One obvious yet subtle observation about the narratives stories of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible…touched upon briefly in the Introduction…that strongly argues for their divine origin…is that it is God who takes the initiative in calling people into their varied missions.
In the biblical narrative stories of faith…people uncharacteristically respond to God’s enlistment into unique storyline callings…rather than the other way around.
The life-script agenda of premeditated, purpose-saturated events are proactively set by God…not engineered by the actors themselves.
This enlistment by God into the dynamic vehicle of a journey of faith…composed and introduced outside of human imagination and invention…is the diametric opposite of a worldly typical journey of self.
Journeys of faith composed by God as recorded in the Bible… actually displace our free-will tendency to stubbornly go in our own direction…to do things our way (Isa. 55:8-9)…instead with the novel alternative concept of a life-script having an entirely new trajectory of events and circumstances…that now include faith and trust in God’s higher ways and thoughts…above and to the exclusion of our own.
By what stretch of the imagination would this unconventional dynamic be the sole product of human literary invention?
Obviously, we have the capacity within our human nature to respond to God and to enter into a walk of faith…otherwise there would be no narrative stories of faith in the Bible at all.
Without the in-built, internal ability to answer the callings of God and to follow His lead into adventures of faith…there would be no biblical narrative stories about Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Ruth, Hannah, Esther and Mordecai, Daniel, Peter, or Paul…to name only a few.
But the fundamental question is: where did this singular capacity for God-sovereignty in our lives originate from?
Who or what actualized it into the reality of recorded experience…that it enters into the rational realm of human phenomenon to the point of being recorded in the Bible as an orderly and intelligible alternative worldview to the conventional worldview of going our own way…if not by or from God?
Discussion of either a divine or a human origin in this area…rises above mere uninformed circular reasoning and speculative conjecture…when the worldly unconventional element of God displacing our ways in our lives with His ways…is introduced as the main factor into the equation.
There is no frame of reference…no known reality of experience…within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…that could possibly inspire the utter originality of either a real or even a literary fictional journey of faith…following the leading of God.
This concept of hearing the voice of God in the Spirit and following His leading into a walk of faith…does not exist anywhere outside of the biblical narrative stories of faith…or outside of the biographies of Christians living in the church age…in either ancient history or today in the 21st century.
This provocative concept will not be found in Shakespeare, Twain, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Agatha Christie, or in the recent historical fiction novel A Column of Fire by Ken Follett about the growth of religious tolerance in the middle to late 1500’s in Europe.
The concept of hearing God’s voice and following His lead…after the pattern given in the Bible…is not part of the great philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment…nor will it be found as a current topic of discussion in world history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, or even in religious studies classes in secular universities and colleges around the world.
Yet this concept…of God displacing our thoughts and life-plans with His higher thoughts and ways…starting with Abraham the “father of faith” as he walks from Haran to Canaan…is one of the most ancient, innovative, and brilliantly imaginative ideas in all of human experience.
Our capacity within human nature to follow God into a walk-of-faith life-script that displaces our way with God’s way…differentiates two distinctly opposing worldviews that separate out into the extreme ends of the spectrum-line…self-sovereignty on one end and God-sovereignty on the other.
Atheists and skeptical critics of the Bible assert that the biblical stories of faith are fiction…are part myth and part literary imagination…historically because these stories run contrary to the philosophy of naturalism which excludes the miraculous.
This is a paradigm in recent past centuries that was predominant in philosophy…but is now debunked by the theistic implications of the incredibly large amounts of complex and specified information in DNA, the Cambrian Explosion, the Anthropic Principle, and the Big Bang…complex and coherent systems of information inexplicable by gradualistic natural processes alone.
The big question here is how would a concept…of following God into a walk-of-faith life-script…which is so contrary to our other innate, natural tendency to go our own way…to do things our way…to be independent, autonomous self-rulers…how would this ever get started?
Within the closed-system of worldly conventional life that we observe and experience every day…what could and would introduce this second alternative side of our nature that brings to life this novel and innovative game-plan of a journey of faith?
As Abraham the biblical “father of faith” travels from the city of Haran to the Promised Land of Canaan…with each step he takes God is displacing whatever normative life Abraham would have lived in Haran according to its culture and conventions…with a life-script containing the critically new element of faith in God…a life-script Abraham would never have imagined in his wildest dreams.
And with each step Abraham takes towards Canaan and away from Haran…the atheistic starting hypothesis that this story is human invented fiction…that God does not exist and therefore could not have spoken to Abraham…is a door that is closed by reason of the sheer innovative novelty of the setting aside of autonomous self-sovereignty…that this storyline introduces into the marketplace of great historical ideas.
The start-up initiative here…the through-line in every narrative story of faith in the Bible…is with God.
People of faith in the Bible react positively to God’s enlistment of them into a scheme of events and circumstances that stretch them…in terms of a relationship with God and in self-sacrificing service to others…and that measures their souls…far beyond anything they could have invented or contrived on their own.
The creative origin of this concept…along with the imaginative unconventionality of the concept itself…is supernatural.
The concept of the cross of Christ (Lk. 22:42) embedded within the life-scripts of the people of faith in the Bible…starting with Abraham…that reveals our innate capacity to follow God into a walk-of-faith…is inexplicable within the atheistic philosophies of naturalistic materialism and scientism.
From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity.