Logic

The Logical Word in an Illogical World

Adam B Cozort

It is, many times, appalling to look out over the world in which we live and see the utter lack of logical thinking and use of common sense by members of “society.”  We live in a world which devalues the home, religion, and everything that does not allow each person to go after his or her own selfish pleasures. It is, therefore, no small wonder that the world does not see as necessary logical thinking.

When one begins to talk about logic (especially in relation to the Scriptures) with many in this world, they are often told that logic is not necessary and they need to quit being so “high minded” about such matters.  The same people who argue against the need for logic use it on a daily basis, whether they realize it or not. They will decry the use of logic in religion and other areas, but they cannot remove themselves completely from its true usage.

Webster’s Dictionary describes “logic” as, “The Science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference; the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study; reason or sound judgment, as in utterances or actions; convincing forcefulness; inexorable truth or persuasiveness.”  Simply put, logic is the process of correct reasoning which we strive to use in every facet of our lives.  It is that which allows us to give proper answers to problems or questions and enables man to make reasonable decisions in life.  Yet, when turning to religious matters, man wants to take logic and throw it out the window.  For to use logic in regard to religion would mean there is a correct and incorrect, a right and wrong, in spiritual matters.  This would cause great consternation to those millions of people in this country who seek to “live and let live” and “attend the church of their choice.” Therefore the only “logical” conclusion is that the Bible is not a book which can be used in relation to logic. It is instead a book of such a nature that each man must determine for himself what the Bible is seeking to relate to mankind.  In doing so, man has sought to take the cohesive and infallible nature of the Scriptures and turn it into something that is divisive and incoherent to most people.

These things being stated, the evidence is profound and overwhelming that not only should logic be used in reference to God’s Holy Word, but that it must be used if one is to know and understand what God would have him do.  The Word of God is a book of logic.  It is written in a logical manner with clear, logical, precise principles dictated throughout.

Many examples of the logical nature of the Scriptures may be given in support of this statement. Next week, in part two of this article, some of these examples will be discussed as the logical nature of God’s Word is evidenced.

—Continued from last week—

Last week, the necessity of using logic in seeking to understand the Scriptures was discussed. This week, it will be our endeavor to consider the logical nature of the Scriptures and how that logic is evidenced.

The account of creation itself serves as evidence of the logical nature of both God and His Word.  In Genesis one we read of the creation and the logical, progressive steps taken in order to bring this universe into existence.  Over the course of seven days God spoke into existence light; firmament (separation of heaven and earth); separation of land and seas (with plants placed thereon); formation of the sun, moon, and stars; the creation of fish and birds; and, finally, the creation of animals and man.  Hence, at the very beginning of Scripture, logic is already showing itself prevalent. God did not put the cart before the horse. Instead, He insured that each level of creation already had everything necessary to its sustenance available before it was created.

The theme of the Scriptures is another way in which the logical nature of the Bible is exhibited.  The theme of the Scriptures from beginning to end is “The Scheme Of Redemption.”  In Genesis three we have recorded the fall of man through sin in the Garden of Eden.  From this point forward the emphasis of the Scriptures is that of bringing man back to God.  If such could not be accomplished, there is no hope for man; neither here, nor in eternity.  Yet in this we see the great logic of God, not only in His delivery of these things through the Scriptures, but also by the way in which He brought them about.  In Genesis, beginning with Abraham, God lays out the family by which “shall all nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).  From there, God shows the development of the seed-line of Abraham through the building of the Jewish nation.  We find the giving of prophecy in an overwhelming fashion to show the people knew there was a Messiah coming to fulfill that which God promised Abraham.  Thus, the Old Testament is a precursor to those things that will transpire within the pages of the New Testament.  It is not simply a series of books placed before us for no apparent reason other than to give history.  Instead it is laying the logical building blocks and irrefutable evidence necessary for that which is to come.  The New Testament brings with it the fulfillment of God’s scheme of redemption in the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth to die for our sins.  The beginning of the New Testament (Matthew through John) shows emphatically that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning a Savior, whether it be the prophecies to Abraham, those given by Malachi, or any in between. The balance of the New Testament (Acts through Revelation) deals with man’s part in the scheme of redemption and his need to uphold his portion of the equation if he wishes to receive the blessings of such a glorious gift. It also gives us a “better covenant” with “better promises,” (Heb. 8:6), that through Christ we might all have the hope of eternal life.  Yet in all this there is one word with which these things can be described: Logical.  Never does the word of God drift away from the presence of logic.

Even the writings of the epistles were writings power packed with logical principles and practice.  There are passages such as Romans ten, which so beautifully describes the need for salvation and how it must be obtained. The book of Hebrews, which in thirteen brief chapters lays before us such logical argumentation showing the greatness of the Law of Christ as compared to the Law of Moses to which some were considering returning.  Such are just a couple of examples of the logical nature of the Scriptures.

