Two Distinct Worldviews Argue for the Divine Origin of the Bible

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.

The Gap between the Cross and the Resurrection

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”                (1 Cor. 1:18)

            The largest gap…the largest vertical displacement in terms of distance…that has ever occurred in human redemptive history…on the continuum graph-line of goodness and light…is the space between the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and then His resurrection from the dead three days later.

The event of the cross was so catastrophic for the disciples of Jesus that it sent them into a tailspin of doubt and despair…beyond comprehension to these followers of Jesus during the three-day gap in time until the resurrection.

The previously unimaginable gap between spiritual darkness exhibited through hatred, prejudice, and stubborn unbelief producing the rejection of Jesus on the cross…and the incredible jump up the continuum of light of the glorious resurrection of Jesus exhibiting the complete acceptance, validation, and approval of God the Father…of the sinless performance of Jesus Christ the Son of God…subsequently transformed the disciples and changed the world.

Even though Jesus forewarned the disciples in advance of His upcoming death in Jerusalem at the hands of the Jewish leaders, and His rising from the dead three days later…worldly conventional thinking was so strong within the still-to-be-spiritually reborn disciples (Jn. 20:22)…that the gap beginning with the unprecedented depth of spiritual darkness leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus…took these disciples by surprise and sent them scattering at the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The challenge of overcoming the accumulated spiritual darkness of mankind’s sin…even tested the Son of God Jesus in Gethsemane the night before Calvary…as we read about Jesus having to go back and pray a second time…incomprehensible to us in the divine, perfect Son of God…sweating drops of blood…and requiring the aid of an angel from heaven (Lk. 22:39-44)…saying “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death” (Mk. 14:34).

The positive outcome three days later of the resurrection of Jesus having a newly restored body…reaching across this vertical gap…this displacement in distance from death to life…completed the connection within the God-composed journey of faith life-script for Jesus of Nazareth to bridge this gap between our deserved damnation as rebels…to our salvation by grace through faith…unachievable and incomprehensible while we are lost within the confusion of the zone of mixed light-and- darkness in worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

Even to this day, people within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking go about their lives without even recognizing this enormous gap in history between the cross and the resurrection…as if it never happened at all.

The two most important events in all of human history…the cross and the resurrection…and the enormous gap between them in terms of spiritual light that only God Himself could bridge through Christ…in restoring our broken relationship with Him…is not only brushed aside as unimportant but is totally obscured by our self-centered pursuit of the cares of this world for the benefit of “me, myself, and I” (Lk. 8:14).

A critically important point for Spirit-born Christians to understand in terms of biblical faith…is that the gospel message of Christ goes into the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and lifts people up and out…unto a higher place on the vertical graph-line continuum of light and goodness (Jn. 10:10; 11:25-26).

Even though we by necessity live our lives partially within conventional normalcy…pay our bills, show up for work, eat well and exercise…a God-composed adventure of faith life-script falls above and outside of worldly conventional normalcy.

Worldly conventional thinking…without God as our King and Ruler…as junior gods sitting atop the thrones of our lives…is where the “blind lead the blind…both falling into a ditch” (Mt. 15:14).  This is where a man can gain the whole world yet lose his own soul (Mt. 16:26).  Worldly conventional normalcy is where the “woman at the well” resides before she meets Jesus (Jn. 4:5-30).

The blindness of worldly conventional thinking explains the townspeople of Nazareth attempting to throw Jesus off a cliff to His death…unable to reconcile the humbleness of His station in life as a local carpenter…with the enormous yet perfectly true statement in their synagogue that the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2 was being fulfilled that very day.

Worldly conventional thinking explains the family of Jesus not believing in Him (Mk. 3:21; Jn. 1:5, 7:5).  Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking sadly results in: “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (Jn. 6:66).  Worldly conventional thinking results in everyone forsaking Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking produces the blindness and ignorance that has Jesus saying from the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34).

Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking will produce the bewildering opposition to the gospel message (Acts 14:22)…a gospel that Christians lovingly and selflessly bring to this world.

As Spirit-born Christians walking with Jesus…we are in the world…but not of the world (Heb. 11:16).

From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity

The Narrow Bandwidth of Definition 3

Why is all of this discussion important for Christians today? 

Why is this topic of the narrowness of the bandwidths of characteristics that define the essence of things living and non-living in the natural world…included at the beginning of a book entitled…A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity?

This argument for the necessity of an independent agent…a thinking Creator God…as the active Designer behind the invention of the narrow bandwidths of characteristics that define each and every living thing on this planet…in terms of their complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated body-plan architectures and lifestyle habits…crosses over seamlessly and beautifully…for the same reasons…into the equally compelling argument…that the biblical narrative stories of faith likewise must have a divine origin.

Certainly the storylines of the biblical narrative stories of faith like those of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Ruth, Hannah, Esther and Mordecai, Elijah, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, and Paul…to name a few…are not the product of accidental invention.

The letters, words, sentences, and grammatical structure of the biblical narrative stories of faith did not self-assemble by random-chance trial-and-error…any more than computer software language codes self-assemble to produce debugged and error-free applications such as word processing and financial accounting spreadsheets.

The narrow bandwidth of the characteristics and details of the life-script calling of Abraham…the “father of faith” as defined in the New Testament in Hebrews 11:1 and 11:6…cannot be the product of blind, mindless, unguided, indifferent, trial-and error, random-chance iterations of human experiences.

We see no trial-and-error, unguided natural selection of variant traits in the storyline of the life of Abraham.  Even when factoring-in human error and imperfect character…the God-composed journey of faith life-script for Abraham…is the epitome of being well-defined and narrowly bounded top and bottom by horizontally limiting graph-lines.

The same can be said for the narrow bandwidths of the characteristics of the individual personalities of each and every positive character in the biblical narrative stories of faith.

We correctly marvel at the information content that is placed within the seed of an apple tree…that when placed in the ground to die as a seed…it then rises-up with incredible directional momentum, intent, and energy…to become a large tree bearing a very definite type of edible fruit…apples.

So it is with the God-created human personality…that has an upper and a lower horizontal graph-line that uniquely defines who and what we are…but also what we are not.

I do not have the innate capacity to be an Abraham, Joseph in Egypt, Moses, Joshua, David, Peter, or Paul.  Their personalities and unique life-scripts…are simply not me.

Our uniquely divine callings…as modern-day new covenant Christians…is to first die as a seed in the ground (Jn. 12:24)…to pick up our cross to follow Jesus Christ…into individualized journeys of faith to match our optimum sweet-spot arrangement of innate personal characteristics and abilities.

This is what separates and differentiates…in the most subtle yet profound way…the virtue of faith in Jesus Christ on the one hand (Gen. 22:8; Num. 21:8-9; Isa. 53:4-5)…and on the other hand the condemnation of going our own way in unbelief (Isa. 53:6; Jn. 7:7, 8:24)…in choosing to be our own junior gods living in the self-sovereignty of autonomous individualism.

Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God…because only God can connect the narrow bandwidth of the characteristics that define who and what we are individually capable of achieving…with a matching, God-composed, life-script calling and mission-plan that fulfills our created destiny…the human equivalent of the brilliantly diverse lifestyle habits we see in the enumerable living things in the natural world…like the apple tree mentioned above.

Because the narrow bandwidths of the storylines of the biblical narrative stories of faith cannot possibly be the product of accidental invention…the aim of this book is to make the arguments that these stories of faith cannot also plausibly be the product of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and like the complex inventions of lions, elephants, and zebras in the natural living world…must have a divinely created origin.

The narrow range of the storyline details contained within the bandwidths of the biblical narrative stories of faith…which have supernatural callings, goals, missions, and outcomes…coupled with dependence upon God to successfully complete these missions…places these stories at the zenith, the pinnacle, the peak of human moral capacity.

Do any other stories in the history of human experiences and literature exceed the themes of moral character found in the God-composed life-scripts for Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Hannah, David, Elijah, Esther and Mordecai, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Philip, Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Aquila and Priscilla, Apollos, and Timothy…to name a few?

The journey of faith life-scripts for Abraham through Paul recorded in the Bible…not to forget Enoch and Noah…are on the top-most shelf of the optimum sweet-spot potential for human experienced and actualized moral character…in the same way that we cannot conceptually improve upon the lifestyle habits of lions, elephants, falcons, dolphins, or hummingbirds.

The fact that every living thing today is at their individual points of optimum development…with no actual large-scale, in-progress change apparent…and no further conceptual change in body-plan architectures and lifestyle habits imaginable…combined with the top-most examples of moral character to be found in all of human history, experience, and literature…in the biblical narrative stories of faith…this then makes a compelling argument against the naturalistic, evolutionary program of incremental gradualism…as the explanation…as the mechanism…for how we got to this point.

If incremental gradualism is the mechanism that produced the diversity of life…then incremental gradualism would still be in operation today…would still be the observable paradigm of reality today and going forward.

The narrow bandwidth of a well-defined living thing…renders this concept of achieving functional coherence through a step-by-step development…using the accumulation of incrementally gradual random-chance accidents…to be an invalid theoretical program…refuted by empirical human observation today.

The narrow bandwidths of definition for living and non-living things…and for the biblical narrative stories of faith…remove the option for these things to be lost within the vast space of raw possibilities (to borrow a phrase from the book Undeniable by Douglas Axe, page 160).

The undermining of the narrow bandwidth definitions of truth…by the philosophy of post-modernism that says that all truths are relative…is the equivalent in the field of biology of saying that the genetic borders around development are wide-open to big changes…that the defining characteristics of living things are not absolute.

The science of taxonomic classification would counter by saying that the well-defined characteristics of living things in their completed, end-point definitions…universal across-the-board without exceptions…is inconsistent with the Darwinian notion of continuous and ongoing change…propelled by the relativity of open-ended, unstoppable random-chance…rather than the premeditated stopping-point parameters of intelligent design.

Satan attempted to lure Jesus Christ with the open-ended and non-specific ambiguity of the temptation of “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them” (Mt. 4:8)…during the temptation in the wilderness.

