R-2 Reason (continued)

Reasoning Applied to the Creation Discussion (an example):

Biblical reasoning may be applied to find answers to the “Why” questions of the creation discussion.  As previously discussed, the Christian’s reasoning will differ form the reasoning process of unbelievers.  Biblical reasoning is based on a plain reading of Scripture. It is developed by continuous meditation; and relies of the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

One good reasoning technique is to write out “why” questions and then use reasoning to develop answers to these questions.  Another technique is to produce a drawing or exhibit that summarizes the results of reasoning through a “why” question or series of “why” questions.

There are many topics and questions within the creation discussion.  In this portion, only one topic, “Humankind” will be examined.  Reasoning through “Humankind” will show students to how to go about the reasoning process to answer other “why” questions.

The first step in reasoning is to research (R-1) what the Bible says about a topic.  Good reasoning can never be accomplished without good research.  Start with a Bible study on the subject.

Some significant verses that answer “why” questions in the topic of “humankind” include:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion… (Genesis 1:26).”

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:17).”

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and our children for ever, that we may do all the words of the law (Deuteronomy 29:29).”

“… for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45).”

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him who sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has passed out of death into life (John 5:24).”

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or excusing one another; (Romans 1:14 & 15).”

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God: (Romans 3:23).”

“But the natural man received not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Corinthians 2:14).”

The above verses describe the nature of humankind and how humankind interacts with creation discussion.  From these verses we can identify grounds for conclusion (the “Why” questions) as follows:

  • Humankind was created in Gods image to have dominion over His creation.
  • All humankind has sinned; as a result, all humankind is spiritually dead.
  • Those who believe the gospel are saved and have passed into life. They are privileged to know the Lord and appreciate His word.
  • The natural man does not understand the things of the Lord.
  • God’s common grace falls on the natural man.

From the conclusions of Bible study (R-1) write out common questions and then answer them.  Here are some common questions and answers concerning humankind as related to the creation discussion:

Q: Is it reasonable for the unsaved person to believe the Biblical account of creation?

A: No, the natural person is spiritually dead, and the truths of the Bible (including creation) are foolishness to them. 

Q: Is it possible for non-believer to know God? 

A: The natural man is aware of God through the majesty of creation and God’s providence.  However, this general revelation is not enough for salvation. 

Q: Is it possible for non-believers to excel in science? 

A: Non-believers, through common grace, can accomplish great thing in all areas of life.  All humankind was created in God’s image.  However, this image was marred by sin.

The conclusions reached by reasoning can also be presented graphically.  The “Limits of knowledge Illustration” show this:

THE LIMITS OF KNOWLEDGE ILLUSTRATION

In the Limits of Knowledge Illustration, the first and smallest (most limiting) “box” illustrates the limits of knowledge imposed by the official positions of the scientific consensus.  These positions include naturalism, an evolutionary origin of humankind, and no acknowledgement of God.  Many non-believers and even some Christians allow their knowledge to be limited by the scientific consensus.

The second “box” shows the extent of knowledge available to the “Natural” man, this includes God’s general revelation of himself.  The natural man can know that there is a God through the majesty of creation and God’s works of providence.

The third” box” shows the extent of knowledge available to Christians.  Scripture liberates the believer to consider the supernatural aspects of God and encourages faith.  Christians are also able to recognize and appreciate common grace in non-believers and those within the scientific consensus.

God is beyond the “boxes.” He is all knowing and sovereignly elects to keep some things secret to Himself.