The Basis of the Liberal View of the Bible
We have found that there are two
distinct modern views
toward the Word of God which has come down to us over the centuries
original writers through the manuscripts through the preserving
of God, and to the translations that we have today.
We found that these original writings were
written by men under the guidance of God the Holy Spirit.
This is one view that is held today
concerning the Scriptures. This is
viewing the doctrine of inspiration as a reality. This
means that the original writings were
inerrant with no mistakes in them, and that final authority in
matters therefore resides in the written Bible.
What we believe and what we practice is determined
according to what the
This book is a book that we are
capable of interpreting and
of understanding. This book is viewed
under this conservative view as being a book of propositions of truth
doctrines which are applicable to day, and they are God speaking to man. That’s one view.
A second view, and this is the
predominant view in
Christendom, that is, among ministers and church members:
Most people who are church members will hold
this second view, that the Bible is a purely human production; that it
written, edited, and compiled by men apart from any divine guidance;
original writings were filled with errors, myths, and hallucinations;
Bible therefore is not the final authority in spiritual
matters—rather it is to
be submitted to human reason to determine that which in it is truthful
useful. It therefore is not a series by
this liberal view of statements of divine viewpoint.
It is not God speaking to mankind today.
Now you must take one or the other. We are going to pursue this morning the
consequences of this second view of Scripture—that it is a purely
and that it is not the voice of God speaking to us today.
God has provided this book. He
has preserved it, but during the 18th
century era of rationalism, there came an attack upon the supernatural
of the Bible. Rationalism held that man
is capable, because he can reason, of determining what is truth. He can do this within himself alone without
any information outside of himself to guide him to the truth; that is,
simply has to start thinking, and he will think himself into realities. He won’t have to have any information
of himself to get him into spiritual understanding.
The liberal theologians who are
operating on the principles
of rationalism were embarrassed by the fact that the Bible has
that’s irrational; by the supernatural elements throughout the
that’s irrational. In time, this
became to be known as destructive higher criticism—the study of
the origin, the
authorship, the purpose, the meaning, and so on, concerning these
of the Bible. This developed into a
study which eventually destroyed the Bible as being a book from God
This morning I’d like to trace
for you some of the
background now of this view of Scripture and the fact that this is
held by most of the people that you meet in your day-by-day life. How did we ever come to this point where this
book which is so meaningful to you and me, in which we find God’s
viewpoint, in which we find a contact of life as it really is, in which
answers to life that work; how is it that we have this book in this way
there is the vast vast vast majority of humanity and they’re in
rejecting this book as God’s authoritative declaration?
Well it all began with a man named
Thomas Aquinas. He lived from about 1227
to 1274. Up to the time of Thomas Aquinas,
all the emphasis on heavenly things.
People were interested during these dark ages, the
middle ages, they
were interested only in the things that dealt with the spiritual
things of heaven. The things of earth
were of no interest. This was of course
reflected in many ways. It primarily
reflected, for one thing, in art. It
reflected that they were interested in what was spiritual, what was up
what was before them, what were the things of God, the things of
the spiritual things. They were not
interested in earthly things and secular things. They
didn’t portray things
realistically. They didn’t draw
of things as they existed in the scene that people normally view on
Well with Aquinas came the humanistic
renaissance or revival
of learning (that’s what renaissance means) and the stressing of
relationships. Spiritual and material
realms, heavenly and earthy things, were viewed as having a
centuries to define the two were to pass by.
Here were the spiritual things up here, the things
of heaven. Here were secular things, the
earth. And people viewed that there was
a relationship between them. What was
true was true here on the earthly scene had a relationship to what was
on the heavenly scene. Spiritual
principles of truth guided to reality on earth.
There was a connection.
Now Thomas Aquinas came along and into
this scene which had
gone on for centuries of this relationship between the two, with people
primarily interested in this upper (heavenly) one, Thomas Aquinas
concept that in the fall man’s will had been contaminated but not
intellect. His mind had not suffered as
a result of the fall. Now this opened a
hornet’s nest because this in effect declared that human reason
because it was not fallen and it was not contaminated by sin,
could arrive at spiritual concepts.
Anything that man sat down and thought through and
reasoned to truth
concerning spiritual things, he would find was also true in things that
arrived at on an earthly scene. The two
would be coordinated. If man’s
was uncontaminated, he would be thinking the way God things. Therefore what he concluded would be
right. It would fit in spiritual things
and it would fit in earthly things.
