5/4/14

From Gary... Heaven is __________




 Thought about Heaven lately? If not, then today provides you an opportunity to remedy the situation.  Honestly, people die and the most unexpected times, so why should you or I be any different?  If you look at the graphic and can't fill in the line with something, you are in trouble; for what could be more important than eternal life? Of the many answers that could be inserted, the following passage provides some options...

John, Chapter 14 (NASB)
Joh 14:1  "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
Joh 14:2  "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3  "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Joh 14:4  "And you know the way where I am going."
Joh 14:5  Thomas *said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?"
Joh 14:6  Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
I know I have explained in previous posts that the "I am" in the enlarge verse above really means "I MYSELF am", but it is just one of those things that really is worth repeating, again and again!!!  I suppose that there are many heaven concepts in the passage, but to name a few:

1.  A place where God is..
2.  An answer to our faith...
3.  A dwelling place with God and Jesus...
4.  A place where truth, life and fellowship with God and Jesus are...

And never, ever forget that Heaven is very expensive- it cost the Son of God his life...


From Gary... Bible Reading May 4


Bible Reading  

May 4

The World English Bible


May 4
Deuteronomy 23, 24
Deu 23:1 He who is wounded in the stones, or has his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the assembly of Yahweh.
Deu 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of Yahweh; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of Yahweh.
Deu 23:3 An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of Yahweh; even to the tenth generation shall none belonging to them enter into the assembly of Yahweh forever:
Deu 23:4 because they didn't meet you with bread and with water in the way, when you came forth out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
Deu 23:5 Nevertheless Yahweh your God wouldn't listen to Balaam; but Yahweh your God turned the curse into a blessing to you, because Yahweh your God loved you.
Deu 23:6 You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever.
Deu 23:7 You shall not abhor an Edomite; for he is your brother: you shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as a foreigner in his land.
Deu 23:8 The children of the third generation who are born to them shall enter into the assembly of Yahweh.
Deu 23:9 When you go forth in camp against your enemies, then you shall keep yourselves from every evil thing.
Deu 23:10 If there is among you any man who is not clean by reason of that which happens him by night, then shall he go outside of the camp. He shall not come within the camp:
Deu 23:11 but it shall be, when evening comes on, he shall bathe himself in water; and when the sun is down, he shall come within the camp.
Deu 23:12 You shall have a place also outside of the camp, where you shall go forth abroad:
Deu 23:13 and you shall have a paddle among your weapons; and it shall be, when you sit down abroad, you shall dig therewith, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you:
Deu 23:14 for Yahweh your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that he may not see an unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.
Deu 23:15 You shall not deliver to his master a servant who is escaped from his master to you:
Deu 23:16 he shall dwell with you, in the midst of you, in the place which he shall choose within one of your gates, where it pleases him best: you shall not oppress him.
Deu 23:17 There shall be no prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
Deu 23:18 You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute, or the wages of a dog, into the house of Yahweh your God for any vow: for even both these are an abomination to Yahweh your God.
Deu 23:19 You shall not lend on interest to your brother; interest of money, interest of food, interest of anything that is lent on interest:
Deu 23:20 to a foreigner you may lend on interest; but to your brother you shall not lend on interest, that Yahweh your God may bless you in all that you put your hand to, in the land where you go in to possess it.
Deu 23:21 When you shall vow a vow to Yahweh your God, you shall not be slack to pay it: for Yahweh your God will surely require it of you; and it would be sin in you.
Deu 23:22 But if you shall forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in you.
Deu 23:23 That which is gone out of your lips you shall observe and do; according as you have vowed to Yahweh your God, a freewill offering, which you have promised with your mouth.
Deu 23:24 When you come into your neighbor's vineyard, then you may eat of grapes your fill at your own pleasure; but you shall not put any in your vessel.
Deu 23:25 When you come into your neighbor's standing grain, then you may pluck the ears with your hand; but you shall not move a sickle to your neighbor's standing grain.

Deu 24:1 When a man takes a wife, and marries her, then it shall be, if she find no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write her a bill of divorce, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
Deu 24:2 When she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.
Deu 24:3 If the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorce, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, who took her to be his wife;
Deu 24:4 her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before Yahweh: and you shall not cause the land to sin, which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance.
Deu 24:5 When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the army, neither shall he be assigned any business: he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer his wife whom he has taken.
Deu 24:6 No man shall take the mill or the upper millstone to pledge; for he takes a man's life to pledge.
Deu 24:7 If a man be found stealing any of his brothers of the children of Israel, and he deal with him as a slave, or sell him; then that thief shall die: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.
Deu 24:8 Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that you observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so you shall observe to do.
Deu 24:9 Remember what Yahweh your God did to Miriam, by the way as you came forth out of Egypt.
Deu 24:10 When you do lend your neighbor any manner of loan, you shall not go into his house to get his pledge.
Deu 24:11 You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you do lend shall bring forth the pledge outside to you.
Deu 24:12 If he be a poor man, you shall not sleep with his pledge;
Deu 24:13 you shall surely restore to him the pledge when the sun goes down, that he may sleep in his garment, and bless you: and it shall be righteousness to you before Yahweh your God.
Deu 24:14 You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he be of your brothers, or of your foreigners who are in your land within your gates:
Deu 24:15 in his day you shall give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down on it; for he is poor, and sets his heart on it: lest he cry against you to Yahweh, and it be sin to you.
Deu 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Deu 24:17 You shall not wrest the justice due to the foreigner, or to the fatherless, nor take the widow's clothing to pledge;
Deu 24:18 but you shall remember that you were a bondservant in Egypt, and Yahweh your God redeemed you there: therefore I command you to do this thing.
Deu 24:19 When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgot a sheaf in the field, you shall not go again to get it: it shall be for the foreigner, for the fatherless, and for the widow; that Yahweh your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
Deu 24:20 When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the foreigner, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
Deu 24:21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it after yourselves: it shall be for the foreigner, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
Deu 24:22 You shall remember that you were a bondservant in the land of Egypt: therefore I command you to do this thing.

 
May 4, 5
Luke 19

Luk 19:1 He entered and was passing through Jericho.
Luk 19:2 There was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
Luk 19:3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn't because of the crowd, because he was short.
Luk 19:4 He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way.
Luk 19:5 When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house."
Luk 19:6 He hurried, came down, and received him joyfully.
Luk 19:7 When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, "He has gone in to lodge with a man who is a sinner."
Luk 19:8 Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much."
Luk 19:9 Jesus said to him, "Today, salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.
Luk 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost."
Luk 19:11 As they heard these things, he went on and told a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the Kingdom of God would be revealed immediately.
Luk 19:12 He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
Luk 19:13 He called ten servants of his, and gave them ten mina coins, and told them, 'Conduct business until I come.'
Luk 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent an envoy after him, saying, 'We don't want this man to reign over us.'
Luk 19:15 "It happened when he had come back again, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business.
Luk 19:16 The first came before him, saying, 'Lord, your mina has made ten more minas.'
Luk 19:17 "He said to him, 'Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'
Luk 19:18 "The second came, saying, 'Your mina, Lord, has made five minas.'
Luk 19:19 "So he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.'
Luk 19:20 Another came, saying, 'Lord, behold, your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief,
Luk 19:21 for I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You take up that which you didn't lay down, and reap that which you didn't sow.'
Luk 19:22 "He said to him, 'Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn't lay down, and reaping that which I didn't sow.
Luk 19:23 Then why didn't you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?'
Luk 19:24 He said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina away from him, and give it to him who has the ten minas.'
Luk 19:25 "They said to him, 'Lord, he has ten minas!'
Luk 19:26 'For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given; but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away from him.
Luk 19:27 But bring those enemies of mine who didn't want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.' "
Luk 19:28 Having said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
Luk 19:29 It happened, when he drew near to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the mountain that is called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples,
Luk 19:30 saying, "Go your way into the village on the other side, in which, as you enter, you will find a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat. Untie it, and bring it.
Luk 19:31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' say to him: 'The Lord needs it.' "
Luk 19:32 Those who were sent went away, and found things just as he had told them.
Luk 19:33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
Luk 19:34 They said, "The Lord needs it."
Luk 19:35 They brought it to Jesus. They threw their cloaks on the colt, and set Jesus on them.
Luk 19:36 As he went, they spread their cloaks in the way.
Luk 19:37 As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen,
Luk 19:38 saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!"
Luk 19:39 Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
Luk 19:40 He answered them, "I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out."
Luk 19:41 When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,
Luk 19:42 saying, "If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes.
Luk 19:43 For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side,
Luk 19:44 and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another, because you didn't know the time of your visitation."
Luk 19:45 He entered into the temple, and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,
Luk 19:46 saying to them, "It is written, 'My house is a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of robbers'!"
Luk 19:47 He was teaching daily in the temple, but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people sought to destroy him.
Luk 19:48 They couldn't find what they might do, for all the people hung on to every word that he said.



From Mark Copeland... The First Church Of Christ (Acts 2:42-47)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                 The First Church Of Christ (2:42-47)

INTRODUCTION

1. During His ministry, Jesus said He would build His church - Mt 16:18

2. With the preaching of the first gospel sermon...
   a. Those that gladly received the Word were baptized - Ac 2:41
   b. They numbered 3000 souls - ibid.

[From our text (Ac 2:42-47) we learn that thus began the first church of
Jesus Christ, located in Jerusalem.  What was it like?  What should we be
like today?  Note first that they were...]

I. DEVOTED TO APOSTLES' DOCTRINE (Ac 2:42)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Jesus expected people to accept their teachings - Jn 13:20; Mt 28:20
      2. He gave the apostles the Holy Spirit to guide them - Jn 16:12-13
      3. Thus the apostles' word was to be received as the Word of God
         - 1Co 14:37; 1Th 2:13-14

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. Many churches today do not, allowing societal trends to
         supplant the Word
      2. We need to heed Christ and His apostles regarding this - Mt 15:8-9; 2Th 2:15

[If we are to be a true church of Christ, we must emulate the Jerusalem
church in its steadfastness to the apostles' doctrine.  Next we note that
they were...]

II. DEVOTED TO SPIRITUAL FELLOWSHIP (Ac 2:42)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Godly people have always delighted in "spiritual sharing" - Ps 122:1; Lk 22:14-16; 1Jn 1:3
      2. Sharing by assembling together is crucial to spiritual
         wellbeing - He 10:24-25

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. Many Christians today do not, allowing many things to hinder
         their assembling
      2. We need to set our priorities straight - cf. Mt 6:33; Lk10:41-42

[A true church will be made up of members who value the principle of
assembling and sharing in spiritual matters.  The first church of Christ
was also...]

III. DEVOTED TO BREAKING BREAD (Ac 2:42)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. The context would suggest this refers to the Lord's Supper,
         which is a type of fellowship for it is called a sharing, a 
         communion - 1Co 10:16
      2. Jesus Himself instituted the Supper, and was observed weekly 
         - 1Co 11:23-34; Ac 20:7

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. Sadly many churches do not, observing it monthly, quarterly,
         annually, or not at all
      2. Others allow many things to hinder their observance:  family,
         jobs, recreation

[But a true church of Christ will provide weekly opportunities for its
members to partake, and its members will make diligent effort to
participate.  Another aspect of a true church of Christ is being...]

