Holy Curve Ball – Autonomy

A Holy Curve Ball?

Dear Brothers and Friends,

The Bible teaches that “all have sinned” “there is not one who is righteous” (Romans 3). Sin affects all aspects of our being. “Our sinfulness infects our reasoning, so that we come to the evidence with corrupted standards for judging it. Even if the Bible is genuine, we want to judge it rather than submit to God [and let the Bible judge us]. We want to remain in charge of our life (autonomy). ” [1]

So what is autonomy and why does it throw us a curve ball in relating to a God who is holy and who is truth itself? Autonomy literally means “self-law;” it is the use of human standards and human judgments to be the ultimate rule for governing one’s life. Thus my truth is not your truth because you have your own standard for judging truth which is different from mine. You can see where this is leading: there is no absolute truth!

Since the Bible states there is absolute truth, autonomous reasoning is a form of rebellion against God. It is clear the “yellow brick road” diverges here. There are two ways of reasoning: man’s way which is corrupt and sinful, and God’s way which is beautiful and perfect. In talking to students at the university it becomes obvious that that leap from man’s way of reasoning to God’s way is something they cannot or will not do on their own. It is like a security blanket that is held so tightly that the best arguments to grab it away only cause the owner to hold on to it even more tightly.

“The Bible states that God comes to sinners and changes them.”[2] Then they don’t want the security blanket that has dragged in the dirt anymore and gladly give it up to the trash.

But how can Christians and non-Christians communicate using two very different means of reasoning? These two ways are directly opposed to each other. They are in fact antithetical to each other. But the truth is “we covertly rely on God all along, but we suppress the truth about our reliance.”[3] What does this mean? It means the fact we can think in a rational way at all comes from a reliance on the mind of God. The non-Christian will at times know this but will secretly suppress this knowledge. For example where does logic come from? It is a good question to ask. Stop right here and think about it. –Let me give you a few steps: Logic works the same all over the Earth in any language—we are talking about logic in its purist form uncorrupted by men. Since logic is rational, is it personal or impersonal? If personal it must originate from a personal source. What is that personal source? This is our common ground.

“We know God is the source of all truth. We know that even those in rebellion against him know him (Rom. 1:20-21) and rely on him (Acts 14:17). We can communicate with non-Christians because they are created in the image of God and live in this world. …

“Because of God’s mercy, non-Christians can know and do know many bits of truth. In fact, they know God [but do not submit to Him] (Rom. 1:20-21). But Christians and non-Christians see truth differently, because non-Christians suppress the fact that they are receiving the truth from God, and that what they know is found first of all in the mind of God.”[4]

The fact we can communicate logically is proof that everyone has the common ground of the mind of God. Thus the fact that everyone in everyplace knows something of the true God that they willingly suppress to continue in their autonomy is both a starting point for the gospel of Jesus Christ and a declaration of their culpability. And that communication can become effective in converting the soul because it is a divinely inspired communication from the mind of God originating from God. It is the deliberate suppressing of this truth that leaves everyone without excuse before God.

It is only by God’s grace that the Christian has been saved from the futility of the autonomous way of thinking. “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Eph. 4:17-18). There is no boasting here, only loving praise to God.

Jay

About Tyler James
Mastermind, mad writer and all around blog-tator at ConscienceTalk.com. I have loved to write for years. When Christ saved me in Oct. 2007 my desire to write didn't change, just what and who I write for. Christ deserves the reward of His suffering.

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