“Always Ready” Part 1

Always Ready by Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen is a must read on the subject of Biblical apologetics. In the first section of the book he deals with the Lordship of Christ in the realm of knowledge. He begins by talking about how Christians should not give in to the temptation of neutrality. In the world of academics today there is a demand to approach every field of study with an open-mind and without any bias. However, a Christian cannot remain neutral. When we take a neutral approach to academics we thus have a non-committal attitude toward scripture. Is scripture reserved only for the four walls of the church? If we say the Word of God is the truth, then how can we ignore it in our academic studies? In Colossians 2:3-8 the scripture tells us that, “All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Christ.” God’s Word (and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ) is the foundation for all knowledge. Whether we are studying World War 2, chemical compositions, literature, or even the laws of logic; Christ is the foundation for it all. As Christians, everything that we pursue academically should be related to Christ.

Dr. Bahnsen continues this thought by proposing that being neutral can actually be immoral. The scripture teaches us in Colossians that we are to be ‘set apart’ and we are not to give in to ‘vain philosophy and deceit.’ Those who seek the approval of the world’s intellectuals by becoming ‘neutral’ are actually refusing to be ‘set apart’ by God. The bottom line is that you cannot arrive at real knowledge impartially. Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Notice that it says it is the beginning of knowledge. The fear of God is the foundation of all knowledge. Basically, apart from a personal relationship with Christ, you will never attain true knowledge.

All academic studies must be seen through the lenses of scripture. God’s Word is the complete revelation of God and is the final authority in all matters of life, both practical and intellectual. When we approach academics we do so presuppositionally. We all ‘presuppose’ something. For the Christian, we begin all of our studies with the presupposition that God exist, His written Word is THE Truth, and His written Word is the FINAL authority in all matters. A true apologetic will not abandon this. To defend the faith we cannot abandon the faith. We cannot just put aside what we presuppose is true in order to somehow scientifically or rationally defend the faith.

With the understanding that we cannot be neutral in our approach of academics and that we cannot put aside what we know is true or else we are guilty of giving in to ‘vain philosophy and deceit’; it must be understood that you cannot argue or debate with someone who is in darkness. “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” “Do not answer a fool according to his folly.” In order for true knowledge to be attained, one must go from darkness into light. Until someone comes to the light that is found in a relationship with Jesus, he or she can never have true knowledge. So, for the apologetic, one cannot abandon or ‘put aside’ his Biblical presuppositions in order to prove or defend the faith. The Christian approach to knowledge and academics is to not be neutral but to be biased toward the truth of God’s Word. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” “All the treasure of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Christ.”

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