IV. DEVOTED TO STEADFAST PRAYER (Ac 2:42)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Jesus taught His disciples to pray and not lose heart - Lk 11:1-4; 18:1-8
      2. He now serves as our High Priest, through whom we can pray 
         - He 4:14-16

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. We are taught to pray fervently, frequently - 1Th 5:17; Col 4:2
      2. Sadly, many churches and Christians are negligent in this
         important spiritual activity

[If we desire to be a true church of Christ, then let us be a people of
prayer!  As we continue in our text, we learn from the first church of
Christ that they were...]

V. DEVOTED TO BROTHERLY LOVE (Ac 2:44-46)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Demonstrated in our text, but also later - Ac 4:32-35
      2. Such love was a sign of true discipleship - Jn 13:34-35
      3. Other churches had similar love for their brethren - 1Co 16:15; 1Th 4:9-10

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. We are to love one another fervently - 1Pe 1:22
      2. In dire circumstances, would we be willing to emulate the
         early disciples? - cf. 1Jn 3:16-17

[While we may not face the same circumstances, we should prepare
ourselves should similar occasions arise.  ***  As we continue examining
the first church of Christ, we notice that they were...]

VI. DEVOTED TO DAILY SERVICE (Ac 2:46)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Note the phrase "continuing daily"
      2. They did not serve the Lord just one day a week
      3. Perhaps it was "daily service" that resulted in "daily
         additions" - cf. Ac 2:47; 5:42

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. Serving the Lord every day of the week?
      2. Including serving one another? - cf. He 3:12-14

[A true New Testament church will emulate the first church of Christ with
daily service among its members.  Consider also that the Jerusalem church
was...]

VII. DEVOTED TO PURPOSEFUL UNITY (Ac 2:46)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Note the phrase "with one accord"
      2. United in their worship, and in their concern - cf. Ac 4:32
      3. The sort of unity for which Jesus prayed - Jn 17:20-23

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. The unity the apostles worked diligently to maintain? - 1Co1:10; Ep 4:1-3; Php 2:1-2; 1Pe 3:8
      2. Oneness of mind, purpose, and work, with a joyful and humble
         attitude?

[A true church of Christ will work hard to fulfill the prayer of Christ
and maintain the unity of the Spirit.  Another observation about the
devotion of the first church of Christ...]

VIII. DEVOTED TO JOYFUL SIMPLICITY (Ac 2:46)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Note the phrase "with gladness and simplicity of heart"
      2. The word "simplicity" involves "humility associated with
         simplicity of life" - Louw Nida
      3. Likely reflecting their contentment with what they had - cf.
         1Ti 6:6-10

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. Having learned contentment like Paul had? - Php 4:11-12
      2. A contentment based on trust in God and willingness to share?
         - cf. 1Ti 6:17-19

[A true church of Christ will consist of members, whether rich or poor,
who go about their lives with joyful simplicity.  They will also go about
their lives like the first church of Christ, being...]

IX. DEVOTED TO PRAISING GOD (Ac 2:47)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Despite their difficulties, they lived their lives praising
         God
      2. Like the faithful saints under the Old Covenant - Ps 145:1-2;
         146:1-2; 147:1

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. Delighting in opportunities to praise God?
      2. Offering the sacrifice of praise continually? - cf. He 13:15

[A true church of Christ will be filled with people who love to praise
God, not grumbling or complaining.  Finally, we observe that the first
church of Christ was...]

X. DEVOTED TO PLEASING PEOPLE (Ac 2:47)

   A. REGARDING THEIR DEVOTION...
      1. Note the phrase "having favor with all the people"
      2. As the NLT puts it, "enjoying the goodwill of all the people"
      3. A consequence of following the example of their Lord - e.g.,
         Lk 2:52; Ro 14:17-19

   B. DO WE HAVE THIS DEVOTION...?
      1. Living lives that promotes goodwill from those who are lost?
      2. Lives that as far as depends on us are peaceful and blameless?
         - cf. Ro 12:17-21; 1Co 10:32-33; 1Ti 2:1-4; Php 2:14-15

CONCLUSION

1. With the first church of Christ, God has given us an example of what
   a true church of Christ should be like:  devoted to...
   a. Apostles' doctrine         f. Daily service
   b. Spiritual fellowship       g. Purposeful unity
   c. Breaking bread             h. Joyful simplicity
   d. Steadfast prayer           i. Praising God
   e. Brotherly love             j. The people

2. Too often, churches today are more like those described in the
   following poem...

                          "FACTS 19:71-72"
                     Every individual
                     Each with his own opinions.
                     Competing for his own possessions
                     Looks out for his own,
                     Assuming there are no needs.
                     And once a week
                     Going to their private church
                     (With an annual communion)
                     Each return to his castle,
                     Fellowshipping with his family
                     Over good "native" cooking
                     After a short silent "grace",
                     And glad to be away from everybody.
                     Occasionally there are
                     New faces at church,
                     And last year
                     Someone was saved.
                                    ~ Myron Augsburger

Brethren, may this never be true of us...!

*** Conclude first part here if lesson is presented in two parts
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Bert Thompson, Ph.D. The Many Faces of Unbelief [Part I]



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=101

The Many Faces of Unbelief [Part I]

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

One of the most mind-numbing mysteries for those who believe in God is trying to understand the unbelief of those who do not. As one who writes and lectures often on the topics of apologetics and evidences, I frequently am asked the question: “What causes people not to believe in God?” Generally, the motive behind the question is not derogatory, but complimentary. That is to say, the querist really is asking: “Why is it that obviously intelligent people do not believe in God?”
Neither question is easy to answer because usually the person doing the asking wants a simple, quick, concise response. It is difficult for the inquirer to understand why people who are “obviously intelligent” refuse to believe in God. It has been my experience that rarely is there a single reason for unbelief, because rarely is there a single reason that can explain adequately why a person thinks, or acts, as he does.

