Why Trust the God of the Bible? Can We Know Anything for Sure?
Southern Evangelical Seminary Shares How It Equips Christians to Answer Life’s Difficult Questions from a Biblical Worldview
March 16, 2020
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—For 28 years, Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) has had the mission to “train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and defense of the historic Christian faith.”
Part of that training is to help Christians answer the very tough questions that come their way from unbelievers or skeptics—questions like “Why trust the God of the Bible?” and “Can we know anything for sure?”
“For our entire history,” said SES President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, “Southern Evangelical Seminary has equipped believers with the tools to defend historic Christianity in a world that sometimes doesn’t want to hear it. What sets SES apart is that we bring in disciplines such as philosophy, science, technology, economics, public policy and much more for an overall, well-rounded strategy to be better equipped to defend our beliefs.”
Dr. Doug Potter, SES Assistant Professor of Apologetics and Theology, Director of D.Min. Program and Registrar, recently shared a blog post based on the SES e-book, “Why Trust the God of the Bible?”
“Many today fail to see the importance of grounding their reasoning process in reality in spite of the fact that whatever is not based on reality is un-reality, in other words unreal,” Potter noted. “The slippery slope of subjectivism and relativism is the result of such ‘reasoning’ manufactured in the imaginations of the mind rather than in reality, on Truth. This distinction is especially important for Christians who desire to share their reasonable faith.”
Potter adds, but sadly, subjectivism has crept its way into the church with the assumption that Christians do not need to defend their faith with reason, but that they only need the Bible.
“Despite the claims of subjectivism and ‘blind’ faith,” Potter continues in the post, “one of the most fundamental observations anyone can make of physical reality is that it changes, and yet something about it remains the same. This observation is the first step in a complete apologetic for Christianity. What remains the same in this physical piece of reality is its essence. What changes are called accidental properties. We can observe anything in reality, natural or man-made, for example a real tree, and see that it changes over time—grows larger, develops branches, colorful leaves, etc.—and yet it remains the same tree such that it is distinguishable from all the other trees. Its change is accounted for by the principles of actuality and potentiality that are present in all created things. Actuality is the existence of something. Potentiality accounts for the capacity of something to change or become other than what it is. Change could be substantial, in that I could destroy the tree and it could no longer exist. Or it could be accidental, such as cutting off a limb. The change could be internal, such as its growing a new limb, or the change could be external if I cut the tree down.”
There are things essential and accidental to a particular substance, Potter adds. Something essential cannot be removed without changing what it is. Something accidental could be otherwise and would not change what something is.
“The soul is the substantial form of the human body,” the professor writes. “The way in which we know something is by its form, which is united to matter. We know things via our five senses. Since the form of a substance is immaterial, it is able to enter our mind, and we are able to know the thing, know the form extracted in our mind from its matter, as it is in itself. Contrary to what some philosophers have proposed throughout history, the form that enters the mind is not a different substance or copy of the substance that comes to exist in the mind of the knower. Rather, the same form that is united with matter unites with the mind of the knower; in a sense the knower and the thing known become one.”
Why is this important?
“All humans have the same nature/essence,” Potter shares, “therefore, all human intellects have the same basic capacities. Since the forms in reality are the same as what comes to exist in the human mind, what something ‘is’ is determined by reality and not the knower. This is what we mean by truth. Truth is that which corresponds to its object, or, more specifically, truth is the conforming of the intellect to reality. Knowledge, meaning, and the intended purpose of all things are grounded in reality and are objectively verifiable. This explanation supports all human endeavors in the sciences and humanities and particularly makes Christian apologetics, theology, and ethics worthy endeavors.”
SES recently announced its 2020 National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA), set for Oct. 16-17 in Charlotte. The seminary will focus on the theme of “Hold Fast” for the 27th annual conference by welcoming some of the nation’s top apologetics speakers.
To interview Dr. Richard Land of Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.