How Can otherwise intelligent and Rational People Believe the Bible to be the Infallible Word of God?
Over the last few months then I've run into a few different variations of the above question. It does annoy me slightly, I mean, talk about a backhanded compliment! On the one hand who doesn't like being told they are intelligent? Yet on the other hand it vexes me that intelligence and Christianity should apparently be so contradictory.
I do plan to answer the above question but before I do then I think its good to examine why it is that atheists in particular will come out with questions like it. After all, there is hardly a shortage of intelligent Christians out there why then should our existence prove so surprising for people to accept?
It is no coincidence that it is largely only atheists who I have heard asking this question and that is because if there's one thing that challenges the very root of atheism it is the presence of intelligent believers in Christianity. Let me explain further: a foundational pillar of the atheist's worldview is that human reason is the ultimate authority by which we judge all things. This makes sense, from a naturalist view, then as the most advanced creatures on this earth, humanity's ability to reason is the highest form of authority which can be found to judge anything by. Rule out God and what's the next best thing left to judge truth by?
Therefore, what is hard for an atheist to accept is an individual who otherwise appears perfectly rational believing in the Bible. It is an ultimate failure of their ultimate authority. For when it comes to the Bible then the atheist applies his human reasoning to it and rejects it so cannot understand why someone would be rational and believe it. Once again, this is no surprise. In the letter to the Corinthians it is written:
“I have a shelter in the storm
When troubles pour upon me
Though fears are rising like a flood
My soul can rest securely
O Jesus, I will hide in You
My place of peace and solace
No trial is deeper than Your love
That comforts all my sorrows”
Just about the only people writing proper good hymns today are Sovereign Grace Music and the above verse is one of theirs. It’s rather applicable to my life currently as I find myself halfway through fourth year, approaching graduation and with everywhere I applied to for a job rejecting my applications. As a planner I don’t like uncertainty and not knowing both what I want to do and what I will do frustrates me. It’s a real effort not to worry and by real effort I mean a complete failure on my part not to worry.
Yet why so I feel this way? “Cast your anxieties on God because he cares for you.” it says in 1 Peter 5 v 7. That verse alone is enough to grant me peace, God cares for me! What then do I have to fear? What is there to be worried about? Course, truth is I’m a functional unbeliever in this great truth. While ascribing to it with mouth in deed I worry.