THE “FREEDOM” OF UNBELIEF

Surely a part of the answer has to do with the fact that when God created humans, He endowed us with freedom of choice (often referred to as “personal volition” or “free moral agency”). This stands to reason, considering Who God is. The Bible describes Him as being, among other things, a God of love (1 John 4:8). Even a cursory survey of the Scriptures documents God’s desire that man, as the zenith of His creation, possess, and employ, the freedom of choice with which he has been endowed. The truth of the matter is that God did not create mankind as some kind of robot to serve Him slavishly without any personal choice in the matter.
For example, when Joshua—who had led the Israelite nation so faithfully for so long—realized that his days were numbered and his hours were few, he assembled the entirety of that nation before him and, in one of the most moving, impassioned pleas recorded within the pages of Holy Writ, admonished his charges to employ their personal volition in a proper fashion.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah (Joshua 24:15).
Joshua’s point could not have been any clearer. The Israelites, individually and collectively, had the ability, and yes, even the God-given right, to choose whether or not they wished to follow Jehovah. As the text continues, it indicates that on this particular occasion they chose correctly.
And the people answered and said, Far be it from us that we should forsake Jehovah, to serve other gods.... And Israel served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, and had known all the work of Jehovah that he had wrought for Israel (Joshua 24:16,31).
Years later, however, the people of Israel—employing that same heaven-sent personal volition—freely chose to abandon their belief in, and obedience to, God. Judges 2:10-11 records:
[T]here arose another generation after them, that knew not Jehovah, nor yet the work which he had wrought for Israel. And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baalim.
Within the pages of the New Testament, the principle is the same. When Jesus condemned the self-righteousness of the Pharisees in John 5:39-40, He made this observation: “Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me; and ye will not come to me, that ye may have life.” The Pharisees of New Testament times possessed the same freedom of choice that the Israelites of Old Testament times possessed. But while the Israelites to whom Joshua spoke chose at first to heed his plea and obey Jehovah, the Pharisees to whom Christ spoke chose to ignore His plea and to disobey God.
Two chapters later, when Jesus addressed the Jews in their own temple, the text indicates that they marveled at His teaching (John 7:15). But Jesus demurred, and said: “My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself ” (John 7:16-17). Jesus’ point to the devout temple Jews was no different than the one He had made earlier to the legalistic Pharisees. God has imbued mankind with the ability to choose. If a person wills, he can accept God and His teaching, but God never will force Himself on that person. As the apostle John brought the book of Revelation to a close, he wrote: “he that will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). The operative phrase here, of course, is “he that will.”
But what of he that will not? Freedom is accompanied by responsibility. With freedom of choice comes the responsibility to think carefully, choose wisely, and act forcefully. Freedom of choice always works best when tempered with wisdom and good judgment. Thus, in every human activity the process of recognizing, believing, and properly utilizing truth is vitally important. Especially is this true in the spiritual realm. Jesus tried to impress this upon His generation when He said: “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). What we as humans so often fail to realize is that we are not involved in a search for truth because it is lost; we are involved in a search for truth because without it we are!
Some, however, have elected to employ their freedom of choice to ignore the truth regarding God’s existence and to disobey His Word. They are the spiritual descendants of the first-century Pharisees; they could come to a knowledge of the truth, but they will not. The simple fact of the matter is that we are responsible for what we choose to believe. Using the personal volition with which God has endowed us, we may choose freely to believe in Him, or we may choose just as freely to disbelieve. The choice is up to each individual. And once that individual has made up his mind to disbelieve, God will not deter him, as Paul made clear when he wrote his second epistle to the Thessalonians. In that letter, he spoke first of those who “received not the love of the truth” (2:10), and then went on to say that “for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
What, exactly, was Paul suggesting? Was the apostle teaching that God purposely causes men to believe error? No, he was not. Paul’s point in this passage was that we may choose to accept something as the truth when, in fact, it is false. Because God has granted man personal volition, and because He has provided within the Bible the rules, regulations, and guidelines to govern that personal volition, He therefore will refrain from overriding man’s freedom of choice—even when that choice violates His law. God will not contravene man’s decisions, or interfere with the actions based on those decisions. The prophet Isaiah recorded God’s words on this subject many years before when he wrote:
Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations: I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not (Isaiah 66:3-4).
Concerning the people who refused to have God in their knowledge, and who exchanged truth for error, Paul repeatedly stated that “God gave them up” (Romans 1:24,26,28). In his commentary on the Thessalonian epistles, Raymond C. Kelcy addressed the fact that men often prefer the consequences of a certain belief system, and that as a result
God gives the man over to the belief of the lie which he prefers. In a sense it might be said that the means by which a person is deceived is God’s permissive agency—not God’s direct agency (1968, p. 157).
There is an exact parallel in the instance of the Pharaoh who sparred with Moses and Aaron over the release of the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage. When Moses and Aaron arrived at Pharaoh’s court as God’s ambassadors to demand the release of the enslaved Israelites, they told the pagan potentate: “Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go.’ ” Pharaoh’s response, preserved in Scripture for posterity, foreshadowed the attitude of millions of unbelievers who would imitate the militant monarch’s demeanor of disbelief throughout the course of human history: “Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto his voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and moreover I will not let Israel go” (Exodus 5:1-2, emp. added).
Several times the biblical text records that it was God Who “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20,27; 11:10; 14:8). Are we to understand, therefore, that God caused Pharaoh’s stubborn attitude of disbelief? Certainly not. The simple fact of the matter is that God did not cause Pharaoh to harden his heart and disobey, but instead permitted the ruler’s actions. The Scriptures speak to this point when they acknowledge that Pharaoh himself “hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15,32; 9:34-35). In their commentary on the Pentateuch, Keil and Delitzsch addressed Pharaoh’s hardness of heart, even after he witnessed the miraculous plagues sent by God.
After every one of these miracles, it is stated that Pharaoh’s heart was firm, or dull, i.e. insensible to the voice of God, and unaffected by the miracles performed before his eyes, and the judgments of God suspended over him and his kingdom.... Thus Pharaoh would not bend his self-will to the will of God, even after he had discerned the finger of God and the omnipotence of Jehovah in the plagues suspended over him and his nation; he would not withdraw his haughty refusal, notwithstanding the fact that he was obliged to acknowledge that it was sin against Jehovah. Looked at from this side, the hardening was a fruit of sin, a consequence of that self-will, high-mindedness, and pride which flow from sin, and a continuous and ever increasing abuse of that freedom of the will which is innate in man, and which involves the possibility of obstinate resistance to the word and chastisement of God even until death (1981, pp. 454,455, emp. added).
Pharaoh’s hard heart was not God’s doing, but his own. God’s permissive agency was involved, but not His direct agency. That is to say, He allowed Pharaoh to use (or abuse, as Keil and Delitzsch correctly noted) his freedom of will in a vain attempt to thwart God’s plans. Throughout history, God’s actions have been consistent in this regard. The psalmist wrote:
But my people hearkened not to my voice; and Israel would not hear me. So I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart, that they might walk in their own counsels (Psalm 81:11-12).
Concerning the rebellious Israelites, Paul wrote in Romans 11:8 (quoting from Isaiah 29:10): “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear.” In every generation, God has granted mankind the freedom of self-determination to be blind to His existence, and in so doing to believe a lie. E.M. Zerr put it well when he said:
The Bible in no place teaches that God ever forces a man to sin, then punishes him for the wrong-doing. Neither does He compel man against his will to do right, but has always offered him proper inducements for righteous conduct, then left it to his own responsibility to decide what he will do about it (1952, 5:159).
The same principles operate even today, almost two thousand years later. If an acknowledgment of God’s existence and obedience to His Word make us free (John 8:32), surely, then, disbelief and disobedience make us captives of one sort or another. Set adrift in a vast sea of confusing and contradictory world views, we find ourselves susceptible to every ill-conceived plan, deceptive scheme, and false concept that the winds of change may blow our way. We become captives to error because we have abandoned the one moral compass—the existence of God—that possesses the ability to show us the way, and thereby to set us free.
Throughout history, unbelief has worn many masks. But behind each is a Pharaoh-like spirit of rebellion that—in angry defiance—raises a clenched fist to God in a display of unrepentant determination not to believe in Him. An examination of the faces, and causes, of unbelief is both informative and instructive.

