You Are the Light of the World

<quote>
It’s not that all ungodly thinkers walk in total darkness since those who truly follow Christ act as both salt and light and expose unbelievers to the light of Christ. God is good and reveals reality to unbelievers so that, while they can’t have absolute rationality, they can have a kind of pseudo-rationality. This pseudo-rationality is practical concerning the material world that they can observe, measure, and test.

However, those who are extremely rebellious want to reason beyond what they can observe, measure, and test. They want to reason about things like morality, God, heaven, hell, the creation event, and the Genesis Flood event. They want to declare that God doesn’t exist or that God can’t reveal anything to anyone. The trouble is that ungodly thinkers have no way to reason rationally beyond what they can observe, measure, and test. Not only that, but when an unbeliever repeatedly and consistently refuses to turn to Christ, God eventually takes His hand off that unbeliever, and the unbeliever walks into greater darkness and confusion.
</end quote>

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Can’t See

<quote>
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, except anyone be born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:3 Berean Literal Bible

In this Scripture, God isn’t trying to emphasize sight over the other senses. The translators used the word “see,” but the original text means “sense by any of the senses.” Because of the natural bondage that resulted from Adam’s fall into sin, the natural mind can’t sense God’s kingdom. However, the spiritual mind can.

The natural mind can’t fulfill God’s will. It can’t prove a premise, so it can’t reason from a true premise. That means the natural mind can’t reason rationally. God gave this natural mind for survival. It reacts to sense data: sight, smell, taste, feeling, and sound. Living organisms manage to stay alive by this brute-beast mind. This mind can be as ingenious as a raccoon, but it can’t be rational without the Holy Spirit. God created our minds to live in His presence, and He’s given us the Spirit of a sound mind.
</end quote>

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The Brute Beast Mind

<quote>
“But these, like irrational animals, having been born as creatures of instinct” (2 Peter 2:12a Berean Literal Bible)

King James Translation says

as natural brute beasts

The King James Version translated the Greek “alogos” as “brute.” It’s a word that means “destitute of reason.” These are people who can’t reason rationally. They can reason, but they reason in the way an animal reasons. Animals aren’t stupid. Humans operating on this brute-beast level can be brilliant, but they have some limitations.

The King James Version translated “natural” from the Greek “phusikos.” It means “produced by nature, inborn, agreeable to nature, and governed by instincts of nature.” Natural isn’t bad as God shows us with the same word through the following passage:

“Because of this, God gave up them to passions of dishonor. For even their females changed the natural use into that contrary to nature. And likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their desire toward one another, males with males, working out shame and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting of their error.” (Romans 1:26-27 Berean Literal Bible)

Here we have the same word “phusikos” to tell us about the natural order as opposed to an unnatural order. God shows us that natural is good since He created the natural order and the spiritual order. However, the thinkers Jude mentions are also unreasoning.

“But these indeed speak evil of whatever things they have not seen; and whatever things they understand naturally, as the irrational animals, in these things they corrupt themselves. . . . These are those causing divisions, worldly-minded, not having the Spirit.” (Jude 1:10 & 19 Berean Literal Bible)

In verse 10, the King James Translation says:

“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts.”

Here we have the same words we saw in 2 Peter, what they know naturally, as brute beasts. They speak evil of whatever they can’t sense with their natural senses or whatever they don’t know by their instincts. Naturalists speak evil of whatever they can’t sense with their natural senses or whatever they don’t know by their instincts.

In verse 19, the King James Translation says:

“sensual, having not the Spirit.”

“Psuchikos,” the word that’s translated as “natural” or “sensual” indicates what humans have in common with animals, following their senses, appetites, and passions.

“The natural [governed by natural senses] man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 Berean Literal Bible)

Here, we again see the person governed by natural senses can’t accept spiritual truth, thinking it’s foolishness and not understanding it. God also mentions that these people don’t have spiritual discernment.

We can understand another facet of this mind as we look into this passage in Daniel that refers to King Nebuchadnezzar:

“Let his mind be changed from that of a man, and let him be given the mind of an animal” (Daniel 4:16a International Standard Version)

King Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t decide whether to serve his many gods, his own mind, or the Almighty Creator God. So, God let him know that his mind could quickly degrade to the level of animals. As a result, King Nebuchadnezzar spent seven years eating grass like an ox. Though the human mind can’t reason rationally without God’s presence, it is superior to the animal mind. The human mind can do things animals can’t. It can read, write, record experimental results, and do math, but it still can’t reason rationally. We’ll explore what keeps it from reasoning rationally. We’ll see why it can’t reason from a true premise before we finish this journey.