Well the result was the development of
theology. Natural theology are
conclusions concerning God apart from the Bible or any revelation. The theory was that man’s reason could
what was truth and it would be supported by Scripture.
Reason in this way became independent of the
Bible. Thomas Aquinas is responsible for
this separation—setting human reason free of the superintendency
Now over the centuries, as rationalism
more and more came
into its own, men were trying to think their way from natural theology
relationship with revealed theology.
However, it never materialized.
The more the mentality of man considered the things
of God and of
spiritual things, the farther the mind of man departed from the Bible. More and more what the Bible revealed was
contradicted by what man thought. What
man concluded by reason and his observations contradicted what he read
Bible. More and more there came a tension
between spiritual things of heaven and the secular things of this earth. So by the time of the renaissance (in the 14th
through the 16th centuries) had reached a climax, the
and took over and dominated men’s thinking entirely.
The opposite condition resulted, that where
up to the time of Thomas Aquinas the spiritual had dominated
men’s minds, now
it was strictly this realm here of the secular that dominated the minds
When we came to the Reformation in the
the reformers recognized that Thomas Aquinas had made a bad mistake and
what he taught was not supported by the scriptural view of the fall of
man. As we study the Word of God, what
the Bible reveals that when man sinned, the totality of his being was
in that sin, and he was a different creature from that moment. It affected his spirit which died
immediately. It affected his soul which
contaminated his intellect and his will and his emotions.
And it affected his body which eventually
died also. So he was totally affected by
the fall. The reformers realized that
Thomas Aquinas was wrong in freeing the intellect from the effects of
the fall. They went back to the scriptural
declared that the intellect also was included in the fall.
Thus man was made dependent on God and on the
revelation that God gives if he was going to know anything at all about
spiritual things. The reformers said
that man by reason cannot approach God.
He cannot discover salvation. He
cannot discover the love of God. He
cannot discover moral principles. He
can’t discover any of the things that are essential for him to be
man and to
remain his manliness, his humanity.
So the final authority and the
sufficient knowledge rested
in Scripture alone with the reformers.
It is not the Bible confirmed by the church or the
Bible confirmed by
natural theology or the Bible confirmed by reason, but rather the Bible
pronouncements about reason and about what the church believes and
natural theology had come up with. The
Roman Catholic Church had been contaminated over these centuries by
and they had taught that salvation was by Christ plus an effort of man
to deserve it, which of course
violated the principle of grace—that man has to work so he
and then what Christ did will be applied to him. That
was the direct result that this
rationalism that Thomas Aquinas set loose.
The Bible actually unites the things of heaven and
the things of earth
without a contradiction between the two.
An Open System
So when we come to the Word of God,
here’s the viewpoint: The Bible says
there is an infinite personal
God out there. He does exist and he
created the universe including man. This
creation that He made exists entirely apart from God.
This is not pantheism where creation is just
an extension of God and everything is God.
God is a separate entity from his creation. The universe operates on a cause and effect
basis but it operates on an open system.
Now this is important.
Here’s our world.
This world has openings in it.
Here are all the natural laws which God has ordained. That’s why we say that all truth is His
truth. Not only spiritual things that
the Bible reveals are His truth but every law of nature and every
science is God’s truth. Here are
laws. Within our earth, within our
world, within our universe, we operate on these natural
laws—cause and effect. But this is
not a closed system because God
can interject Himself into this system and he can counter these natural
laws. That’s what’s called a
miracle. God can counter a natural law
and therefore He performs miracles.
Therefore the flood comes along which is not a
normal thing, and He
interjects by His power something that is over and above the natural
A Closed System
The liberal theologian says,
“No, no, no. All this is closed here. This is a closed system. We
operate by natural laws. God can’t
come in. Nothing can come in and overcome
natural laws. They always operate and
they always have operated.” Evolution
based upon the fact that the scientist looks out and he sees how things
operating now and he says, “This is how they have always
operated,” and he
tries to project it back and figure out how it all came into came into
But the Word of God says, “No,
the universe is not a closed
system that God cannot interject Himself into.”
