Reason and Rationalization

christ-trial

We should be grateful to Freud for pointing out ways in which we humans deceive ourselves about our real motives. He suggested that many of our actions arise from very dark sources which we hide from ourselves . . . But the essence of what Freud said was suggested two and half thousand years before him when Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful about all things and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” . . .

Whenever I hear a man arguing against the existence of God, or simply brushing aside the very possibility, I want to say to him, “What are your feelings on the subject? Are you arguing to justify a conclusion your heart has already reached?” I want to probe further and ask why he has certain attitudes to God… I say to myself, “you are running away; you are making excuses to avoid the truth; you have a deceitful heart, so be honest.”

When people are brought face to face with Jesus, they either hide from him behind a hedge of rationalizations, or they come into the open and admit the truth. Caiaphas was a beautiful example. Pushed into a corner by Jesus’ behavior at his trial, faced with all that Jesus had said and done, he says “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” “I am”, said Jesus. “There you are”, said Caiaphas, in so many words, “the man must be a fraud. I have an excuse for all my hostility to the man. I disliked him all along because I knew he was a fraud and a madman. I was beginning to think I disliked him because he was right and I was wrong. But now I have a beautiful rationalization for all my opposition. I am really a very holy man who detests blasphemy and my righteous soul is revolted by such wickedness. What a relief to be a good man after all.” God does try the deceitfulness of men’s hearts by bringing them in front of Jesus. That is what the day of judgment will amount to: just being face to face with Jesus. When we see Him we shall find that all our excuses will vanish away and we shall find ourselves revealed for what we really are . . .

We discover that men actually hate God, particularly the ones who have most eagerly tired to explain Him away. That is why Jesus calls himself the Truth. He brings all our hidden attitudes into the open. He exposes the shams, the false support . . . There is no hiding from Him. He reveals the true reasons for our behavior — not our glib rationalizations.

–Peter Kimber,
The Witness

The Prophets are Falling

Darwin, Marx Freud

One by one the great prophets of materialism have been shown to be false prophets and have fallen aside. Marx and Freud have lost their scientific standing. Now Darwin is on the block. Some of us saw a clip of Richard Dawkins being interviewed on public television about his reaction to Michael Behe’s book. You can see how insecure that man is behind his bluster, and how much he has to rely on not having Mike Behe on the program with him, or even a lesser figure like Phil Johnson. Darwinists have to rely on confining their critics in a stereotype. They have learned to keep their own philosophy on the stage with no rivals allowed, and now they have to rely almost exclusively on that cultural power.

–Phillip E. Johnson,
How to Sink a Battleship

Confining critics to a stereotype

Phillip Johnson1One by one the great prophets of materialism have been shown to be false prophets and have fallen aside. Marx and Freud have lost their scientific standing. Now Darwin is on the block. Some of us saw a clip of Richard Dawkins being interviewed on public television about his reaction to Michael Behe’s book. You can see how insecure that man is behind his bluster, and how much he has to rely on not having Mike Behe on the program with him, or even a lesser figure like Phil Johnson. Darwinists have to rely on confining their critics in a stereotype. They have learned to keep their own philosophy on the stage with no rivals allowed, and now they have to rely almost exclusively on that cultural power.

–Phillip E. Johnson
How to Sink a Battleship: A call to separate
materialist philosophy from empirical science