Saturday, September 15, 2012

Richard Sibbes on our worldview...

I'm sure lace was very manly!
     If you know me, you know I love old, dead guys... the deader, the better!  So the first dead guy I'd love to introduce you to is Richard Sibbes;  he lived in the late 16th-early 17th cent. in England and his works were very popular (even while he was alive, which is rare!) among the Puritans.
     So I was listening to a conference lecture on Sibbes' commentary on II Corinthians 1.  The speaker drew out many good points, but the two that stuck with me were the ones that were declared to be foundational to true religion, and essential to a biblical worldview today; so essential that we often overlook them:

1.  God is (or He exists)...

2.  ...and He is true.

a security God?
    Both points are hotly contested in the public discourse of our society today;  first, the ambient relativity makes it difficult to convince others of a personal, real God who has revealed Himself definitively and can be known through what He has said.  The concept of God is instead a warm, fuzzy blanket, unique for every individual, that can be very comforting, but usually the mature and educated are encouraged to quickly dispose of said blanket in favor of a universe where they call the shots, and are accountable to no one.
     Second, the liberals of the last century have done a remarkable job of assaulting the reliability of the Bible, muddying even the clearest texts.  The most biblically ignorant folks know exactly how to dodge the authority of Scripture (and therefore, the conviction of sin);  one person I spoke to recently was convinced the Bible was a product of solely human origin, and that many books were left out of the New Testament for political reasons (the gospels of Thomas, Peter, etc.).  It turned out he had never read these rejected books (!), but had been swayed by a "conspiracy theory" mentality ("what are they trying to hide?").  And nobody who's even marginally familiar with the Bible can question the effectiveness of a smear campaign that enables people in America today to think that God condones homosexuality as an alternate lifestyle.
I can't hear you!
     Everyone taught by God (Jn 6:45) instinctively knows the truth....God exists.  The first verse of the Bible doesn't seek to prove, or present evidence, or persuade folks of this reality.  Moses just takes it for granted:  God exists and everything comes from Him.  The further our society consciously, blatantly ignores God, the more He will judicially blind us to His existence.
     And a couple of those "clearest texts" are Hebrews 6:18 and Titus 1:2... God just can't lie.  He not only tells the truth, He is the Truth and our doubt of Him is like doubting the nose on our face.  "Let God be true, and every man a liar" (Romans 3:4).
      These pillars are the only realities we can base our lives on in this topsy-turvy world... everything else will fall and "great was its ruin".

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