to be a useful illustration for my Christian brethren.

Posted in Christian Living, Christian Witness, Communication, Salvation, Theology

Addressing the Big “but” in the Room: Part I

But what if they won’t listen? What happens when the person I am trying to witness to does not accept my testimony? What if they disregard the Bible (or even biblical precepts that spring forth from my worldview), what then? What do I do about the “but?”

In the next couple of posts, I would like to address the common objection that scares many Christians into submission when witnessing to the lost. The dreaded “but.” “But that’s from the Bible,” “But, I don’t believe the Bible,” “But, that was written by a bunch of sheepherders long ago,” “But, Man wrote that book, it’s not really from God,” “But, it’s been translated to many times and contains errors and contradictions,” “But, I don’t accept the Bible as authoritative,” “But, that’s begging the question.”

  • Unbelievers will reason with you if you take the time to speak to them, but they find it absolutely appalling when we refer to God’s Word, as the final authority, as the only true foundation for a life well-lived.

Previously, we have looked at the “why Christians witness,” and “How Christians should witness.” In those two posts I was addressing first principles. Primary motivations, if you will.  Since we tend to be a bit conceited as human beings we often fail to see that the real objective in witnessing (the “Why” and the “How”) is in honoring and glorifying our Creator. We were created to imitate our God, and we can only do this if we are willing to walk in the steps of our Lord and Savior. If our witness is going to be truly God-honoring, then it must be fashioned or modeled after Jesus; including his primary representatives of the past, the prophets and apostles.

Now I realize at this point someone may be tempted to be a bit snarky and attempt to offer a rebuttal to what I just said. I am not saying that we need to witness from a Galilean fish boat, or enter a synagogue on the Hebrew Sabbath, or travel to the Areopagus, etc., in order to witness correctly. The issue is foundational, not cultural.

Our under-girding premise as Christian witnesses is to stand firm and fast upon the Word of God on all points. To refuse to recreate the wheel at various junctures because the culture demands it. Realizing that all the while, our stance will be rebuked, belittled, and mocked by those inside and outside the Christian faith.

The Illustration…[1]

Before I delve into some of the deeper issues pertaining to the “but” in the room, please think about the following scenario:

There was a time in the recent past when you came to realize how desperately poor you were. For years, you had been convinced that you had all the freedom and wealth anyone would want. You were the lord of your own domain, and the master of your life. You believed you were rich, even though you were destitute. You believed you were wise, even though you were a fool.[2] You believed that you were free and that no one made decisions for you, even though you were born a slave[3]. Those within your community shared the same thoughts and had a distrusting spirit towards anyone who told you otherwise.

One day you were visited by a person that astonished you. His garb was noticeably different than anyone else you had ever come into contact with in your entire life.[4] It is true you had heard the tales of others that spoke of the type of individual standing before you, but you had never seen such a one before. You could tell there was something markedly different about him.

Not only was the man dressed different, but his manner of speech was unusual.[5] In his hand he held a document of which he continually referred to, promising that contained within was the key to life; a new life, a better life, a life of freedom, a life of insurmountable wealth.[6] They were a herald sent to spread the good-news.[7] The news of a goodly King who was Lord over all, including the place where you dwelt.[8] The promise was given that if any would bow the knee to this king, then all the riches of this kingdom would be granted to them. Never again would they want; no more tears, no more sorrow, no more death.[9]

“Ridiculous!” you thought. “How absurd!” you told yourself. “Who was this supposed king, this lord of the realm! What fool in their right mind would give to another access to a kingdom, granting them rights as a member of the household? Surely,” you thought, “this fool is mistaken.”

Upon leaving this man leaves with you a copy of the document he possessed, a document with the king’s seal. The man told you, “this is your invitation, you have been invited. All that is required of you is to come, present this invitation and swear fealty to the King. Lay down your life in service to Him. Leave your former life and the things you once cherished behind, and follow His rule abide by His Law alone.[10] Adoption was granted to the one who would humble the heart, confess with their mouth that this one was Lord and Savior of all.[11]

Looking back, you can’t really put your finger on why you believed the message, but you did. At first you wanted to rebel, but something changed in your heart and trust came as easy as breathing.[12]  Now that you know the King, you love Him with undying devotion. He has granted you access to the kingdom as a co-heir with Him[13], His Father calls you son having adopted you. Having clothed you in the robes of nobility bearing the standard which marks you as a true born citizen, you look back at what you once clothed yourself with and realize they were nothing more than filthy rags. You are rich beyond measure now, and you are in service to the King. “What an honor!” you think. “What a blessed privilege!” you say. The King has entrusted you in His service and He has charged you with this task: “Go and share this truth with others, so that they too might share in the blessings that you have been grafted into. Take this document, it has my seal upon it, and offer the invitation to all regardless of their station in this life, asking them to do as you have done, for I have enough to share with many others.”[14]