Jesus rejected this offer in favor of the more complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated life-script…written before “the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8)…to become the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sins…starting with His birth in a manger in Bethlehem.

If the storyline plots of the biblical narrative stories of faith are accurately defined as the zenith, the pinnacle, the peak of human moral character in action…amidst the otherwise vast space of raw possibilities…this then identifies and separates out the optimum, sweet-spot end-points for the purpose and meaning of human life…similar to the information content that is pre-programmed into the seeds for apple, orange, and olive trees.

The dovetail match between our created abilities…and our unique God-composed life-scripts…is the connection that raises the biblical narrative stories of faith up into the elevated bandwidth of precise definitions that is the reality of the billions of complex living things in the natural world…each of which is well-defined in terms of functional coherence…rather than being a random-chance assemblage of developing parts taken from the vast space of raw possibilities…the main tenet of accidental creation that is central to naturalistic materialism.

This is why Hebrews 11:6 says that it is impossible to please God without exercising faith in Him…and why Jesus said in Mark 8:36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

This top-most level of moral character contained within the narrow, well-defined bandwidths of the biblical narrative stories of faith…that argue for their divine origin…is the popular defense of the Bible and Christianity I want to pursue…from many different angles and directions…in this book.

From A Popular Defense of The Bible and Christianity.

The Narrow Bandwidth of Definition 2

In this current, modern Age of Information…it is not just that Darwinian macroevolution is incapable of getting us to the point of high-level, complicated inventions like human beings through the naturalistic process of accumulating and coordinating unguided, random-chance accidents…which is one of the huge and unanswerable holes in the theory of macroevolution…but also that there are logical stopping points in the design of every living and non-living thing…that do not continue along further pathways of development…beyond the parameters of the well-defined function and purpose of their uniquely specified arrangement of features.

In other words…the informational programs that describe the uniqueness of every living thing…are well-defined, fully debugged, and complete…without wiggle-room for major change.

In the modern, empirical science of taxonomic classification…there is no wiggle-room for the introduction of the philosophic post-modernism of the idea of truth being relative.

The clarity of the characteristics of living things that enables taxonomic classification…is inconsistent with the wide-open genetic borders required to produce the massive diversity of the living world…wide-open generic borders producing big changes that should be in evidence today in an ongoing process.

As we look out upon the natural world…this reality of the narrow bandwidths that define the unique characteristics of living things…should not be the case…if the atheistic philosophy of naturalistic materialism…if Darwinian macroevolution…was and is true.

If the enormous and complex diversity of the living world is the product of mindless and unguided processes…of randomly coordinated accidents large and small…then the horizontal demarcation graph-lines above and below the defining essence of every living thing…should not be static, settled, and at their optimum end-points of completion as we see today…but instead would be ever-moving, dynamic, still in the midst of further development…and therefore in most cases…seen across-the-board as recognizably universal phenomenon…being not specific and definitive enough to be amenable to taxonomic classification…or not existing at all.

The question can be asked…is there anything notable in the natural living world today…large enough in numbers to be categorized as a phenomenon…that have the unmistakable appearance of being in the process of going beyond their well-defined point of functional performance…that fall outside of the narrow bandwidth of horizontal lines top and bottom that establish their unique definition?

Are there incremental variations of lions that can run up to 60, 80, or 100 mph in short bursts?  Are there Great White sharks that can swim after prey at the speed of 75 knots…underwater?  Do we find some variations of owls at night that can fly twice faster than the current, typical owl top-speed?

There is a reason why we cannot artificially select through human breeding…to create dogs as large in size as elephants.

There is a reason why I am not an 8-foot tall, superstar athlete…on a championship basketball team…in the NBA.

There is a reason why I do not have an IQ of 300…and figured-out before lunchtime today…the cure for cancer and the formula for world peace.

In order for mindless and unguided accidents to reach the point of the massive amount of functionally coherent diversity we see in action in the natural living world…composed of billions of unique, high-level inventions having physical characteristics and life-style habits as brilliantly conceived as human beings, cheetahs, salmon, harpy eagles, oak trees, tomato plants, rose bushes, corn fields, honeybees, and golden retriever dogs…to reach this point…the reproductive borders around genetic variation would have to be wide-open, fluid, and dynamic…to even hypothetically be able to achieve the required ongoing revolution of big changes that the radically creative, philosophical equation of naturalism needs…in order to be considered plausibly achievable.

But what we observe in the natural living world is exactly the opposite.

The genetic boundaries around the putting-out of variant traits to be chosen by natural selection…have constraining limits…have horizontal graph-lines above and below the defining characteristics of each and every living thing…without the massive variation required for progressive big changes to occur over any length of time…and this reality has no exceptions.

The objection by Darwinists that evolutionary change occurs too slowly to be observable over the span of a human lifetime…is not valid.

To propose that all of observable life today has reached…in billions of individual examples…their functionally optimum sweet-spots of development for survival and reproduction…all at the same time…so as to render Darwinian macroevolution undetectable to the modern observer…is again nonsensical.

From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity.

%d bloggers like this: