Robert Reymond on Mockers of Genesis 3

What follows is a section from the late Robert Reymond’s A New Systematic Theology of the Christian faith. Oftentimes, the fall is presented as a mere silly myth with no real depth to it. Reymond makes an interesting case that there is deep meaning tied to the sin of our first parents, namely, their rejection of the authority of God:

How shallow, then, is the oft-heard mockery of the whole situation in Genesis 3 that ascribes to God a ‘tempter tantrum’ merely because someone committed the picayunish act of ‘eating a piece of apple.’ The transgression of Adam was far more than that; it was at its core the creature’s deliberate rejection of God’s authority and an act of willfull rebellion against the Creator. It was man claiming the stance of autonomy and freedom from God. It was man believing that he had the right to determine for himself what he would be metaphysically (“You will be like God”), what he would know epistemologically (“Like God, knowing good and evil”), and how he would behave ethically (“she took and ate….her husband ate”). It was man heeding Satan’s call to worship the creature rather than the Creator. Authority was the issue at stake, and man decided against God and in his own favor.

(Robert Reymond. A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, Hendrickson Publishers, 1997. Pgs. 446-447).

BOOK REVIEW: The Ultimate Proof of Creation

The Ultimate Proof of Creation

“It is time to get to the real heart of the issue and rationally resolve the origins debate.” Dr. Jason Lisle

Overview: It is a bold claim, Dr. Lisle confesses in his introduction, to assert to be in possession of the ultimate proof of creationism. Does such a proof even exist in that it can claim to be ultimate? Dr. Lisle’s book sets out to prove biblically, rationally, logically, and scientifically that there is such a thing as this proof. This book is a wonderful primer to presuppositional apologetics, and whether you are educated, curious, or skeptical about presuppositionalism, this work serves as an extensive introduction to the methodology and reasoning behind this more hotly-contested apologetical approach.

Appraisal: I would be remiss if I did not mention the easy-to-read style with which Dr. Lisle writes. One of the most immediate things that struck me while reading was the style and eloquence that so visibly flows from his pen. He presents the aspects of presuppositionalism in a manner that the newest inductee to apologetics may comprehensively grasp the points of his writing. If the reader in himself contains the slightest ability or desire to think rationally and logically about his beliefs, this book’s clarity and conciseness is a treasure. Among the writing, Dr. Lisle also includes several graphics that also help to condense the themes of that section or chapter into an easy-to-remember visual. In my opinion, the two most beneficial sections of this book are his two chapters upon logical fallacies that the evolutionist often commits (and sometimes even the creationist). He provides many examples and ways of recognizing and refuting both formal and informal logical fallacies in conversation or debate. These sections were an eye-opener for me, and his lists and explanations of fallacies are sure to be useful to me in my future apologetics. The end of the book was also incredibly helpful, as Dr. Lisle includes a wealth of examples of threads of emails from actual critics and his responses to them. Reading these, I was able to practice identifying almost every sort of fallacious thinking the unbeliever will commit, along with learning how to respond in a firm yet righteous manner.

Criticism: I understand that this book is not meant to be an explanation of all the existing methods of apologetics that have ever existed. However, one thing that I wish had been included in this work is perhaps a chapter on other types of existing apologetics that are employed by other believers. Besides evidentialism, there is not much explanation or refute of other ideologies. However, I recognize that in his deep analyzation of presuppositionalism, other method’s inconsistencies and failures can be logically inferred. I simply wish that these other forms and types (such as classical apologetics) had been identified and described on at least a surface level.

Recommendation: Nevertheless, there is an abundant trove of other resources on the countless methodological approaches to evangelism and apologetics, and Dr. Lisle did not set out to provide an encyclopedia covering them. His work is a marvelous introduction to presuppositional apologetics, and can easily serve as a primer into other presuppositional heavy thinkers such as Greg Bahnsen or Cornelius Van Til. If you are interested about the mindset behind, or are looking to improve your apologetic skills, this book will not let you down. I with utmost clarity recommend Dr. Lisle’s book, and firmly believe it will be a relied upon resource of mine for years to come.

Grade: 9/10


Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Proof-Creation-Jason-Lisle/dp/0890515689


PC: Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Can Christians Trust their History?

Epistemology is the study of how we as human beings know and are justified in having certainty about what we know. One’s epistemology influences their philosophy of history. Given the skeptical stance many scholars and lay-people have regarding Scriptural history, especially Old Testament historiography, it is safe to say they have a particular view of epistemology which engenders this skepticism (Provan 37-40). My purpose here is to analyze Rene Descartes’ epistemology and its impact on history. Before I proceed in that manner, a brief statement of how history is known with certainty is provided.

Philosophy of History: Distinguishing Historiography and Archaeology

The science of understanding and discovering what occurred historically is called historiography; simply stated, historiography is the study of historical writings in order to reconstruct the past. While some have sought to place a heavier emphasis on studying archaeological evidence to reconstruct history, the majority of one’s understanding of history must come from historiography (Provan 7-8). Archaeology should be utilized to verify the text, document, or stone tablet being examined; however, those studying history will not know the significance of such artifacts unless they have been recorded in a historical document. In essence, archaeology is fact without contextual interpretation. Written texts interpret the significance of archaeological facts. An example would be if someone were to find, years after I am dead, my wedding band, the person would be able to identify it is a wedding band, but the only way they would know if the band belonged to me is through a document which stated so or if my name was engraved on the inside of the band. Otherwise, without any written information as to who it belonged to, the person discovered a wedding band with no knowledge of the one who possessed it. Archaeology tells us about certain facts; historiography tells us what those facts meant to those persons engaged with them.

Cartesian Epistemology Stated

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) developed an epistemology and a method of epistemology which has influenced the study of history for the worst. Descartes’ most quoted saying, “I think therefore I am,” provides insight into the substratum of his thought. The epistemology of Descartes begins with the rational powers of one’s own thinking self. A reliance on testimony and information given through others is not the starting point of his philosophy. The aforementioned quotation, when unpacked in its full context, is saying one can have the indubitable certainty that they possess a mind and the ability to think. Descartes’ point of departure is the self as a thinking thing. He begins, certainly, with the self alone. The subject, therefore, can know, with epistemic certainty, that they exist in some form because they think (Stumpf 250-251).

However, at this point in Descartes’ meditation, it is impossible to know with certainty whether or not one has a body and whether or not the external world exists. For Descartes, the way one comes to a knowledge of the physical is through first acquiring a self-knowledge through cognitive abilities; in other words, the first step to knowing the existence of everything else is to know I, as a thinking being, exist. First, he establishes the indubitable: himself as a thinking thing. The second step then is to determine whether God exists. If God exists and He is good, then He is not deceiving me about the external world. Descartes explicates his own ontological argument which states that a finite, imperfect being cannot conceive of an infinite, perfect being on its own; therefore, there is an infinite being who is God (Stumpf 251-252). As one can see, Descartes was concerned only with a certainty of knowledge which stems from one’s self; given his concern, Descartes view of history was not particularly high, “Because historians employed observation and interpretation rather than logic and mathematics, the seventeenth-century philosopher Descartes, who rooted his thinking in self-evident axioms, proceeding to trustworthy knowledge and certainty by way of deductive reasoning and mathematical method, likewise did not think highly of history” (Provan, Long, Longman III, 20). 

Cartesian Influence Upon Old Testament Historiography

At this point, the question must be raised, how does Cartesian Epistemology influence the study of historiography? More particularly, how does Descartes’ epistemology affect the study of Old Testament history? For Descartes, knowledge begins with the ability to know with certainty via self-realization or self-awareness in the process of systemic doubt. In essence, the result of his epistemology regarding the study of history is that everything must be held accountable to the indubitable individual and his reason. The result of such a system is a form of history which is only somewhat knowable – it is, essentially, a radically dubitable history. What is meant by this, is that the history can only be known through what actual, reasonable, scientific facts present themselves. In other words, what science can confirm as true, as a universal axiom based upon one’s own reason (Provan, Long, Longman III, 45-48).

The notion of, “I think therefore I am,” while it holds some truth, cannot be that which governs the study of history because it results in an extreme skepticism of external sources. The result is that history, as an inquiry, would be void of any deliverance. The problem here is that history requires testimony, which is not subject to the standards of autonomous reason alone. While there are objective standards which can be held, such as multiple eyewitness accounts and the support of archaeological evidence (Provan, Long, Longman III 25-27), historiography is ultimately a matter of testimony and written accounts which provide insight into historical events.

