The Mission of Jesus had nothing to do with the American Dream 1

The temptation in the wilderness…of Jesus Christ…as recorded in Matthew 4:8-10 and in Luke 4:5-8…was a seemingly misdirected approach by Satan that appeared to miss the mark…regarding Jesus…in this one particular temptation of the offer of worldly power.

The temptation of the “power and the glory of the kingdoms of the world”…was not anywhere near to what we think would be appealing to Jesus Christ the Son of God…apparent to anyone who actually knew Him well at the time…and clearly apparent to Spirit-born Christians today reading the New Testament gospel accounts of His ministry and teaching.

This temptation of the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world…appears to us today to be almost a “throw-away” temptation…not at all a serious attempt…easy for Jesus to make the correct choice.

Of course Jesus would reject the materialistic aspects contained within the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world…these things potentially being peripheral distractions to the mandate of His unique and narrowly defined calling to be the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin…aside from the fact that as the Son of God and Creator of the universe…Jesus literally owns everything already anyway.

To us…this particular temptation appears on the surface to be a complete misreading of Jesus Christ…an off-hand, out-of-character appeal to Jesus of two aspects of the American Dream…power and glory…on steroids.

It demonstrates either a misconception of the higher ways and thoughts of God through an under-estimation of the character of Jesus Christ the Son of God…or it is a very clever, right-on-point probing in the opening sparring contest between the deceptive, competing narratives of spiritual darkness…contrasted with divine light and pure truth…in one of the key future components that formed the basis of the final condemnation and rejection of Jesus that places Him on the cross on Calvary Hill…in Jerusalem sometime around the years 30-33 A.D.

The offer of Satan to Jesus of the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world…may have been a very clever temptation to Jesus of an alternate and more appealing approach to fixing our world through entirely worldly means…coming from the direction of wielding worldly political power and prestige…rather than the more difficult approach of procuring salvation for mankind through the humiliation and suffering of the cross.

In the temptation in the wilderness…the mind of Satan…which I do not claim to understand…reveals a depth of cleverly disguised malice and destructive intent…that would have undermined the ability of Jesus to qualify as the blemish-free Passover sacrifice…and in the process destroyed our one hope for deliverance from sin through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God (Isa. 61:1-3)…a politically conventional approach mistakenly chosen by Jesus to fix our world…in the process replacing the cross on Calvary Hill out of the equation.

Satan is a created being…and therefore does not possess divine foresight and foreknowledge.

Yet in the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…Satan manages to come up with a temptation that hits close to home in the difficulty of the atoning sacrifice for the mass of human sins…through the cross…that challenges Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when He says: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Lk. 22:42).

If Jesus would not disqualify Himself by accepting the deceptively disguised offer of the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world…introducing an alternate worldly course of action totally outside of His eternal mandate to be the Passover Lamb of God…then in Satan’s back-up Plan-B…the religious elites and some of the general populace in Jerusalem would later condemn Jesus…at Calvary…over this very issue of refusing to use worldly power (Jn. 6:15; Mk. 15:31-32)…to fulfill His calling.

The mission of Jesus Christ was not to successfully demonstrate and validate the autonomous individualism that is a central component of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…by leisurely sailing the Greek Isles in the Mediterranean Sea in a carefree manner…for example…for His own personal enjoyment.

Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind…”slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8).

His unique life-script mission transcends above any worldly conventional goals, dreams, or aspirations…however commendable.

What is insightful on an eternally historic level…about the cross at Calvary…far above the earlier chess-move by Satan in either wisely or unwisely testing the character of Jesus Christ during the temptation in the wilderness…is that at the cross on Calvary…God perfectly took-the-measure of the low character of Satan…and exposed it openly for all the world of men and angels to see…yet not without great cost to Himself.

The massive take-away from the cross of Christ is that God can brilliantly maneuver the course of events in the most unexpected way…to openly expose the primary end-point outcome of sin…which is rebellious self-sovereignty…and powerfully address it for all time…through the blood shed on the cross by Jesus…all within the very same event…of the cross that day on Calvary Hill.

The Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and lawyers standing around the cross…are in complete ignorance in mocking Jesus…in part…for the very thing Jesus divinely rejected in the temptation in the wilderness…of not accepting Satan’s offer of the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world…which resurfaces again in the humiliation of Jesus on the cross in not fulfilling the expectations of a King David version of the Messiah…militarily ushering-in world peace (Lk. 23:34).

The Jews standing around the cross mocking Jesus (Mt. 27:39-43)…were not following their Jewish religious heritage of God-sovereignty expressed through journeys of faith…recorded throughout the Hebrew Bible…our Old Testament.

Abraham is the “father of faith” achieved through a God-composed journey of faith within the novel, innovative, and unconventional worldview of God-sovereignty (Prov. 3:5-6)…unique to Old Testament Judaism and New Testament Christianity.

Abraham is not the father of self-salvation through the self-righteous performance of good works and “following the law”…through the worldview of going our own way (Isa. 53:6)…apart from God.

The surgical separation between self-sovereignty and God-sovereignty at the cross of Christ…is divinely brilliant…magical in its orchestration of events…and sublime in its humble presentation of the deepest of truths.

Jesus…up on the cross…is the epitome of worldly failure.

Yet Jesus on the cross is fulfilling to perfection His God-composed life-script…written long ago by God the Father, Himself, and the Holy Spirit…to be the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for the sins of the world…in blemish-free, non-rebellious, and perfect God-sovereignty…in a consistent unity-of-purpose that could only be achieved by the God/man Jesus Christ…in total rejection of the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world…as is imaginable.

When Jesus says out of the depths of Godly consistent character: “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42) in the Garden of Gethsemane…Jesus is committing Himself to the worldview of God-sovereignty in following His God-composed life-script…having eternal benefits to countless numbers of other people… no matter how difficult and how high is the cost to Himself (Lk. 22:41-44).

God-composed journey of faith life-scripts patterned after the biblical narrative stories of faith…were designed to create the context of events and circumstances to invite us into this same unity-of-purpose that Jesus exemplified on the cross…absent the cultural constraints of worldly expectations that would attempt to offer counterfeit goals and aspirations…like the offer of the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world presented to Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness…which He rejected in order to fulfill His higher calling to be our eternal Redeemer, Savior, and King.

