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Talking to Unbelievers

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
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April 14, 2022 1:37 pm

Talking to Unbelievers

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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April 14, 2022 1:37 pm

Talking to Unbelievers

Steve talks to Dr. Renton Rathbun from Bob Jones Seminary for Theology Thursday. They discuss missionary work and talking to unbelievers.

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The following program is recorded content created by Truth Network.

Or check him out online at And now, here's your host, Steve Noble. Hey, welcome back, everybody. So last week, literally a week ago, last Thursday night, I spoke at a great local church here, Shepherd's Church, which is also part of Shepherd's Seminary. Dr. Steven Davies, the pastor there. Fabulous.

Probably one of the best teachers on the East Coast. And they asked me to come speak at usually a men's event, but a couple times a year, they'll open it up to wives and stuff as well. So we had a few hundred people there. And they asked me to come in and speak on the need in today's culture for biblical morality and ethics. So I walk in there and I know that I'm going to have a crowd that's, you know, maybe a little north of me age wise. I'm 56. And they're going to be very conservative Christians are going to be conservative theologically.

They're going to be conservative politically. So I kind of know what I'm dealing with. All right. This is my tribe. These are my people.

I've been feeding them red meat for 20 years now. So I know my people. So I walk in there and we are having a conversation. I spoke for, I don't know, about an hour and 15, hour and 20 minutes.

And then we did some Q&A, which was a blast. But I asked them early on, I said, how many of you, given the state of the culture in America, given the state of politics in America, that you're to the point in your life as a Christian? You know, you love the country, you care about your neighbors, but you're just kind of done. I feel like the country's never coming back from this. It's going down the toilet. I'm a little sick of fighting.

They're not going to save America anymore. Let's just kind of forget it. Let it all go down the tubes. How many of you kind of feel that way?

And it was about 65 percent of the crowd. OK. And I put my hand up first because oftentimes I feel the exact same way. One of the frustrations and then I started going down different roads, we're talking about homosexuality, we're talking about transgenderism. I brought up environmentalism. That's the third rail in evangelical Christianity. Can't talk about that.

Otherwise, you're a tree hugger. And it was just obvious that there was a lot of frustration in the room. How do you talk to a culture that's wholesale, rejected the authority of the Bible? How do you talk to people who up is down and down is up?

And if you say there's something wrong with Lea Thomas, a man jumping in the pool to beat up on girls in the swim competition, that you're hateful. You can't even have a conversation with these people. It's so upside down. I've spent a fair amount of time over the last several years out in front of an abortion clinic on Saturday mornings. We're praying on this side of the street.

They're on the other side of the street. They're convinced we're the devil incarnate. We're convinced they are.

And both sides are thoroughly convinced. And do you even have a conversation with those people? Oftentimes on my classes, I talked about it today and I talk about it on the radio show.

If you're part of the show regularly, you know this. I reference Romans Chapter one more than any other book and chapter in the Bible with respect to what we do on this show and what I do with a large part of my life, which is trying to teach us, get us prepared to know the word of God and then to go out and try to impact the world around us. Number one, for the sake of the gospel, but also just speaking the truth has also got a salvific role. We're going to get into all of that today on Theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones Seminary and Bob Jones University. Dr. Renton Rathbun back in the house, the Center for Biblical Worldview is what he's building up down there at the school. And he also teaches apologetics and worldview. And today, based on something that he put in the journal just recently in volume two, the Spring Journal, I put the link up for that the Journal of Biblical Theology and worldview is the key to effectually communicating with unbelievers.

Because if you've ever pulled your hair out, if we have any left, this will ring true to you. This is probably one of the most important subjects we need to cover. This country is increasingly going more and more, not just apathetic to Christianity, but anti-Christian. Barna, who's on the show a couple of times a year, one of his recent studies last year, 94 percent of Americans do not live with any sort of a biblical worldview. So we speak two massively different languages.

Is there any kind of way to bridge that gap? So we're going to be talking about that today with Dr. Rathbun. Renton, good to see you, man. How are you? Good to see you.

I'm doing real well. All right. So this is obviously as somebody that is really well educated in apologetics and worldview, and we get into Romans chapter one and we get to this part.

This is where a lot of us start. And you bring this up early on. Call it natural theology. We go to Romans and we look at verses 19 and 20 for what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them for his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world and the things that have been made.

So they are without excuse. Oftentimes, Renton, I'll say, and I'm sure I said it last Thursday night that there's no such thing as an atheist, according to Romans chapter one. An atheist is just an agnostic with an attitude problem. But there's no such thing as an atheist because everybody knows that God exists.

He is the interbound gorilla in the room. Is that enough for us to be able to reach this increasingly lost and dark culture? I wish it were.

Me, too. I mean, you know, God has even created our creaturely way of understanding logic to not even allow an atheist, because what an atheist is saying is I know there is no God. And so, you know, what there we would never say something like I know there are no green rocks with blue dots on them anywhere in the universe, because once you assert a negative, there's no way to prove it. Otherwise, you'd have to have all the knowledge of the world. Exactly. And so and so even an atheist is already struck with the problem of his atheism logically. But God has clearly implanted knowledge of him.

And the interesting thing is it's not knowledge of, well, there must be some kind of God, but knowledge of the God, because we know his eternal attributes through just looking around. Yeah. Yeah.

That's that whole thing. When you can ask most people if they're intellectually honest, Renton, you know this, and you look at a star filled sky and you feel small and you feel like there's something rather than nothing. The vast majority of people and actually worldwide, fascinatingly enough, worldwide, atheism, I don't know if you knew this, atheism is actually shrinking worldwide.

Wow. We think the world is America. And in America, because of the nuns, it's expanding.

But around the world, it's actually shrinking. And so you've got about 98 percent of the world's populace that that is involved in some form of worship or religion, because they all know about the 800 pound gorilla in the room, that there is something rather than nothing. But again, that's not necessarily all we need in order to have effective communications with the people that are outside the faith. Yeah, the biggest problem is the verse right before 19. The verse right before 19 is clear what the big problem is for the unbeliever. And the problem is not that they don't know the truth.

The problem is that not that they are ignorant. The problem is that they know the truth and they suppress it in their own right. Is it ever been more obvious to you that that aspect of suppressing the truth and replacing it with a lie? Has it ever been more obvious in your lifetime in America than it is right now? Boy, I don't see how it could be any more clear.

Oh, yeah, it's amazing. There's so many examples. We'll get into that. This is a really important conversation, whether you're listening live or you're listening later. Please make sure you share this. I don't care if anybody knows my name.

I don't care if anybody, quite frankly, knows Renton's name. What we need to make sure is people know what we're talking about so that we can be effective. We'll be right back. Welcome back at Steve Noble, Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary, as well as Bob Jones University. Dr. Renton Rathbun is with us today. He runs the Center for Biblical Worldview down there, teaches apologetics and worldview. Also teaching in the in the seminary and next semester, I guess, in the fall. Renton, you're doing a you're co-teaching a class about medical ethics, is that right?

That's correct. Yeah, we have a professor from our health sciences department and then me. And she's giving a lot of the medical side of things. I'm giving a theological side and some of them I've I was a medic in the military for eight and a half years.

And so, yeah, I have anecdotes, yes, expertise. Yes, that'll be awesome, though, because the medical field and set aside talking about vaccines and covid and all that stuff. There's so many different ways that medical technology is so far beyond of our societal ethics that when I teach this in my classes, these young people are like, what is that like cloning?

Is that actually real? I'm like, yeah, I mean, we're designer babies. We're going down this road, baby, and you don't even know what's coming.

So you got to get prepared. Now, we were talking on the break with with Renton and we're working through kind of the notion of of the blog post today, which is the key to affectionately communicating with unbelievers going to Romans one. OK, where we talk about natural theology. Everybody knows God exists. He's made it plain. Men are without excuse. But you back up a little bit and they suppress the truth of God and replace it with a lie.

This is you guys know, you're probably like, oh, no, here he goes again. I talk about this all the time because I think this is the most effective way and the easiest way from a biblical theological perspective to make sense of the madness that we see going on in the culture. So you were mentioning your wife's reading 1984 right now, and she'll occasionally share some of that with you, Renton. Here's an Orwell quote. Truth is treason in an empire of lies. So we live in an empire of lies. So when Renton Rathbun steps up to the mike to answer the question that the soon to be appointed Supreme Court justice refused to answer.

What is a woman? You're speaking truth, which then makes you a traitor because we live in an empire of lies, right? Isn't that kind of what's going on?

Absolutely. I mean, and it's not even I mean, it's not merely just the truth. It's even how you talk about things. There's a way of talking about things to ensure that that we are all on some kind of page that allows for that tyranny to continue. Because if if we start describing things in ways that gets us closer to a an actual fact that everyone has to agree with, we get closer to that to that treason.

Yeah. And that's why I'll explain it this way. I'll say, listen, the if you start to agree in any conversation and this is what happens with people that have bought into this that are that are given over to a certain extent, they've suppressed the truth of God and his word and his revelation, both general and specific. They replace it with a lie.

So they got to replace it with a whole nother system. If you all of a sudden they're going to you're going to try to get them to agree with an absolute truth claim. They've just completely betrayed their system. They can't do it.

So like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who used to be the head of the DNC, she was kind of cornered at an event to Democrat Convent, an event by a young pro-life activist that worked for I can't remember what the organization was, but she goes, oh, Miss Schultz, may I ask you a question? Yeah, sure. Sure. You have daughters, right? Yes, I have twin daughters. They're 17.

So I want you to explain this to me, Renton. I have twin daughters. Seventeen. OK, that's awesome. Beautiful. Hey, before your daughters were born, were they human? And Debbie Wasserman Schultz immediately goes into the pro-choice talking points. I've always believed in a woman's right to choose. I totally support a woman's right to reproductive freedom. Yeah, yeah, I know that, ma'am. That's not what I asked you before your daughters were born.

Were they human? Well, I've always defended. She would not answer the question. So the girl gets frustrated.

She goes, are they are they just yes or no? And then Debbie Wasserman Schultz says, well, they're human now. Oh, wow.

This was the head of the Democrat National Convention Committee at the time, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, still in the House. Explain why somebody can think and communicate like that. What's going on? Help me understand that. OK, I use a model called the tetherball model. And for some of your younger listeners, a tetherball is a is a pole that I have one younger listener.

He's running the board and the other. OK, I'll explain it to him because he won't know. Right.

Exactly. So a tetherball is a is a pole that's that's cemented into the ground or a tire, of course, of course. And and on that pole, there's this rope that goes from a rope to a ball. And wherever you hit the ball, it will wrap around the pole. Well, if you think of the ball as a belief and you think of the pole as as a source of truth, because the source of truth can't move, it can't be movable, has to be the one thing that's right. The rope then holds that ball, that belief. So what you're doing is every time you have a belief, there has to be some way for that belief to be tied back to that source of truth that that you think that this belief is is tied to.

And we have this all over the Internet. If you have a social media account, you have beliefs listed everywhere. Everyone has beliefs and they're pretty sure they're true. Otherwise, they wouldn't, you know.

Yeah. But how do we justify, first of all, what is your source of truth and how do you get that how do you get that belief tied to that source? So when when Debbie Wasserman Schultz has asked this question, she cares very little for the actual truth and she cares about the voting system and what her talking points are. If you got her, you know, alone and, you know.

I don't know, relaxed a little bit, ready to talk. She would probably say they're always human. And the new the new way of thinking about this is this. They say, well, they're human and it's human life inside the woman. It's just not a person yet. Yeah.

Yeah. Now, where do they get all this? That's the question. Where's their source of truth?

And how do we then take their belief and show that it's tied to that source of truth? And and the problem is that people have given up on the poll. If you give up on the poll, if you if you if the source, if sourcing is unimportant to you, then you almost don't need a justification because you've already said something. Everyone likes the ball.

They don't care if there's a if it's justified, if it has a source of truth or not. It just makes me feel good. Yeah, the ball's pretty enough. I don't need to justify this. Yeah. The problem is, if you don't justify a belief, then there's no way to to really call it what we say in the philosophy business. Knowledge like formal knowledge, a justified true belief. Yeah.

Yeah. And so but but her comfort in taking that position on camera is because she's so tied to her ideology because she's obviously rejecting what the Bible has to say about truth. But as Romans one tells us, they're going to suppress that. But then they're going to turn around and replace it with a lie.

Why do you think human beings who reject the truth of God feel it necessary? And we're going to hit a break here in just a few seconds. Why?

Just open. Why do you think they feel it necessary to replace it with a lie? Because God made us in such a way that we have to have the pole. Even if we replace the the truth pole with a lie pole, we've got to have something. Otherwise, we our brains cannot function right.

Because we're rational beings made in his image, whether we want to admit it or not. That's right. You can't get rid of the image. So you have a God operating system inside of your brain, whether you believe in him or not. That's right. Right. I mean, I'm just being simplistic, but that's all I've got. It's like a Mac trying to be Adele.