Take the following example: Surely most people have experienced rummaging through old photos of their parents, grandparents, or some loved one. When this experience occurs, there are usually two scenarios which arise: 1) the photograph one is looking at has the name of those involved in the photo, the date of its taking, and the location in which it was taken, or 2) the photo does not provide this information, and the person inevitably asks their parent or grandparent about the history of the photo. Even in scenario 1, usually, a conversation is still struck in regards to the photo taken. The objective standard would be what can be reasonably known about the photo; for instance, if it is a photograph of one’s uncle, it would be unreasonable to say the photo is of their aunt. However, the testimony of the uncle is needed to understand the history of the photo; the person looking at said photo cannot reconstruct an accurate history unless they were there themselves. And even if they were there, their perspective of the situation may be different then the uncle’s, and they may remember details the uncle forget or vice versa. Ultimately, the one looking at the photo will need to trust the testimony of the person in the photo to know what history occurred surrounding the photograph.

The way in which this form of epistemology influences OT history, and the history of ancient Israel, is by seeking to deny significant events within the OT due to the seeming absurdity of them or lack of archaeological or extra-biblical evidence. An example of this would be the skepticism as to the actual historicity of the patriarchal era by scholars due to a lack of archaeological evidence. In essence, because there seems to be no extra-biblical evidence of the existence of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, then a disbelief of their existence is in order. This is based upon a presupposition of the Bible as a non-historical book or a semi-historical book and an epistemology which states that nothing that can be assuredly known can come from the testimonies of others. Even those scholars who would consent to the context and cultural surroundings of the patriarchal era being accurately portrayed by the Biblical text, they would argue this is only partial history and the Biblical text does not accurately and completely portray a true and pure history (Hamilton, 84).

Take this quote for example: “Admittedly, the biblical story about Jacob and Joseph contains elements of folklore. It was intended to be an interesting and edifying story, rather than a straight biographical account… Nevertheless, the biblical account is more than fiction. In its broad outline, as well as many of its details, it agrees with the historical setting of the second millennium B.C” (Anderson, 30). The question which arises is why, if the account fits the historical context, is the biblical narrative contained with folklore. Additionally, why is the biblical narrative an edifying story? When one encounters the biblical narrative of Jacob and Joseph in the Biblical text, the story is presented to the reader as an actual historical event. So, why deny the testimony of the narrative about itself? All the evidence points to the account being historical, but those with a purely scientific, rationalist, skeptic method will not concede to the evidence of the text’s full historicity. Not only does the historical context and the text itself appeal to the accounts historicity, but there are a people who have been around for centuries— the Jews—  who testify to the account. To deny the biblical narrative is to deny the history of the Jews and to deny the history of Christ.

The Christian Response: On Behalf of Testimony

The issue with Cartesian Epistemology for the study of history and historiography lies within the starting point of knowledge. If the starting point is me as a thinking being, the result is two-fold: 1) If I must predicate knowledge upon knowing myself as a thinking person, how am I able to come to a  knowledge of myself? The answer is simple: It is through the testimony of others. How do I know my name? It is through the testimony of my parents who named me. How do I know a language? It is through the testimony of another explaining to me the language. How do I know mathematics? It is through a teacher testifying to the principles of math. Even though I am capable of knowing I am a thinking being, I am still incapable to know who I am without a higher, more objective standard governing me. 2) This results in a skepticism in all that is external to me as a thinking being; for, I cannot be certain of anything unless it rests within myself as the thinking subject.

In regards to the first issue which arises, no one is truly the starting point for their knowledge. In some form, all men gain epistemological certainty from the testimony of others. The only one who is His own self-sufficient starting point is God. Therefore, one must be an infinite being if they are to have epistemological certainty which is rooted in themselves. For, a finite being cannot manifest this form of epistemological certainty— God is the only one who is able to do so.

See, Descartes’ epistemology is backward; a certainty of knowledge does not come from establishing one’s own existence and working up to God’s, but a certainty of knowledge comes from knowing God and working one’s way down to themselves. In essence, the Christian is able to have epistemological certainty of the history of the Old Testament, of God’s creation, of God’s goodness, and of himself because God is the only being who is able to have certainty of knowledge within himself. God is the one who defines who we are (Gen.1:27), he is the one who ordered the created universe (Gen. 1:1), and he is the one who governs history. Our certainty of the scriptures as a historically reliable text is due to God’s governance over his redemptive plan in Christ, and his desire to communicate the history and development of the aforementioned plan to his people; as well as the reality that the Biblical texts have proven to be historically accurate, even though there are certain areas of uncertainty.