In contrast, when pushed to the edge of having to make a choice (Jn. 11:47-48)…instead of repenting and admitting they were wrong about their pride-filled, self-righteous religious practices…the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and lawyers end-up murdering the Son of God…the worst crime in all of human history.

The people who deserved to be expelled from Israel where not the Roman soldiers occupying Jerusalem at that time…but these religious hypocrites who instigated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

When we look up at Jesus on the cross…we have the choice of seeing the Passover Lamb of God in the power and the glory of perfectly demonstrated love…permeating consistently throughout the Godhead of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in their novel and innovative plan for our salvation.

This opened-up the potential for new human lives…lived free of the bondage to sin…walking with God in journeys of faith designed to lead us into the knowledge of the all truth of John 16:13.

Or alternately…we can freely choose to see Jesus Christ as a total failure to usher-in the universal justice and peace promised surrounding the Messiah…as prophesied in Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-10, 25:9, and 40:9-11…and as interpreted and understood by many of the Jews of the first-century and today…to occur at the first advent of the Messiah…rather than at the second coming of Christ.

Biblical Faith in a Modern Society 2

The steady advance of human scientific discovery has produced a deep and detailed understanding of how things work…in our own bodies…extended-out into all of the areas of scientific inquiry from the microscopic atomic level to the galactic scale of the astrophysics of our universe.

This information content is now so vast…that a previous naturalistic explanation for the folding of amino acids into proteins…did not even exist 160 years ago…at the time of Darwin’s book The Origin of Species…because this area of amino acid behavior in living cell microbiology had not even been discovered yet.

The current discoveries in science…with the new awareness of their accompanying massive quantities of information content…in highly complex and coherently integrated systems…undermines all theories based on the simplistic methodologies of mindless, random chance, dumb-luck, trial-and-error search strategies.

What could pass…such as the incorrectly assumed simplicity of the living cell…as a placeholder for ignorance 160 years ago…is now overwhelmed by the sheer volume and magnitude of complex and integrated systems of information in the natural world…like DNA, RNA, and protein-assembly inside living cells…the serendipitous origin of which falls outside allowable, random-chance mathematic probability…as shown in scientific laboratory experiments.[1]

A Darwinian explanation for the complex phenomenon we now understand better in the living and non-living world…no longer “holds water” in this new Information Age.

As a non-scholar layman in the areas of theology and biblical studies…along with millions of other common Christians around the world simply following Jesus Christ within our unique journeys of faith…I sense that the centuries-old paradigm conflict between philosophical atheism and biblical Christianity…is at a balanced apex…at a tipping-point where the evidences for theism may now begin…if they have not already…to surpass the now behind-the-times logic and arguments against supernaturalism and the miraculous in the Bible.

The Big Bang creation of the universe philosophically opened wide the door for intelligent agency…introducing in the first split-seconds of creation all of the natural laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics… along with time itself…and all of the material particles in the right quantities and proportions to produce the universe we now observe today…out of absolute nothing…sometime around 13.7-billion years ago.

If an independent agent God can do this at the beginning of the universe…create something out of nothing…ex nihilo…along with the accompanying physical laws out of nothing…then the philosophical objection by skeptics that God cannot introduce creative life and “miracles” into the natural world…a natural world incorrectly viewed by some as a “closed system” up until a few decades ago…is now debunked by the discoveries of modern science through the identification of massive amounts of complex and functionally integrated systems of information…everywhere we look in the living and non-living natural world.

The concept of an independent agent…God…injecting vast amounts of complex information into our world utilizing creative foresight…such as the DNA code…the unimaginably brilliant folding of amino acids into proteins…and the body-plan architectural information stored somewhere in the embryonic developmental structure of the living cell that builds cells and tells them their unique function and location in the dividing and expanding embryo…is very similar to our own use of accumulated information and creative foresight in the planned and premeditated assembly of houses, automobiles, airplanes, laptop computers, and pharmaceutical medicines.

Daniel 12:10 tells us that skeptical unbelief will be with us in this world…all the way through the end-times.

Daniel 7:15-25 and 8:23-25 infer that the “mouth that spake very great things” (v. 7:20) will wear-out the best of the great Christian apologists…the saints of the most High…in the last days…taking the arguments in favor of God as far as we can…until God Himself steps-in to decisively expose for all time the subtle and elusive deceptions of the “son of perdition” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3…in a way that we cannot currently foresee.

There is in existence…for the time being…a delicate balance between belief and unbelief…discussed in detail in several locations in this book…which must continue until the end of this present world.

Our part is to faithfully share the gospel message…and then let the Holy Spirit do His work of persuasion and conviction in the hearts and minds of people (Zech. 4:6).

The brief arguments presented above in this Introduction are a part of the real truth about God…but as compelling as they are when flushed-out in detail…in my opinion only touch the surface…only nibble around the edges…of the real truth about God.

In my opinion…the real truth about God is revealed…in depth…in the biblical narrative stories of faith…from Enoch, Noah, and Abraham all the way through to Paul the apostle.

The core aim of this book is to make the argument for the importance of the biblical narrative stories of faith…under attack now for hundreds of years…from skeptics and critics of the Bible.

This attack has successfully undermined for some modern-day Christians…the credibility and relevance of the biblical narrative stories of faith for practical application to Christian discipleship today…thus partially diluting and neutralizing the benefits of a personal relationship with God…intended to actualize through a God-composed adventure of faith…after the pattern of the biblical narrative stories of faith…the heritage accessible to every new covenant believer today (Jer. 31:31-34).

That these worldly unconventional, biblical narrative stories of faith cannot plausibly be the creation of human literary, imaginative fiction…and must therefore have a divine origin…being timeless and relevant for mankind today…is the main theme of this book.

[1] Douglas Axe, Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed (New York: HarperOne, 2016): 57-59.

Biblical Faith in a Modern Society 1

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”                                                             (Heb. 11:6)

I once had a lively discussion with a borderline agnostic/atheist who said that he did not dismiss the idea that God existed…but that to believe and to have personal faith he needed more objective, foolproof evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the Bible and Christianity.

In pondering our talk afterwards, I thought of the large number and variety of evidences that are out there in the observable world…easily accessible through commonsense contemplation…that in the hands of a skilled litigator in a courtroom…for example…would not only convince most jurors of the existence of God…but also of the divine origin of the Bible and its message.

There are dozens of broad categories of very persuasive arguments for the existence of God…many of which contain the obvious “miracles” we clearly see all around us…that we accept as commonplace and take totally for granted.

A few of these obvious evidences might be the “miracle” of male and female sexuality…or digestion…or our respiratory system…our constant heartbeat…or our balanced and symmetrical locomotion…our motor skills…or the functional integration of our diverse cell types and body parts…all of which shout-out for ingenious, thoughtful design rather than accidental, trial-and-error assemblage.

Another observable evidence for the existence of a thoughtful designer God…easily accessible to commonsense consideration…is the universal cuteness of any infant—a human toddler, a lion cub, a Golden Retriever puppy, a baby elephant, young ducklings swimming after their mother in a pond…displaying the most imaginative artistry in live action…yet totally unnecessary under a Darwinian program…having no survival-of-the-fittest value…but easily recognizable to human beings as the product of intentional thought…and not at all what we would expect from a blind, mindless, and accidental process.

Certainly the mystery of the origin of human speech and the ready inclination of young children to learn, understand, and accurately differentiate subtle concepts in language and communication…quickly amassing a growing vocabulary of new words…acquired with seeming effortlessness at a phenomenal rate of speed…is a reality far too complex and incredibly integrated to be lightly and uncritically accepted as the result of gradualistic, unguided descent-with-modification…rather than the deliberate result of thoughtful design at a brilliantly creative, extremely advanced level.

In sports…our incredible facility to be able to play professional ice hockey in the NHL…to run back the opening kick-off 100 yards for a touchdown in college football…to hit a 95-mph fastball 400 feet over the left-field fence for a home-run in baseball…to play tennis, ping-pong, badminton, volleyball, run the 100-meter sprint in track & field, run the Boston  marathon, compete in the Tour de France bicycling race, surf the Bonzai Pipeline on the North Shore in Hawaii, and score a goal in World Cup soccer…all of these human achievements we tend to take for granted as natural and commonplace.

Yet these are physical acuities that are so advanced, so complex, so finely tuned, and so functionally coordinated…that to ascribe their origin to blind, mindless, indifferent, trial-and-error forces as asserted in the theory of Darwinian evolution…when we see and observe nothing incrementally progressive…nothing caught half-way in transition in macro-creative examples anywhere in the natural world today…seems on its face to be an unsupportable stretch of the philosophy of naturalistic materialism.

Certainly the existence of the unique moral framework that permeates all of the social interactions between people…which we also take totally for granted…needs explanation.

Such things as the wonderful mystery of “falling in love,” friendship, loyalty, bravery, humor, forgiveness, courageously standing-up for the right-thing even when it costs us something, giving value to other people through respect…and the flip-side—lying, cheating, prejudice, selfishness, injustice, and evil…in the hands of a skilled debater could be persuasively argued to be far beyond the creative naturalistic reach of material particles and energy…given that atomic particles and energy waves demonstrate zero capacity for assembling complex and functionally integrated systems of thought, morals, or information.

Add to this the mind-boggling Age of Information explosion over the last three or four decades…in which intelligence has been linked to the initial origin of information wherever we find complex and functionally integrated systems in human creations…in computer software language codes, literary books of every genre, and inventions of every type.

This new realization corresponds to the information-packed systems we find in the natural world such as the Big Bang creation of the universe…the fine-tuning of the mathematical constants in the laws of physics that enable the existence of complex life like ourselves—described as the Anthropic Principle…the sudden appearance of new complex life-forms during the Cambrian Explosion…and the intricate body-plan architectures and lifestyle habits of every living creature…to name only a few examples.

Curiously, in the area of the fine arts…we see the seemingly universal through-line of the ending finales of good overcoming evil…of the “good” cowboys wearing white hats rounding up the “bad” cowboys wearing black hats…fundamental as satisfying outcomes within the storyline fabric of countless modern movies, theater plays, and books.

Oddly, this comes from a sophisticated popular culture today that otherwise…outwardly at least…claims to avoid the acknowledgment of the concept of biblical sin…the universal imperfection we all share…and that we all try to minimize and sweep-under-the-rug.

How can the existence and complexity of good versus evil…sliced-and-diced in every which way in enumerable, fictional storyline settings in books and movies…of unending fascination and interest to the human psyche…how can the plausible explanation for the existence of this complex reality…be the sole product of a blind and mindless Mother Nature…according to the philosophical worldview of naturalistic materialism?

The mere existence of the word forgiveness in our vocabulary and in our dictionary argues for a transcendent capacity for moral discernment and transactional judgment in human beings…far above and vastly different from the rest of the natural living world.

The origin of the concept of falling short of some independent standard of behavior and thinking…rightly requiring us to ask forgiveness from other people we have harmed or offended…in order to mend and to restore a personal relationship…has no survival-of-the-fittest value  in a materialistic Darwinian worldview

A final example, for the brief purposes of this opening introduction…representing one small factoid…again amongst hundreds of thousands of similar everyday commonsense examples that could be offered as persuasive evidence argued in a court of law…in favor of the necessity of an intelligent designer God…is the existence of our navel…our “belly button”…the umbilical cord between mother and baby that is severed and tied at childbirth.  Every human has one.

Is there a plausible series of sequential events that would serve as an intermediate bridge of failures between the first dysfunctional umbilical cord leading to immediate death of the human fetus at the very start of a materialistic creative progression…to cross the gap to a totally functional assemblage producing a viable fetus reaching the point in time of nine-month maturity and a healthy childbirth…whereupon the umbilical cord is cut-off from the placenta and tied into a knot…at our stomachs?

Commonsense reasoning tells us that this one indispensable feature necessary for life…amongst thousands of other complex and tightly sequenced and integrated features in the human body…of a functional umbilical cord with all of its complex processes…must be up and running at just the right time in the embryonic development process of the human fetus occurring within the mother…for successful human reproduction to take place.

My Testimony 4

What happened next is what separates my experiential perspective…from the viewpoint of atheists and skeptical critics of the Bible.

Over the next two weeks I felt a very real release from the weight of my past failings and shortcomings…the uncertainty of the future no longer being a nagging concern…my spirit rejoicing with the angels in heaven that another lost soul…me…had obtained eternal life…had escaped spiritual darkness and entered into light.

I literally became a new person.  The internal reformation was an unmistakably supernatural event.

It was not a personal epiphany…not self-realization…not an intellectual recognition of a system of thought I agreed with…and not some satisfying of a previously unseen internal deficiency I needed to remedy through self-reform or wise outside human council.

This salvation experience had its grounding…its roots…its substance…in meeting the living God on a personal basis…for the first time in my life.

What will infuriate some atheists and skeptics…if they even grant any credibility to my testimony…is that this does not fit within the stereotype of the person raised in the church and partially brainwashed by its teachings.

I was not only an unqualified sinner…lacking any good-works merit to attract the positive attention of God to be singled-out for salvation…but I was not even searching for God.

I didn’t find God…He found me.  I wasn’t searching for God…He called me and I simply responded to His invitation.

When a person discovers that God actually exists…and that He is the God of the Bible…this changes the outlook on everything.

When I started reading the Bible for the first time in my life at my conversion…because I then had been introduced to the living God…had been spiritually born-again…and was living in a new walk of faith following Him…the supernatural in the Bible was not a problem for me.

I knew from that time forward…on independent grounds…that the supernatural was real.

If God could transform me…like He did…then He can raise Jesus from the dead to be the Savior of the world…or perform any number of other miracles recorded in the Bible.

I was not reading the Bible as mere human literature…like we do in university religious studies classes.  The Bible came alive as the Word of God…unlike anything I had known previously or since then.

I have no idea in terms of absolute mathematics, physics, and chemistry how God opened up the Red Sea for the Israelites to safely cross on dry land…or the composition of the manna that fed the Israelites on the exodus to the Promised Land…or how God can make the lips of a donkey move while generating clearly articulated words understood by the prophet Balaam…when donkeys do not possess vocal chords that can produce intelligible speech…or a number of other supernatural events that atheists and skeptics choke on…in the Bible.

I am not sure that these one-time, non-repeating events will ever be understood through the human enterprise of scientific investigation.  The God created reality of the orderliness and intelligibility of our natural world may not extend into the transcendent capacity of God to perform the actions of miracles that fall outside of the normal experiences and observations of everyday phenomenon.

My Christian Life since My Conversion

Space will not allow telling about my clear calling into a career in building construction…how I began writing books on housing construction at age 30…being a C-minus student in the two required English composition classes I took years earlier in junior college…and after 13 years of drawing illustrations and writing the accompanying text…I got the first of four books on building construction accepted for publication by McGraw-Hill (1995-98 under Bart Jahn).

I could tell about the origin of my eight Christian books…and my struggle to accurately listen in the Spirit to what God was telling me through my life experiences and reading of the Bible…as a non-scholar…to articulate into words…sophisticated ideas and concepts that I still feel ill-equipped to tackle.

My goal in this testimony is to offer the contrary rebuttal to the atheistic viewpoint that assumes that God does not exist…critiques the Bible and Christianity in this same shortsighted light…and then assumes that Spirit-born and Spirit-led Christians approach the Bible and their personal journey of faith…in a similarly doubtful and uncertain way.

This has not been my experience…or the experience of the many Christians I know.

I may not be practicing my Christian faith at the high level of the analogy of playing tennis at the professional level as at the U.S. Open.  An outsider critiquing my life may or may not see a “professional” Christian in action.

But my experience is real and genuine…and is based upon a personal relationship following God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit.

I cannot emphasize enough the rebuttal to the false charge that faith in the God of the Bible…is a delusion.  My personal relationship following Jesus Christ within a God-composed adventure of faith…is not a product of group-think or conformity to organized churchianity.

I hope the complex, specified, and coherently integrated information in the topics discussed in this book…is itself plausible and compelling evidence of authenticity as to the genuineness of the existence of God, the divine origin of the Bible, and the truth of Christianity…played out through God-composed life-scripts for imperfect people like myself.

My Testimony 3

My Conversion Story

At age 17, as a junior in high school, I almost made it into the ranks of professional surfing in Southern California.

I got fourth place in a 2A/3A junior-age division surfing contest in the old WSA (Western Surfing Association)…which if I had gotten first-place would have allowed me to have an automatic entrance into the professional contests as 3A regional junior champion.

I was in the Windansea Surf Club in the junior division…ages 15-17… and was a member of the Greg Noll surf team…a legendary big-wave surfer from the 1960’s and a successful surfboard manufacturer.

Every Christian’s life story is different.  Some people have to hit rock-bottom…addicted to alcohol or drugs, ruined marriages, and careers destroyed…before they can reach the point of admitting they need God.

Some people grow-up in a Christian church…and at the age of being able to make a meaningful decision…invite Jesus Christ into the hearts and lives…and begin their life-long journey of faith.

For me…it was a case of starting to achieve success in surfing…yet surprisingly discovering that this beginning of experiencing success in my chosen sport did not bring the satisfaction I thought it would.

At the time I did not recognize that there was a hole in my life…and if I gave any thought to it I would have merely concluded that I needed more success and acclaim…that this would produce fulfillment and happiness.

Christian evangelism calls this the “God-shaped hole”…that only God can fill…that no amount of personal achievement can satisfy…and I unknowingly had a bad case of this God-shaped hole in my life.

By this time I had seen and experienced enough of life…to sense that there was something wrong with the world and with me…but as yet I did not know what it was.

When I was 18, I worked at the Greg Noll surfboard factory part-time while a senior in high school and the summer after graduation…selling surfboard foam blanks, fiberglass, resin, and fins to people making their own homemade surfboards in their garage…which was popular at that time.

Two of the guys on the surf team ran into me at the surfboard factory while I was outside watering the potted plants…in late July of that summer…and began to tell me about their becoming Christians…about the house near the beach where I surfed that was a “house church” long before there was such a thing…and gave me some Christian tracts to read and asked me if I was interested in going.

I listened politely and took their literature…but said I was not interested.  They probably walked away thinking that I was a hopeless case…unreachable in my carefree worldliness.

I am sharing these details to show that my mindset was not anywhere near the stereotype that atheists paint of Christians…inaccurately projecting their own viewpoint of skeptical confusion on to other people.

I was a fairly normal and well-adjusted person focusing on surfing as the main interest in my life…not unlike many other young men at my age living near the ocean.

The personal story I am about to recount has been and is today being repeated for hundreds of millions of Christians around the world…with variations as to their individual backgrounds and how they came to Christ.

After this discussion at the surfboard factory…over a two-week period something unexpectedly new changed inside me.  Even though I had no idea what I was getting myself into…thinking I would be walking into some social clique-ish type gathering with boring people I could not relate to…I surprisingly decided to go…by myself… on a Sunday evening.