Yes, that's a nightmare. Unless the Adele is singing. This is Steve Noble and Dr. Renton Rathbun. We're talking on Theology Thursday. We'll be right back.

No, that song did not appear in my rotation music by accident. It might seem crazy when I'm about to say, because that's what we think of them. People outside the world, people outside the faith. That's what they think of you. They think that you're backwards. You're messed up. You're archaic.

You are, in fact, probably dangerous. And you're what's wrong with America. You, you Christian people who are so convinced that your truth is the truth. And you're so arrogant and hateful that you're going to tell all the other people on the planet that don't believe what you believe. That not only are they wrong, but they're they're they're destined for eternal damnation. And that in this and today's world is the like the definition of hate. And that's you guys.

So you got that little fish on the back of your car. That's what you're screaming to your community. Is that that's what you believe. And so what are those who call good, evil and evil good? We flipped everything upside down. And so how do you even make any gospel progress?

How do you even have productive conversations with people where the world has gotten so backwards? So we're talking about that today on Theology Thursday. Nobody better at BJAU in the seminary than Dr. Renton Rathbun. This is really the epicenter of what he does with apologetics and worldview and has for years, runs the Center for Biblical Worldview down there. Again, Renton, thanks for being with us today.

Glad to be here. Do you get frustrated by this nuttiness? It's just crazy. I mean, what are the transgender thing? Now we're watching Disney.

We're watching Pete Buttigieg. We got somebody going on the Supreme Court that can't say when a woman is a woman because she's not a biologist. Which, by the way, doesn't that mean we're supposed to ban all gender reveal parties now? It would be the right thing to do. Yes, thank you.

I appreciate your heart. Well, yeah, it is frustrating and it's even worse than we think. It's not as though where the way people think now is even worse than it was before. I think what we're seeing now is a revelation of what it was before.

Because before, if you go back in the 50s, you could talk to an unbeliever and find what you would think would be a lot of common ground. I mean, if you're both looking at a tree, you might say, I admit that that tree has DNA in it. I admit that that tree is an organism.

I admit that tree has photosynthesis activity within its leaves. And you agree on your description. But when we're talking about knowledge, especially formal knowledge, description is not enough to be coherent. Description has to be tied to explanation.

Otherwise, description has no meaning whatsoever. David Hume helped us understand that. And so when you say that a tree has DNA, what makes it possible for a tree to have DNA?

What makes it possible for a tree to have life and to be alive? Do we can we justify these things? Yeah. And what you find with an unbeliever is that there's no way for them to justify it with God as the end point because they're constantly suppressing that. If they if they admitted that, then they'd be a Christian. Well, that's a very good point.

So like Francis Crick, one of the most famous scientists in in the last thousand years, Francis Crick actually wrote as he's looking into a microscope that he has to constantly remind himself that what I'm looking at is not designed. Oh, wow. Right. This is this is a brilliant person. Right.

A brilliant person that he's looking into it. And it it walks like a duck. It quacks like a duck. I can't really explain this.

It's got irreducible complexity. But I got to keep telling myself it's not designed. It's not designed. It's not designed. Because if I actually went down the road of it being designed and that ends that takes me to the pole you were talking about as we play as we play tetherball, that it's got a designer.

That's right. So a brilliant man will suppress the truth and replace it with a lie. And that shows you that the real problem isn't defective thinking, per se. The real problem isn't that they're ignorant of God.

The real problem is suppression and they suppress in a particular way. And this is what's interesting about Romans Chapter one is that when you get at the end, you get this big list of horrible, horrible activities. And people say, well, that's you know, that's depravity. And none of us are as depraved as we could be because not everyone is murdering and raping and all that sort of thing. But I would argue that those things at the at the end of Romans Chapter one is a list of the fruits of our depravity. What we see in the middle of Romans Chapter one is the core issue of our suppression and the core issue of our suppression, which is a core issue of our sin, is that we don't give God thanks and we don't give him honor. Yeah. And what shows that better than when we do not take our descriptions of the universe and trace them back and justify them by giving God honor and thanks.

And so in the end, without Christ, we are really as depraved as we possibly can be, because there is nothing in us that will give God any honor. Right. Thanks. Right.

