Anyone with a bit of biblical literacy knows Jesus’ words in John 14:6. He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” We must take this to mean that:
- Jesus is the answer.
- Christianity is true and all other religions are not.
- There is no other path to heaven.
- Salvation is found in no one else. (see Acts 4:12)
RC Sproul has frequently said that our problems today with understanding Scripture are problems of logic. The law of non-contradiction states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions "A is B" and "A is not B" are mutually exclusive. Classically-educated students of logic know this.
Yet, the world says, “That may be true for you,” and “There’s no such thing as absolute truth.” We know better. But how does it apply here?
Today we find much tolerance for Islamic thought—even while innocents are slaughtered through cowardly acts of violence. Even that “great philosopher” of our day, Bill Maher, gets it. In his recent obscenity-laden talk with Salman Rushdie, Maher nailed it when he said, “When there’s [sic] this many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard.”
So, what’s a Christian to do?
It remains fairly simple. It’s the strategy of Jesus. When I first encountered it I was overwhelmed with affinity. It resonated. We recognize that we are in a war. It’s a war between righteousness and unrighteousness, right and wrong, good and evil. And our temptation is to fight it the way they fight it.
We develop arguments—even logically-sound ones. The problem is that logic is not the “Truth that will set us free.” Jesus is.
Here is the strategy:
Christians win the war by making traitors of their enemies.
We don’t fight the way the world does. We cause our enemies to reject their prior allegiance.
It must be noted that this is not to promote the Ron Paul, “secure the borders” mentality. And my pacifist days are behind me. The state has been given the power of the sword. And they need to use it. Christians should not object when evil men are felled by a drone or an Apache helicopter lands in a backyard in Pakistan for Seal Team Six to do its job.
Yet, that is not how the Gospel will fill the world “as the waters cover the sea.” It will be done by “loving our enemies” and “doing good to those who hate us.”
And that is another reason why I love classical Christian education so much. Not only does it give students the knowledge to smell the rat of a fallacious argument from Scripture or anywhere but it also builds the character and rhetorical effectiveness to engage the enemy in a way that, well, makes them want to become a traitor.
I see it frequently in this generation of budding classically-educated scholars.
We have much reason for hope. We’ve got the Truth. May we use it well.