No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: Jonah

The seperation of God…and nothing


What would you say if I told you that God is with us all of the time?  “Yeah Robert, I know God is with us all of the time.”  I understand the feeling that you have right now.  You know that God is with you all of the time.  But do you know that God is with us ALL of the time?  By now you are probably trying to figure out what I mean.  I mean that God is literally with us ALL of the time.  He is with you while you are at home, and while you are at church.  But did you know he is with you while you were at work?  Did you know he is with you while you are out running around with friends?  While you are at school?  While you are playing sports?  Playing video games online?  While you are on facebook, or myspace?  Our God is not a part time God.  He doesn’t work on Sunday, and then phone it in Monday through Saturday.  Unfortunately many “Christians” do this not realizing that God is always present, even if they want to pretend he is not.

Our society is bent on separating God from many aspects of our everyday life.  So far Sunday remains relatively unscathed, but Monday through Saturday is under fire.  The amazing thing is that many of us (who know that God is with us all of the time) not only act like he is not with us all of the time but also perpetuate the knowledge that God doesn’t belong somewhere.  What do I mean?  Have you ever heard someone say that God doesn’t belong in the work place?  Ever been a part of a policy that punishes those who are open about their faith?  Have you ever voted for someone who said that they will not go to the capital based on their own religious views, even though they are a “Christian”?  These are the same people who will vote for laws that edge God out. 

So where does God belong?  If you are in line with society, then:  He doesn’t belong in school…  He doesn’t belong in government…  He doesn’t belong at work…  He doesn’t belong in social commentary…   He doesn’t belong in holidays…  As a matter of fact there was news just recently from Davenport, IA, where folks want to rename Good Friday to “Spring Holiday”.  But what if I were to say that God, no matter how hard you try, is with you during all of those times.  Whether you acknowledge it or not God is always with you.  This concept is known as Omnipresence.

Psalms 139

The case for God’s Omnipresence begins in Psalms 139.  If you were to read Psalms 139 from beginning to end you would notice three distinct sections. The two relevant sections are V. 1-6 and then V. 7-12.  Let’s look at V. 1-6.  Here David is talking to God and saying, with reverence, how God knows everything he does.  David here describes a number of scenarios that are seemingly ordinary – Things that every person will do.  David proclaims that God knows him when he sits, when he stands.  God knows his thoughts, is familiar with all of his ways, God even knows a word before it even hits David’s tongue.  David finally says in V 6.  That such knowledge is too much for him to attain.  Here is an easy way to look at this: in V 1-6 David describes how completely God knows him.  He knows everything about David. His thoughts, his actions, even his words before they are spoken.   Then comes the reckoning: v. 7-12 describe David’s conclusion from v. 1-6.  What is David’s conclusion? Since God knows everything, there is no place he can hide.  Look at v. 7.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

David confirms God knows everything (i.e. God is Omniscient), and the reason He is Omniscient is because GOD IS EVERYWHERE – at all places at all times!  Because God knows everything He is everywhere, and because He is everywhere He knows everything.  This should give you an awesome insight into the perfect nature of God.  One facet of God cannot exist without the other.  God cannot be omniscient without being omnipresent, and vice versa.

In order to validate the omnipresence of God we can look at a couple of real life scenarios in the Bible where God’s omnipresence was a determining factor in the outcome of events.

Let’s start with Jonah.  Everyone has more than likely heard what happened to Jonah.  He is the guy who found himself in the belly of a fish.  Have you ever wondered why?  God came to Jonah and asked him to go preach in a city called Nineveh (Jonah 1:1).  Jonah declined.  As a matter of fact, not only did he decline, and he RAN! (Jonah 1:3).  Why? It turns out that Jonah did not want to preach at Nineveh.  He knew that if he did, and they repented, God would spare them, and he didn’t want that.  So Jonah split – God said go East… and….Jonah went West.  God had none of it.  Jonah ran, got onto a boat and tried to get away from God.  God’s actions demonstrate that it is impossible to hide from God (Jonah 1:4-17). 

Next Go to Jeremiah 23:23-24.  In this part of Jeremiah the subject matter is lying prophets.  Verse 23 being the set up verse for the hammer in verse 24:

Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD.  “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.(NIV)

This message in Jeremiah is the same message as Psalm 139, and the same message as in Jonah: God is EVERYWHERE – ALL THE TIME… There is no getting away from that fact. 

The separation of church and state has been so warped and misconstrued that it has permeated ALL aspects of life.  The basic premise behind that statement is that God does not belong.  Nothing is further from the truth.  No matter what you have been taught, or what any person tells you, God is WITH you ALL of the time.  You are on the hook for what you do ALL of the time.   So, the next time you find yourself thinking that you have to leave God on your counter, or someone is telling you that God doesn’t belong here who are you going to believe that person, or the Word of God?  Remember…God is always with you.  There is no place you can go, that He is not… What’s more – He BELONGS there!