Someone may ask “what should this mean to me?” or, “What difference does it make whether the Scriptures were written logically or not?”  In order for us to truly understand the Scriptures, we must do that which many in the world refuse to do: apply logic. In a world that, many times, seeks to avoid the definitive task of applying logic to situations, whether physical or spiritual; it is the case that only with the application of logic can a correct answer be found.  Therefore it is with the utmost care, concern, and respect that we must search the Scriptures given by God, that we might understand and apply those things entrusted to us pertaining to our lives and salvation.  Such can only truly be done through a proper application of logical reasoning.

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Transformed

Transformed into the Image of Christ

by Shane Millard

In my time growing up I have learned many valuable lessons, but some of the lessons I value most come from learning more about something I already knew.  For example, someone understands baptism to be for the remission of sins, but later they realize that it is an anti-type of the salvation Noah had in the flood.  It’s lessons like this that mean a lot to me as I continue to grow.  Today, I hope to share one with you.

I know personally I was raised with the mindset of being a good person, treating others respectfully, and learning God’s word.  All of these were great attributes that my parents worked to instill in me, as I’m sure it was with many of you.  But today I want to go deeper into why we act “good” as Christians and also look at the level of “good” we are trying to reach.

Our first idea we need to understand is that God is good.  When I mean that God is good, I mean that God defines what is good.  He is the One who, by His word, furnishes us “unto every good work” (2 Tim 3:17).  Without God’s determination of what is right and good, there would be no right or good.  Perhaps your parents would try to give you an idea of what they view as good but without God it is only their opinion.

Now what does God view as “good”?  Our passage we will begin with is 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  The point the author is making can be illustrated in a very simple way.  Did you know that our Statue of Liberty in New York is actually a copy?  The first one was made in Paris on a smaller scale and there is another one in Maceio, Brazil.  We received ours last!

As you can see, they are the same image and this is the same idea Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 3.  Just as the sculptor has a particular image in front of him then takes a block and copies it, we take ourselves and transform ourselves into the image of Christ.

Now one other side point is that our lives are moldable or impressionable.  No one is made sinful or righteous, we weren’t fashioned into a particular mold before the world was formed.  Also, we can change the molds we decide to be in.  If we were sinners we can change and form ourselves after the life of Christ.  These concepts are spoken of in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 and Paul shows clearly that if someone wants to change badly enough they can.

Now back to our idea in 2 Corinthians 3.  The application is that we are doing more than just casually becoming “good.”  What needs to be happening in your life and mine is taking the lifestyle of Christ and mimicking it.  Just like the childhood game of copying what someone else says to get on their nerves, we are doing that same thing in regard to all that Christ did-minus the getting on the nerves.

But isn’t that too much to ask of someone?  Isn’t that too much work for the everyday person who has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)?  I will completely agree that it is difficult, but didn’t Jesus say that some people would be unwilling to take on the demands of being His disciple?  But there are other considerations as well we must think about.  First, God will not ask something of us that we cannot perform.  If God asks us to live like Christ then we can.  Second, the process of transforming ourselves into the image of Christ isn’t something that happens overnight and God knows and understands that.  Just as the sculptor doesn’t conform the piece of stone into a beautiful statue overnight, the person who is in the image of the world will have to work hard and take time to become like Christ.  Here is one of those concepts again that didn’t ever click with me.  In God’s word there are directional commands and absolute commands.  The absolute commands are usually one time commands such as being baptized for remission of sins.  But there are also directional commands that demand we work toward a certain direction such as loving our neighbor as ourselves.  Now as we connect this to our concept, God is wanting us to head in the direction of being like Christ and understands it will take time.

Finally, let us bring this concept home for our lives.  How can I be like Christ today?  First, pray for the strength and dedication to live the “good” life.  Second, learn about who Christ is in His word.  There is no reason we shouldn’t understand the nature of Christ considering the New Testament discusses Christ’s life and nature extensively.  Third, surround yourself with people, entertainment, and influences that will help you learn and develop into being more like Christ.

This is the lesson I learned and that I hope you can see as well.  That when people tell you to act right it isn’t just because “it’s the right thing to do.”  It’s because it’s what Christ would do and as a Christian you have chosen to become what the name describes-one who is like Him.  Let’s take this concept into our study and lives and glorify Christ in our bodies.

My SOURCE: Gospel Teacher, February 8, 2009

Hebrews Overview

bookoverviewheb

Some Superiors from the Book of Hebrews

by Chance Hicks

The book of Hebrews was probably written by the apostle Paul to the Jewish Christians in the city of Jerusalem and in the area surrounding Jerusalem.  The recipients of the book of Hebrews were struggling with a problem.  The temple was still standing in the city of Jerusalem, and the grandeur of the temple, along with other things, was tempting these Christians to return to Judaism.  Paul wrote to these Christians to show the superiority of Christ and the Christian system to the Law of Moses.  Paul shows the Hebrew Christians that they have a superior spokesman, a superior sacrifice, and a superior system.

SUPERIOR SPOKESMAN

Paul shows the superiority of Christ as a spokesman.  Christ is superior to prophets (Heb.  1:1-3), angels (Heb.  1:4-2:18), Moses (Heb.  3), and Joshua (Heb.  4).  Christ is superior to the prophets because He is a prophet- “hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,” a priest – “when he had by himself purged our sins,” and a king – “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb.  1:1-3).  The angels were to worship Christ (Heb.  1:6), and the one who is worshipped is superior to the worshipper.  Moses was a servant in the house of God (Heb.  3:5; Num.  12:7), but Christ was a Son over His own house (Heb.  3:6).  Christ is God, eternal (John

1:1-3), and active in creation (Heb.  1:2).  Therefore, Christ created the system in which Moses was a servant.