THE MANY FACES OF UNBELIEF

Atheism

In his book, If There’s a God, Why Are There Atheists?, R.C. Sproul noted in regard to theism that “literally, the word means ‘Godism,’ that is belief in God. It is derived from theos, the Greek word for God” (1978, p. 16). Chief among unbelievers, then, would be the atheist (a, without; theos, God)—the person who affirms that there is no God. As Sproul went on to observe: “Atheism involves the rejection of any form of theism. To be an atheist is to disavow belief in any kind of god or gods” (p. 18). In his book, Intellectuals Don’t Need God, Alister McGrath noted:
The atheist is prepared to concede—no, that is too negative a word, to celebrate—the need for commitment and the existence of evidence to move one in the direction of that commitment. In other words, the atheist recognizes the need to come off the fence and the fact that there are factors in the world of human experience and thought that suggest which side of the fence that ought to be. At present, the atheist happens to sit on the godless side of that fence (1993, p. 81, emp. in orig.).
Bruce Lockerbie, in Dismissing God, referred to atheism as “the abdication of belief,” and described the person who falls into this category.
For the ardent disbeliever, the hypothesis and its given propositions are one and the same: God does not exist.... All that has energized the human imagination and motivated the human spirit with prospects of nirvana, the Elysian Fields, the happy hunting grounds, paradise, or heaven—all that is meant when the Book of Ecclesiastes declares that God “has set eternity in the hearts of men”—must be invalidated by counterclaims of atheism (1998, pp. 225, 227, emp. in orig.).
This, no doubt, explains why a famous unbeliever like the late Carl Sagan, eminent atheist/astronomer of Cornell University, opened his television extravaganza Cosmos (and his book by the same name) with these words: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be” (1980, p. 4). Commenting on the exclusivity of that statement, D. James Kennedy wrote: “That is as clear a statement of atheism as one could ever hear” (1997, p. 61).
Declaring oneself to be an atheist, however, is much easier than defending the concept of atheism. Think of it this way. In order to defend atheism, a person would have to know every single fact there is to know, because the one fact that avoided detection might just be the fact of the existence of God. Theodore Christlieb noted:
The denial of the existence of God involves a perfectly monstrous hypothesis; it is, when looked at more closely, an unconscionable assumption. Before one can say that the world is without a God, he must first have become thoroughly conversant with the whole world.... In short, to be able to affirm authoritatively that no God exists, a man must be omniscient and omnipresent, that is, he himself must be God, and then after all there would be one (1878, pp. 143,144).
Impossible task, that—since one would have to be God in order to believe with certainty that there is no God! Yet, as apologist Dan Story has pointed out,
...[T]his fact stops few atheists from arguing against the existence of God. Rather than admitting (or even recognizing) the irrationality of their own position, many atheists attempt to remove the rationality of the Christian position.... These atheists argue that because they don’t believe in God, because their belief is negative, they don’t have to martial any arguments in their favor (1997, p. 20).
Evidence of such a stance abounds. Atheistic writer George H. Smith, in his book, Atheism: The Case Against God, wrote:
Proof is applicable only in the case of a positive belief. To demand proof of the atheist, the religionist must represent atheism as a positive belief requiring substantiation. When the atheist is seen as a person who lacks belief in a god, it becomes clear that he is not obligated to “prove” anything. The atheist qua atheist does not believe anything requiring demonstration; the designation of “atheist” tells us, not what he believes to be true, but what he does not believe to be true. If others wish for him to accept the existence of a god, it is their responsibility to argue for the truth of theism—but the atheist is not similarly required to argue for the truth of atheism (1979, p. 16, emp. in orig.)
Such a view, however, is seriously flawed for at least two reasons. First, theists do not make the statement, “God exists,” with wild abandon, expecting it to be accepted as if somehow it were spoken by divine fiat. Rather, when they defend God’s existence, theists offer evidence to back up their case (e.g., the cosmological argument, teleological argument, moral argument, etc.)—which places the matter of the existence of God in an entirely different perspective. As Story properly noted:
Christians have given ample evidence for the existence of the Judeo-Christian God. In light of this, if atheists claim God does not exist, they must be prepared to explain why. When Christians state that God exists and offer evidences to support this claim, they have moved the debate into a new arena—an arena in which atheists must prove that the Christian evidences are erroneous (1997, p. 20, emp. in orig.).
If evidence for God’s existence has been set forth, the atheist has a responsibility (if he expects his world view to be considered seriously and accepted intellectually) to show why such evidence is not legitimate. After all, the Law of Rationality (one of the foundational laws of human thought) states that one should draw only those conclusions for which there is adequate and justifiable evidence. Indifference to such evidence—in light of the claim made by the atheist that God does not exist—could prove to be suicidal philosophically. The evidence just might document the theist’s claim. And in the process, the atheist just might be proven wrong!
