Lecture Three

 

This week you are reading mega-idea five: “Man, Too Is an Animal.” In our God-given assignment to communicate Bible truth, this is a major issue. Almost everyone we know holds to this view. Obviously this is the Darwinian concept. The survival of the fittest may seem like a valid conclusion when one observes nature. That however is what happens when you separate God from nature (creation).

 

In your discussion question you have been asked to consider ways you would respond to human philosophies. Each of the mega-ideas in your text will require the same kind of response. It is not enough to be able to list some Scriptures to prove your point. What is needed is a systematic approach with truth so that your responses answer the real question that is being addressed.

 

This project then begins with where these mega-ideas came from. In fact, the mega-idea here has been part of human theory from the beginning.

 

A religious idea

 

The Scripture gives us a real view of man. Here we find his creation, fall, sin, his need and the answer, which is salvation in Christ. In these concepts it is clear who and what God is and who and what man is.

 

Man left to himself cannot and will not accept such an unreasonable religious view. If the God of the biblical Christian is accepted then man is not an animal left to chance. For that man then the only answer is to tamper with the view of God or to reject him outright. This is not as simple as it seems. The rejection of God takes many forms. This is what you will see as we progress in our reading of the texts.

 

Psalm fourteen begins with these words, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” The text actually reads, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘no God’.” Note that this is a religious decision. By faith the atheist has ruled out God. He has no scientific proof of this and in reality he does not really believe it. The apologist’s task is to expose such error. Note also that the text does not say, “has said with his lips.” The real error of the man who dismisses God is that the decision is made in his heart.

 

It seems to me that there are two kinds of atheists. (1) The “stated” atheists who say there is no God. These really represent a small number and a sad group of people. They have made their own religion without the sovereign creator-God. (2) The second kind of atheist is the “practical” one. Such atheists may not say there is no God, but they live as if there is no God. You can see that this includes most of the people you know. Many of them are members of our churches. A person is a fool who says or lives as if there is no God.

 

The point is that whoever has the last word is God. The final legislator, ruler and decision-maker is their god.  This then is a religious issue and that is why all of the mega-ideas you are studying in this course are religious points of view. That concept will make your task as a defender of the truth much easier to understand.

 

Two great religions

 

It is my view that there are only two categories of religions in the world. All religions fall into one of these two categories. Before you dismiss this as too simple, remember that this concept is clearly taught in the Bible. All of mankind fit into two groups. There are the saved and lost, righteous and unrighteous.

 

One of the things every student needs to learn is that the work of the apologist is to “simplify to clarify.” The tool of the foolish intellectual is to “complicate to confuse.” That is why they are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:7).

 

The two great religions are (1) Biblical Christianity and (2) ‘Humianity.’ Don’t waste your time on the spell check here. I made up that word. Don’t waste your time debating that because all words were made up by someone.

 

Biblical Christianity has as its authority the revealed Word of God. The God of biblical Christianity is the sovereign creator of all. Humianity has as its final authority human reason and their god is man. That makes all concepts in both religions religious views based on their faith.

 

The problem is that in practice there is no pure biblical Christianity. All of us are infected with some Humianity. One only has to visit one service of any church to see that human reason does exist there to the detriment of pure Christianity and, since we live in an imperfect world, this should be simple to see.

 

Finally, we can conclude that the idea that man is an animal is a religious idea that rises from human reason. That conclusion had to begin with the rejection of the sovereign creator-God. As we shall see, this is the end of the philosophical struggle of ideas between faith and reason.

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