It’s not “Human Reason vs. God’s Word”!

Perhaps you have heard the origins debate as being about “human reason” on the one hand, and “the Bible” on the other. Many evolutionists like to frame the debate this way. It creates a “heads I win: tails you lose” type of situation. By contrasting the Bible with “reason”, they are implying that the Bible is unreasonable. They may use some other terminology. Whether framed as “Rationality vs. faith” or “science vs. religion,” the implication of framing the debate this way is that the Bible is anti-reason, anti-science, anti-rational.

But nothing could be further from the truth! The Bible is very pro-reason, pro-science, pro-rational. In fact, the biblical God is the basis for these things (see The Ultimate Proof of Creation). God made our minds and He wants us to use them. We are supposed to think in a way that is consistent with the character of God – that’s what rationality is.

And so it is really a shame that many Christians also frame the debate this way. Yes, I have seen “reason” contrasted with “God’s Word” coming from Christian literature. Perhaps by “reason” they mean “secular philosophy.” (If so, then that is what they should say!) But secular philosophy is not biblical, whereas human reason is. The Bible tells us to reason (Isaiah 1:18) and gives us examples of it (Acts 17:2, 18:4). Perhaps by “human reason,” they mean “secular reasoning.” But this is very misleading. Not all humans are secularists! Are not Christians also human? Even Jesus is human (and God as well), so there is nothing wrong with that. By allowing the debate to be framed in such a way, such Christians have inadvertently accepted the standards of the secularist. And what happens when we allow the critics to determine the parameters of the debate in such a way? The answer is: we lose the debate.

A debate is supposed to show that one position is more rational than another. So if you allow your opponent to define his position as the “rational” position in contrast to yours, then you have pretty well lost at the outset. The Bible tells us that we are not supposed to engage in a debate using the critic’s foolish standard (Proverbs 26:4). Do not allow the secularist to define his position as “human reason” and yours as “faith” or some equivalent term. The fact of the matter is both creationists and evolutionists have a type of faith, and both use some degree of reasoning.

What then is the difference? The difference is our starting point – the standard upon which we build our reasoning. The Christian should take the Word of God has his or her ultimate standard. We are supposed to reason from the truths given to us in the Scriptures. God’s Word is like a solid rock; and reasoning that rests upon that rock will stand. What is the alternative structure on which non-Christians attempt to build their thinking? There is none. God’s Word is the only ultimate standard by which can truly know anything about anything. Yes, we can learn new truths about things outside the Bible, mathematical truths, facts about ducks, or quasars. But the only reason we can know these things is because our mind and our senses have been designed by God to interface with the universe in a way that is truthful. If our mind and senses were just the result of chance mutations that conveyed survival value, there would be no reason to think we could ever know the truth about anything!

So when people reason from an ultimate standard that is not God’s Word, they are really simply basing their thinking on an arbitrary opinion. But there is no reason to trust an arbitrary opinion. The Bible refers to such people as being like a “fool” who builds his house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). Since the house does not have a true and proper foundation, it is destroyed by the first storm that comes along. Likewise, those who reason from a secular opinion rather than God’s Word will find their philosophy is easily destroyed by rational analysis.

Originally posted on Dr. Lisle’s Blog at the following address:
http://www.jasonlisle.com/2013/03/27/its-not-human-reason-vs-gods-word/

About Dr. Lisle

Dr. Jason Lisle is a Christian astrophysicist who writes and speaks on various topics relating to science and the defense of the Christian faith. He graduated summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University where he double-majored in physics and astronomy and minored in mathematics. He then earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Dr. Lisle specialized in solar astrophysics and has made a number of scientific discoveries regarding the solar photosphere, including the detection of giant cell boundaries using the SOHO spacecraft. He also does theoretical research and has contributed to the field of general relativity. Since completion of his research at the University of Colorado, Dr. Lisle began working in full-time apologetics ministry, specializing in the defense of Genesis. He has written a number of articles and books on the topic. His most well-known book, The Ultimate Proof of Creation, demonstrates that biblical creation is the only logical possibility for origins. Dr. Lisle wrote and directed the popular planetarium shows at the Creation Museum, including “The Created Cosmos.” He now works as director of research at the Institute for Creation Research.