The Bible…Good moral stories?


Have you ever been in a conversation about the Bible and hear a believer say “Some of the things in the Bible are good moral stories”.  How about a conversation with a non-believer that usually ends with “you believe that everything in the Bible is absolutely true?”  I certainly have.  What these people are usually implying is that some of the stories in the Bible are a little too fantastic to believe.  Nine times out of ten they are usually referring to Jonah, Noah or maybe even creation. 

The people described above are indirectly calling into question the inerrancy of the Bible.  If you are like me, you had never heard the word inerrancy and the Bible in the same sentence, let alone as truth.  In fact, up until a couple of years ago I would have been the person described above.  I used to look at the story of Noah, and the story of Jonah and say “wow, Really!?”  It was hard for me to accept the fact that a man would sit alive in the belly of a fish or that the world was flooded and Noah’s family was the only group that survived. 

If this is the first time that you are hearing the word inerrancy, the definition is simple.  According to the dictionary inerrancy means without error.  So what does inerrancy mean in the context of the Bible?  Well, if inerrancy means without error that means that in order for the Bible to be inerrant it has to be true.  The Bible has to be true.  Say it one more time and really let it soak in.  The Bible has to be true.  This includes all of the “stories” that are in the Bible. 

God is truth.  This is a pretty simple statement.  How do we know that God is truth?  He describes Himself as truth (Deuter. 32:4, Psalm 33:4, John 17:17). Meaning that truth is a characteristic/attribute of God.   What is the consequence of being truth?  That God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).  This provides the biblical foundation that God, and by extension God’s Word, is truth.  Pretty easy right?  God is truth, therefore God cannot contradict himself, and cannot lie.

Most people don’t hang their hats on this point when arguing against the inerrancy of the Bible.  What you will more traditionally hear from atheists primarily is something along these lines…”Your own Bible says that man will make mistakes.  Men wrote the Bible, so how can you say that the Bible is inerrant?”   If you have heard this statement before (I am sure many of you have) you should know that the premise of the question is incorrect.  This is a reflection of how half-truths can shape an opinion.  Man did not write the Bible alone.  The proof? 

2 Peter 1:21:

21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21, NIV)

Need more proof?

1 Corinthians 2:13

13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. (1 Corinthians 2:13, NIV).

NEED MORE PROOF? 

2 Timothy 3:16

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV).

The message behind these verses, while man put pen to paper so to speak, they were not writing, the Holy Spirit and God were writing.   So lets back up a second and recap.  We have God saying that he is truth and incapable of lying (Deuter. 32:4, Psalm 33:4, John 17:17, Titus 1:2), we have multiple verses saying that man alone did not write the Bible.  We have this written explicitly in 2 Timothy 3:16 that God BREATHED the scripture.  What is the conclusion to be drawn?  That scripture is truth.  No discussion, no qualifiers, no distinction on moral stories, or things of this nature.  SCRIPTURE IS TRUTH, according to the word breathed by God.  This tells us that the Bible is inerrant. 

The argument posed in this blog is a simplistic basic argument for the inerrancy of the bible using God’s word.  Skeptics will challenge truths in the Bible because they appear to be contradictory to other statements in the Bible.  In future blogs we can address some of these “discrepancies” (emphasis on quotes). 

As Christians, we run the danger of showing others that the Bible is errant.  Statements like “good moral story” and “a little too fantastic” will do nothing but demonstrate your own lack of faith in the holy word of God to those you are testifying to.  Ultimately the question that has to be posed is this, if the book of Jonah is not true, what else isn’t?  Go back to the word of God.  If Jonah is not true then God is not truth.  Which means that possibly other parts of the Bible are errant.  Which ones?  Who knows, but what we do know is that this thought process brings error to the word of God, which destroys the entire bible.  Seem fatalistic?  Think about it.  The life of Christ, true or false?  You are probably screaming true, right?  But what is more fantastic, a man living in the belly of a fish, or a divine pregnancy where God sent his son, who was of God to die, where he was crucified, raised from the dead, and ascended to heaven?  Get the point?  The next time you feel your mind thinking that creation, or Jonah, or Noah or ANY of the “fantastic stories” of the Bible are just that, remember 2 Timothy 3:16, and know that God is truth, you are not.

PLEASE NOTE:  For a more evidential and less philosophical argument that doesn’t rely upon the interpretation of any Bible verses/passages, check out Kevin’s post on manuscript evidence.

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