Second, in his book, Dismissing God, under the chapter heading, “When Disbelief Has Gone,” Bruce Lockerbie rightly remarked:
To disbelieve necessitates the possibility of a reasonable alternative, namely to believe. So “when disbelief has gone” means that the secular mind has passed even beyond this stage of contesting with Christian orthodoxy, no longer deigning to concern itself with the fantasies of faith (1998, p. 228, emp. in orig.).
While it may be the case that the modern-day unbeliever no longer deigns to concern himself with what he views as “fantasies of faith,” such an attitude does nothing to address the evidence presented by the theist. Nor does indifference to the theist’s evidence on the part of the atheist do anything to establish whatever type of unbelief the atheist wishes to recommend in its place. Lockerbie is correct: “To disbelieve necessitates the possibility of a reasonable alternative, namely to believe.” Thus, the atheist shoulders two burdens: (1) to prove the theist’s evidence is invalid; and (2) to establish—with attending evidence—a belief system that is a “reasonable alternative” worthy of acceptance by rational, thinking people.
Neither of these tasks is simple (or, theists would suggest, possible). One problem that, by necessity, would have to be broached from the outset is this. For whatever reason(s), many atheists appear unwilling to consider the evidence in the first place. Robert Gorham Davis is a retired professor of English at Harvard University who spends much of his time writing letters to the editor of the New York Times in order to take exception to any published reference to religion in that newspaper. In one such letter to the editor, he wrote:
On no clear evidence theologians and philosophers declare God to be omniscient and omnicompetent. Plainly if there were such a God who really wished to reveal Himself to mankind, He could do so in a way that left no doubt (1992, emp. added).
That God did reveal Himself “in a way that left no doubt” is made clear from such evidence as: (1) the marvelous order and complexity of the macrocosm we call the Universe; (2) the intricate, delicately balanced nature of life; (3) the deliberate design inherent in the microcosm we know as the incomparable genetic code; (4) the astounding historical testimony attesting to the miracle-working Son of God; and (5) an otherwise unexplained (and unexplainable) empty tomb on a Sunday morning almost two thousand years ago. Each of these pieces of evidence (and many more like them) helps form the warp and woof of the fabric whose purpose it is to document God’s eternal existence.
That the atheist does not consider the evidence to be trustworthy or adequate to the task does not negate the evidence necessarily. A man’s attitude toward the truth does not alter the truth. As Winfried Corduan stated in his book, Reasonable Faith:
An argument, in order to be considered sound, must have true premises and valid logic. Because we think within the context of world views, someone may not be convinced by a perfectly sound argument. This is an everyday occurrence in all human reasoning and attempts at persuasion. That is no fault of the argument... (1993, p. 106, emp. added).
The late atheist, Isaac Asimov, once bluntly admitted: “Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time” (1982, p. 9). Such a boast is easy enough to understand, and requires no further explanation. Yes, Dr. Asimov was a committed atheist, but not because he could offer adequate, legitimate reasons to justify his unbelief. Rather, his world view was an emotional response resulting from his personal freedom of choice.
The fact remains that after everything is said and done, the atheist’s first option—disproving the theist’s evidence—is a difficult challenge that many choose not to accept.
What, then, about option number two—providing, with attending evidence, a belief system that is a “reasonable alternative”? That, too, apparently is beyond the pale of atheism. In 1989, Richard Dawkins, renowned atheist and evolutionist of Oxford University, released the second edition of his book, The Selfish Gene, in which he discussed at great length the gene’s role in the naturalistic process of “survival of the fittest.” Dawkins admitted that, according to the evolutionary paradigm, genes are “selfish” because they will do whatever it takes to ensure that the individual in which they are stored produces additional copies of the genes. In commenting on the effects of such a concept on society as a whole, Dr. Dawkins lamented: “My own feeling is that a human society based simply on the gene’s law of universal ruthlessness would be a very nasty society in which to live” (1989, p. 3, emp. added).
Michael Ruse, a Canadian philosopher, and Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard entomologist, had made the same point four years earlier when they wrote under the title of “Evolution and Ethics”:
Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends.... Ethics is seen to have a solid foundation, not in divine guidance, but in the shared qualities of human nature and the desperate need for reciprocity (1985, 208:51-52, emp. added).
The eminent humanist/philosopher, Will Durant, went even further when he admitted:
By offering evolution in place of God as a cause of history, Darwin removed the theological basis of the moral code of Christendom. And the moral code that has no fear of God is very shaky. That’s the condition we are in.... I don’t think man is capable yet of managing social order and individual decency without fear of some supernatural being overlooking him and able to punish him (1980).
Once again, the fact remains that after everything is said and done, the atheist’s second option—providing, with attending evidence, a belief system that is a “reasonable alternative”—is an unattainable goal. Enter “agnosticism.”

