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Faithlife
Faithlife

How can we trust that the intelligent force that created the world is the God of the Bible and not just some disconnected Being (like deists believe)?

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Notes & Transcripts
Our passage:
Entering our position in Christ
Understanding our position in Christ
Understanding our position in Christ requires seeing how we are united with Christ in salvation
We are “created” in Christ Jesus
Understanding our position in Christ requires seeing how we are united with others in Christ through salvation
Demonstrating our position in Christ
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A deist believes that God made the world but does not "monkey" with it. God created the natural world but never interrupts it with supernatural events. - Norman L. Geisler. Christian Apologetics (p. 171). Kindle Edition.
Norman L. Geisler. Christian Apologetics (p. 171). Kindle Edition.
A deist would believe that God reveals himself through creation
A deist would teach reason and thinking through posited beliefs
A deist holds to the miracle of creation but irrationally denies subsequent miracles.
Thomas Jefferson used his deistic views to cut all of the miracles from the Bible. His Gospel of John ends in chapter 19 with the words, “Now, in the place where He was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never a man yet laid. There they laid Jesus, and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.” Everything after that () is about the Resurrection. - Geisler, N. L., & Brooks, R. M. (1990). When skeptics ask (p. 39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Geisler, N. L., & Brooks, R. M. (1990). When skeptics ask (p. 39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Sociologist Christian Smith gave the name “moralistic, therapeutic deism” to the dominant understanding of God he discovered among younger Americans. In his book Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, he describes this set of beliefs.
God blesses and takes to heaven those who try to live good and decent lives (the “moralistic” belief).
The central goal of life is not to sacrifice, or to deny oneself, but to be happy and feel good about yourself (the “therapeutic” belief).
Though God exists and created the world, he does not need to be particularly involved in our lives except when there is a problem (that is “deism”). 90 - Keller, Timothy. Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters (p. 115). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Keller, Timothy. Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters (p. 115). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Quote: The idea behind moral, therapeutic deism is that we are able to earn favor with God and justify ourselves before God by virtue of our behavior. This mode of thinking is religious, even “Christian” in its content, but it’s more about self-actualization and self-fulfillment, and it posits a God who does not so much intervene and redeem but basically hangs out behind the scenes, cheering on your you-ness and hoping you pick up the clues he’s left to become the best you you can be. - Chandler, Matt; Chandler, Matt. The Explicit Gospel (Re:Lit) (p. 13). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
Chandler, Matt; Chandler, Matt. The Explicit Gospel (Re:Lit) (p. 13). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
“I just want you to grow up and be a good person who treats others well.” -
There is no good person unless we accept our badness!
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Pelagius [Pellagianism], a popular Christian teacher active in Rome about a.d. 383–410 and then later (until a.d. 424) in Palestine, taught that God holds man responsible only for those things that man is able to do. Since God warns us to do good, therefore, we must have the ability to do the good that God commands. The Pelagian position rejects the doctrine of “inherited sin” (or “original sin”) and maintains that sin consists only in separate sinful acts. - Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (p. 499). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House.
Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (p. 499). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House.
“He just has low self-esteem.” -
The only esteem that will suffice is one that is rooted in our identity in Jesus Christ.
NOT ON SLIDE: In addition, however plausible this interpretation may seem in English, it is very clear from the Greek that is not referring to faith as a gift from God. For the “that” (touto) is neuter in form and cannot refer to “faith” (pistis), which is feminine. The antecedent of “it is the gift of God” is the salvation by grace through faith (v. 9). Commenting on this passage, the great New Testament Greek scholar A. T. Robertson noted: “ ‘Grace’ is God’s part, ‘faith’ ours. And that [it] (kai touto) is neuter, not feminine taute, and so refers not to pistis [faith] or to charis [grace] (feminine also), but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part.” - Geisler, Norman. Chosen But Free (p. 189). Baker Book Group - A. Kindle Edition.
Geisler, Norman. Chosen But Free (p. 189). Baker Book Group - A. Kindle Edition.
How can we trust that the intelligent force that created the world is the God of the Bible and not just some disconnected Being (like deists believe)?
I can be sure that the God of the Bible initially created and is actively connected within creation because:
If God can re-create,
God’s grace has provided Jesus Christ:
To necessarily re-create all things [including mankind] - This manifests the power of creation.
To give a most intimate identity in himself [Christ] - This manifests the personal nature of our Lord.
To produce through him [good works] - This manifests that he is actively involved.
Many “lukewarm” or nominal Christians today are, in effect, practical deists, since they live lives almost totally devoid of genuine prayer, worship, fear of God, or moment-by-moment trust in God to care for needs that arise.
Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (pp. 270–271). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House.
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