Now get this straight. The
teaches an open system. The liberal
teaches a closed system. The closed
system concept again came from the rationalism that Thomas Aquinas set
Well the reformers said that the Bible
unites the two. God is an infinite God. He is there.
The universe operates on this cause and effect, and
God can override His
natural laws. Furthermore, the
viewpoint is that man is made in God’s image.
He has a soul and he has spiritual qualities, and
that God has revealed
Himself to this man, and he has made this revelation in a verbalized
form in a
written communication, that is, the Bible.
Therefore everything that God has recorded, because
He is perfect, He
has recorded without error through His writers.
What He has given us are propositions of truth, the
Now the Bible does not give us
everything that God knows,
but it does tell us everything that man needs to know.
God is interested in the whole man.
He is interested in both his spiritual realm
and his secular realm. In the Word of
God these two are not separated. The
universe and human relationships today are in an abnormal state. They are not as they were when they were
first created. But the Bible provides us
with the solutions to solve the problems as the result of our abnormal
Now all of this is in contrast to the
view of naturalism. Naturalism says that
if God does exist, He
doesn’t have anything to do with the creation He made or with man. Naturalism says that the universe is a closed
system and God cannot come in to override any of the natural laws. He simply presupposes this.
The understanding of human life in the
universe is determined by man himself, not by some outside
is like, is man bad, is man sinful, where is he headed, who’s
going to decide
that? Naturalism and liberal theology
says that man decides that on the basis of his reason.
Man consequently is an animal who is a
product of chance evolution.
Now where did all this come from? Well it started, first of all, with a man
named Immanuel Kant who lived from 1724 through 1804.
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher.
From the time of the reformation to the time
of Kant, the mood of secular thinkers was one of optimism.
They believed that man by rationalism could
find the answers that unified all knowledge and all of life. Liberal theology echoed the views of the
secular thinkers. They trusted in
rationality, the application of reason.
They trusted in rationality for spiritual
understanding. They were optimistic too as
theologians. Rationalistic theologians
were ill at ease
with everything supernatural in the Bible so they threw it overboard. The just jettisoned the whole thing.
Now before Kant, people operated on
this principle which
called Antithesis, or absolutes. Now
most of you probably think this way.
Your children may not think this way, depending upon
where they go to
school. If they are up at the realm of
higher education, they may have been contaminated against this type of
thinking. Now this is biblical
thinking—antithesis and absolutes. What
this means, in its simplest form is: A
is not non-A. These two are not
equal. A does not equal non-A. A is different from non-A.
Therefore what we are saying is that some
things are right and some things are wrong.
Some things are true and some things are false. Now this is the way men used to think until
Kant came along.
Now they believed in the possibility
of coming to
conclusions on the basis of authority from the Word of God. People thought that you could read the Bible
and find out what was right and what was wrong; find out what God
what He did not intend for us to do. But
Kant came along and he said, “No, that’s wrong.
You can’t know anything beyond your five
senses,” which you know we call
empiricism. The only thing you could
know is what you get from your five senses.
So personal freedom lies in obedience in obedience
to whatever moral law
speaks from within you. He distinguished
between what he called the “phenomenal” and the
Now the phenomenal had to do with what
your senses could
deal with. The noumenal was beyond your
senses and you couldn’t know it. Kant
said the only thing we know in life is the phenomenal because we can
that by our senses, and there is no reality beyond what we can
through our senses. Now the noumenal is
beyond our senses so it is totally incomprehensible to man, and we
his understanding or his reason to it.
What he was saying was that you can’t reason
your way to the things
concerning God. He was saying now that
this realm over here (the spiritual) is totally separated from what
existence can deal with. So Kant said
that man is in total darkness about life beyond the grave.
He can’t know about the resurrection of
Christ. He can’t know about heaven. Those are all noumenal realms.
He can’t enter into those.
Though the Bible teaches that the visible
world that we have we may understand through our senses, it also
teaches us that
the invisible world is known to us through what God as revealed about
So what Kant did in effect was again
to make man the master
of what can be known and of what is true.
Since miracles are in the realm of the noumenal,
Kant said they’re
out. They are not reality, and it’s
foolish for prominent religious leaders to speak of scientific
miracles, by the way. Kant said that
there is no such thing as miracles because that’s beyond what we
Now what is a miracle?
