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God Is Not the Author of Uncertainty

God Is Not the Author of Uncertainty

Atheists love to discredit the Bible. Those who are truly committed to their cause invest a lot of time and effort looking for confusion and contradictions in God’s Word, hoping to vindicate their unbelief. They also love to claim that there are simply too many different interpretations of Scripture to come to a clear understanding of it.

But there’s no such thing as an atheist according to God. Everyone knows that He exists. Deniers just prefer to “suppress [that] truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). In other words, the problem is never a lack of evidence for God, but rather a consuming love of sin.

Nonetheless, atheists can have refreshing and revealing moments of transparency. Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” Twain may have been an unbeliever, but at least he had the honesty to admit it was because he didn’t like what God said—not that he didn’t believe or understand what God said.

Sadly, churches today are overrun by postmodern pseudo-Christians who could do with a good dose of Twain’s honesty. There are many who now argue Scripture is too mysterious to be delivered with conviction. Most would never come right out and deny that the Bible is the Word of God, but they say as much when they insist that no one has any right to say for sure what the Bible means.

Brian McLaren epitomizes this mentality in the introduction to his book A New Kind of Christian:

I drive my car and listen to the Christian radio station…. There I hear preacher after preacher be so absolutely sure of his bombproof answers and his foolproof biblical interpretations…. And the more sure he seems, the less I find myself wanting to be a Christian, because on this side of the microphone, antennas and speaker, life isn’t that simple, answers aren’t that clear and nothing is that sure. [1]

Thus “evangelical” postmodernism has transformed doubt, uncertainty and qualms about practically every teaching of Scripture into high virtue. Strong convictions plainly stated are invariably labeled “arrogance” by those who favor postmodern dialogue.

Now, obviously, we cannot righteously be dogmatic about every peripheral belief or matter of personal preference. Virtually no one believes every opinion is worth fighting about. Scripture draws the line with ample clarity: We’re commanded to defend the faith once delivered to the saints; but we’re forbidden to pick fights with one another over secondary issues (Romans 14:1).

Some are now suggesting, however, that humility requires everyone to refrain from treating any truth as incontrovertible. Instead, we are supposed to put everything back on the table and “admit that our past and current formulations may have been limited or distorted.” [2]

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jmacarthur@churchleaders.com'
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and president and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry. He has written nearly 400 books and study guides, including The MacArthur Study Bible.