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Copyright 2013, 2014 Domenic Marbaniang
Published by Domenic Marbaniang at Scribd (2014)
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INTRODUCTION ........................................................................ 5
CAN FAITH BE LOGICAL? .......................................................... 7
HOW COULD FAITH IN GOD ALONE BE RATIONAL?............... 10
ISN’T EVERYTHING DIVINE? ................................................... 14
AREN’T THERE MANY, SOMETIMES EVEN CONTRADICTORY,
WAYS TO GOD? ...................................................................... 17
IS THE TRINITY A NECESSARY DOCTRINE? ............................. 19
ISN’T EVOLUTIONISM MORE LOGICAL THAN CREATIONISM?22
IF GOD KNEW THAT MAN WOULD SIN, WHY CREATE MAN? 26
CAN GOD CREATE A STONE THAT HE CANNOT LIFT? ............ 28
WHY SHOULD GOD JUDGE SIN?............................................. 29
HOW CAN JESUS BE GOD AND MAN AT THE SAME TIME? .... 31
HOW CAN ONE MAN DIE FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE
WORLD? ................................................................................. 33
IS THERE A RATIONAL WAY TO JUDGE THE RELIABILITY OF THE
BIBLE ...................................................................................... 35
“For those who believe, no proof is necessary.
For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.”
“Proof,” “evidence,” and “witness” are important terms in the
Bible. The Bible never encourages blind faith. God provides both
rational and empirical proofs to confirm His word. He calls man
to reason with Him (Isaiah 1:18), because conversion without
conviction is duplicity and faith without reason is folly. A great
portion of prophetic literature and the teachings of the New
Testament are filled with rational arguments (and by
“arguments” here is meant reasoning, not strife) that went
along the witness and persuasion of truth. Many times object
lessons, analogies, and parables helped to illustrate the logic of
the discussion. In addition, in the historical experience of God’s
people, God also confirmed His words by His works of miracles
and wonders, empirical proofs for faith. The miracles were not
the ends; they were auxiliary to the witness of the word.
Rational evidence is not devoid of the framework of faith. It
might be scriptural reasoning where one uses the acceptability
of scriptures as grounds for using texts to prove a doctrinal
point. Or, it might be extra-biblical reasoning where one uses
other acceptable and truthful (not false) premises to rationally
make a point.
Now, reasoning makes use of familiar and acceptable
categories; therefore, apologetics to a theist would differ from
apologetics to an atheist. Thus, Paul used the advantage of the
Athenian belief in divinity to preach about what they regarded
as “The Unknown God”. He didn’t need to address atheism
when he argued that the God who made the world and all
things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell
in temples made with hands nor is served by human hands, as
though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people
life and breath and all things (Acts 17:24-26). Further, he also
found a support for his reasoning in a familiar quote by a
prophet of their own faith. Of course, he never quoted the Old
Testament here as he would do among the Jews, because the
Old Testament didn’t hold an authoritative evidential status in
the Greek mind; though, when he witnessed among the Jews,
he did make ample use of the Old Testament.
In this present volume, our focus will be on rational evidences,
especially with reference to categories generally used in
philosophy. Our goal will be to rationally address few of the
philosophical challenges to the Christian faith and demonstrate
the wisdom of the Biblical revelation. We will use philosophical
arguments and when necessary Biblical reasons for the
clarification of doctrinal points.
CAN FAITH BE LOGICAL?
There are a few folks who believe that faith cannot be logical; in
other words, it can neither be rationally expressed nor justified.
Some of these try to propose the method of transcending logic
in order to experience the truth of faith. However, such
approaches leave disastrous results.
1. If faith cannot be rationally justified, then faith-claims
cannot be investigated. This is so because every claim
can be expressed in propositional statements; and
every statement is either true or false and, thus, subject
to the law of non-contradiction for the sake of
understandability. A statement cannot be true and false
at the same time; if it is so, it is being ambiguous and
open to many interpretations, and consequentially is
either neutral or meaningless. Contradictory
interpretations themselves can be expressed in
statements and these statements must clarify what
they mean to say in order to be verified as true or false.
An ambiguous faith-claim is a claim about nothing.
Therefore, faith-claims must be rationally verifiable.
2. Propositional faith and personal faith are not separable.
If I say I have faith in Jesus, I mean to also say that I
believe in what I know about Him and so believe in Him.