A miracle is an overriding of a natural law. Recently a prominent evangelist was on one of
these talk programs. The person who was
leading the panel was moving toward the direction of trying to examine
attitude of this evangelist concerning the Pentecostal movement and the
workings of the Pentecostal claims today.
So he was asked, “So do you believe in
miracles?” This meant the healers,
the tongues, and the
whole bit. Because he a professional
dancer, he knew that he could not say on the program, “No, I
don’t believe that
God is going around healing people through the hands of some miracle
today.” Instead he said, “Yes,
I believe in miracles. My goodness, if
my grandfather were here today and he were to see television, he would
stunned by that miracle of communication and of entertainment. If he were here today and saw that machine
flying through the air, he wouldn’t be able to believe it. If he saw people out there in space and
people flying to the moon, what a miracle that is.
Of course I believe in miracles.”
Now that’s a cute way to get off
the hook when you don’t
want to say, “Yeah, I think that Catherine Kuhlman and Oral
Roberts are a bunch
of frauds. They can’t put the enamel
back on your teeth, and they can’t fix your broken bones.” But because he didn’t want to say that
can’t perform the miracles and identify them for what they are as
delusionary tools upon Christians who are doctrinally disoriented who
that guff; because he did not want to say that because he wants to fill
auditoriums nice and full when he’s there speaking, he played
ball. He gave the illusion that the
was for real. But do you see what he
said? He took the word
“miracle” and he
used it exactly the way a liberal would use it, and that is not what
calls a miracle. What was he calling a
miracle? The fact that you could take a
machine and put wings on it, curve the surface on the top, and then
send it at
a certain speed, and because the air over the top of the wing goes
reduces the pressure over the air that’s underneath, it creates a
vacuum on top
and pressure underneath, and an airplane will fly.
That’s not a miracle. That’s
a natural consequence of the laws of
science. The same thing with space
travel or television or anything else. These are natural laws of
man has discovered and that he’s applying, and those are not
miracles in the
sense in what the Bible means by miracles.
This evangelist should know better. Any Christian who’s got any (sense) at
should rise up and say, “That’s a terrible thing you did. You’re a big name man but that’s a
thing you did to hedge on miracles because you know what the panel
meant, and you gave the impression that we Christians believe that
the same thing that the liberals say.”
Now this is what Kant was saying (at
least he was hones),
“That’s noumenal. You
anything about what overrides natural laws.”
So he rejected the possibilities of miracles
existing altogether, but he
wasn’t calling natural scientific operations as miracles. So he made a distinction between supernatural
Christianity and the liberal theologian has based himself squarely on
teaching of Kant.
Now sometimes the liberal will use
terminology. You are not to be deceived
by this. He does not mean the same thing
that you and I do when we speak in these terms.
They reject the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a
supernatural act. It is in the noumenal
realm and so it cannot
be understood. They do not view
death upon the cross as an act of history where you could go up and if
rubbed your hand on the cross you might get a sliver in your hand. They don’t view it as that.
Prophecy is rejected. Why?
Because it’s supernatural history.
That’s contrary to reason.
cannot know what’s going to come in the future.
Christianity is based in history. It reveals realities about the invisible
world. These things are explained in the
Bible. It is the Bible that tells us
what happened in Eden. It is the Bible
that tells us why man has this propensity to sin because of what
the Garden of Eden. It is the Bible that
tells us why we have all of these fossil remains all over the world,
there was a great flood that settled the sediment and that produced the
layers that we have to day. The virgin
birth is viewed as being in the realm of the noumenal, but it was an
event in history because the Bible tells us about this.
Otherwise we wouldn’t know that it was. It’s a revelation. All
the acts of redemption took place in the
phenomenal realm of history. We know
about them. These are not cunningly
devised tales. There were people who
stood there and they saw Christ put on that cross and they saw Him die
saw Him put in that tomb. The Bible
gives us records of historical events and these are degraded by the
philosophy to myths. Man is deciding
what is real. Man is concerned only with
what it means, not whether or not it’s true.
So Kant’s system ultimately
dominated the thinking of the
secular leaders and eventually of the theologians.
But this system broke upon the rock of trying
to find some way to bring the phenomenal world of nature into a
with this noumenal world of absolutes.
This is what Kant didn’t like.
Here in this noumenal world that your senses could
not enter was where
the absolute truths reside, and that’s why he was rejecting that.
