In our last article we began looking into the three main philosophies prevalent in the world today (Theism, Pantheism, and Atheism). We also looked at several of the worldviews directly connected to the three main philosophies (Biblical Theism, Monadic Monotheism, Eastern Mysticism, Spiritism, Occultism, Darwinism, Secular Humanism, and Existentialism). We also mentioned briefly about the multitude of ideologies in existence today, as a result of the three main philosophies being blended together. So many, in fact, that they were too numerous to list in our post, though we named a few.
In this article we will be tackling the issue of truth, where wisdom is concerned. We will attempt to show you why it is only the philosophy of Biblical Theism that can connect the human mind to the truth, because it’s only God’s wisdom that is truth. So for the next few moments let’s avoid pondering past the truth God has laid out before us, in His Word, and let’s open our minds up to the message of wisdom He has waiting for us to learn.
Scripture promises that if we ask for wisdom, God will give it to us (James 1:5). If we truly desire wisdom, and we all should, then we have only to ask. With God’s wisdom we find knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). Sir Isaac Newton, a devout Christian, became one of the most influential minds of his time in the fields of mechanics, mathematics, optics, philosophy, and physics. In fact, Sir Isaac Newton is regarded to this day as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution. There are others, as well.
Robert Boyle, was a biblical theist who became known for his advancements in the fields of chemistry, natural philosophy, physics, and theology. He is best known today as one of the pioneers of the modern experimental scientific method and “Boyle’s Law,” which states that the outcome of pressure and volume is continuous for a given mass of enclosed gas as long as the temperature is unchanged.
There is also Johannes Kepler, who was another key figure of the scientific revolution. This God fearing man is primarily remembered for his contributions in the fields of mathematics and astronomy. Mr. Kepler is best known, today, for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, which became codified by later astronomers.
And let’s not forget Galileo Galilei, a major influence regarding the scientific revolution. This biblical theist is remembered for his stellar contributions in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, and physics. To this day, it is Galileo that academia considers to be the “father” of modern observational astronomy, modern science, and physics.
There are many more godly men listed in the annals of philosophy and science. Far too many to include in this post, but the point is this: modern science was revolutionized because these four very devout men dedicated themselves to pursuing God’s wisdom. The result was God’s revelation of knowledge and understanding in the areas of astronomy, chemistry, mechanics, mathematics, optics, philosophy, physics, and theology.
Certainly the non-believers of many fields have made significant discoveries too, but it’s not because they did so on their own merit. Both believers and non-believers are instruments of God’s work. Given to knowledge and understanding because the Spirit of God chose to reveal such things to the world through them. Note this passage of Scripture from the Apostle Paul, written in his first letter to the people of Corinth:
“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’ — but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We [the believer] have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him [mankind]?’ But we [the believer] have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-16)
In short, what Paul was communicating is this — all the things that mankind knows of has been made known to him by the Spirit of God. It’s only the true worshipers of the Almighty that are allowed to understand where this wisdom has come from and how that knowledge is related to God’s purpose for humanity. A non-believer may tap into this knowledge from time-to-time, as the Spirit of God allows, but he will not see it as divinely given and will not understand how God has purposed it for mankind and God’s glory.
So how does this godly form of knowledge and understanding produce assurance, and peace of mind? By the fact that true, godly wisdom is divine, and not from the mind of humanity. You see, God’s wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive to the Almighty, full of mercy and beneficial to humanity, as well as impartial and sincere (James 3:17). God’s knowledge and understanding is true wisdom, because our Creator is all knowing and all understanding (Job 12:13, 36:5; Psalm 147:5; Proverbs 2:6; Isaiah 40:28; Daniel 2:20; Romans 11:33, 16:25-27), and mankind’s wisdom isn’t and can’t ever be.