That faith is not vacuous of the knowledge of the claims
regarding Jesus. Thus, we declare/confess with our
mouth the faith-claim that “Jesus is Lord” and believe in
our heart that God raised Him from the dead in order to
be saved (Rom.10:9). There are some who talk of
impersonal or supra-personal, supra-rational intuition;
such talk is also a faith-claim that can be stated in a
sentence whose meaningfulness can be ascertained
rationally. Sometimes, a faith-statement might be
analogical only; sometimes, it may use certain words
with a meaning that is not known to others who have
not had such a religious experience. However, we at
least can be assured of this fact that any claim
whatsoever must not contradict itself, or else it will be
nonsensical. Thus, we can safely talk about rational
3. If faith is illogical, then logic itself becomes unreliable.
This was a paradox that Blaise Pascal, the father of
modern computer, suggested. If we say that we believe
in the laws of logic, we also imply that logic is based on
faith; which in turn also implies that faith cannot
contradict reason which is actually based upon it.
Reason without faith is unusable and faith without
reason is blind.
4. The Bible teaches us that divine wisdom is “open to
reason” (James 3:18, RSV). It is not afraid of reasoning
and persuasion. The absolute claims of the Bible are
open to both rational and empirical investigation. Jesus
always gave both rational (his logical answers to
questions) and empirical (works that He did) evidence
to His claims. The Bible talks about His giving “many
infallible proofs” of His resurrection to His disciples.
Biblical faith is logical.
In this book we investigate the rational evidences for faith. We
might not so much go into the traditional arguments; but, only
focus on what would be more contemporarily relevant
HOW COULD FAITH IN GOD ALONE BE
There are some who think that belief in God is not rational.
However, what they actually are doing is using some empirical
argument to cross out the possibility of divine existence. For
instance, they say “If God exists, He should be visible; we don’t
see Him, therefore He doesn’t exist.” That is an empirical
(experience-based) argument; and an empirical argument has
no business making claims against the rationality of a belief.
Someone else could rightly retort, “Why, I don’t see your brain;
so, you must be a brainless creature!” Or “Why then do
scientists believe in an electron when they’ve never seen one?”
Someone else argued, “If God created the world, then who
created God? Therefore, God doesn’t exist.” That is not an
argument at all because there is no necessary connection
between the question and the conclusion. Another makes a
hypothesis that if God can be eternal then the universe can also
be eternal; but, that claim must be sufficiently established to
the extent that the possibility of God’s existence is zero; until
then, nothing of absolute nature is established by such an
argument. Probabilities still have room for anything to be
possible; and one cannot stake faith on probabilities – that too
against God! Rationality involves necessary implications which
empirical arguments cannot entail. Empirical arguments are
something that we hope to deal with in the next volume of this
book; but, here we’ll concentrate on how faith in God alone can
1. Logical certainty demands the absolute necessity of
divine existence. If God did not exist, then logic lacks an
absolute foundation. Then, either logic itself is the
absolute self-existent reality or else is the delusionary
effect of the haphazard interplay of chance and matter.
If it is a delusionary effect, then all talk, including the
question of divine existence, is a delusion; but, how can
delusion discern itself as delusion? That is self-
contradictory. The other option is that logic must be
eternal and self-existent. That raises logic to the dignity
of the divine. But, we can’t turn an attribute into a
concrete entity. Logic is an attribute, not an entity. We
can talk of something as being logical, but we cannot
talk of logic as a thing. It is a quality that is discerned
and used by the mind. Thus, it can’t be self-existent.
The only way logic can be absolute is if there is an
absolute, personal, and intelligent being that eternally
discerns and uses logic. This being is God.
2. The sense of morality itself is based on the innate
knowledge of the divine. Somebody argued that moral
knowledge is taught by society and so cannot be true.
Of course, not everything bearing the label of morality
must be moral. Most of them might only be man-made
customs and traditions. However, one cannot come up
with an argument that all mathematics is wrong
because students learn it at school! We are talking here
about the very sense of right and wrong, the idea of
absolute morality. It is that logical sense that is able to
evaluate whether a particular rule claimed as being
moral is truly moral or not; whether a certain law is
truly lawful or not. If morality is not absolute then, all
moral talk is a moral mistake. Okay, I used the term
“moral mistake”, because it would be immoral to
prescribe or argue for a moral rule that is not moral
intrinsically. But, evidently, the moral sense cannot be
bypassed. It is always there. It praises some, it haunts
others. The above argument of rational logic (1) can be
applied to moral logic as well. Moral logic is either
based on the eternal and moral nature of God, or it is
delusionary. It cannot be delusionary for reasons we
have observed earlier; therefore, moral logic is based
on the eternal and moral nature of God.