Well, out of Kant’s reasoning
that there are no absolutes
came of course on concept, that of determinism, that man, like all the
science, is just an animal which is determined.
What comes is the result of what is determined. There are no supernatural overriding laws. There is no God out there.
Man became the center of the universe, and
his freedom became the primary thing, but his freedom independent of
restriction of any control. So because
man is simply matter in motion (he’s a chemical operation), his
not be hindered. There is no reality in
the noumenal world. It is only the
spiritual world, and man is determined by any number of things: his society, his bodily chemistry, and his
heritage. He’s determined and
to go on a certain path.
Well, the influence of this idea had
something when it came
to the realm of morality. This realm in
influence in the realm of morality was epitomized by the Marquis de
lived from 1740 to 1814. The Marquis de
Sade is the father of 20th century pornography who today is
name in drama, philosophy, and literature.
There was a time when you could be arrested if you
had the writings of
the Marquis de Sade on hand. Now he said
if man is determined we cannot enter the noumenal realm, and this realm
affect our life here. The Marquis de
Sade said, “What is, is what is right.
Don’t go around talking to me about what is
right and what is
wrong. What is, that’s what is
Consequently, morals do not count. Life is a machine. Morals
are, by his view, simply what society
invents in order to control people. So
he proceeded to operate on that basis, that morals were nothing. He extended this in the fact that man is made
stronger than a woman. Consequently,
nature indicates to him that he, with superior strength, is to exercise
freedom upon that female in any way that he likes.
As a matter of fact, de Sade was put in
prison for beating a prostitute just for the sheer pleasure of
her. This is where we get the word
“sadism” in our vocabulary. Now
not only meant pleasure in hurting someone, but it also implies that
makes right.” It’s
nature’s way of
determining things, so, in nature, whoever is stronger is stronger,
one who is right. There is no realm to
tell us what is right and what is wrong.
Kant said there are no absolutes of truth.
Now our society today is playing out
this bestial concept,
and here’s where it all originated. What
was the outgrowth of Kantian philosophy?
Well it followed through several men that I want to
morning. First was a man named Georg Hegel
(1770-1831), a German philosopher. Hegel
took what Kant had taught and he added a new concept to it. Hegel came along and he said, “We have
this antithesis system for centuries, and reason is not able to come up
the answers that man needs, and to arrive at truth and to arrive at
knowledge.” Hegel said the reason
for this is that we’re
going at it the wrong way. With
rejection of absolutes, the way was directed for Hegel to add a new
concept. His concept is called
“relativism.” Now what
is that everything is “both/and.” The
whole approach to life was in terms of relativity, meaning that there
universal truths, and what may be false here can be true over here. It just depends upon what the situation
is. It’s all relative.
And he did this on the basis that he said,
“There is a thesis, a principle, a concept.
This is being opposed by an antithesis.
These two are in tension. They’re
fighting one another—a concept and an anti-concept; thesis and an
struggling against one another. In time,
these two result in a synthesis. Where
this was once true, and this was once false, neither one of these are
false. This is what is now true. It’s a conglomeration of the two.
Now what, in effect, happens is that
the synthesis now
becomes a thesis, and it begins to opposing a new antithesis until a
synthesis is created. That’s how you
constantly go. Down, down, down. There is never anything that is right or
wrong. There is never anything that is
always right or always wrong. Now this,
you can immediately see, is at the heart of the Communist conspiracy
concept. These are the basis of our
political and economic ideas, that we cannot know.
We cannot go the Word of God and say, “What
on earth are we going to with criminals?
What on earth are we going to do with poverty? What on earth are we going to do with the
pornographers? We cannot go to the Bible
and get absolute statements because it’s all relative. What was not acceptable one time is
acceptable another now. So we’ve got
shake it down, and consequently man gets himself deeper and deeper and
into a hole on the basis of Hegel’s principles.
Now this gave an approach to truth
where everything was
relative and nothing was absolute. So
Hegel said that states don’t have to obey the moral laws. And governments can make agreements and they
don’t have to keep them. Now you
wondered why the Communists are perennial liars. The
Communists are perennial liars because
they believe Hegel is right. They
believe that everything is constantly shaking itself down to something
else. And about the time Mr. Nixon over
here on thesis agrees with the Vietnamese leader over here on
they come to the synthesis of what they’re going to call
“peace” in Vietnam,
the Communists are already planning to make the new thesis and the new
antithesis with which they’re going to pose.