“because the mind of the flesh is hostility toward God; for it is not subject to the Law of God, for not even can it be.” (Romans 8:7 Berean Literal Bible)

This Scripture again speaks of the fleshly mind. It won’t obey God’s Law, nor can it. King James Version translated this same word as “carnal mind.” The Greek word is “sarx.” Again, this mind interprets sense data to make decisions. This animal nature craves and incites sin. To understand this word better, we’ll look at three more passages where it appears.

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” (Romans 7:14 King James Version)

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. . . . For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1 & 3 King James Version)

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4 King James Version)

As the natural, sarx, carnal mind depends on natural senses, the spiritual mind depends on spiritual senses. The sarx mind craves and incites sin. It can’t do righteousness. It’s deceitful and desperately wicked. In Romans 7:14, Paul says he’s carnal/sarx, sold under sin. When was he sold as a slave to sin? Adam obeyed Satan rather than God, and he became a slave of Satan through obedience. God’s natural order is obedience to God, not Satan, so Adam distorted the natural order. He passed on this sinfulness to his descendants including Paul, and his descendants all followed their distorted instincts into sin and death.

We can see this distortion in our own lives. When we sin, we know it’s wrong. And yet, we either step into it willingly or slip into it unwittingly. In either case, it has its effect. If we continue in sin, it changes our natural inclinations. We would naturally desire God, but this sarx mind confuses God’s natural order and draws us away from God. All distortions of God’s orders cause pain, but it may be that distortions of sex, anger, and fear cause the most misery and bondage. God is correcting disorders of the Church and the home in anyone who will hear His voice, but the confusion is great among those who harden themselves against Him. Once we confuse God’s orders, God can deliver us, but the way back becomes difficult.
</end quote>

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Godless Thinking

<quote>

Brute-Beast

“the whole world marveled and followed the beast. . . . Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and that number is 666.” (Revelation 13:3b and 18b Berean Study Bible)

The apostle Jude mentioned people who merely follow their sensual experiences: sight, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. They reason by using their natural minds to make decisions based on this sense data and instincts like brute beasts. They don’t follow the Holy Spirit. Animals react to sense data, and they can learn things. However, we don’t try to reason with a cockroach. Dogs don’t reason using a true premise and valid logical form. Humans and animals alike can react to sense data and learn about what works, but they never come to knowledge of the truth. Humans and animals can do some fantastic things as God’s creations using their non-rational natural minds. Let’s look at those Scriptures.

“These men, however, slander what they do not understand, and like irrational animals, they will be destroyed by the things they do instinctively.” (Jude 1:10 Berean Study Bible)

“These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” (Jude 1:19 New International Version)

“These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” (Jude 1:19 King James Bible)

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Corinthians 2:14 Authorized Version)

These Scriptures apply to godless intellectual thought, science, and philosophy. They apply to any theology that doesn’t spring from divine revelation or that adds human-generated “information” to what God reveals.

</end quote>

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Three Ways of Reacting to Revelation

<quote>

Trip 4: The Beast

God reveals the natural and material realm. We can respond to His revelation one of three ways.

The First Way: We could reject the revelation and fail to acknowledge God. Then we wouldn’t have true premises, but we would equate God’s revelation with what comes out of our imaginations. We wouldn’t know the difference between our worldviews and what God reveals. We couldn’t rationally conclude anything. We could have strong opinions. We could argue for those opinions, but we would argue irrationally. We could even disrespect God’s order for nature since we would have rejected His revelation about it. We would do things worthy of death if we were to take this course. (Romans 1)

 The Second Way: We could receive the revelation and fail to acknowledge God. Then we would have true premises, but we wouldn’t know if our premises were true. We would still equate God’s revelation with what comes out of our imaginations. We couldn’t tell the difference between our imaginations and God’s revelation. Not knowing the difference, none of our conclusions would be rational. We could, however, irrationally hold strong opinions and argue for our views fervently.

The Third Way: We could receive the revelation and acknowledge God. Then we would have true premises, and we could rationally come to conclusions if we didn’t add to God’s words or dismiss His words.

 God also reveals the spiritual realm. We have the same three choices for this revelation. We can reject the revelation and fail to acknowledge God. We can accept the revelation and fail to acknowledge God. We can accept the revelation and acknowledge God.

</end quote>

 

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The Best Way

<quote>

A worldview is a complete inner concept of reality, yet conceptions aren’t reality even though they seem real. All thinkers have worldviews. You have a worldview, and so do I. No one is excluded.