3. The sense of infinity in the heart of man points to the
necessary existence of an eternally self-conscious and
self-determined being; in other words, an eternal,
infinite Person. Philosophers have long been puzzled by
the sense of infinity within the hearts of man. Space
doesn’t permit to mention the array of reflections that
the history of philosophy has bequeathed to us. One
Greek philosopher asked his students, “If I stand on the
edge of the Universe and flung a spear outwards, where
will it go?” The students, certainly, might have been
dumbfounded because if it’s the edge, what could be
beyond that – but, the mind isn’t able to conceive of an
edge of the Universe, does it? The Bible records for us
in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God has put eternity in the
hearts of men, so that they cannot find out what God
has done from the beginning to the end. The sense of
infinity is not merely about what is beyond the edge of
the Universe, or what was before the beginning of time;
it is that which incites the sense of awe and inspiration,
the sense of poetic abstraction and tranquility, the
ability to soar beyond the fringes of temporal limits and
revel in things of eternal significance; it is that sense
which can make one look at the starry sky above and
mutter in rhythmic beauty, “Twinkle, twinkle little star,
how I wonder what you are!” It’s the birthplace of
wonder and metaphysical ponderings. It is that which
forces us to ask who we are in this cage of temporal
existence and draws us in search of the Eternal God, the
Source and Creator of this infinite void within that He
alone can fill.
ISN’T EVERYTHING DIVINE?
“Ah, God is in everything and everything is God,” a quite
pluralistically inclined man once said to me.
“God is everywhere doesn’t imply that everything is God,” I
“He is in everything, so everything is God.”
“So, you mean He is in this furniture so this furniture is God?”
“He is in this wall, so this wall is God?”
“Is He also in the shit? So, you would worship it?
“He can’t be in that thing!”
“But, you said that since He is in everything, everything is God.”
“But, not this way!”
Evidently, pantheism is a belief-system that cannot be fully
bought in with all its implications. Its irrationality becomes quite
evident when we begin to evaluate it logically.
Linguistic rationality rejects pantheistic requisites. Pantheism
suffers from ultimate semantic confusion. It confuses the
identity of entities and thereby the terminology of language.
The results are comical. A devotee once went to a Guru and
desired the knowledge of God. The Guru told him everything,
that everything was God, that he was God, and that every leaf
and petal of the flower resonated with the life of God. The
devotee was elated by this secret knowledge and left with
sublime feelings towards his home. On the way, he encountered
an elephant with a rider on top of it coming towards him. The
rider shouted, “Move out of the way or you’ll be crushed!” But,
the man reasoned, “I am God and this elephant is also God. How
can God crush God?” So, he ignored the warnings of the rider
and stood right in the middle of the way. Eventually, the
elephant came near him, wrapped him in its trunk and threw
him away. Road clear. The hurt devotee ran back to the Guru
and cried in his anguish, “You said that everything is God, then
how come God (the elephant) hurt God (me)?” The Guru was
not impressed. He calmly explained, “Because you didn’t obey
God (the rider).”
Ludicrous as the tale may appear, it brings out one significant
problem with the pantheistic worldview. If all is God, then God
becomes the synonym for everything? Imagine a language with
just one necessary noun, God, because everything in the world
can be identified as God! Imagine a statement like this, “I am
going to God to buy some Gods for my God.” Actually, the
speaker wanted to say, “I am going to the pharmacy to buy
some medicines for my wife.” If pantheism is denied anywhere,
it is certainly denied in the practical use of language.
AREN’T THERE MANY, SOMETIMES EVEN
CONTRADICTORY, WAYS TO GOD?