I knew where the house was…on a large corner lot across the street from the ocean.  I had walked by this house many times on the way to the “village” for donuts or hamburgers…after surfing just down the beach a short distance away.

This house had a very large living room with a high ceiling…which seated around 125 people sitting on fold-out chairs…with young people sitting on the fireplace hearth and on the stairs, and overflow people in the hallway.

As I walked in the front door…I found a seat in the back where I could navigate a quick and easy exit if I did not like the service.

When I first sat down I immediately noticed something different.  The people already there ahead of me were seated quietly…not up and walking all over the room visiting with friends before the start of the service.

When the music and singing started, I noticed that people were enjoying the experience and genuinely glad to be there…and not looking at their watches with thoughts elsewhere on getting home later to watch the end of a baseball game on television…or their favorite TV show they were missing.

When the message started…I could not tell you now in hindsight what it was about.  All I remember is that God opened up my life before me…and showed me on His score-card how I was doing.  I did not sense condemnation or judgment on His part…but a very real offering of a new life option that I had never before contemplated.

During the preaching of that message…I encountered two new revelations that changed my life…first that God existed…and second that He knew all about me.

God knew all about my flaws as a person.  But I sensed a supportive optimism in His evaluation and intimate knowledge of me…that offered hope in a new future me that was encouraging on a level I had never previously experienced.  God had faith in me…despite my checkered past and numerous shortcomings.

As God opened up my life before me…He separated the two realities regarding me into two parts…that I was not aware of until that moment in time.

God showed me on the one hand what the world thought of me…and what it would continue to think of me going forward…having the worldly conventional acceptance of a blond-haired, blue-eyed California surfer who was well-known and well-liked…enjoying my life on my terms and according to my standards…because that was all I knew about.

Then God showed me His more discerning and insightful assessment…as my Creator…of how I was falling short in so many areas…being self-centered, unthoughtful of others, lazy in school and not using my God-given intelligence, and basically without any plan or direction for my life other than fulfilling the first priority of me, myself, and I…so universally prevalent and socially acceptable in the world…a world ignorant of God’s higher ways and thoughts.

Until that night…and meeting God for the first time…I had no idea there was another option…that there was another way.

Again, I did not sense any condemnation from God…just an honest and insightful appraisal of the direction I was going…from the informed perspective of the one single Person who would have the inside information.

One of my first reactions was: “oh no…I am undone…I am exposed as the imposter I am presenting to the outside world…that I am living my life as if I actually know what life is supposed to be about…when I am really something else not very commendable or admirable.”

At the beginning of the alter call…looking back now…I can remember having the sense that God at this point actually stepped back…and more or less said: “now that you know the truth…you can continue onward in the way that you are going but you will always know from here onward that it is a lie…or you can ask Me into your life and I will make you into a new person and lead you into becoming the person I created you to be.”

While heads were bowed and eyes closed…I sat momentarily on the fence…knowing that a decision for Christ would alter my life forever…and that it would cost something in that I would have to give up some if not all of my past lifestyle.

I remember that I was the fourth out of five people to accept Christ that night by raising my hand…and the procedure which I like the best…is that I did not have to go forward to be singled-out along with the other four new believers…but that all of the people in the room stood and said the sinner’s prayer together as a group.

I believe that God has eternal foreknowledge and foresight…living in a timeless environment (Isa. 46:9-10).  As God stepped back…to enable my free-will to choose Him…He knew beforehand that my response would be yes.

But this is one of the realities that compellingly argues for a divine origin of the God of the Bible…having a complexity and integrated blend of God’s timeless existence…coordinated with human beings living in the four dimensions of space and time…that is the diametric opposite of being simplistic or simple-minded.

God’s foreknowledge and my free-will came together that night so many years ago now…in the mystery of the creation of a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) that is beyond human literary imagination to invent.

This is a part of the real truth about God.

This is why I have included this essay in my book.

As previously said above…this is the common salvation experience of tens if not hundreds of millions of born-again Christians across the globe…with slightly different circumstances but the same result…of meeting the living God for the first time and being changed forever.

If atheists and skeptics want to characterize my salvation experience as a delusion…so be it.

My Testimony 2

My Background Growing Up

As I said earlier, I was not raised in a Christian or church-going family.  I cannot think of a single friend of mine in grade school or high school…whose family attended church.  I can honestly say…looking back…that I did not know a single person in my childhood…or teenage years…who openly claimed to be a Christian and a practicing follower of Jesus Christ.

Christianity was simply something that was not a part of my life growing up.

My parents were divorced when I was eight years old.  Before then we did as a family occasionally attend a mainstream denominational church…but after the divorce my mother felt ostracized in that church…so we moved over to a different denominational church nearby.

But throughout my early childhood, my recollection was that our attendance was spotty…was never regular…and had no impact upon me in terms of having any comprehension of the Bible, Christianity, or of God.

When at age eighteen I heard the Christian gospel message for the first time…and was contemplating what to do during the alter call following the message…if someone would have offered me a million dollars to recite one Bible verse from memory…I could not have done it.

At the end of that first service after asking Jesus Christ into my life…I was given a paperback copy of the New Testament as a gift.  It took me about two weeks of reading the gospels in the New Testament for the first time…to figure out who Jesus was and where He figured into all of this.

I was so uninformed on that first night upon hearing the salvation message…I asked God into my life…having as yet no clear idea as to who Jesus was.

I basically came off the street into Christianity…having no previous background of “brainwashing” in any sense whatsoever…either pro or con…to inform or influence my decision for Christ.

At that time…I was also not looking for God…not searching for purpose and meaning in life…and thoroughly disinterested in religion of any sort.

I was simply too self-absorbed as an up-and-coming teenage competitive surfer in Southern California…too focused upon my chosen sport to the exclusion of everything else.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

I was always a good athlete growing up.  I was in the “top ten” each week in batting average and in pitching earned-run average in Little League baseball when I was eleven and twelve…published in the weekly newsletter distributed at the ballpark…and played third base in the All Stars at the end of the regular season (a position I did not like).