Can you begin to see the logic behind why God’s wisdom is true wisdom? God is perfect, without flaw, but humanity is not perfect — humanity is flawed. Mankind does not know all there is to know, but God does. We cannot know true wisdom on our own, because we are the product of a rebellious choice (Genesis 3:1-24). A choice that removed us from God’s divine nature. Our rebellious spirit is equal to that of an occultic, black-hearted witch (1 Samuel 15:23). How can a rebellious creature, prone to doing evil, ever know the pure and perfect wisdom of its Creator? It can’t unless the knowledge and understanding that it seeks is given to it by the Creator, Himself. Whether that wisdom is of a scientific nature or of a spiritual nature, if wisdom is to be valid, right, and true then it must come from God.
An example of God’s Spirit revealing spiritual wisdom to humanity is found in the life of the Apostle Peter, as told in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter sixteen. Jesus was talking with His disciples about who the people of Israel thought He was. Several answers came back to Him from His followers, but none where correctly identifying Jesus as the appointed Messiah. So, Christ looks to the hearts of His chosen twelve, and asks them, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15b) It’s Simon Peter who responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16b) Jesus then tells Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) So even the revelation of Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, cannot be known merely by reading the Scriptures and knowing the prophecies unless God allows our “eyes to see,” our “ears to hear,” and our “minds to conceive.”
Still not convinced that all wisdom is from God? That it’s His wisdom that leads to real knowledge and understanding? Maybe the logic behind the perfection of divine wisdom verses the fallacy of humanity’s makes sense to you, but it’s the citing of Scripture that leaves you lacking. After all, the Holy Bible isn’t the only source of divine wisdom — is it? Actually it is, and I’ll explain why.
Though many of the world’s religions have their holy writings, none of these books bare the actual Word of God. The Vedas, and the Upanishads of the Hindu faith were all written by men trying to explain the wisdom of their enlightenment, as it relates to the “universal spirit.” The Qur’an was written by a man trying to explain the wisdom of his divine god, Allah, but it’s only the Holy Bible that holds the actual divinely inspired message of the Almighty to humanity (2 Timothy 3:16-17). How can we know that these holy writings are the very Word of God? There are many validations of the holy Scriptures.
The Holy Bible was written by approximately forty different men, all of them inspired by God, over a period that spans over fifteen-hundred years. The inerrant spiritual and physical truths contained within its sixty-six books are evidences of this, but before we accept this as truth we’ll need to understand the meanings of the words “inerrancy” and “inspired.”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “inerrancy” as: (noun) exemption from error; infallible. So for the Holy Bible to be inerrant it must be without flaw — perfect. As we have already stated, only something divine can be infallible. So, since we know people wrote the holy Scriptures, and since we know people are not perfect, the only way the Holy Bible could be inerrant is if God’s Spirit moved in these men and inspired them to write.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “inspired” as: (adjective) outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine [godly] inspiration. Did you get that? Something inspired is literally a work that is influenced by divinity. When these forty men began to write the holy Scriptures, they were moved by the Spirit of God to communicate His inerrant spiritual and physical truths (2 Peter 1:21). Not all Scripture is a direct recording of God’s message to mankind, in fact most of Scripture is a composition of God’s message, but all of Scripture is an outstanding and brilliant account of the Word of God.
O.K., so the original writings were inerrant and inspired, but what about the fact that the original Scriptures are no longer in existence? Are the copies on file today trust worthy? Yes, and I’ll show you why. First, though, we must note that none of the original ancient writings being studied today are in existence. Plato’s writings, the works of Herodotus, the writings of Caesar and Tacitus, even those of William Shakespeare are no longer around. All we have to go by are the copies that were created, and most of them are no longer available. Only seven of Plato’s writings are on file; with Herodotus we only have eight. William Shakespeare’s folio contains about two-hundred and thirty-eight copies, but when it comes to the holy Scriptures we have over ten-thousand copies of the Old Testament texts and nearly twenty-five thousand copies of the New Testament texts.
So what makes these numerous copies of the Holy Bible so special? Well, the fact that these many copies on file are within only a few hundred years of the original writings is pretty amazing. Copies of Plato’s writings are nearly one-thousand years removed from their original compositions, as are the vast majority of the ancient manuscripts still on file. And as far as inconsistencies are concerned, the Holy Bible is considered by experts to be ninety-five percent accurate. What of that five percent? Experts agree that these inconsistencies are only regarding spelling and conjunctions, and none of what is in question has altered the facts and meanings of the overall texts.