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Ten Suggestions to Help You Relax Through Sleep

By Randy Alcorn | February 26, 2016

Bedroom

A godly Bible teacher was asked what helped him most to walk in the Spirit. Of course, he studied God’s Word and met with the Lord daily. But his surprising reply to the question was this: “Getting eight hours of sleep each night.”

Sleep does indeed have a profound effect on every aspect of our being—physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual. Sleep is the body’s most basic and extensive attempt at relaxation and renewal. Stress often causes a lack of good sleep. Ironically, a lack of good sleep will inevitably cause stress.

It’s easy to stay up late tonight, but tomorrow we, and those around us, will pay the price in the form of fatigue and irritability. Often the key to the quality with which we experience today is what we did last night and how late we did it. Put two or three busy nights with six hours of sleep together and we’re deep in debt, trying to spend energy we don’t have.

It’s a simple matter of mathematics. If I need eight hours of sleep and I must get up at 6:30 in the morning, then I need to be asleep at 10:30. Not heading for bed at 10:30, but asleep at 10:30, which probably means I should try to be in bed by 10:00.

But for many, Insomnia can be maddening. Here are a number of suggestions that Nanci and I and others have found helpful—perhaps you will, too.

1. Get a good mattress. We will spend one-third of our lives in bed. Isn’t it worth having a good one? Especially since the quality of that one-third will dramatically affect the other two-thirds. Many of us sleep better in a larger bed.

2. Watch the room temperature and the ventilation. Too hot or too cold means sleeplessness or restless sleep. Adding or subtracting covers or adjusting an electric blanket may be enough to make the difference.

Some people need fresh air to sleep, so they crack the window even in winter. Try it. If the air is too dry for you, get a humidifier.

3. Minimize distractions. Do street lights and traffic noise disturb you? Perhaps you can move into a bedroom at another end of the house. Try blackout shades to keep out light. I regularly sleep with earplugs, and have a sleeping mask beside the bed to cover my eyes in early morning.

4. Relax before you get into bed. Many poor sleepers instinctively tighten up when they get into bed, ready for the big fight for sleep, which they invariably lose. Instead of trying to relax once in bed, relax before you get there. Take a walk—get some fresh air. Take a warm bath to reduce your tension. Drink warm milk—it contains a natural tranquilizer.

5. Avoid chemical stimulants before going to bed. Avoid caffeine within five hours and chocolate or sugar of any kind within three hours of retiring.

6. Eat an early dinner, moderately sized. If you eat a large dinner or a late dinner or a big snack at 8 p.m., your body is still trying to digest it when you go to bed. You can’t give your body a chore to do, then expect it to sleep at the same time! On the other hand, if you eat like a bird you may be unable to sleep because of hunger pangs.

7. Avoid working on problems and reading or watching distressing things late at night. Don’t try to balance your checkbook or do anything that requires deep thought late at night; it just causes frustration and leads to sleeplessness.

A few years ago I was at the beach by myself for ten days of writing. Each night I slept soundly and woke up refreshed—except one night when I was fitful and restless, and woke up exhausted. That one night was the only one I had watched the eleven o’clock news.

The best cure for insomnia may be to avoid the late news. It invariably features murders, hijackings, kidnappings, wars, and natural disasters. Just thinking of these things will tighten you up. The same is true of watching violent or tense movies, or reading about distressing events in the newspaper just before going to bed. Your last dominant thoughts before the lights go out set the mood for your night’s sleep. If you want good sleep, make sure you close the day with good thoughts, such as words from Scripture.