The fact of the “many” is readily understood; however, the facts
about the “contradictory” are not usually understood;
especially, because many folks have only a surface idea of the
various varying belief-systems. However, it is expected that we
at least admit that two contradictory ways, for instance one that
says that blowing airplanes and killing infidels is the will of God
and the other that says that being a good Samaritan for hurting
ones is the will of God, cannot be both equally right at the same
time. That’s why they are “contradictory”. Contradictory doesn’t
just mean going in two different directions; contradictory simply
means that one is the negative of the other, one negates the
other; consequentially, only one of them can be the positive
one. Now, contradictory viewpoints might exist between sects
sharing the same religious label. The Law of Non-contradiction
We can quote here two examples of obvious contradictions
between the various belief systems:
1. The God of pantheism is everything; the God of
polytheism is anyone; the God of atheism is no one, and
the God of monotheism is only one. Consequentially,
pantheism should lead to everything; polytheism
should lead to anyone; atheism should lead to no one;
and monotheism should lead to the only one.
2. Sin in pantheism, and also in dualism, is complementary
to cosmic balance; sin in polytheism is enmity against
some deity (one can’t please every god/goddess at the
same time anyway); and sin in monotheism is violation
of God’s command. Consequentially, sin in pantheism is
necessary; sin in polytheism is relative; and sin in
monotheism is penal.
IS THE TRINITY A NECESSARY DOCTRINE?
The Doctrine Stated
God is One is essence but three in persons. Each of the persons
within the Godhead is deity. The oneness of God and the
threeness of God are not contradictions. The Trinity (Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit) is eternal. Each of the persons of the
Godhead is of the same essence and is not inferior or superior
to the others in the Godhead.
The Importance of the Doctrine
1. Ground of Morality
The Doctrine of Trinity provides the rational-eternal basis for
moral categories – If God was not a Trinity, then categories such
as love, joy, and goodness couldn’t be absolute.
2. Ground of Relationality
The Doctrine of Trinity provides the relational basis for
interpersonal relationships. Therefore, Christ could pray
regarding His disciples, “that they may be one, as We are one”
3. Ground of Knowability
The Doctrine of Trinity provides the rational-empirical basis for
epistemic categories – if God was not a Trinity, then knowledge
as a subject-object relationship, as analytic-synthetic distinction,
and Truth as such couldn’t find an original ground.
4. Ground of Plurality
The Doctrine of Trinity provides the metaphysical ground for a
pluralist reality, and unity in diversity of the uni-verse.
The Rational Anticipation Principle and the Doctrine of Trinity
The third criterion of Revelation in Indian philosophy is Rational
Anticipation; the first two being the principle of not-this-worldly
(alaukika) and the principle of non-contradiction (abadhita; i.e.
revelation must not contradict known facts).
The question is whether the doctrine of Trinity meets the
principle of Rational Anticipation?
We’ll quickly look at two arguments to check out the same.
1. The Argument from the Possibility of Knowledge
a. If God exists, He must be an intelligent being (or else,
intelligence is an accident and truth is impossible- but, to say
truth is impossible is to contradict self; therefore, truth exists
and has its eternal ground in God).
b. Intelligence involves Knowledge and Knowledge involves a
c. Eternal intelligence must involve eternally a Subject-Object
d. This distinction must be internal and eternal (since, nothing
can be infinite and eternal outside the Godhead – God is by
nature infinite, and there cannot be more than one infinite).
e. Complete distinction requires at least three persons (I, You,
f. Therefore, possibility of knowledge rationally anticipates the
Three Persons in a Subject-Object relationship.
2. The Argument from Morality
a. If God exists, He must be a moral being (or else, morality is a
temporal category and ultimately and eternally meaningless).
b. Morality involves community (Without community, morality
is meaningless; for where there is only one person there is no
moral obligation to anyone because there is no other person).
c. A community involves persons who are morally responsible to
d. Responsibility involves a witness (which in turn requires the
community to be composed of at least three persons,
necessarily speaking: beyond that is not-necessary).
e. Therefore, the existence of morality rationally anticipates the
Three Persons in an eternal Community relationship.
ISN’T EVOLUTIONISM MORE LOGICAL THAN
Evolutionism concerns the problem of the origin and nature of
living reality. Evolutionism, in science, refers to the theory that
the many complex organisms now existent descended or
evolved from relatively fewer and simpler organisms. The
hypothetical nature of evolutionism, despite accruement of
evidences in support, yet inability to verify in prediction or
through experimentation, has led some to label it as being not a
scientific theory but a philosophical one.
Creationism, the orthodox view, asserts the doctrine that God
created the whole world in six days. There are other forms of
creationism; however, discussion here will spotlight on just the
orthodox biblical view in contradiction to the popular scientific
A few of the empirical arguments against evolutionism quote
the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the problem of missing
links, issues related to the dating methods, and certain
evidences for a young earth. Such arguments make use of
scientific information to investigate the claims of evolutionists.
In this book, however, we only deal with the rational
examination of evolutionism and creationism.
1. If the human brain is the product of blind evolution,
then “truth” is accidental and therefore not absolute;
intelligence is capricious and therefore unreliable;
reason is mechanical and therefore non-objective. If
that is so then the very claims that evolutionism makes
would be untrue, relative, unreliable, and non-
objective. In other words, evolutionism would have self-
judged itself as false. This is self-defeating.
2. Further, if the category of “truth” is produced by the
interplay of deterministic physical and impersonal
forces, then “truth” would be determined and
consequentially not free. If “truth” is not free of
deterministic influence, then it lacks objectivity,
abstraction, and permanence, being subject to the flux
and change inherent to the Universe. In that case, the
sense of “truthfulness” would be self-delusionary. But,
how can one make claims to truth if “truth” itself is
devalued? One cannot sit on a branch that he cuts off
from the trunk of the tree.
The Anthropic Principle and Epistemic Issues
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines the Anthropic
Principle as “the cosmological principle that theories of the
universe are constrained by the necessity to allow human
existence. In its ‘weak’ form the principle affirms that a universe
in which living observers cannot exist is inherently
unobservable. ‘Strong’ forms take this line of reasoning further,
seeking to explain features of the universe as being so because
they are necessary for human existence.”
Following are the chief epistemic issues associated with this
1. If the Anthropic Principle is applied to evolutionary
theory, then the result is self-contradiction: the laws
are deterministic, while evolutionism is founded on
chance, probability, and randomness. In addition, the
mind that is the end result of the deterministic process
is also part of the deterministic whole; therefore,
“truth” is not transcendent; as a result, the “observer”
cannot exist: but, this is not the case (or at least should
not be) if the anthropic principle is posited at all and we
claim to be the intelligent observers of the universe. In
brief, if the anthropic principle is applied to
evolutionary theory, then science would become
impossible due to the immanent determinism involved
— which is self-defeat.
2. On the other hand, if the observer is magnified above
the perception of objects (as in Advaitism), then the
universe or pluriverse as objective reality ceases to
really exist: in which case, again, science is ultimately
invalidated. (Refer also to discussions on the
Heisenberg Principle: the observer determines the
3. However, even if one opts for nihilism and the doctrine
of emptiness of both the observer and the objective
universe (as in Madhyamaka), then again science as an
objective discipline is invalidated.
4. The Anthropic Principle involves a conflict of idealism
and materialism. The question involved is “What is the
world ultimately composed of and how do we know it?”
Unless that is solved, the debate is unresolved.
5. The idealistic theory would suggest that the world is
composed of ideas observed by the mind; therefore,
the “anthropic principle” is ultimately subjective. Even
the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant posits a
mind that possesses the categories and rules by which
the world is understood. As such then, the “anthropic
principle” would merely be a principle imposed on
reality by the mind.
6. The materialistic theory, however, would land us in
problem no. 1 discussed earlier.
Christian Theological Viewpoint
1. The universe is intelligently designed with a purpose by
God, the Intelligent Designer.
2. The earth is unique habitat of physical life and man is
the only creature who has freewill and the ability to
know truth and choose his actions in accordance to
3. Therefore, Truth is transcendent and human actions are
moral (not deterministic, but bearing eternal
IF GOD KNEW THAT MAN WOULD SIN, WHY
1. The alternative positions to Christianity must be
considered, first of all.
a. Atheism. According to it, God doesn’t exist;
therefore, the problem of ‘why’ He created the
world also doesn’t exist. However, the atheist must
admit that ultimately ‘why’ the universe exists also
is a meaningless question. Thus, lacking any eternal
and absolute ground of existence, morality and
justice are illusory concepts. In fact, the above
question presupposes morality; for the question
implies that God, by creating the world despite
foreknowing its misery, appears to be evil rather
than good. However, if an absolute such as morality
doesn’t exist, then it would be meaningless to
either convict or justify God. Thus, the question
itself would be meaningless. In that sense, the
atheist would have to rid himself absolutely of any
moral obligation at all.
b. Pantheism. According to it, all is God and God is all;
therefore, evil is a part of the nature of God.