________________________________________________________________

Bernhard W. Anderson, Understanding the Old Testament (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966)

Iain Provan, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III, A Biblical History of Israel, 2nd ed. (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015),37-40.

Samuel Enoch Stumpf, Socrates to Sartre: a history of philosophy., 2d ed. (New York,: McGraw-Hill, 1975)

Victor P. Hamilton, Handbook On the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2005)

 

Answer not the Fool According to his Folly: A Biblical Approach to Abortion Apologetics

For over three years I’ve participated in the Pro-Life community. I have attended several mission trips, been to multiple trainings, started a club at my High School, and received accolades for my work. My time with fellow Pro-Lifers has been incredibly eye opening, and I have had the privilege to make many friends, increasing in my knowledge of apologetics, tactics, and conversations. By God’s grace alone, I have awoken to the atrocity that abortion is; abortion is a crime that ends the life of nearly 3000 infant girls and boys ever single day. I believe that the church has been called to action on this topic, and I believe that abortion is only still legal as a result of the laziness and nonchalantness of the body. However, the failure of the body is a topic for another blog post. My goal today is not to convince you that abortion is wrong, as I hope you will agree with me, or even call you to action. Rather, my aim is to change the way that Christians perceive and engage in apologetics regarding this topic, specifically regarding our method of engaging unbelievers in a righteous way.

From the very beginning of my time in the Pro-Life Movement, I was taught that it is possible to give solid, Pro-Life arguments based solely off of scientific and philosophical reasoning apart from the Word of God. For 2 years I believed that I didn’t even have to use Bible verses and scripture to change peoples’ minds, but that I could do it with pure logic and reasoning! I spent months sharpening my intellectual skills and rhetoric regarding the status of a baby from the moment of conception. Using scientific proof, quotes, and data, I was more equipped than ever to change the world! I was prepared to prove that the pre-born child was a human and that no circumstances ever justified an abortion. By giving an example of one of the syllogisms (arguments) I was given in my training, I will attempt to demonstrate the folly of my apologetic method at that time.

Syllogism Apart from the Word of God:

1) Killing any innocent human is wrong.

2) Abortion ends the life of an innocent human as proven by science.

3) Therefore, abortion is wrong!

I believed that all I had to do was prove that the unborn child was a human being, and poof! It would be smooth sailing from there. Yet the unjustified assumption we forgot to account for was the belief that murder is necessary wrong. Why is murder even wrong? What I quickly realized was that this wicked and twisted world didn’t care if pre-born babies were humans or not, they still thought that it was the mother’s right to terminate the life of her child whenever she desired. The argument was no longer over whether or not the pre-born child was a human, but over whether or not he or she should be able to be killed for the convenience of the parents. It was at this point I realized I had no possible way to answer these people with my current apologetic system, because I had absolutely no basis for morality with my apologetics worldview! I remember speaking with one man on the Campus of FGCU and he asked me, “This organization you are with claims to be nonreligious— but how can you say abortion is wrong without having any appeal to higher authority?” I then realized that it didn’t matter how much I “proved” the unborn were human: if my apologetics didn’t include some sort of basis for morality, I could throw it out the window. For a long time I was told to “secularize” my answers to so called “Pro-Choicers” so we wouldn’t scare them off and they wouldn’t be able to blame our beliefs on our religion. Brothers and sisters, if you believe that this is the route to take, you’re taking a very wrong approach to this discussion, as I was for a very long time. It doesn’t matter how intellectually superior or skillful we are in arguments and discussions, if you don’t have any type of basis for your morality, you are being just like the Athiest during their arguments. When you make either yourself, science, or philosophy, as opposed to the Word of God, the basis of why you think something is right or wrong, you become exactly like the godless world we live in today– making humanity the standard for all ethics and morals. Proverbs 26:4 says:

