John 14:6: “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Colossians 2:2-4: “Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Thomas Aquinas, when he suggested that there could be a second method of thought built on human reasoning apart from Scripture, laid down the first brick that others could begin to build on.
The next brick layer in building the evil stronghold that is destroying Western Civilization is Rene Descartes with his famous saying: “I think therefore I am.” Descartes was born in 1596 in France, went to a Jesuit college at the age of 8 and then earned a law degree at the age of 22. An influential teacher set him on a course to apply mathematics and logic to understanding the natural world.
Rene Descartes, living in Holland at the time, compartmentalized his life. He did not hold to the fundamental beliefs of the church. At the age of 38 he committed fornication with a woman. In this day and age we would not think much about it, but in Holland that was not something that was done. It is estimated that the illegitimacy rate was a low 0.69%; that is before humanism came in and began to destroy the fundamental Scriptural truths. Now some of the illegitimacy rates in the Western world are as high as 60%.
Francis Schaefer (who spoke in some of our Operation Mobilization conferences back in the late sixties) said that one of the problems we have today is that our Christianity is compartmentalized. He used the illustration of the upper and lower floor. In the upper floor we have our spiritual life and in the bottom floor is everything else, and there are no stairs in between.
I have seen this in Europe. Even my own father-in-law (from Finland) would say that his religious life is a private affair. He would never talk about it. Even today, not only in Europe but also in the United States, we have politicians who advocate for homosexuality, gay marriages, and abortion on demand and still have a standing in the churches.
When we do not begin with Christ as the source of all knowledge and wisdom we then either begin with ourselves or try to find some ‘truth’ outside of ourselves, and in doing so we miss truth and reality altogether. We miss our entire purpose in life.
Rene Descartes took the first approach to build his philosophy by trying to seek some ultimate truth within himself and the ‘great book of the world’ and eventually came up with his famous statement: “I think therefore I am.”
He let his doubts about God bring him to make this statement. Through his demented reasoning he goes from doubting his existence to proving his existence, and from there, to proving the existence of God. I am sure that God is relieved that Rene has proved His existence!
Rene Descartes starts with himself and goes from doubting to proving his existence and then to the fact that God exists. If this seems confusing then join the club because this is what you get when you do not start with God. But, no matter how you try to disprove God’s existence, the fact remains that God created life and established foundations, and He laid down the law for mankind to live by.
The Bible teaches us that there is only one way to build our foundation of knowledge and that is “in the fear of the Lord.” (Proverbs 1:7) Without knowing that God exists it can be said that we cannot know anything for certain. It is ridiculous to prove our own existence without first knowing that God exists. We are told in Acts 17:28: “For in him we live and move and have our being.” This is truth and faith on our part gives truth its life.
So what we are seeing is a fast moving away from what the Bible teaches. What we see coming out with Rene Descartes’ thinking is that man’s intellect is the great judge concerning what is believable and certain, and that Scripture is not the truth or the judge of our thoughts. Man is becoming his own self-made ‘god’ thinking what he wants to think, according to his own evil heart.
Descartes was trying to come to a knowledge of God through his own existence and reasoning, but for those of us who adhere to the teaching of the Bible we realize the existence of God is seen through the Father revealing Himself through His Son Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ revealing Himself through His indwelling Spirit.
Matthew 11:27: “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
When we look at the bricks laid down over the centuries to build the evil stronghold that is destroying Western Civilization we begin to understand why today in the 21st century the name of Jesus Christ is so hated.