Archive for May, 2011

19
May
11

Revelation above Reason or Reason above Revelation?

This is a question many haven’t considered, but one that everyone, consciously or unconsciously, has answered.  What takes precedence – what rules supreme:  man’s reason or God’s revelation?  Or to put it another way, what is the ultimate test for truth?  That something agrees with man’s reason (this is logical, this makes sense to me) or that is has been revealed by God (the Bible says)?

Underlying this question is the presupposition that God’s revelation far surpasses man’s reason and his ability to understand it.  That is a presupposition that the Bible itself makes.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55:8-9)  “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out.”  (Romans 11:33)

Therefore we should expect to encounter things – many things – in God’s revelation that boggle our minds.  Things that are far beyond us.  Things that we can’t understand.  Things that we can’t reconcile logically.

This is where the above question comes in.  When we encounter such things are we going to trust God’s revelation over against our reason or are we going to trust on our reason instead of God’s revelation?  This comes into play when witnessing to Mormons because most Mormons’ default position is trusting in their reason above God’s revelation.  All you have to do is look at some of the comments left on the previous few posts to see ample examples of that.

No, it’s not logical that God gives eternal life freely and fully to dead and stinking sinners but that is what he has revealed.  Therefore I believe it.  No, it’s not logical that Jesus is both true man and true God in one person, but that is what God has revealed.  Therefore I believe it.  No, it’s not logical that there is one God comprised of three distinct persons, but that is what God has revealed.  Therefore I believe it.  God’s revelation trumps my reason every time.

But not only do I believe this, I rejoice in this.  Because this shows me how majestic and great my God is.  I personally don’t want a God that I can understand.  No, I want somebody who is so far above me – that is so vastly different from me – that all I can do is stand in awe.  That’s the God of the Bible.   To him be all praise!

10
May
11

Godly Boldness

I have sometimes wondered what the Old Testament high priest was thinking when he woke up the morning of the Day of Atonement.  He had to be excited seeing what a special day it was.  It was the only day of the year that he could enter the Holy of Holies in the temple.  And he was the only person who could enter it!  One man – one day a year.  It had to be one of the most highly restricted areas in the history of the world.

There was only one object in the Holy of Holies – the Ark of the Covenant.  TheArksymbolized the presence of God.  By so severely restricting access to the Holy of Holies God was teaching a valuable lesson – that sin had separated man from God.  This was emphasized by the fact that anybody, including the high priest, who entered the Holy of Holies on any other day would die.  Even on the Day of Atonement, when the high priest could enter, he had to do so by sprinkling blood before him.  The blood “gained” him access.

Imagine being that high priest that morning.  Excited, but probably also a little apprehensive.  Especially when, according to tradition, a rope was tied around one of his legs to drag him out in the event he would die.  I have to imagine he didn’t go very boldly through the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from theHoly Place.

The writer to the Hebrews had that background in mind when he penned this most amazing section.  “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus.  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (10:19-20).  Now we have access to God!  Now we can approach God confidently and boldly.  All because of Jesus.  His blood gained access for us.  That is the significance of the veil of the temple tearing in two at the moment of his death.  The Holy of Holies of God’s presence is no longer highly restricted.

Over the years, numerous Mormons have been puzzled and even taken aback by how confident I am that I am going to live with Heavenly Father forever.  Some have questioned me about it – some have flat out told me I was dead wrong.  Not that many identified with me.  I would say that most felt that my confidence bordered on being naïve.

In contrast, many Christians identify with that confidence and exhibit that same confidence in Christ.

The contrast between the two is, for me, a striking evidence of the differences between Mormonism and Christianity.




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