There are other evidences, too. Such as the prophecies mentioned and fulfilled within its sixty-six books. These prophecies aren’t general predictions either. The holy Scriptures make very specific and detailed forecasts concerning a variety of specified individuals, nations, and events. The Qur’an doesn’t do this, and neither do any other religious writings. In fact, all other religious prophecies made in any other spiritual composition only deals in very generalized guesses. It’s only in the Holy Bible that you find such intentional forecasts, and most were predicted hundreds of years before their occurrences, but all the fulfilled prophecies can be historically verified.
The holy Scriptures also contain a unified message regarding humanity’s need for redemption. As stated earlier, despite its having been written by forty or so authors over a span of fifteen-hundred years, the Holy Bible consistently deals with this theme of redemption. We see in the Old Testament writings the issue of humanity’s fall from God’s grace, the prophecies regarding mankind’s salvation, and predictions of God’s judgment for the non-believing world. Then in the New Testament we see the messianic prophecies fulfilled and further prophecies of God’s judgment for non-believers laid out. Other religious documents are not nearly so consistent, and most of them were written by only one author (example: the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon, etc.).
There’s also archeological evidence that helps to validate the historical accuracy of the holy texts. A vast amount of historical locations, names, and events have been confirmed by archeologists who have used Scripture as a sort of road map into history. One such archeologist/biblical investigator, named Bob Cornuke, has used the Holy Bible to discover strong evidence as to the true location of Noah’s ark. A piece of what appeared to be petrified wood was removed from the site, located in Iran, and analyzed by the University of Cambridge. The analysis came back stating that the subject was a petrified piece of unknown wood, and that it had been coated in some sort of pitch to make it waterproof, and that there was evidence of fossilized marine life found, too. He’s also found compelling evidence regarding the location of the real Mt. Sinai, and Mr. Cornuke has even unearthed an incredible amount of evidence concerning where the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea.
The science of astronomy also validates Scripture. Long before Copernicus, Plato, or Pythagoras ever began to discover that the earth was round, Scripture was already telling us it was (Job 26:10; Isaiah 40:22). In Job chapter twenty-six, verse seven, we read that God “suspends the earth over nothing,” which indicates the fact that our planet free-floats in space. The Scriptures declare time-and-again that the universe is ever expanding (Job 37:18; Isaiah 40:22; Jeremiah 10:12), which is exactly what the astronomers of the 1920s discovered. These and other astronomical evidences found through out the Holy Bible are proof of its inerrancy and inspiration. After all, how else would the authors of these Old Testament texts know of such things thousands of years before the science of astronomy was founded, unless they were told by God.
There are other evidences to support the infallible spiritual and physical truths found in the holy Scriptures, such as in biological science (we’ll get into this more deeply in Article Six), and the process in which its sixty-six book were canonized. Also how quickly the message of the New Testament was embraced as fact, due to the over five-hundred “eye witnesses” still living when the writings began to appear (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). All were able to help deny or validate any-and-all stories being told concerning the teachings of Christ.
There are also the internal claims made through out the texts. Some we have already named, but the claims most compelling are the verses that teach on the deity of Christ (Proverbs 8:22-36). Why? Because it is Jesus, the Christ, who is the very Word of God (Isaiah 55:11). The book we call the Holy Bible isn’t merely inerrant and inspired to teach us of God’s divine wisdom, but to actually give us a direct connection to God’s living, divine wisdom — His very own begotten Son. It is Jesus, the Christ, who God spoke through to make all of creation (Proverbs 8:30; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16). It is Jesus, the Christ, that God made into a man to live among humanity as His example of perfection (John 1:14). It is Jesus, the Christ, who sacrificed Himself so that we could be reconciled to God, and it is Jesus, the Christ, who conquered death so that all who believe could live forever (John 3:16-17).
Without Jesus Christ there is no holy text; there is no knowledge and understanding, and there is no peace in wisdom, because without Jesus Christ there can be no philosophy — only foolishness.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
Truth or Dare by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.
If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason Ministries‘ Twitter account or Facebook page.