<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Ungodly thinking must always resort to fallacy. Consider the following:
Skeptic: Divine revelation doesn’t happen.
Questioner: Why believe divine revelation doesn’t happen?
Skeptic: Its non-existence is self-evident.
The claim “Its non-existence is self-evident” is obvious axiomatic thinking. While this example is obvious, ungodly thinkers may use smokescreen fallacies to make the axiom seem real. Smokescreen fallacies always resolve to axiomatic thinking, but smokescreens are hard to uncover because they’re designed to deceive us. We usually have to probe to find the hidden assumptions.
By the way, we probe by asking questions. Unfortunately, ungodly thinkers often avoid answering questions, which is a type of smokescreen. The reason they refuse to answer questions is that they consciously or unconsciously want to hide the fact that every statement they make is based on made-up stuff. They avoid answering because they don’t want to think about their problems. They don’t want to open themselves up to the Holy Spirit to find out whether or not their philosophies or theologies are true. They want to stay as they are. To avoid exposure, thinkers who fear that they’re irrational will avoid answering questions. They can’t rationally defend their positions. They exert superhuman effort to keep themselves from acknowledging their irrationality.
From our standpoint, we’re looking for truth. We’re looking for true premises and sound logic. That means we’re looking for a foundation of divine revelation since only divine revelation can provide true premises and remove the need for fallacies. We’re willing to suffer the loss of all our ideas if those ideas are false. We already know, by divine revelation, that if anyone thinks that he or she knows anything, that person doesn’t know that thing as he or she ought to know it. God says, “Call to Me and I’ll answer you and show you great and mighty things that you didn’t know previously.” If we haven’t found divine revelation, we haven’t drilled down to a true premise.
In all of this, the object isn’t to win arguments. We must avoid the tendency toward dogmatic game-playing. People who harden their hearts against God don’t want the Holy Spirit to correct them. Only God can soften a heart. Our part is to yield to the Holy Spirit and only do the works and say the words that He says through us.
Any of us can resist the Holy Spirit. Our hearts can become hardened. We can miss the Way by trying in our own power to bring people to Christ. We must constantly encourage ourselves to walk in submission to the Holy Spirit, so we don’t miss the way as God leads us to higher heights.
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