So we face a question. What’s the best way to interpret observations and experiences? Do we make assumptions? Do we accept what others assume? Do we pray for divine revelation? Is there any other choice beyond these three?

</end quote>

 

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Sanity

In a building with one-room apartments opening to wide halls, caregivers work to keep the residents from hurting themselves. Ralph is a resident here, and he thinks his dead relatives are living here with him. He can see them. When you tell him they’re dead, he says he knows they’re dead, but they’re here anyway. If you tell him what he’s saying doesn’t make sense, he says he knows it’s confusing, but it’s true. Ralph knows what his eyes are seeing. Next, he brings you to a large central room and introduces you to his dead brother George who’s sitting in a chair. When you tell Ralph this guy doesn’t look like his brother George looked, he says they must have done surgery on George to change his looks. As you point out that this guy’s name is Harry, not George, Ralph tells you about how they change the people’s names. When Ralph asks Harry if he’s his brother George, Harry says, “No.” When Ralph asks Harry if Harry remembers him, Harry says, “No.” But Ralph rationalizes Harry’s response away by saying, “When they did the surgery, they must have changed George’s memory and created a new past in George’s mind.” No matter what happens, no one gets through to Ralph.

In this scenario, Ralph trusts his impressions. He thinks he trusts his senses, but he explains away what his eyes and ears are telling him. He routinely discards any evidence against his reasoning. And Ralph won’t listen to those who love him. He’s going to follow his own way.

We wonder whether Ralph’s method of thinking differs from the thinking methods behind many theologies or theories. We ponder whether Ralph’s thinking patterns are much different from the thinking patterns behind popular historical pseudoscience, those stories about the distant past. Since some scientists routinely discard evidence against these stories, make up assumptions and stories to explain away the evidence, and then use the stories and assumptions to confirm the original worldview, how are they different?

</end quote>

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On Being Reasonable

<quote>

Deceived people deceive people.

It’s easier to talk about being reasonable than to be reasonable. We can talk about sanity without knowing the difference between reality and make-believe. People with advanced degrees often don’t understand either logic or epistemology. Oh, they can name various fallacies. They know the names of different types of syllogisms. They can repeat the definitions someone told them, but they don’t understand the basis of knowledge. They don’t know the reason fallacies are fallacies or the way to know the truth. But their teachers told them that they’re storehouses of knowledge, rational thought, and every virtue. Unfortunately, their teachers inoculated them against the truth. The simple aspects of truth and reason we’ve looked into so far will seem like nonsense to a person hardened and blinded by continual ungodly thinking. However, as we proceed on our journey, we’ll examine in detail why no one can think rationally without divine revelation.

</end quote>

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The meme depicts a typical trained critical thinker with mind closed, attitude twisted, and an irrational argument in his hand. Without Christ, that’s all that’s available.

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Rational Thought Requires Divine Revelation–Always!

<quote>

Rocky Rockbuilder: Here’s the problem you face. The human mind has no way to self-generate knowledge, so, without divine revelation, you’re stuck making up stuff and calling the made-up stuff true. However, if you would seek Christ, you would find Him, and then you could be rational. I invite you to know Him and stop choosing bondage to Satan.

Sandy Sandbuilder: The human mind has no way to self-generate knowledge? How did Mayans build pyramids? How did the Chinese build the terracotta army? How did ancient Egyptians know about constellations and geometry? Pfft!

Rocky: God reveals reality, but, without divine revelation, we can’t know anything.

Sandy: So nobody outside of Christendom ever discovered anything? Nonsense!

Rocky: Repeating what I wrote earlier: “God lets His rain fall on the just and the unjust. He gives divine revelation to every person, or they couldn’t survive. However, those who refuse to acknowledge Him can’t distinguish between the reality God reveals and the make-believe coming out of their own imaginations.”

</end quote>

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Christ Reveals

<quote>

We have a sense of what’s going to happen with the weather just by the way the winds blow, the temperature changes, the sky looks, and the air smells. The more experience we have with the weather, the more easily we can tell what’s going to happen. We can tell by what’s happened in the past. Meteorologists have found ways to gather data from many places to make those predictions more accurate. All of this prediction depends on memory and information that comes in from our five senses. The meteorologists have found ways to extend their memory and senses, but the same restrictions apply. What they can’t sense, they can’t know. However, it may be that part of what we, as humans, know about the weather (or anything else) is actually coming from God when that practical knowledge can’t be attributed to observation. Jesus asked the crowds why they didn’t know how to interpret the present time. It seems that knowing how to interpret the present time would have required more than just the five natural senses.

</end quote>

 

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