Tuesday, April 01, 2014

This week's lesson: laws in Christ's day

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened [Romans 1:18-21, NIV, emphasis supplied].
Can you figure out God on your own?
Take a group of adults, for instance, and give them amnesia -- yes, wipe out every memory, every habit, every learned ability that makes them uniquely human . . .
Then drop them on a desert island, and wait.
  • Religion? Almost certainly -- again, we seem to be hard-wired for this.
  • But will these laws and religious beliefs provide some kind of window on God and His will for our lives -- or do we need revelation (i.e. the Bible) to learn about Him?
Christians have never been sure how to answer this.
  • That's why the early church fought over the role of philosophy.
  • That's why the Reformation fought over the role of tradition.
  • And that's why we're fighting over the role of science.
In each case, some believers point to Paul's statement that "what may be known about God is plain" as proof that philosophy, tradition, and science can give us accurate information about God . . . 

While others see these things as "futile thinking" and the product of "darkened hearts."

And that's the question you'll try to answer in this week's lesson -- yes, as you talk about all the various and sundry laws, customs, mores and habits that societies develop, you want to ask yourself:
Do these things lead us to God?
Or do they lead us away from Him?


Anonymous said...

Is one of the implications of the things that can be known about Christ are imperative for professing Christians to know? If so, is the contra positive syllogism that if it cannot be known then it is not requisite? As the scientific method may be defined as the intellectual and empirical study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through systematic observation and experiment and it may be argued that these are the very same activities by which the Comforter leads us to a gnosis of the metaphysical world and the architect and builder of the physical and metaphysical. As such, the ontological arguments and the biblical and ecclesiastical arguments the existence of God are an application of the scientific method and is again evidence that the two approaches are not only not mutually exclusive, but in no way contradict one another if the observer pro aches with an unbiased inquiring mind?
By the way, Gaylan Herr, says hi!
Dave Haley

Jann Haley said...

Eye Kant tip! D. Haley

Pastor Greg said...

Hmmm . . . if I'm reading you right, you're saying that you *can* reach Jerusalem by way of Athens.

Jann Haley said...

Pastor GREG:
I tend to obfuscate more than illuminate when I attempt to avoid what may be controversial positions. SO I will be more direct if you will indulge me. You can't get to the cross from Athens because he road is an endless loop, like the Capital Beltway where questions are always raised and no conclusions ever arrived at. Thank you for the opportunity to clarify (I hope). In Christ, Dave