I will always remember the sensation as an eleven-year old taking the mound as the starting pitcher on a Saturday morning…looking around at the freshly mowed grass…the outfield fence with all of the local sponsor’s advertising billboards…the parents in the bleachers…picking up the brand new baseball and applying rosin powder from the rosin bag…digging out some of the dirt in front of the pitcher’s rubber with my shoe cleats…throwing several warm-up pitches…seeing the umpire sweeping off home plate with his hand-held broom…the first batter stepping into the batter’s box…winding up and throwing a fastball down the middle…hearing the pop as the ball hits the catcher’s mitt…seeing the umpire throw out his right arm…and yelling steeeeeeee…rike one!

These are some of the fondest memories from my childhood.

In Little League baseball…when I was nine years old…my older brother Brian made it on to the major league Red Sox team.

In those days, one nine-year old was allowed on each major league team of ten-to-twelve year olds…and for the logistics benefit of the mothers and fathers coordinating the taxying of two or more sons to various games and practices…for convenience they would place the nine-year old on the same team as the older brother.

So at age nine I was a major leaguer…one of only two kids in the fourth grade in our elementary school class that year to achieve this lofty designation…thanks solely to having an older brother who was eleven…and who had made the team.

In the next year when I was ten…my brother and I played on this Red Sox team that became the Little League equivalent of the Bronx Bombers. 

We had a left-handed pitcher Glen Thompson with an ERA below one, a catcher Dave “Fudge” Ptak who hit the most home runs in the league that year, and my older brother who batted 590 and was second in the league in batting average that year behind Skip Jarvis who batted 615…who lived down the street from us…was the same age twelve as my older brother…and was part of the local crowd I played sports with at that age. I was the starting second baseman…my favorite position.

I will never forget our baseball coach that year…Ed Grabowski…who taught me and my brother how to play baseball.  Our team had eighteen wins and four losses…and was the best team that year.  At the awards banquet…as a ten-year old…the championship trophy I received seemed half my height.

I grew up in the same area…and went to the same schools with the same kids from grade school through high school…although our high school had 3,000 kids and there were 850 seniors in my graduating class.

I had some cute girlfriends in high school.  I went to the high school dances and proms…and as a freshman went to some of the “away” football games with my girlfriend on the school bus…when I was not out with my drinking buddies.

Because of having a single parent…a full-time working mother…I had a lot more freedom than kids from two-parent homes…but there was a line beyond which I did not cross…out of respect for her.

But I was way ahead of most of my peers in high school in a somewhat moderated, near-the-edge of notoriously scandalous behavior…having a black sheep reputation of exploration into debauchery and worldliness.

When I walked into that home church on a perfect summer evening on Sunday, August 10, 1970…and became a Christian that night…I had already experienced things that many of my age-group would explore and discover in their upcoming college years and beyond.

At age 18, no one would accuse me of being sheltered, naïve, or religiously brainwashed.

Being a “latch-key” kid…I was worldly street-savvy beyond my years.

That is my general background growing up.  I knew a lot of young people from playing baseball and at the beach.  I was relatively popular…had a wide-circle of friends…was relatively normal in a worldly sense in the high school party-scene and the drinking of alcohol…but did not do drugs…even though they were all around me and easily accessible…because of my surfing.

And at the time…I was not looking for God…and could not have cared less about Christianity…or anything to do with Jesus Christ.

This should give the reader a broad outline of what I was and where I was coming from…before I became a Christian.

My story…like millions of Christians around the world…is not the story of a young person “brain-washed” by a religious upbringing.

My Testimony 1

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.                                                (1 Pet. 3:15)

Atheists and skeptical critics of Christianity…in their books…often attempt to universally stereotype Christians as being socially and culturally brainwashed through childhoods in which religion was introduced at an early age…which then forms a persistent and lasting belief in a God who does not in fact exist…a conditioned belief in religious precepts, moral rules, and rituals that have no basis in reality.

What is implied and inferred here by atheists is that Spirit-born Christians specifically…because of the doctrine of repentance from sin…and salvation alone through the cross of Christ…thereby admitting our need for God which is abhorrent to humanists…are a factually deluded group of losers in a worldly sense…who were misled as children through no fault of our own…and who must now as adults throw off the crutch of religion that we are leaning upon to get through life…and think our way free from myths and children’s bedtime stories…into the modern, rational, and liberated mindset of atheism.

I would counter by saying that no matter how successful some people are in this life…however we define success…worldly or otherwise…that every person without exception is to some extent a loser…someone who falls short…in that no single person alive today can claim to be morally, ethically, intellectually, athletically…or in any other way…absolutely perfect.

Every sane person on the planet would admit to being an imperfect person.

We all share this universal trait of imperfection…in common in varying degrees…which makes no sense coming from the atheistic philosophy of naturalistic materialism.

Genetic mutation, variant traits chosen by natural selection, geographical isolation, reproductive barriers, the separation of genetic pools, and any other microevolutionary process…could not create the universal recognition and awareness of moral imperfection in human beings alone…according to a higher standard of right and wrong that transcends above the ability of materials particles and energy to create.

But that is a subject for another book.

Atheists and skeptics often tell their personal story of having religion crammed down their throats during their childhood…at home or at school or both…and then being liberated by science or free-thinking philosophy in their middle to late teens…abandoning a faith that was never personally real for them as individuals.

The basic problem here is that atheists and skeptics do not believe that God exists at all.

This program of thinking necessarily downgrades all religions equally into the zone of having man-invented gods and religious precepts…that therefore have no objective authority…no transcendent standard outside of human inventive imagination…upon which to base a reliable worldview…a sustainable game-plan for life.

In the clever, pragmatic, and worldly sensible program of humanism…we make ourselves into autonomous gods.

In this essay, I would like to offer my own alternate experience…which was and still is to this day…supernatural to the core…based not upon adherence to a religion…but instead founded upon the rock-solid certainty of a calling of God…a journey of faith…after the pattern of the biblical narrative stories of faith.

This experience informs my interpretation of the Bible, my acceptance of miracles, my rejection of the philosophy of naturalistic materialism, and the high value I place in biblical journeys of faith.

It forms the basis for the writing of this book…my other seven books on Christianity…and my eight books written…so far…on building construction.

What is really sad…from my perspective…is that people like Richard Dawkins write books saying that belief in the God of the Bible is a delusion…when as atheists they have no idea what they are talking about.

If we scrape the meringue off the top of a lemon meringue pie…we are left with only a lemon pie.  If we scrape the cream off the top of a chocolate cream pie…of course we are left with only a chocolate pie.