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself

By ridding our arguments of their basis in the Word of God and making worldly systems our standard for right and wrong, we become exactly like the fool. We should not be begging the question stating, “I can prove to you that abortion is wrong without using any type of religious argument.” This is impossible to do! Without any appeal to a higher authority, there is no possible way that abortion is actually wrong. So obviously, as a Christian, our objective morality should come from the inspired Word of God in the Bible. Scripture expressly states that murder is wrong; after establishing this, you can move to prove the humanness of the unborn. Without the assumption of Scripture, however, words like right and wrong have no actual meaning! Moral Relativism, which states that all truth is relative, or up to everybody to decide for themselves, is a very tempting worldview apart from the sure foundation in the Word of God. A question that I would those who think we should argue against abortion solely on the basis of “science” is: “How is your argument any different than those of atheists? Are you not simply saying that you think this- therefore your opinion is right? What makes your opinion right more than anyone else’s? Why is murder wrong?” The answer is: apart from God, murder is not wrong. It is impossible to argue that anything is wrong, unless you have an appeal to a higher authority. Although it is far more comfortable and convenient to argue against abortion by using science, philosophy, and reason, all of these are ultimately arbitrary and useless unless we have Scripture to build our foundation upon. A better syllogism than the one I shared above would be:

1) God expressly says that murder is wrong.

2) Abortion ends the life of an innocent human being, by definition, murder.

3) Therefore, every abortion is wrong.

Without the first point, even our finest arguments will fall to pieces. Without objective truth, every worldview is reduced to absurdity because nothing matters whatsoever! Socially constructed truth can not possibly fulfill our need for objective morality because it changes over time and is altered daily! For example, people who believe in socially constructed morals say that society determines ethics and what is right or wrong. So if the culture of that day says something is correct, it is without a doubt. If their view is consistent, they must agree that what Hitler did in Nazi Germany was not morally wrong because it was the belief of the society at that time that Jews needed to be eradicated! They would also be required to agree that slavery was permissible because society accepted it. If rape was determined to be acceptable by the majority, these relativists not oppose “rape culture” because their worldview upholds no transcendent moral standard. Through bringing up points like this, a worldview is reduced to absurdity, your opponent is forced to backtrack. From the Christian worldview, Scripture gives us an actual reason for our beliefs; reasons that are comprehensive, non-contradictory, unchanging, consistent, and true.

I am not saying that arguing based off of Scripture is easy to do when you’re facing a flaming feminist liberal, but it is what the Word of God commands us to do. It takes courage, and that of which only God can provide. When we start to use God’s Word as the basis for all of our conversations with unbelievers (and believers for that matter), our worldview and strategies drastically change. Abortion will never end apart from the Gospel, and as long as we continue to argue apart from Scripture and the good news of Jesus Christ, thousands of children will continue to be killed each and every day. I am not here to condemn anyone for the tactics that they use, but I have now realized that strategies that have no appeal to higher authority are ultimately worthless and inconsistent. I believe it is necessary to spread awareness and a warning to fellow believers that arguing using anything but the Word of God will never work. As Christians we should be using only the Bible as the basis for each of our arguments, because abortion laws will only be changed by the same God who worked in our hearts to change us, never on our own strength but His alone.

Hallucinogenics: Informing the Reformed

It was the 1960s and change was in the air. Timothy Leary, a Harvard psychologist, suddenly called an entire generation to “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.” What did this mean and why was it happening? What was all the fuss about? Why this sudden call for radical change? Hunter S. Thompson described the 1960s in this way, “There was madness in any direction, at any hour. . . . you could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.” There was such rapid change in such a short period of time; both in culture and in politics. Anyone who knows the history is bound to ask, “what caused this madness?”

The main catalyst was a strong hallucinogenic drug called LSD; the drug that defined a generation. This drug changed the way people viewed culture, gender, politics, war, religion, oneself, and God. Many claimed it expanded the mind. An entire generation bought into the notion that this drug was the gateway into a new way of life, to a new self and a new world.

But what became of that generation? What happened to the movement that a drug helped create? What happened to the promised new world?

Thompson provides an eye-opening answer, when he said, “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” He goes on to explain how this great idealism destroyed a generation. “We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that 60’s. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary’s trip. He crashed around America selling ‘consciousness expansion’ without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously… All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy peace and understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure was ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create… a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody… or at least some force – is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.” Here Thompson recaptures the death of an ideology. Less than 5 years later, this monumental movement died like so many before it. It is now given over to the sands of time and locked away in a grade school history book. Consciousness expansion, peace and love took its last breath at the feet of nihilism. It is as if he said, “The LSD movement is dead and you have killed it.” All that was left in its wake was failed gurus and seekers who couldn’t handle the pressure of the real world. The god at the end of the tunnel never picked up the phone. A false leader promoting an unattainable ideal with a powerfully distorting substance, drew in, blew up and throw out an entire generation, leaving them with no way to cope with the bleak realities of a normal life. Survival is all that remained.