Your heart is booming with adoration and pride, for your King and His Father, and you go into the world as a light in a dark place. What you find, though, is that not everyone is as pleased with your message and the promises you offer as you might have hoped. They do not see the good-news as you see it now. They are offended by your clothing. They are distraught with the message contained in the document with the King’s seal emblazoned on it. They laugh, mock and at times are angered. You are left with fleeting, but nonetheless tempting thoughts, “perhaps there is another way?” “Maybe if I just remove my garments and dress like I once did? What would it hurt if I hid the document behind my back for a while? Perhaps, if I pretended to not be a member of the kingdom, then my audience might be more receptive to the message of hope I want to share?”

Let’s get this straight. In order to convince others of the truth, you must be willing to leave the truth of who you are, what you stand for, what you believe…aside? By acting as if you are not a standard bearer for the one true King, you are somehow still representing Him? How irrational and inconsistent is that? Although, you were saved through the testimony of one who would not lay those things aside[15], who would not hide his loyalty to the King and the King’s message, are you now thinking by playing the hypocrite you can convince the other side of the truth. Is that how you learned the King? No, it is not![16] And it is absolute folly to assume that you can do otherwise.

Not to mention what little thought you are giving of dishonoring your King.[17] The King himself has testified in the document that you hold that if they do not believe the Words that He has spoken, neither will they believe even if a great miracle is presented to them.[18] A true change of heart is granted from above[19], not from below.[20]

At no point are you ever encouraged to build your argument for the truth on any other standard than that which has been given to you.[21] You must honor the King in your heart above all else. For He alone holds the treasures of wisdom and knowledge[22], anything else is knowledge falsely called.[23]

ENDNOTES:

[1] This illustration was inspired in some part by the parable presented in Matthew’s Gospel of the wedding invitation and the garment necessary for access to the feast (Matt 22.1-14).

The reader should note that the Scripture herein pointed to is by no means exhaustive. There is much more the Bible says about all the subjects discussed in this illustrative narrative, but these were given for two reasons: 1) So that the reader might know the origin of the thought that inspired this illustration, 2) So that the reader might investigate further into the subjects touched on (lightly) herein.

[2] The apostle Paul touches on this attitude in the first portion of his 1st letter to the Corinthian church; 1Cor 1.18-31. What the unbelieving world calls wise, rich, strong is actually the opposite of how God views such individuals.

[3] cf. John 8.33-38; Eph 4.17-19.

[4] Isa 61.10; Rev 19.7-8; also see: Gen 3.21.

[5] 1Pet 4.10; Col 4.6; compare with Matt 10.19-20; Mark 13.11; Luke 21.13-15. This last category of verses in the gospels Olivet discourse while mediated to a specific group of people, notice that all three members of the Triune God (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) are the ones who give His witnesses/His people the mouth to speak, salted with His Word—Amen!

[6] Isa 61.1; Psa 34.18.

[7] Rom 10.15; Isa 52.7; Eph 2.17.

[8] Psa 110.

[9] Psa 116.4-9; Isa 25.8; Rev. 21.4.

[10] 2Pet 1.1-4, 11

[11] Rom 8.15; Eph 1.5; Rom 10.10-13

[12] cf. Deut 30.6; Jer 32.39; Ezek 36.26-27

[13] Rom 8.17; Gal 3.29.

[14] see John 20.21; Acts 1.8; Matt 28.18-20; etc.

[15] see Rom 10.17

[16] Eph 4.20

[17] cf. Deut 6.13; Matt 4.10

[18] cf. Luke 16.31

[19] cf. John 3.1-7; 6.63

[20] compare 1Cor 2.8-14

[21] See Matt 7.24-27; Luke 6.47-49; Isa 26.4. This foundation stone is not limited to eternal salvation, but faithful practice in everyday life. If we are called to Love God with all that we are—including our mind—then ought we not take this to mean loving Him/honoring Him even in the manner by which we witness to the world? What other foundation are you intending when you deviate from biblical truth? Is there any other truth that leads to the knowledge of Christ, but that which is founded in His Word?

[22] Ff. Col 2.3.

[23] See: 1Tim 6.20.