Mind Renewal in a Mindless Age, Part 1Romans 12:1-2Theme: The Christian mind.This week’s lessons teach us how Christians should think. LessonIf there is a God, that very fact means that there is literally such a thing as the supernatural. “Supernatural” means “over,” “above,” or “in addition to nature.” In other words, God is. God exists. He is there, whether we acknowledge him or not, and he stands behind the cosmos. In fact, it is only because there is a God that there is a cosmos, since without God nothing else could possibly have come to be.
Several years ago at the Philadelphia Conference on Reformation Theology, Professor John H. Gerstner was talking about creation and referred to something his high school physics teacher once said. The teacher said, “The most profound question that has ever been asked by anybody is: Why is there something rather than nothing?”
Gerstner said that he was quite impressed with that at the time. But later, as he sharpened his ability to think, he recognized that it was not a profound question at all. It posed an alternative, something rather than nothing. “Nothing” eludes definition. It even defies conception. For as soon as you say, “Nothing is…,” nothing ceases to be nothing and becomes something.
As soon as you ask, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” the alternative vanishes, you are left with something, and the only possible explanation for that something is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), which is what Christianity teaches.
To avoid being conformed to the world, we must also understand the doctrine of revelation. The God who exists has revealed himself. Do you remember how Francis Schaeffer put it in the title of one of his books? He called it He Is There and He Is Not Silent.1 That is exactly the point. God is there, and he has not kept himself hidden from us. He has revealed himself – in nature, in history, and especially in the Scriptures.
That God has spoken and that God’s word to us can be trusted has always been the conviction of the Church, at least until relatively modern times. Today, the truthfulness of the Bible has been challenged but with disastrous results. For without a sure word from God all words are equally valid, and Christianity is neither more certain nor compelling than any other merely human word or philosophy.
But notice this: If God has spoken, there will always be a certain hardness about the Christian faith and Christians. I do not mean that we will be hard on others or insensitive to them. But I do mean that there will be a certain unyielding quality to our convictions.
For one thing, we will insist upon truth and will not bow to the notion, however strongly it is pressed upon us, that “that’s just your opinion.”
1 Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There and He Is Not Silent (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1972). Study QuestionsWhat is the doctrine of revelation?Why is “nothing” a ridiculous concept?What evidence is there in today’s study that belief in God is utterly rational?How does revelation “answer” relativism?In what sense does Christianity have a hardness about it?