“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them”
Man, without God, will always attempt to rationalize the irrational, in order to hide his sin. This is because man loves darkness, rather than light (John 3:19).
It all started in the garden of Eden, where man was confronted with “The Law of Noncontradiction”:
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.””
If we translate God’s command, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die,” into logical categories, it would then be expressed as follows:
If A, then B.
(More simply: If you eat of a certain tree, then you will die.)
This, the most basic expression in logic, is called the “indicative conditional”. God simply exposed man to what was already built into him by God as His image bearer, the ability to rationalize. But then, something quite interesting happened. God then allowed irrationality to enter the picture, thus, giving man the opportunity to show his true irrational tendencies; that he loves darkness rather than light, even when he knows better:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. ’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”
If we translate the serpent’s indicative conditional, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” into logical categories, it would then be expressed as follows:
If A, then not B.
(More simply: If you eat of a certain tree, then you will not die.)
Thus, the serpent gave man another indicative conditional, but in complete opposition to God’s indicative conditional. Man was then faced with the “Law of Noncontradiction”, or two propositions which were mutually exclusive:
God: If A, then B.
The serpent: If A, then not B.
Both cannot exist together.
Because God, who is rational, is the Maker of reality; and in His reality, rationality is at work, which will not allow for two propositions which were mutually exclusive.
1 Corinthians 14:33
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
Whenever confusion or contradiction arises, such is not of God. God gave man logic so that man can decipher between the rational and the irrational.
I love how RC Sproul describes logic:
“Logic is like a policeman that God has put in the brain of human beings, to blow the whistle; to recognize the lie. The whistle blows, and things don’t compute. Just like your computer goes wacky when you ask it to be irrational. So, God has built into the human mind a function of rationality that is a test of coherency. A test of rationality. And at the very heart of the Christian affirmation, is that. Though the content that we get in the Bible goes far beyond what we can learn, through rational speculation. It’s based on Divine revelation. That Divine revelation does not come to us packaged in absurdity. The Word of God is not… irrational. It is addressed to creatures who have been given minds that operate according to these principles.”
We (Christians) must be careful of what I refer to as the “Lie of Noncontradiction (being false)”. When we face contradictions to what God says, as we did in the garden, and yes do I mean “we” (Rom 5:14-18, 1 Cor 15:22), we must not repeat that original non-embrace of the noncontradiction notion. We must not ignore irrationality. We must instead recognize the contradiction, and then turn from it towards our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and trust in Him.
“An appalling and horrible thing
has happened in the land:
the prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests rule at their direction;
my people love to have it so,
but what will you do when the end comes?”
What will you do?
“What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice!”
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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