If we remove God off the top of the reality of life…out of our worldview…then we are left with the philosophy of naturalism…that our natural world is the sole explanation for the origin and continuance of the phenomenon we observe and experience in this life.

Atheists downgrade the Bible and Christianity into the zone of man-made, make-believe religion…which when critiqued through the equation of naturalism can only spit-out naturalistic answers.

The atheistic program is rigged…is heavily skewed in one direction only… from the outset.  The last people qualified on earth to opine on the divine origin of the Bible, the existence of God, and the transcendent message of Christianity…are atheists.

Atheists and skeptics are welcome to write books critical of the Bible and Christianity.

But their beginning negative bias that God does not exist creates inescapable garbage in/garbage out research programs…an example of confirmation bias applied over the entire database of issues being examined…that cannot rise above the over-arching paradigm of their starting worldview…that invalidates their ultimate conclusions.

            I am not a Christian because I was raised in a Christian home…or attended church growing up…or hung-out with friends who were believing Christians.  I did not attend a Christian elementary school or high school.  I was not convinced of the truth of the Bible and Christianity through apologetic arguments presented to me as a teenager.  I did not have an older Christian man or woman, relative or acquaintance, as an attractive role model to follow.

I am a Christian because I met God…the real God…the creator of the universe…personally.

This obviously lifts the discussion into a zone where atheists and skeptics cannot enter…because at the outset their worldview says that God does not exist at all…and therefore I cannot possibly know God on a personal basis…and am honestly mistaken or deluded.

In this essay, I want to first briefly establish a context for any honest truth-seeker evaluating genuine Christian experience.

If a researcher wants to honestly and reasonably evaluate the game of tennis…for example…the worst approach would be to intentionally visit the local tennis courts at a nearby high school on a windy Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

There the researcher would find novice beginners miss-hitting the tennis ball over the rear chain-link fence…or hitting it sideways into the adjacent courts…shouting “sorry” and “a little help” to adjacent court players being asked to return the errant tennis ball every five minutes.

If a person wants to observe real tennis…the place to go is to professional venues to watch tournaments…in person if possible…such as Wimbledon, the French Open, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, or tournaments at colleges and universities.

The place to go to evaluate real Christianity…is the Bible.  The gospels, the book of Acts, and the letters to the first-century Christian churches…give the genuine and authentic…God-authorized…examples of the Christian faith, doctrines, and practices when energized by the Holy Spirit.

The biblical narrative stories of faith describe people experiencing a personal relationship with God…which passes unnoticed as non-factual data…far underneath the perceptual radar of atheists analyzing the Bible…because the working hypothesis for the skeptic is that God does not exist.

There are Christians around the world today…that accurately represent and define the pinnacle…the peak…the apex of Christian character, service, and ministry to other people…according to their precise callings of God.

But these select people…like the professional tennis players…are relatively few in number.

We certainly can find high-quality Christians equivalent in our analogy to college and high school team-level tennis players…but the largest number of Christians would be categorized alongside the large number of casual weekend tennis players learning the game…and miss-hitting the ball.

Thoughts on Apologetics and Journeys of Faith 3

The question should be raised here…about the difficulty of anyone other than God inventing and composing a life-script that can get a perfect person to the cross on Calvary Hill in first-century Jerusalem.

How do you get a perfect person Jesus Christ all the way to the outward appearing, utter failure of the cross…traversing through the narrowest and tightest of circumstances…while turning this most catastrophic event into the most positive and productive salvation for mankind?

Everything in the life-script of Jesus Christ the Son of God…imagined and composed eons of time ago by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…is designed to get Jesus to the cross.

God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit have known from eternity past that the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross…has divine life.

The blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross has power for redemptive salvation, spiritual re-birth, and moral transformation for believers, but also has thorough and complete justification that enables people of faith to enter into a dynamic journey of faith wherein they can personally know the living God of the Bible…because this justification comes to us signed and sealed through the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Here the biblical narrative stories of faith enter squarely into the apologetics debate.

God displacing our ways with His higher ways…His higher thoughts…whether this results in an entirely new, major calling in our lives…like Abraham or the apostle Paul…or staying exactly where we are but becoming changed people with new spiritual hearts and new attitudes for the better…is openly supernatural to the core…and is plainly there in clear print in the pages of the Bible.

            What is the explanation for how this entirely non-natural, non-materialistic concept came into existence within the human marketplace of ideas?

            How can the biblical narrative stories of faith…having the novel element of the displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways…arise out of the void of absolute nothing in previous recorded human history…in a similar manner to the Big Bang creation of the physical universe…out of nothing ex nihilo…in essence out of the creative imagination of God?

Is this pure, absolute truth…as defined by God…divinely initiated through life-scripts that contain scenarios having goals and outcomes outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…which require God’s participation within joint-ventures with the people of faith that lift them up into a higher context where discovering the character and person of God is possible?

If this is the definition of truth actualized within people’s lives…theistic and supernatural to the core…then this is the last thing Satan wants out in the open in public debate as a viable and rational alternative for the leading of our lives…God-sovereignty in place of self-sovereignty…because it has no explanation originating from the conventionality of worldly thinking.

The gradualistic incrementalism of Richard Dawkin’s Mount Improbable would never take mankind to the advanced end-point of biblical faith…where God displaces our ways with His higher ways within a God-composed journey of faith life-script…which at its core is completely contrary to the dreams, goals, and aspirations we see within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

The idea that this concept of biblical faith…as deep and as sophisticated as any concept in existence…would originate as the product of material particles and energy according to the philosophical worldview of naturalism…is inconceivable…thus the question: “Where did it come from?”

I have the greatest admiration for the Christian apologists who debate world-renowned atheists in an open public forum.  I liken this to the steely courage and confidence needed by concert pianists or violinists performing concertos live on the stages of Carnegie Hall or the Hollywood Bowl…or to the confidence that major league baseball shortstops must have upon taking the field to start the game…knowing that the first pitch may be a groundball hit deep in the hole between third base and shortstop…necessitating getting to the ground ball…catching it…and then turning to throw a “bullet” across the infield diamond to get the speedy lead-off hitter out by a step.

The breadth of the preparation and the mastery of the subject matter are to be admired on both sides of the argument regarding the existence of God and the truthfulness of the Bible.

I can sit for hours in front of my computer screen watching on U-tube the discussions, lectures, and debates of my favorite apologists like Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, John C. Lennox, and others…brilliantly articulating with clarity and precision the Christian apologetic responses to some of the most difficult issues encountered in religion, philosophy, science, and practical living.

But I think one of the most important elements is still missing in the debate…an element accessible and discoverable on a popular level (Jn. 16:13; Jer. 31:34) by every Christian today who has picked up their cross and is following Jesus into their God-scripted destiny.

God displacing our ways with His higher ways…integral within every biblical narrative story of faith…in my opinion has not been fully recovered following the hugely positive breakthrough made during the Protestant Reformation…namely…that the common people should be able to directly read for themselves the Bible translated into their own language.

In my opinion, the Protestant Reformation does not deconstruct into the privatization of morality…in which each individual person determines what is right and wrong.

            God-composed journey of faith life-scripts…as illustrated in the biblical narrative stories of faith…place the authority to determine what is right and wrong…with God where it belongs

The outstanding novelty of the divine humility of Jesus that gets Him all the way to the cross…the humanistically unacceptable and offensive component of the gospel message that jettisons worldly conventional normalcy and thinking overboard…and the unthinkably un-worldly process of a biblical-quality journey of faith that introduces God-sovereignty into our lives through the cross of Jesus Christ…uniformly portrayed throughout the narrative stories of faith in the Bible…is in my view almost irrefutable evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the Bible…because their origin cannot plausibly come from human literary invention.

Win the brilliant, ongoing Christian apologetics argument raging within scholarly academia and the popular culture…using evidences from the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and Christians have thereby offered a compelling rebuttal to the objections originating from atheistic and skeptical unbelief…opening the way for people to work free from debilitating untruths…towards a personal relationship with God through belief in Jesus Christ as Savior.

But the biblical narrative stories of faith argue compellingly for a divine origin of the Bible itself…based upon the innovative originality of their storylines…taking the debate upward a level or two…above the standard evidences coming from within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and thus outside of the reach of traditional, skeptical criticism.

Thoughts on Apologetics and Journeys of Faith 2

Because the atheist does not believe that the real God even exists…in a contemporary Christian apologetics public debate…the tug-of-war on the Christian side is to pull the issues up into the realm of belief where the evidences are valid and amenable to serious evaluation…versus the atheist side attempting to pull the issues down into the zone of human invented religious fiction…where the Christian arguments are by definition thereby downgraded to have no validity or truth-value.

This describes the huge gap between belief and unbelief…a gap which in itself defies an explanation of having an origin deriving from a humanly invented literary fiction…a gap of separation being far too novel and complex for human imagination…and way beyond any motivation for humanistic creative invention.

Some typical examples of issues argued in public debates are: the hypocrisy of institutionalized Christianity in the historical past when it overlaps into “religion” that produces un-Christ like religious intolerance…the seeming difficulty in explaining the presence of evil and suffering in a God-created world…whether or not the multi-verse or many-worlds hypothesis is a plausible, random-chance, substitute explanation for the obvious intelligent design we observe in the fine-tuning of the natural world…the reliability of the Old and New Testament texts as ancient documents…and the historical validity of the gospel records of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

These and other important issues belong to a group of typical and repetitive topics that…due to change and progress over time…have arisen from within the skeptical and anti-theistic portion of the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking (1 Cor. 2:6-12)…where, by definition, these secularized questions…being ordinary, commonplace, and non-supernatural…occupy the zone of unbelief where atheists, agnostics, and skeptics live and think.

But arguably the centermost human issue at the heart of reality…the displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways…which enables God-sovereignty to become actualized in people’s lives…as portrayed throughout the Bible and as a reality in the lives of tens of millions of Spirit-born Christians today…including this writer…is entirely missed by religious skeptics…and more importantly is avoided at all costs by Satan.

Atheists and skeptics cannot see the displacement element within biblical journeys of faith…first because their starting worldview bias of unbelief so thoroughly blinds them they cannot see the data…and second this concept does not exist anywhere within the wide expanse of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…to draw meaningful comparisons with.

This is why the concept of biblical faith…of God displacing our ways with His ways according to the cross of Christ that creates the gap described in Hebrews 11:1 of biblical faith to actualize in space and time…falls outside of the field of comparative religious studies.

The starting premise of comparative religious studies is that all religions have a humanistic origin…that all religions are man-made mythology…that gods are humanly created gods…and thus can fall within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and are thereby accessible to study, research, comparison, and critical analysis.

But the key point I want to make here is that Satan does not want to get anywhere near this central biblical concept of the inducement of God-sovereignty into people’s lives by means of the displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways…this uniquely inexplicable transition from worldly conventional self-sovereignty to unconventional God-sovereignty…that is built into every narrative story of faith in the Bible…and every born-again salvation experience today.

Satan will not attack this exclusively biblical concept outright and directly…because he does not want it discussed and debated out in the open. 

This is an element of cunning malice and diabolical deception that has yet to be fully unearthed and articulated within the apologetics arena…because it will not originate from the direction of philosophical atheism to be responded to in the historically “normal” way in the Christian apologetics reactive mode.

This specific argument for the existence of God and the truthfulness of the Bible…must originate from within Christian experience and theology.  It cannot possibly come from within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…because it does not exist there.

There are basically two halves to the cross.

Salvation by grace through faith…through the blood of Christ shed on the cross…being the first half…is the open door into the second half…a divinely composed journey of faith for new covenant Christians (Jer. 31:31-34; Jn. 14:6).

Ephesians 6:12 tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Satan has been working to prevent people from entering into the kingdom of God…for thousands of years…through the use of cunningly deceptive arguments and the most alluring enticements of worldly wealth, power, and fame (Mt. 4:8-9; Mk. 8:36).

But Satan also does not want the second half of the cross…the displacement of our ways with God’s ways…out there in open debate for public consideration.

Satan cannot attack the displacement element that opens up the context for God-sovereignty to actualize in people’s lives…arguably one of the key components in a biblical journey of faith…in open debate coming from the zone of philosophical atheism as has been typical in the past…because this concept does not exist anywhere in worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

            Acknowledging its existence indirectly validates and highlights its divine origin.

By bringing the displacement element in the biblical narrative stories of faith into the discussion…this focuses upon and elevates this issue into the realm of those topics worthy to be debated.

It cannot be brought lower…reduced down into the horizontal zone of worldly conventional thinking…without giving away the clear inference of its divine origin…because nothing in worldly conventional normalcy and thinking relates to this unique concept.

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