They don’t intend at all to stop with that
peace. They’re just getting to the
that’s what’s been happening over all the months. The Communists have been working on this
point right here. You’re about to
come to fruition. You’re going to
this set up again, and what lies here only God knows.
So don’t be too enthusiastic on the day after
inauguration over the peace which is at hand.
In relative thinking, one deals with
thought. Cause and effect have not
part. The matter of how you feel about a
thing at a moment is what counts. How do
I feel about this thing? That’s the
thing that counts. So once Hegel did
away with ultimate cause and effect or truth, there was no need to
believe in a
creator God with the Bible of absolute truths.
It’s all based upon a certain changeable
quality. Relative thinking has permeated
education. The more educated a man
became, the more he rejected the absolute authority of the bible.
So in our secular schools today, from
the elementary on up
to the university level, the idea of Hegel is at the heart of the
system. Your sons and your daughters are
taught on the basis of the thesis / antithesis / synthesis concept. Consequently, they come home and they mouth
to you about relativism because they have been contaminated and
it can even take place in a Christian school.
But this is what’s happening so you’ll
understand that our educational
world has become enamored with the concept of Hegel, and many a student
know that he’s mouthing a bit of poison that he has picked up
which is contrary
to the Lord Jesus Christ, to the Word that He has revealed, and to the
who has bought him with His own precious blood in his spiritual death
cross. Our religious leaders wreak with
relativism, and those who believe them are on a self-destructive course. So be careful.
This in religious realms went even
worse. Things didn’t get better. So finally it came to man name Soren
(1813-1855). He rejected the theology of
the Lutheran church in Denmark. Kierkegaard
said there was no way in reason to unite heavenly and earthly
synthesis possible. He accepted this
principle of Hegel. But then Kierkegaard
applied it to Theology. He said,
know, for centuries we’ve been trying to unite spiritual and
earthly things on
the basis of man’s reason, and finally we’re going to have
to admit to
ourselves and bring it out in the open and just say once and for all
there’s no possible way of uniting these two.”
Now, mind you, all of this because the Bible is
rejected as the Word of
God. That’s what I’m trying to
this morning, where the road leads once you begin doubting that the
the authoritative Word of God, word-for-word, inspired by Him, without
and the final authoritative in faith in practice, so when it speaks,
is settled. If you ever reject that, as
you begin hedging on that position, this is the road you will travel
better men than we have traveled it before us.
Soren Kierkegaard came along and said
you can’t by reason
unite the things of God and the things of this earth.
So he introduced these principles.
He declared there could be no rational basis
for anything beyond the five senses.
Kierkegaard was an empiricist. He
said you can’t know anything beyond your five senses. Men are finite. Their
reason cannot provide them with enough
information to arrive at the absolutes of divine viewpoint. He was right on this. Men
are finite. Therefore they can’t
come up with everything
that they need to know concerning their relationship to God. They need information outside of themselves,
namely the Bible, to come up with this.
So to find purpose, Kierkegaard
taught, a person must forget
reason and he must take what he called a leap of faith.
I want you to be careful. That
likes awfully good. I see some
conservative writers who talk
about Christians taking a leap of faith.
People are being told how to become Christians. Instead of being told to believe the gospel,
they’re told to take a leap of faith because they mean something
Kierkegaard meant by it. What
Kierkegaard meant was that it is not possible to know anything absolute. He refused to return to the Bible. He viewed the Bible from the higher critical
point of view, and he said that the basis of asserting that man can
society and that man has a rosy future is arrived at by a leap of faith. We believe things are going to think better,
Kierkegaard said. We believe that man
has a rosy future. We believe that out
before man there are solutions for poverty.
There are solutions for the Communist conspiracy. There are solutions for the aggressors in the
world and the criminal on the street.
But the absolutes of those solutions he had already
rejected in the Word
of God so, he said, “We just leap out there by faith in the
it’s going to turn out well.
Now this is faith in faith.
I remind you that faith has no value whatsoever
except in its
object. So Kierkegaard became the father
of what is called today “existentialism.”