It goes on. And Paul writes in Romans that anything not done out of faith is sin. Yeah, that's right. I'm like, so Bill Gates and all the money he gives away to this charity and that charity, everything, every dollar is another.

He might as well have spent that at a brothel. Yeah, because anything done not out of faith is sin. I mean, it's a broad.

I mean, that's unbelievable. Well, it's as broad as Isaiah. It says your good works are filthy rags. I mean, the it's it's putrid to God. Yeah.

And it looks good to us. But right. Putrid to God.

Right. You show up at the pearly gates and offer him a bucket full of putrid stuff, thinking you've earned your way in at the end of Romans one. And I think we see this in the culture and I really want to pivot to how do we kind of begin to break through this when we know that everybody, all the unbelievers are suppressing knowledge, expressing the truth.

What do we do? But we see this definitely at the end of Romans one. You go through that whole list, right? The whole crazy list of the fruit of what we're talking about today. Unrighteousness, evil, covetous, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossip, slanders, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient appearance, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. You know, he talks about that they exchange the natural relations for unnatural relations, men burned with lust for other men, yada, yada, yada.

And then you get to the end. They not only do them meaning themselves, but give approval to those who practice them. So they clap for each other in their suppression.

They're like, hey, man. Yeah. Hey, you be you. Renton, if you're if you actually want to be Rachel tomorrow, you be you.

And I'm going to clap for you. So not only express the truth, but then we cheer each other on. Yeah. And the and the hard the hard part to even grasp in our minds is that that begins at the very moment of thought. It's not that we all start off thinking rightly and then someone and then the unbeliever veers away at the very beginning of our of thinking itself. It begins with suppression.

And so, you know, what what would be a method that would be able to reach to these? You know, that we could really communicate the right way, because the problem with some, you know, some kinds of some forms of apologetics make some bad assumptions. I mean, with classical apologetics, you know, you're trying to establish that there really is a God.

When Romans one says every everyone already knows that. Right. Right. And in in other kinds of apologetics, you're trying to establish that the Bible is reliable and therefore you should believe it. Well, the problem with that is you're using evidence, something quite weak, you know, on inductive reasoning to try and prove the reliability of something that has the authority of God himself, which is a very backwards way of thinking.

Yeah. So the way I think, at least in my estimation, the best way to approach it is what I call big apologetics. And the the B, I and the G stand for something, of course. So the first step that I see is breaking down barriers. So the B stands for barriers and barriers happen when someone is holding on to something that comforts them. So it'd be one thing if you were ignorant of the truth, then you'd be, you know, in some splendor of ignorance. But instead, you're suppressing it. So that means you need your for your psyche's help.

You're going to need something that comforts you. It might be evolution. It might be that, well, the Bible's inconsistent in this passage and this passage. Whatever it is, you're holding on to it to say, I'm OK and I can I can I can push God away because there's no way he's right. Because his Bible's wrong.

Evolution's right. All that stuff. So those are the barriers they hold. And so the first thing we do is we follow Second Corinthians Chapter 10. That tells us to break down any argument that that pits itself against the knowledge of God. And that's a command for us to do. Doesn't say break them down and people will drop on their knees.

Right. How they can ask Jesus into their heart. It says to defend God's word. And and and so that is part of our work. Someone says the Bible can't be true. I mean, you know, look, there's all these there's all these contradictions. You go, oh, show me one. OK, I'll show you. And, you know, there's one that they know of.

Right. And they show it to you like, oh, actually, that isn't a contradiction at all. Let me show you. Show them. And what's your what you've done is you've made them uncomfortable.

Yeah. Because now the thing that comforted them that I'm on the right path is now destroyed. You just knocked one of the legs of their stool out. That's right.

Now, it doesn't lead to repentance, usually what it does lead to frustration, because that's a psychological thing that you've taken away from them that was making them feel good. So the next step is to show the impossibility of of unbelief. Wow. That's the I. So you take their own system and you say, let's say what you're saying is right. Just for the sake of argument.

Can you can your system really survive itself? That's right. Hold that thought.

That's a great thought. I love what we're doing here. Big breaking down barriers.

The impossibility of unbelief. This is very, very important class. Make sure you're listening. I suggest you take notes.

We'll be right back. Back at Steve Noble, the Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones Seminary, Bob Jones University as well. Talking to Dr. Renton Rathbun today. The Center for Biblical Worldview is what he's working on and building out and leading down at B.J.U. An expert in apologetics and worldview. And so as we are unpacking today, this just a great article. I put some links up to it on the blog post on the radio page that our friends at B.J.U.

always have set up. The key to effectively communicating with unbelievers. We're using Romans one where they suppress the truth.