Agnosticism

Perhaps the logical contradiction inherent in atheism (i.e., one would have to be God in order to know God does not exist) has caused many unbelievers to affirm agnosticism instead. The agnostic (a, without; gnosis, knowledge) is the person who says it is impossible to know if God exists, due to the fact that there simply is not enough credible evidence to warrant such a conclusion. Sproul believes that “the agnostic seeks to declare neutrality on the issue, desiring to make neither assertion nor denial of the theistic question.... The agnostic maintains that there is insufficient knowledge upon which to make an intellectual judgment about theism” (1978, pp. 19-20).
The term “agnostic” was coined by British scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, a close personal friend of Charles Darwin’s and an indefatigable champion of evolution who frequently referred to himself as “Darwin’s Bulldog.” Huxley first introduced the word in a speech in 1869 before the Metaphysical Society. He later wrote of that occurrence:
When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain “gnosis”—had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble....
This was my situation when I had the good fortune to find a place among the members of that remarkable confraternity of antagonists, long since deceased, but of green and pious memory, the Metaphysical Society. Every variety of philosophical and theological opinion was represented there, and expressed itself with entire openness; most of my colleagues were –ists of one sort or another.... So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of “agnostic.” It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the “gnostic” of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society.... To my great satisfaction, the term took.... This is the history of the origin of the terms “agnostic” and “agnosticism” (1894, pp. 239-240, italics in orig.).
Huxley cannot be accused of inventing the term “agnostic” in a cavalier fashion. Nor can he be accused of harboring a “hidden agenda.” He knew exactly what he was doing, and went about doing it in a most public fashion. He spoke often to “working class folks,” frequently presenting lunchtime lectures at factories. In a letter to a friend written on March 22, 1861, he remarked: “My working men stick by me wonderfully. By Friday evening they will all be convinced that they are monkeys” (see Leonard Huxley, 1900, 1:205). He was passionate about referring to Charles Darwin as the “Newton of biology” (see Blinderman, 1957, p. 174), and did not hesitate to affirm that, so far as he was concerned,
I really believe that the alternative is either Darwinism or nothing, for I do not know of any rational conception or theory of the organic universe which has any scientific position at all besides Mr. Darwin’s.... Whatever may be the objections to his views, certainly all other theories are out of court (1896, p. 467).
Huxley worked diligently to convince those around him that agnosticism was a respectable philosophical position, and that it was quite impossible to know whether or not God existed. Yet he simultaneously advocated the position that it was quite possible to deny some theistic claims with certainty. He “knew,” for example, that the Bible was not God’s Word, and openly ridiculed anyone who believed it to be so. He heaped scathing rebukes upon those who believed in what he termed “the myths of Genesis,” and he stated categorically that “my sole point is to get people who persist in regarding them as statements of fact to understand that they are fools” (see Leonard Huxley, 1900, 2:429).
That Huxley had in mind antagonistic views toward Judeo-Christian theism when he claimed to be “agnostic” has been made clear by those who otherwise would have no reason to be biased against Huxley. For example, under the heading, “agnosticism,” the authors of the British-produced Encyclopaedia Britannica wrote:
Agnosticism both as a term and as a philosophical position gained currency through its espousal by Thomas Huxley, who seems to have coined the word “agnostic” (as opposed to “gnostic”) in 1869 to designate one who repudiated traditional Judeo-Christian theism and yet disclaimed doctrinaire atheism, transcending both in order to leave such questions as the existence of God in abeyance.... But Huxley’s own elaboration on the term makes it clear that this very biblical interpretation of man’s relation to God was the intended polemic target of agnosticism. The suspension of judgment on ultimate questions for which it called was thought to invalidate Christian beliefs about “things hoped for” and “things not seen....” Huxley himself certainly rejected as outright false—rather than as not known to be true or false—many widely popular views about God, his providence, and man’s posthumous destiny... (1997a, 1:151; 26:569, emp. added).
Rather than courageously embrace and defend atheism, Huxley opted to feign ignorance with his “I don’t know, you don’t know, nobody knows, and nobody can know” position. This cowardly compromise did not endear him to those who were quite willing to champion the more radical stance of apodictically affirming that God does not exist. In their discussion of agnosticism under the section on “religious and spiritual belief systems,” the editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica noted that
Huxley and his associates were attacked both by enthusiastic Christian polemicists and by Friedrich Engels, the co-worker of Karl Marx, as “shame-faced atheists,” a description that is perfectly applicable to many of those who nowadays adopt the more comfortable label (1997b, 26:569, emp. added).
The fact is, the agnostic is far from indifferent. He takes his agnosticism extremely seriously when he affirms that nothing outside of the material world can be known or proved. But agnosticism is built upon a self-defeating premise. English philosopher Herbert Spencer (also a close personal friend of Charles Darwin, the man from whom Darwin borrowed his now-popular phrase, “survival of the fittest,” and popularly regarded as one of the foremost apostles of agnosticism in his day) advocated the position that just as no bird ever has been able to fly out of the heavens, so no man ever has been able to penetrate with his finite mind the veil that hides the mind of the Infinite. This inability on the part of the finite (mankind), he concluded, prevented any knowledge of the Infinite (God) reaching the finite.
Such a premise is flawed internally because it wrongly assumes that the Infinite is equally incapable of penetrating the veil—a position that reduces the term “Infinite” to absurdity. An Infinite Being that is unable to express Itself is less finite than mortals who forever are expressing themselves. And an Infinite Being that is both capable of self-expression and aware of the perplexity and needs of mortal man, yet fails to break through the veil, is less moral than mortal man. As one writer expressed it:
What man would stay in shrouded silence if he were the Infinite and knew that a word from him would resolve a thousand human complexes, integrate shattered personalities, mend broken lives, bring coveted light to baffled minds, and healing peace to disturbed hearts? (Samuel, 1950, p. 14, emp. added).
To be either correct or defensible, Spencer’s proposition must work both ways. Finite man must be unable to penetrate the veil to the Infinite, but at the same time the Infinite likewise must be unable to penetrate the veil to the finite. By definition, however, the Infinite would possess the capability of breaking through any such veil.
Further, there is a question that begs to be asked: Will the agnostic admit that it is at least possible for someone else to know something he does not? If he is unwilling to admit this point, is he not then attributing to himself (even if inadvertently) one of the defining characteristics that theists attribute to God—omniscience? In commenting on this very point, Nelson M. Smith wrote:
Obviously, no agnostic can speak for anyone but himself and perhaps not then. What effort has he made to know God? Has he exhausted every effort to know God? Maybe he has not been as honest with himself and with the evidence as he ought to be? Maybe he is unconsciously hiding behind a screen of “can’t know” to avoid responsibility as a being made in God’s image of facing his Maker? (1975, 92[6]:6).
Smith’s point is well taken. Is it not possible that the agnostic is avoiding—purposely—the evidence for the existence of God? Rather than being unable to know, perhaps the agnostic is unwilling to find out. Sir Hector Hetherington, Principal Emeritus of Glasgow University, addressed this concept when he said:
There are issues on which it is impossible to be neutral. These issues strike right down to the roots of man’s existence. And while it is right that we should examine the evidence, and make sure that we have all the evidence, it is equally right that we ourselves should be accessible to the evidence (as quoted in Samuel, 1950, p. 29, emp. added).
The agnostic is perfectly capable of making himself “accessible to the evidence.” The question is—will he? Or will he choose instead to hide “behind a screen of ‘can’t know’”?
[to be continued]

