Lecture Five


We are now approaching the end of the total rejection of God. Man in the place of God is a pitiful picture. He confesses that life has no meaning but then persists in man’s sovereign and independent state. But man does not appear to be as autonomous as it looks since his nature is determined by his environment or genes. The illusions extend to responsibility and free will. Finally, everything is relative, pluralistic and synchronistic.


It is both humorous and revealing that the independent man would say that “he is absolutely sure that there are no absolutes.” This is not a slip of the tongue, but a deep confession of where relativity leads. There is no such thing as values, morals, standards, faith, beliefs or truth itself. The position of the liberal view relative to history states this issue plainly. In concept it said that there is no real history. No one could ever write an accurate history so it is all flawed and we have nothing we could actually call history.


Men are animals


The foregoing tragic conclusion rises from the view that men are animals. They feed on each other. There is no love and so there need be no pity. There is no truth so there is no lie. That would mean that this mega-man could not tell the truth since there is none. In the preface your text quotes Rousseau: “Where is the philosopher who would not deceive the whole human race, without hesitation, for the sake of his own glory?”


This is our audience


There was a time when a believer could go to the door of a farm house in their agrarian society and everyone in the home believed in truth, hell, heaven, sin, God and the Bible. They may not have understood it but they had not denied it. With few exceptions that would have been the story of the majority of homes in that community. Often when the Gospel was given whole families would be saved in one evening. In small towns the majority of homes would have reflected a conservative response. That is not the case today. I doubt that anyone could fully demonstrate that the nation we live in is a Christian nation. That is unless of course we view faith and Christian as relative.


This course has given a clear picture of who we must reach with the Gospel. Once in a great while you will meet someone with tender and fertile heart and mind. In most cases however we have to understand the postmodern man. The media has staked out the biblical Christian as a whipping boy. Anything goes when believers are the target. The independent man decries “hate speech” unless it is being used against the worst enemy, biblical Christians.


Why is this attitude leveled at the true believer? Francis Schaeffer explains this on page 24 of the book I have recommended you read, How Should We Then Live, “Let us not forget why the Christians were killed. They were not killed because they worshiped Jesus… The reason Christians were killed was because they were rebels… First we can say they worshiped Jesus as God and they worshiped the infinite-personal God only. The Caesars would not tolerate this worshiping of the one God only. It was counted as treason.” 


The point of conflict


Evangelism demands that we explain that there is but one salvation and that there is one Savior. “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). This is absolutely unacceptable to the independent man.


This is where our apologetic begins. Today we must give the answer to those who have erased all that is above the line. How are we going to do that? The answer is that we must be skillfully confident in our defense of the faith. Our goal is not to win an argument; it is to dispense truth. Our work is not to change hearts and minds. It is to sow the seed and water it with our tears, but it is God who gives the increase.


One can only wonder if God has brought us to this place in history where we may not be able to brag so much about the notches on our “gospel gun.” Instead we must depend upon the Lord in our apologetic for and with the Gospel.


We witness to the human who has self-authority that rises from experience. He is filled with anxiety, dread, despair and meaninglessness. While communicating to such spiritually needy people we must not lose sight of the fact that the Gospel is what they need. With an eye to patience, it is what they want. That is what this course is about: Being an effective witness and making sure we understand how to do that.