That's really kind of the basis on which we're discussing this. And then how do we talk to people that actually aren't atheists? Because there's no such thing as an atheist that because God's made it plain, he says it right there in his word. If you say you believe God's word, then you have to take the position that there's no such thing as an atheist. OK, setting that aside, they suppress the truth. They don't want it to be true because of the implications.

If there is a God and if he's the God of the Bible and if he's a moral God, then I'm in trouble and we don't want that. So we act like little kids and we put our fingers in our ears and we go, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. Because I don't want to hear it. So you suppress the press the truth, but then you replace it. You replace it with a lie. So we're talking to Renton about how do we kind of deal with that?

How do we work through that? Taking the time, which, by the way, you're not going to get this done in a tweet or a post. That's not enough. Right.

Jesus wants to send 12 guys, 11 guys and then more out into the world. He spent three years doing it. So if you want to be effective, you're going to have to invest some of your time. You're going to have to take it out of the Netflix bucket and stick it into somebody else's time frame. And we're going to have to take time to do this.

But he's going, this is just great. You call it big. We talked about breaking down barriers, the things that they're holding on to so that they can dismiss the Bible. There's all kinds of inconsistencies, all kinds of people been murdered in the name of Christianity, yada, yada, yada. So you got a barrier there. And then the impossibility of unbelief.

So we're on B in the acronym big. So impossibly impossibility of unbelief rent and take it from there. So when we want to show someone else's system is actually incoherent, scripture actually gives us a way to do that. Proverbs 26, four and five tells us that we are not to answer a fool according to the fool's folly, lest we be like him. So that means we don't take on the assumptions of the of the fool.

And of course, a fool I know sounds quite derogatory. It is. It's someone that says in their heart there is no God. Yeah. And so this would be like a, you know, a William Lane Craig who says, OK, granite, that evolution is absolutely right.

And granite that Genesis Chapter one is basically myth. Now, let me be able to talk to you, unbeliever, and let me lead you to the Lord. Well, what you've done is you've taken on unbelief as your own so that you can speak to unbelievers.

Yeah. You've you've taken on the fool's folly and now you've become just like them. So if you look at verse five, it says this is how you answer a fool, answer a fool according to his folly. And you can even think of it this way, so that he won't be wise in his own eyes. And so you take his system, you say, I don't believe in your system, but let's look at your system. You know, if if we follow what you're saying, this leads actually to irrational belief.

I mean, for instance, one of the things I do in my class is I let my students listen to a very brief interview with Jim Carrey. And Jim Carrey has this belief that we have tried too hard to make anything matter, that because there is no God, because everything just came about, this what he calls this mattering has been a big problem in our life. And religious people have tried to use religion to make, you know, things make sense and make things matter. But really, nothing matters. And he goes on and on and on about it.

Yeah. And what we find is that he's really passionate about everyone understanding what really matters. And that's that nothing matters. So something actually did matter to Jim Carrey. Exactly.

And so we say, let's take your system, Jim. If nothing really matters, then why would you be upset at religious people? Right. Who cares? Let them live in their delusion. That's that helps them.

And then they're going to die. It doesn't matter. Why do you hate Donald Trump so much that you paint gross pictures about him? It doesn't matter. I mean, if he wants to run the country in a way you don't like, what's it matter? It doesn't matter.

But it does matter. And so his what you show is that through your own system, you're contradicting yourself. Yeah, the fool's folly.

Yes. So after we've broken down the barrier that was comforting them, then we show them their own system is completely irrational. It's impossible. You can't hold on to this, which makes them have to be face to face with the truth. That it's not that they're ignorant of God. It's not that they just didn't know. It's not even that they're dumb.

It's that they are using every gift God has given them in their brain to suppress God. Yeah, exactly. And and they have to come face to face with that.

I don't believe it's true because they don't want it to be true. Yes. And you'd be surprised how often people get to the point where, like, well, I don't know, but it's just, you know, it just it just is. And at that point, they have you're at least on a level of communication where everyone knows where everyone stands. Yeah. It's not a place where they're like, OK, I see my system is flawed.