Even after the 1960s wave, there were still others who ran decades after to catch these moving waters in the hope of experiencing the once ‘great’ wave. It seems that for every generation of psychedelic, Neo-hippies there is a guru who is willing to propagate these drugs to a sub-culture who have already bought in. These gurus pump out the same New Age, Neo-Shaman, mysticism as their forefathers did, with rhetoric and pseudoscience included. They promise enlightenment. They claim hallucinogenic drugs are the catalyst to economic creativity and provide metaphysical insights. Got emotional problems such as depression, or alcoholism? Then look no further than to what the snake oil salesman tells you. “This is the wonder drug and cure-all. The one stop shop for all you have ever wanted or needed. It carries with it the power to create dreams and destroy your psychological nightmares. Come step right up and turn on, drink in and be blown out of this universal to another dimension where you will meet aliens that will tell you secret knowledge hidden long ago, and it is available for you now for only $10 a hit.”

What does the Christian worldview have to say concerning this kind of drug use and the ideology that comes with it? It claims the same thing that one of its own gurus professed, “They are all wired into a survival trip now… [leaving in it’s wake] a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers” and a failed promise that through this drug one could expand ones mind and come to a knowledge of god. This is a failed ideology that is subjecting one’s mind to an unquestioning faith, it is crippling the user’s will by not preparing them for the hardships of life in the real world and it is robbing them of any hope in anything. It offers only a temporary door of escape that never solves the need to escape. After all is said and done, the trip is over and the seeker is in a worse condition than before. All he has is a bunch of distorted memories of things that never really happened. The ideology is like the drug, they both deceive.

Does the Bible have a word in season for all of those who survived the 60s? What about a word for the new generation that is looking into psychedelics? Yes in many ways.

The word the Bible uses in this context is Pharmakeia meaning: 1. Magic arts, witchcraft. 2. The use or the ministering of drugs. A Sorcerer is one who mixes up drug-based incantations. This has a ‘drugging’ effect on the religious devotee, inducing them to think they have been enlightened or have obtained special god-like abilities.

Paul states in Gal. 5:19-21, that sorcery is a work of the flesh and reminds the Galatians the fate of those who practice such things when he says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” The book of Revelation says that those who practice sorcery have “their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death (Rev. 21:8).”

Another way the Bible gives light to the issue of using psychedelic drugs is when it talks about “drunkenness”. Drunkenness is referring to intoxication. To intoxicate means, “to excite or stupefied by alcohol or a drug especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished.” Though it is referring to alcohol first and foremost, it applies theologically to any substance that produces intoxication. Paul in the same passage in Galatians condemns drunkenness too and warns them that they will not inherit the kingdom of God either. Paul also says, “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor. 6:9-10).”

Another reason that goes hand in hand with this topic is the command throughout the Bible to be sober minded. The call to sobriety is a call to be self-controlled both in mind and body. Paul says it this way, “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation 1 Thess. 5:8).” Instead of running off to follow a guru who offers a revelation in a drug, Christians are called to prepare their minds for action, to be sober-minded, and to set their hope fully on the grace that will be brought to them at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13). Christians are also called to be sober-minded and watchful for good reason because the Christian’s adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter.5:8).

Thirdly, one of the plainest arguments against any Christian partaking of hallucinogenic drugs is that they are illegal to consume. Usually these drugs carry with them an ideology that is against authorities. The Christian on the other hand is called to submit to governing authority because God has placed them over him for his protection (Romans 131-5; 1 Peter ‪2:13-16; Titus 3:1-2).

The final reason Christians are called to abstain from these drugs and those like is because of the nature of the Christian’s calling as a Christian. The Christian is not his own, but has been bought with a price. Paul says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-2).” The Christian lives to glorify God and enjoy him. The Christian also is to have nothing to do with pagan practices. Paul says, “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you (2 Corinthians. ‪6:15-17).”

For the Christian there is no high wave that breaks and rolls back. There is only the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day (Proverbs 4.18). There is no survival trip of permanent cripples, but the Spirit of the Lord and his freedom (1 Corinthians. 3:17-18). There are no failed seekers, but for those who knock the door will be open. The light promised at the end of the tunnel doesn’t fade, but now the Christian sees “in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).” For those who want to know themselves, they must know God, and to know God they must know Christ. Let the Christian not make idols out of the created world but let them follow Christ, the only one who keeps every promise he makes.