8. Develop a bedtime ritual. We are creatures of habit. If we can associate sleep with a certain routine, then going through the routine can help induce sleep. A bedtime ritual might involve a warm bath, a cup of warm milk, soft music, or light reading. Some people read till they begin to nod off then turn off the light and go right to sleep.

9. If you just can’t get an idea or problem off your mind, get up and do something about it. Sometimes we really need to get something off our minds. Keep paper and pen (and perhaps a little light) by your bed to jot down anything you might need to think about tomorrow, but don’t need to do tonight.

10. Learn when to nap and when not to. There are two kinds of fatigue.Hypertonic fatigue is the nervous stress-induced fatigue in which you are tired but unable to relax. Hypotonic fatigue results from hard physical labor. The muscles are relaxed and the mind drifts quickly into sleep. If you experience hypertonic fatigue during the day, the best cure is exercise, not a nap. If you take a nap, it might not refresh you, but even if it does it will usually make it more difficult for you to sleep at night. (Sometimes this creates a vicious cycle in which you nap in the afternoon because you can’t sleep at night, but can’t sleep at night because you napped in the afternoon.)

If you’re fatigued, and especially if you have a big evening ahead of you, by all means, nap if you can. For most people, a short nap of no more than 20 minutes works best.

In his article “Three Reasons to Get Some Sleep,” Jonathan Parnell writes, “Just like oxygen and food, we need sleep to work right. It won’t look the same for everyone, and some are in situations where their care for others inhibits a solid snooze, but know for sure that we need sleep. It was God’s idea.”

Originally located on Eternal Perspectives Ministries at the following address: http://www.epm.org/blog/2016/Feb/26/ten-suggestions-sleep

Parts of this blog were excerpted from Help for Women Under Stress.

Photo credit: Cheryl Winn-Boujnida via Unsplash

“Don’t Speak That!” …Speak It!

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By David Boxton-

Many of us have experienced the devil placing his hands over our mouths in order to keep us from calling the name of Jesus during a semi dream-like state of being? Evidently the enemy–who wants to kill us–is aware that he will have to keep us from speaking the name of Jesus.

Our breakthrough comes by calling on the Lord. Should we follow the advice of people who teach that things we’re faced with–those things that have a negative report–should not be spoken? Should we apply to our lives the teaching of those that insist we should not speak of things that aren’t associated with prosperous living, great health, and victory? If by making mention of the things that concern us, would we then cause the negative aspects of those things to become our reality? Regarding a hot day, should I claim it’s not hot, so that I will somehow be protected from the heat? Is the Christian life a practicing discipline of mind over matter? We shouldn’t deny our present reality, believing that by doing so we somehow protect today’s reality from being tomorrow’s truth. For the Christian, God’s chosen vehicle to unify us in prayer are the issues we are faced with in this life. Not just personal issues, but all the things mankind is faced with. We are to have faith in God and His abilities, not faith in our ability to keep our mouths closed when in fact, they should be opened.

When we feel hurt, pain, betrayal, fear, rejection, disapproval; when we are unfairly treated or harassed, we should immediately tell the Lord all about it. If our home is on the brink of foreclosure, our accounts are overdrawn, our child’s court date lingers, our mother’s abusive boyfriend is freed on bail, we should bring those things to the Lord. Repeating “Don’t speak that,” is lunacy at its best. God is real and He can take care of real issues. If the doctor says I have tumors, altzheimers, crippling arthritis, AIDS, hepatitis, kidney disease, or any other negative diagnosis, I am not going to keep quiet–not speaking those things, I am going to speak to the Lord and to my Christian brothers and sisters concerning those diagnoses.

Even though God knows everything already, He has yet to hear it from me, that is, until I go into His presence. He doesn’t just want to hear me call His name in times of trouble, He wants to hear the issues of my life, spoken from me to Him. He wants to have communion with those He loves. He wants to demonstrate His love for all of us by seeing about our needs.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6-7).”

“You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart (Jer 29:12).”