Consequently, there is no ultimate line of division
between good and evil.
c. Polytheism. According to it, a motley of deities
exist; therefore, since the deities are imperfect and
not omniscient, imperfection is expected in their
2. The question commits the error of applying space-time
(material) categories to the infinite God. First of all, the
word ‘foreknowledge’ is conceived in terms of someone
knowing something beforehand, that is, in the past.
However, God cannot be considered to be conditioned
by past, present, and future; if that was so, it will lead
to temporalizing God. The eternality of God belongs to
His nature of being infinite. God is not a time-entity.
Therefore, since the question is wrong, an answer
cannot be expected. For if the value of the question is
zero, the value of its answer will be zero as well.
CAN GOD CREATE A STONE THAT HE CANNOT
The so-called paradox of the stone asks: “Can God (Who is
omnipotent) create a stone so heavy that He could not lift it?” If
so, then He cannot be omnipotent; if not, then He is not
The comparative “heavier” doesn’t apply to infinity; therefore,
the question is contradictory and, consequently, meaningless.
1. Infinity is that which is without a beginning, a middle,
and an end. Therefore, internal comparisons don’t
apply to it.
2. Only a greater infinite can supersede an infinite; but,
“a greater infinite” is a meaningless category, since
infinite is the maximal superlative.
Consequently, it can be answered that God cannot create a
stone that He cannot lift, because there is absolutely nothing
that God cannot lift. Positively speaking, God is the superlative
powerful one. He cannot self-contradict. Thus, the question
“Can God create a stone that He cannot lift” imposes a logical
contradiction of terms, and so is itself absurd. A square cannot
be a square and a circle at the same time.
WHY SHOULD GOD JUDGE SIN?
Sin can only be sin if it has an eternal dimension. Sin can only
have an eternal dimension if there are eternal beings. Sin can be
said to have an eternal dimension only if there is an eternal
moral order that it violates so as to have eternal repercussions.
In this sense, then, sin is the violation of an eternal moral order.
‘Where there is no law, there is no transgression.’
Sin exists as a disruptive factor among eternal beings. The
eternal moral order is founded upon the nature of the Source
(of all being): God the eternal Spirit who is Love (the excellence
of moral relationality). Consequentially, the eternal order is an
order of love. Truth is the consistent characteristic of this
eternal order; therefore, justice is the necessary antidote to the
violation of the order. Therefore, sin is essentially the distortion
of love and truth with eternal repercussions. In other words, it is
a violation of the eternal order (definitive) of love and truth. A
violation of the eternal order is directed against the Source and
Ground of the eternal order – God. In this sense, then, sin is
primarily always sin against God and then sin against others.
Thus, sin cannot be defined in terms of temporal comfort and
consent. In other words, no individual or group of people by
reference to present comfort and mutual consent can redefine
what sin is and what sin is not. Sin is never merely temporal; it is
The creation of God is a system of volitional and non-volitional
beings. If creation were a machine, the order of the system
would be free from disruption. The active participation of
volitional beings in the cosmic system makes sin a possibility.
Justice may be defined as the administration of moral order by
means of rewards and punishment. Divine justice is God’s way
of maintaining moral order in the world. Since, the earth is given
to humans; humans can violate the way things were meant to
be by exploiting nature and fellow humans as things for selfish
purposes. This only invites divine wrath (punishment). Moral
anarchy invites punishment.
HOW CAN JESUS BE GOD AND MAN AT THE
In the Incarnation, Christ partook of human nature, so that
through Him we might become partakers of the divine nature
and experience the glorious liberty of the children of God
(Heb.2:14; Rom.8:15-17,21,23). Paul mentions that Jesus was
made in the likeness of men (Phil.2:7) and John records that He
was made flesh (Jn.1:14), both using the same Greek word
ginomai for “made”, asserting the realness of His humanity. This
doesn’t imply that there was any change in His divinity. That
could never be; for, God is beyond change – He is immutable.
But, since “the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also
Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He
might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the
devil” (Heb.2:14-15; cf. Col.1:13).
1. The Virgin Birth of Jesus speaks of His divinity. He was
not created by the union of a man and a woman; He
could not be created because He is the Eternal One; He
pre-exists. He incarnated as a human by being born of a
woman through the power of the Holy Spirit. His
divinity, thus, is eternal; his humanity, permanent.