I need to get Jesus into my heart. It's just that you both at the place where everyone knows where everyone is, no one's using the same terms differently. No one's using categories differently. Everyone's on the same page. And now you're ready for your nuclear weapon. And the nuclear weapon is the G in big. It's called the gospel. And this nuclear weapon is the thing that has all the power. Everything you've done up until the moment of the gospel is merely just to get a conversation moving.

Yeah. You've gassed up the Enola Gay. You've put the bomb in the bomb bay area.

You even took flight. But until that bad boy drops down on the target, you've actually not accomplished anything yet. That's absolutely right. Because in the end, all your power comes from the gospel because it's God's word through the power of the Holy Spirit. And that's all we have to rely upon.

And and I tell my students this. It's like, you know, breaking down a barrier might be like a jab, maybe even showing that their system is is completely irrational. Impossible might be a, you know, a cross, you know, a left cross. But when you get the gospel out, that's like the right hook where you have everything behind that.

And it's not even yours, really. It's all the Holy Spirit. That's right. And at that point and and what's what's so important about that is that, you know, we have to believe in in Ephesians Chapter two.

Oh, yeah. We are speaking to dead people all the way up until the Holy Spirit makes them alive. We're not talking to delirious people.

We're not talking to confused people. They are dead in their sin. And the only thing that will make them alive is the Holy Spirit's work through the gift of faith. And that has to happen first. Yes.

It's not our job to clean the fish. That's right. So and I and I hate to keep using William Lane Craig as my whipping boy, but, you know, William on William Lane Craig's model, you are trying to get them to believe. And then, you know, there's some kind of reward of of faith from the spirit because of their belief. And what we what we believe Ephesians Chapter two is telling us is that faith is what's necessary for belief. Yeah. Faith precedes belief. Yes, that's right. And so when you think about and this is where it gets kind of technical, but you got to think about what are the conditions necessary for the kind of belief that saves me, not the kind of belief that intrigues me, because Hebrews talks about that.

People have followed Christ and it says and believed and then they walked away. And all of that is, you know, intriguing things that they that, oh, this is interesting. Yeah. I can believe that. I saw the trailer.

I want to see the movie. Yeah, that's right. But it's not saving them. That belief is not saving them because it is not preceded by faith. Yeah.

Yeah. Such an such an important point and a powerful point. That's why we have to remember to not get depressed when you're not excellent at breaking down barriers or even pointing out the impossibility of unbelief. You give that a shot and then you and then you share the gospel and you've been faithful. And that's what God calls us to. And so and then being able to have the conversation, I'm trying to break down a barrier, the impossibility of belief.

I'm just trying to engage their mind. But I still, even if I accomplish those two points in the big, even if I have accomplished those two points, that's still not enough for them to be saved. That's where you got to rely 100 percent on the Holy Spirit. You do.

That's right. Frank Turic is somebody that goes to a bunch of college campuses and he'll he'll run into ardent atheists all the time. And he asks a fabulous, fabulous question.

I don't know if you ever heard this before. He'll say, OK, so if science and philosophy, if of all the great modern thinkers all of a sudden decided, you know what, there actually is sufficient evidence, we believe not only in the God of the Bible and Jesus of the Bible, but we believe that we believe the Bible's authoritative and truthful in and of itself. If all of a sudden that whole community said, yep, this is the deal.

Would you become a Christian? And seven or eight times out of 10, the person at the microphone will say, no. Wow. Isn't that amazing? Yeah. But that's the depths of Romans one. Yes. Yeah, this is right down to the heart.

This isn't just an intellectual exercise or an intellectual game. Yeah, it is from the heart comes the thinking and the words. Yeah, that's right. That's how scripture is said.

Super important. We're going to keep unpacking this in the future so that we can just get equipped, because then we kind of blow through some things, breaking down barriers, the impossibility of unbelief. Let's plan a show in the future, Renton, where we do some examples of that, because because the beautiful thing about the world of apologetics is the pool is not really that deep. Humankind doesn't have a whole plethora of objections.

They've got about, I don't know, six, maybe seven. Yeah, it's just like the pro-life thing. So we'll do that in the future. But God bless you, my brother. Thank you so much for being with us today. It's always great. Thanks for having me. You're very welcome. OK, friends, that's just another theology Thursday there in the book. So make sure you share today's show on the podcast or on Facebook or YouTube. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll be with you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say, never forward.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 07:57:49 / 2023-04-30 08:14:25 / 17

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