The builder, or creator, is superior to the building, or the creation.  Joshua led the people to an earthly rest in an earthly promised land, but Christ will lead those who obey Him to a heavenly rest in a heavenly promised land (Heb.  4:8-9).

SUPERIOR SACRIFICE

Not only did Paul show the Christians in and around Jerusalem that they had a superior spokesman but they also had a superior sacrifice.  The superior sacrifice was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.  The sacrifice of Christ is superior because of His sinlessness and because of its singleness.  Christ “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb.  4:15).  The priests who offered sacrifices under the Law of Moses had to first offer for themselves and then for the sins of the people (Heb.  5:3), but this was not the case with Christ.  He did not need to offer for Himself, but He simply offered Himself for all mankind (John 3:16).  Christ was the perfect sacrifice to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  The sacrifices offered under the Law of Moses were offered every year because they could not take away sins.  The offerings had to be made year after year after year, but they still could not take away the sins of the people.  Christ did not have to offer Himself year after year.  His sacrifice was a one time sacrifice (Heb.  9:28; 10:14).

SUPERIOR SYSTEM

Paul showed the Hebrew Christians that they had a superior spokesman, a superior sacrifice, and even a superior system.  In Hebrews chapter 8, Paul contrasts the two systems.  The first covenant was not faultless because it could not take away sins (Heb.  8:7).  However, the first covenant was perfect for the purpose for which it was intended.  It was a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ (Gal.  3:19-25).  The new covenant was superior because it would bring a more intimate knowledge of God.  The new law would not be written on stone but in the minds of the people (Heb.  8:10).  Under the old covenant, people were born into the covenant and then taught, but this would not be the case with the new covenant (Heb.  8:11).  People must be taught before they can enter into the new covenant (John 6:44, 45).  Under the old covenant the sins of the people were remembered every year, but under the new covenant when the sins were remitted they were done away never to be brought up again (Heb.  8:12).  May we remember when we are tempted to return to the world that we have some superiors as Christians: a superior spokesman, a superior sacrifice, and a superior system.

–Chance Hicks, Visitor, March 22, 2009

Feelings or Convictions

Feelings or Conviction!

by  Lexie B. Ray

I read of a helicopter pilot who flew from an air­craft carrier in the Pacific who told the following story.

He said, “I was flying the helicopter back to the ship when a blinding fog rolled in. Flying at a low altitude, I knew that a single mistake would plunge my crew and me into the ocean.

Worse yet, I was experiencing a complete loss of balance, which is common for pilots flying by instruments. This loss of balance was so bad that despite the in­strument readings I was certain that I was lying on my side.

For 15 minutes, I flew the helicopter by its instruments, fighting the urge to turn it ac­cording to my feeling. When we finally broke out safely through the fog, I was deeply thankful I had been trained to rely upon my instruments, rather than on my feelings.”

That is what people who live by faith do – they re­member that feelings can be misleading, but the truths in God’s word are reliable, trust-worthy, and consistent. The Christian life, like walking on wat­er, is humanly impossible. It can only be lived through the power of the Jesus Christ.

Storms are going to come. When you’re in a storm with the wind raging and the waves pounding, and you feel like you’re sinking, remember this: the same Lord who allows the storm can still the storm!

Copied from: Sound Doctrine,   Fairdealing church of Christ

My SOURCE: The Pilot Oak Flier, 3/22/09

The Best

The Best

Wade Webster

Back in the 1940s Notre Dame had a starting center by the name of Frank Syzmanski.  Syzmanski was called to be a witness for a lawsuit that was filed against the Notre Dame athletic department.  The judge asked him, “Are you the starting center on the Notre Dame football team?”  “Yes, I am, Your Honor,” replied Syzmanski.  “How good of a center are you?”  asked the judge.  Syzmanski paused for a moment and said, “Your Honor, I am the finest center in the history of Notre Dame football.”  Joe Leahy, Notre Dame’s football coach, was sitting in the courtroom.  Syzmanski’s answer stunned Leahy since the center had always been such a quiet and unassuming player.  During a recess, Coach Leahy asked him about what he said on the witness stand.  Syzmanski blushed and answered, “I’m sorry, Coach.  But I was under oath and I had to tell the truth.” [Farrar, Steve, Anchorman, Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998, p. 142-43].  I love that story, even if it is about Notre Dame football.  How good are you at what you do?  How good of a servant of Jesus Christ are you?  Be honest!  Are there improvements that you need to make in your Christian life?  If so, then make them.  Be the best.  Be a vessel that God can use mightily in His service (2 Tim 2:21).  One day, you will be called to answer.

My SOURCE: The Searcher, March 15, 2009.  DRL Note: Wade Webster has begun a new section of his bulletin in which he shares with the readers: Riches from My ReadingThis post is from that section.