The Crisis We Face Today: And the Only Solution
December 1, 2017 | View PDF
We have heard the 13th Century called The Age of Faith,
the 18th Century called the Age of Reason,
and the 20th Century called The Atomic Age.
Our current age has rightly been called
The Age of Irrationalism.
Today, it is common of many labeled "intellectuals"
to despair of true knowledge. Government schools and colleges
have given up moral absolutes as true knowledge.
For centuries, people of faith, whether Old Testament believers or New Testament scholars, believed that knowledge was contained in Holy Writ, and can be known to man. In fact, it was written for man's redemption.
Rationalism was something that was taken for granted generations ago. When discarded, what is lost? The word is taken in its ordinary sense for its cognitive faculty, that which perceives, compares, judges, and infers. Rationalism, in all of its forms, proceeds on the ground of Theism, that is the belief in a personal God. (Hodge, on Rationalism)
Dr. Sinclair Ferguson has written passionately about the spiritual power of the printed word, and especially, since the birth of the printing press. Even earlier, Paul from prison, asked Timothy to bring "his scrolls, the books, especially the parchments." 2 Timothy 4:13
The lack of reading today is alarming. Reading Christian literature, in addition to our Bible reading, adds to the health of the Christian Church. Dr. Ferguson writes that Martin Luther was responsible for, amazingly, one-third of all the books published in the German language in the first half of the 16th Century. No wonder we need to celebrate the Reformation again and again.
(Ferguson, Read Any Good Books?)
Libraries are declining in possession of books, selecting technology instead. To this writer, this is a travesty. Suppose that every church had a goal to have a library filled with books. "Books which help bring us to the stature of the fullness of Christ." Eph. 4:13
Would it not be a goal for Christian parents to have their children sit under the teaching of Augustine, Calvin, Spurgeon, Bunyan, or Baxter? Paul longs for us to be connected with the Saints and prays so in Eph. 3:18 & 19.
Many in today's world have repudiated the belief that true knowledge is even available to man. They despair of knowledge, unable to embrace God's Word in total acceptance. If we cannot affirm the Virgin Birth, how can we affirm the inerrancy of Scripture? Let's face it, irrationalism has permeated our culture. Of all of its paths, the attack on Truth, on Revelation, on Logic, is the most damaging.
As Christian believers, we pray for Revival. Is it possible to have a truly Christian revival, if irrationalism has even invaded some of our churches through compromises? Our first duty is to affirm doctrine, theory, and then to apply that to our everyday practice. If American Christians do not affirm true Knowledge, how can the Church extend the power of the Gospel?
Decades ago, a missionary of world wide travel, came into the life of our family and ministry, visiting us when he was in the States numerous times. He brought a new understanding of Paul's writing in Romans to us all. He took us through the eleven chapters expanding on doctrine and theory, and then the last chapters on living that out in daily practice. Paul clearly explained it to help us avoid confusion and irrationalism. This is a promise, "Sin shall not have dominion over you, because you are not under the law, but under Grace." Romans 6:14
However, note this: Sin is not dead to us or as an operating power in the world. We are aware of sin's working in the world, and can feel pressure in our own lives and circumstances.
With the Christmas season approaching, we have the assurance of God's Word. We have the personal revelation of who He is as the "I Am", the personal God. All the names and titles given to him, all the attributes ascribed to Him, all the works attributed to Him, are revelations of who He truly is. He is the Elohim, the Mighty One, the Holy One, the Omnipresent Spirit. He is the Creator, the Preserver, the Governor of all things. He is the Father. He is the hearer of prayer, the giver of all good. He feeds the young ravens. He clothes the flowers of the field. He is Love.
He so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish, but have everlasting life. He is merciful, long suffering, abundant in goodness and truth. He is a very present help in every time of need; a refuge, a high tower, an exceeding great reward. He is our ruler and father, with whom we can commune. His favour is our life - his loving kindness is better than life. This divine revelation of God in his own nature and in his relation to us is not a delusion. It makes God known to us as He truly is. We therefore know God, but no creature can understand the Almighty unto perfection.
(Hodge, Vol I p. 344-45)
As we view the Son, we view the Father. God has revealed Himself in the person of His Son. He and the Father are One. The Revelation that He made of Himself was the manifestation of God. The words of Christ, are the words of God. The works of Christ are the works of God. The love, mercy, tenderness, the forgiving grace; as well as the holiness, the severity, and power manifested by Christ, were all manifestations of who God truly is. We see, therefore, with our own eyes, who God is.
Philosophy must veil her face in the presence of Jesus Christ as God, manifest in the flesh. She may not presume in that presence to say that God is not, and is not known to be, what Christ Himself most clearly was. The doctrine that God is the object of certain and true knowledge, lies at the foundation of all religion and therefore, must never be given up.
(Hodge, Vol I p. 345)
This writer is so grateful to the Alabama Gazette for letting us write on the deep meaning of Christmas, and the tragic cultural decay in our beloved Republic. May every Christian embrace the Gospel more intimately, and reach out more passionately to others. May the Scriptures and the Carols have more meaning than ever before in our hearts. May we, in our family life, renew our faith commitment to each other, to our local congregation, and to the embracing of the Word more diligently and more thankfully.
Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Romans; 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and are called according to His purpose.”
Systematic Theology, Chas. Hodge. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Mass.
Read Any Good Books? Sinclair Ferguson, Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh