Thursday, March 8, 2007

Just Say No to Drugs / Atheism

Richard Pratt, Jr. in his book “Every Thought Captive” rightly makes the irrefutable claim that all unbelievers find themselves in the inescapable dilemma of continually living in the tension of uncertain certainty and certain uncertainty. In other words, any person seeking to claim absolute certainty on any matter, while turning from God and biblical presuppositions which provide both the foundation and confidence of knowledge and truth, while not possessing full and complete knowledge of all things is left to “uncertainty” concerning the very things they claim with absolute or total certainty. At the same time, any person who claims uncertainty, while denying God and those same biblical presuppositions, is left contradicting himself in making certain claims of uncertainty. Pratt shows this problem to be even greater when he explains that “when turning from God, the unbeliever asserts with absolute certainty that the biblical distinction between the Creator and His creature is false, he therefore puts on the mask of absolute certainty. Yet, when turning from God, the unbeliever is left in the position of having no solid ground for knowledge and must therefore wear the mask of total uncertainty. While an unbeliever may wear one or the other mask at different times, beneath the mask he may wear the unbeliever is caught in the unsolvable dilemma of being BOTH absolutely certain AND totally uncertain AT THE SAME TIME.” Any apologist who argues with unbelievers will find this to be true and not only easy to work out but interesting as unbelievers cannot get around this truth given their lack of foundation apart from God for knowing even the things they claim to know and especially to claim any knowledge beyond their own or even the natural human experience especially including the metaphysical.

This being said, I’d like to take this one step further, for not only is man apart from belief caught in this inescapable tension, but atheism in all its forms, and even moreso as one moves toward strong atheism leads one to participate in a constant battle within oneself to suppress the tension that naturally battles within those who resist the truth. Here’s my point, while God has provided through general revelation enough to leave man without excuse, there is in the unbeliever a nature that seeks to deny and reject the truth so that the life of an unbeliever is a life of constant tension, and one of the greatest kind since it lies and is being fought within them. The only means of avoiding this tension while remaining in unbelief is to try to suppress the truth such that one’s unbelief and resulting practices metaphorically speaking becomes the opium of one’s soul. Hence, the greater the unbelief (i.e. strong atheism) the greater the tension and hence the greater the suppression needed to deal with the tension. This does not suggest that strong atheists cannot experience a measure of peace, but like the physical drug addict, the peace that comes from opiates is a false peace though it may at times not only provide a measure of personal comfort but even be euphoric. One must ask the question: Is this the best for the individual, or is there a solution?”

The only solution to this conflict is to put one’s faith in Christ and align one’s beliefs with the truth which has been and continues to be revealed. The Scriptures provide understanding of all these matters when it states the following: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”(Prov 1:7) “…If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:31-32) “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Ps 14:1) “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” (Rom 8:7) “Great peace have they who love your law…” (Ps 199:165) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)

Peace, true peace, belongs only to those in whom this conflict and tension is not only dealt with, but who in dealing with it also gain the foundation and knowledge for dealing with all things while living in this age. It is only in possessing a foundation for truth that truth means anything and becomes truly meaningful and beneficial for those who possess it. With this in mind, let the readers be reminded that opiates, while they may serve a purpose for those in pain, are not necessary for those who with life and health.

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