Now existentialism is the big thing today. What it means is simply that there is no
definite reason for life or truth. There
is no purpose to life. What you do at
this moment of your existence has nothing to do with what you did in
past. And what you do in this moment of
existence right here that you’re in at this moment will have
nothing to do with
what comes in the future. This moment
has not been affected by what you did here in the past.
It will not affect anything you do in the
future. It is simply a moment in time,
and without the explanation of what is out there in the mind of God, it
man in a condition of despair.
Existentialism is a theology of despair.
It finds its ultimate expression in neo-orthodoxy. Since there is no absolute truth, man has to
find some kind of relative reasons to base his life on.
Man has no meaning, no purpose, and no
significance. Nothing is
significant. Therefore he has a life of
pessimism. By a non-rational leap of
faith, he says, “OK, I’ve got to put meaning to my life, so
I gain optimism
because I just jump out there and I say, ‘I know it’s got
to be better. There’s something
better out there. This can’t be
So today, whether you realize it or
not, the mass media are
belting you with the concept of existentialism.
They are belting you with the concept that what you
are and what you
have now is not the result of anything that has happened in the past,
what you do now going to have any effect whatsoever on what happens in
future. Therefore just cut loose and
live it up big, and indulge yourself, for tomorrow you die.
For this reason, parents don’t
children. You go to your son or your
daughter, especially an older kid who has been reared in a secular
he goes off to school and you say to that kid, “Now I want you to
be a good
boy.” He looks at you and he
understand what you mean by being a good boy.
You mean that you want him to separate right from
wrong according to the
Word of God. You want him to do what is
right with his mouth. You want him to do
what is right with his mind. You want
him to be right in his morals. You want
him to be proper in his sex life, and so on.
You mean this is right and this is wrong. “I want you to be a good boy. I want you to be a good girl.
I want you to do what is right, not what is
wrong.” The reason he doesn’t
you is because he doesn’t think about rights and wrongs. It’s all relative. It’s
all the new morality. Thou shalt not kill,
“ordinarily.” But if this guy
is getting in your way and
hindering a good business deal, now that’s something else. Just ask any godfather. He
can tell you that. I mean that’s
justice. Thou shalt not commit adultery,
always got to add “ordinarily” to the
commandments. Unless you have a chance
for a little fun, but ordinarily, no.
And so on down the line. This
says, “What do you mean, ‘Be good.’
don’t understand that. It depends on
chances and my opportunities as to what is right and what is
going to do and not do. We hear it all
Now the goal of existentialism is
concentrated on an
experience therefore. It is to contact
the non-rational world. “Here I
existentialist says, “there’s no purpose in my life. I’m a blanket-blank nothing. There’s nothing out there for me. There’s no purpose.
I’m in despair. What
I do now has got no future to it. What
shall I do? I’ve got to identify
myself as a human
being.” So existentialism says, and
Kierkegaard taught, “Experience.” Get
experience. Of course this is what is
screamed at, to get an experience, so that the non-rational world out
the heavenly world, the world beyond our senses, we’ll get some
contact with it
by an irrational leap of faith.
So how are you going to have an
experience? Well it doesn’t matter
what you do. I was in downtown Dallas just
there was a bus driver. He pulled up to
a curb and he jumped out and he ushered a little old lady across the
street. All those passengers were
sitting there and he’s walking little old ladies across the
street. Now that’s an experience. It didn’t matter that he did her an act
kindness to get her across the street.
She could have also been crossing the street while
he came, and the
light could have turned green, and he could have run her over. Now that was an experience and that was just
as well. Existentialism says it makes no
difference whether you help her across the street or run her over with
bus. It’s an experience either way
that’s what you’ve got. And
have an experience, you’ve exercised your will, and you know that
human being. That’s the
exercise your will. You get out and you
do something. Then you say, “I am a
being. I am a person.
I have reality.” Now
this is intelligence of the highest
degree of man without the Word of God.
The same overwhelming for an
experience is what is the
primary motivation behind the drug practice.
Why do people go on drugs? To
to have some kind of spiritual experience out there.
To try to get that leap of faith to reach out
there to that world that’s out there beyond them that that they
any information on through the Word of God.
So they’re going to find reality and meaning
to their life in this
The scene is set for the doctrine of
demons in its worst
vile form, and we shall take that up at that point next week.
John E. Danish, 1971
to the Basic Bible Doctrine index
the Bible Questions index