REFERENCES

Asimov, Isaac (1982), “Interview with Isaac Asimov on Science and the Bible,” Paul Kurtz, interviewer, Free Inquiry, pp. 6-10, Spring. [See also: Hallman, Steve (1991), “Christianity and Humanism: A Study in Contrasts,” AFA Journal, p. 11, March.]
Blinderman, Charles S. (1957), “Thomas Henry Huxley,” Scientific Monthly, April.
Christlieb, Theodore (1878), Modern Doubt and Christian Belief (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons).
Corduan, Winfried (1993), Reasonable Faith (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman).
Dawkins, Richard (1989), The Selfish Gene (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press), second edition.
Davis, Robert Gorham (1997), “Letter to the Editor,” New York Times, July 5.
Durant, Will (1980), “We Are in the Last Stage of a Pagan Period,” Chicago Tribute Syndicate, April.
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1997a), s.v. “Agnosticism,” (London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.), 1:151.
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1997b), s.v. “Religious and Spiritual Belief, Systems of,” (London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.), 26:530-577.
Huxley, Leonard (1900), Life and Letters of Thomas Huxley (New York: Appleton).
Huxley, Thomas Henry (1894), Collected Essays (New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 reprint). [Quotation is from volume five of a nine-volume set published between 1894 and 1908.]
Huxley, Thomas Henry (1896), Darwiniana (New York: Appleton).
Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch (1981 reprint), Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Kelcy, Raymond C. (1968), The Living Word Commentary: The Letters of Paul to the Thessalonians (Austin, TX: Sweet).
Kennedy, D. James (1997), Skeptics Answered (Sisters, OR: Multnomah).
Lockerbie, D. Bruce (1998), Dismissing God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
McGrath, Alister E. (1993), Intellectuals Don’t Need God (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Ruse, Michael and Edward O. Wilson (1985), “Evolution and Ethics,” New Scientist, vol. 208, October 17.
Sagan, Carl (1980), Cosmos (New York: Random House).
Samuel, Leith (1950), The Impossibility of Agnosticism [a tract], (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press).
Smith, George H. (1979), Atheism: The Case Against God (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).
Smith, Nelson M. (1975), “The Case Against Agnosticism,” Firm Foundation, 92[6]:6,11, February.
Sproul, R.C. (1978), If There’s a God, Why Are There Atheists? (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House).
Story, Dan (1997), Defending Your Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel).
Zerr, E.M. (1952), Bible Commentary (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation).