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The Intellectual Price Tag

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18, NKJV).


“But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus” (Acts 19:9).


“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).


Let me paraphrase modern attacks on religion in general and Christianity in particular: Christians are irrational, unscientific, unreasonable, and unenlightened. Christians accept fairy tales and wild superstitions from time long ago before there was science, but

now we know better, and you need to grow up. You are dangerous and holding the world back. You have blind faith; you just believe where there is no evidence. We, atheists, cannot have blind faith; we would have to set our brains aside, and the intellectual price tag

is too high. So it goes.


As Christians, we are used to these kinds of accusations from the world. The kingdom of darkness will never stop attacking the kingdom of light until the Lord comes again.


But is belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, in the creation account, in the veracity and inspiration of the Scriptures really unreasonable? By whose standards?


If you note the Scriptures above, they all have one thing in common: an appeal to reason. If you survey the book of Acts, you will see these words repeated: reasoned and persuaded. Never a call to blind faith (faith without evidence). Sometimes, signs were accompanying the message. The gospel was spread in just this way. Not by the sword, not by the power of the government, not by a social movement, not by mass psychological methods. Wherever they went, they testified of the resurrected Christ, reasoned and persuaded others to believe it, and committed their lives to this resurrected Lord.


In the Romans passage, Paul claims that presenting ourselves to God is the only reasonable thing to do. Given Who He is, Who Christ is, and what He has done, the only reasonable response is to submit to Him.


The Scriptures themselves say to “test all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). God in His

Word is open to inquiry from His creation. I believe He does not have to be; His choosing

to do so is an act of grace towards us.


So, we need not be intimidated or browbeaten by the charges the world makes. But we need

to be ready to give answers, which requires study and effort. We especially need to be able

to give answers to our children and grand- children so that when they hear the world’s

charges, they can think critically about them.


One thing to also remember: there is an intellectual price tag to atheism too—and in

my opinion is much, much higher than the Christian’s. Consider the multiverse theory.

This is a popular answer to the fact that the earth is very finely tuned for life—unique

among any other place we know of in the universe. Since it is beyond all reason to

say that so many things could align through random chance, a new theory is put forward:

that there are actually an infinite number of universes, and so in an infinite number of

universes, all possibilities exist, and therefore ours exists. Does this sound scientific to you,

given that it is completely unprovable and cannot even be examined? Or does it sound

like an intellectual dodge by someone who is willing to believe in anything, so long as it is

not the God of this universe?


We need not be intimidated by our trust in the Lord. There are excellent reasons to believe.

If you would like to study some of them, let me know. Today, let us worship the great God

Who made heaven and earth.


—John Ostic



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