2. No man can be God; because man by nature is a
created being, but God by nature is uncreated and
eternal, the Source of all life. But God can partake of
human nature and still be God, because His divinity is
necessary and eternal and human nature is contingent
upon, and not beyond, Him.
The Bible tells us that Christ partook of human nature by
emptying Himself (kenosis) and making Himself of no
reputation. In other words, His partaking of our human nature
was not necessary, but voluntary. That is why His self-giving on
the Cross is known to us as the ultimate Sacrifice.
HOW CAN ONE MAN DIE FOR THE SINS OF THE
The Scandal of Particularity questions how one Man could be
God and also be the Savior of the whole world. There are two
pictures in the Bible that answer this:
1. Surety. Jesus Christ is made the surety of the New Covenant
by which participants in the Covenant share in the blessings of
the Covenant (Hebrews 7:22). Now, a surety is someone who
provides a warrant or guarantee for another. If I wish to borrow
Rs.5000/- from a creditor, and he doesn’t trust me, he would
ask for a guarantor or surety, who answers to him and is willing
to pay in case I am not able to pay the amount back. Similarly,
when we were weak and without strength, and in a state when
we could not repay our debts, Christ paid the penalty of our
2. Priest. A Priest is a legally appointed Mediator who
represents man before God; as such, Christ, appointed after the
order of Melchizedek as a Priest forever, provides a better
sacrifice than the blood of animals that the priests after the
Aaronic order presented for centuries before Him. Their
sacrifices couldn’t have efficacy since they had to make
atonement for their own sins first, then for the sins of the
people. In addition, the blood of temporal animals cannot
adequately atone for the sins of mankind, because human
sinfulness has eternal repercussions. Through the offering of His
Body, the High Priest, Jesus Christ, opens up a way for us before
God. We now have access to the Father. His appointment was
official and His sacrifice without blemish; therefore, it was fully
acceptable and satisfactory in the sight of God, and we also in
3. Son of God and Heir of All Things. Since all things were
created through Him and for Him, and He is before all things,
and in Him all things consist (Colossians 1:16-17), He alone held
the prime responsibility for the salvation of all things. They
belonged to Him; so, only He had the right to redeem them.
4. Sacrifice through the Eternal Spirit. Since He is God, only He
by His infinite virtue could bridge the infinite chasm that sin
created between God and man. His sacrifice through the Eternal
Spirit made eternal and permanent atonement for mankind
(Hebrews 9:14) and a way was open to the Holy of Holies
through His flesh so that all who believe in Him could receive
the promise of eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15; 10:20). No
animal or man could repay the infinite penalty of human sin;
but, the Son of God by His divine and endless power, by which
He also overcame death and rose to life has eternally atoned for
and permanently blotted out all sins of mankind, so that those
who believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
IS THERE A RATIONAL WAY TO JUDGE THE
RELIABILITY OF THE BIBLE
Since the Bible is the written revelation of God, its rationality
can be ascertained by at least three important laws of reason:
the law of non-contradiction or the law of internal consistency,
the law of sufficiency, and the law of coherence.
1. The Law of Non-Contradiction or Logical Consistency.
According to this law, given the proper interpretation
with reference to linguistic and historical context, no
two statements of the Bible must contradict each other.
This is necessary for truth to be consistent and singular
(non-ambiguous). For instance, suppose the Bible said
“God created man” and then said “God did not create
man,” then, given the interpretative equivalence of the
semantic form to “A=not-A”, the two statements violate
the law of non-contradiction which demands the form
to be “A≠not-A”. But, we don’t find any such
contradiction in the Bible.
2. The Law of Sufficiency. According to this law, a
statement or piece of writing can only be meaningful if
it is sufficient to convey its message meaningfully
across. In other words, it is sufficient to fulfill its
purpose. The content delivers the intent. The Bible does
certainly fulfill this law of rationality of meaningfulness.
Nothing can be added to or subtracted from it.
3. The Law of Coherence. According to this law, all the
elements of information given to us in the Bible must fit
well with each other, i.e. cohere, to form a united
whole. None should fail or lack its mate in the same
manner that nothing in God’s creation fails or lacks its
mate (Isaiah 34:16). God’s world has ecological
coherence; God’s word has theological coherence.
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