Our Nation (and a lot of Christians) Like to Play Pretend

Wednesday is for Thinking

Our Nation (and a lot of Christians) Play Pretend

Paddy ChayefskyI was reminded of this recently by commencing to re-read a dusty book from my shelf. The book was Where is History Going: A Christian Response to Secular Philosophies of History (Bethany, 1969) by John Warwick Montgomery. Actually, it would be truer to say that I was reminded of this when Montgomery quoted the playwright, Paddy Chayefsky and his play “Gideon: a Play”. Here’s the excerpt:

Gideon:    

  • Let me go, God.

Angel:      

  • Let you — whatever do you mean? Gideon, there is no divorce from God. I am truth and exist. You cannot deny that I am. I stand palpably here before you, as real as rock, a very actual thing with whom you have commerced face-to-face.

Gideon by Paddy ChayefskyGideon:

  • Aye, my Lord. I see you and hear you. So I beg of you, my Lord — go from my sight. Make not your presence known to me again that I might say: “God is a dream, a name, a thought, but not a real thing.”

Angel:

  • But I am a real thing.

Gideon:

  • I would pretend that you were not.    (Random House, 1962, 128f.)

Precisely. Many in the West want to pretend that God is not real, that Jesus is an illusion, that ours is not a special planet that God has singled out for the advancement of His plan and purposes. They want to deny all the evidence and rule out Christianity and the Gospel before they even examine the evidence for the divine fingerprint in history.

But the evidence persists.

Open-minded people in good faith can examine it and find that it holds together well. Christmas is not about trinkets and baubles and trees and mistletoe. It is about the salvation that God offers in the gospel. It is about “news of a great joy that shall be for all the people” (Luke 2:10-11). 

Even Christians sometimes run from the historic specificity of the faith. They don’t examine it. Instead, they “just believe” and are completely unprepared for the challenges of the culture to the faith that they hold so dear. And because they don’t examine their own faith’s historic nature, many have a niggling doubt in the back of their minds that it might be false. It is that doubt that not only turns them into cowards when it comes to sharing their faith but also keeps them in perpetual infancy with regard to the their faith.

To those who have never examined:  Be intellectually honest and examine why Christians believe what they believe.
To Christians who have never examined the evidence:  Grow up. Examine the faith. Your faith will be strengthened.

Where to start?

  • The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?  (F.F. Bruce)
  • History & Christianity, (John Warwick Montgomery)
  • Is the Bible True … Really? (Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett)

Don’t pretend your faith is real. Examine it and find that it is best news ever announced.


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