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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

1 Bible Understanding How.mov

The Question:
I have had several conversations with people lately who were basically asking that question. Is the Bible logical? Can it be understood by human reasoning? What about supposed contradictions in the accounts? And questions such as these.

The Answer:
I’ve been thinking about this and want to share what I’ve come up with so far:

First of all, it seems to me that when we are trying to decide if the Bible is logical, we must define what we mean by "logical". Everybody thinks that they are logical, but they often come to very different conclusions when reasoning out the same thing. Why?

Well, there are obviously different kinds of logic. While I might not think of them all, it seems to me that normal human logic roughly falls into these categories:

1. Common Sense Logic
Common sense logic is what most people use when they reason things out. It is based on their mental capacity and previous training. Since we all have slightly to radically different abilities and training, common sense logic is based on a widely divergent set of "givens" which naturally will produce mildly to totally different results. This is why so many people can read the same verse of scripture and come up with such different interpretations of it. This is also a major cause of disunity in the Body of Christ, because if we don’t start from the same premises, how can we ever reach the same conclusions?

2. Empirical logic
Empirical logic is a more defined and static way of viewing things based on the scientific method. Here a hypothesis is formulated based on observations, then the hypothesis is tested experimentally, and the hypothesis is either confirmed or re-formulated based on experimental results. Although this method is better than Common Sense logic in that the premises on which it is based are defined, it still can yield different results due to the bias of the experimenter, unknown variables, and the like. Plus it is only capable of "proving" empirical truths - that is those things which can be felt, touched, tasted, heard or otherwise measured. So in the context of Biblical logic, we use empirical logic when evaluating data such as archaeological finds, or when evaluating texts that concern observable natural phenomena, but for most of the Bible that is concerned with non-empirical truths, empirical logic is useless in evaluating it.

3. Modern Philosophical Logic
Modern Philosophical Logic is the strict rules of logic used in modern times in the study of philosophy. They involve such things as the Law of Identity (A=A), and the Law of Non-Contradiction (A thing cannot be itself and the opposite thing at the same time in the same place in the same way). Although at first glance this may seem to be the ultimate way of obtaining truth, it is only a method for evaluating what we can know by the senses, or what someone else states that they know. It cannot evaluate supernatural events, and it cannot prove a negative. We are also limited here by intellectual capacity and experiential knowledge.

4. Evidentiary Logic
Evidentiary Logic is the form of reasoning used in the justice system to obtain truth based on the rules of evidence, eyewitness testimony, the credibility of witnesses, and so on. Surprisingly, this type of logic is more helpful than the other methods previously listed in understanding the Bible, because our system of justice is based on English Common Law, which is also based to a large extent on Biblical Law. The Bible is a legal book, and a great deal of understanding can be derived from looking at it from an Evidentiary Logical viewpoint. After all it is divided into the Old Testament (Covenant or Contract) and the New Testament (Covenant or Contract). A testament or a covenant is a legal agreement with blessings if it is followed and penalties if it is not. However, Evidentiary Logic also is not helpful in determining the validity of supernatural or spiritual truth.

5. Spiritual Logic
As you might imagine already, although Spiritual logic can and does include some components of the other types listed here, it goes WAY BEYOND anything man can do or think. This is why it is so frustrating when human beings try to make the truth as revealed by the Bible fit into a human mold- it won’t.

And if you really want to understand Spiritual Logic you must be willing to try to understand that God’s way of thinking is higher than ours. One reason for this is that God has all the facts, He is all-knowing. Where we only have pieces of the puzzle, God knows the grand design. Another reason that God’s logic is different is He is not limited by time or space. God is also all-powerful, and has the ability to call things that do not now exist into existence. God’s character is truth and love, and He neither deceives nor is subject to deception.

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah the Prophet tells us the God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours. They are of a different magnitude, quality and quantity than we can possibly aspire to. When we try to limit God to our way of thinking, we are denying ourselves a whole new realm of understanding.

Also when we oppose God’s Word and His thoughts, it is the lesser trying to contain the greater. We are saying that in the confines of our human reasoning, which at best is extremely limited, that God is wrong and we are right. What presumption, ignorance and pride!

Isaiah 55:10-11 "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

God is our Creator and that alone should be cause for us to yield to His wisdom. After all, who knows better how to repair and maintain and operate something than the one who created it?

God didn’t stop being the Creator after the sixth day in Genesis. He still is creating. As in the beginning, when He spoke and it was done, His word is still powerful and full of creative force. None of His words return to Him void or empty, but produce results, accomplishing His desires and achieving His purposes.

What human being can brag that his words are always fruitful, productive, accomplishing results and fulfilling all his desires? No one can. Our words are more often in vain than not!

So when we speak of Spiritual Logic we must first of all acknowledge the source of it and understand that it is God’s character and nature that molds Biblical truth and governs the logic of it. The basic premise of the Bible is "In the beginning God..." And if you read the Book with any other bias, you will not begin to comprehend it.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

This is why the Bible is a faith book, and we must have faith to understand it. The Author’s logic is beyond human logic, and we cannot possibly comprehend all there is to know about Him. So there is a degree of humility that comes with yielding to the higher thoughts of God. And faith is required because it is beyond human understanding.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

This doesn’t mean that you have to "park your brain at the door", and not use your God-given mental abilities. It DOES mean that you need to renew your mind to receive the higher logic from God. The world’s ways of thinking and feeling are NON-transformational.

The Greek word for renewing here is anakainosis {an-ak-ah'-ee-no-sis} meaning a renewal, renovation, and a complete change for the better. God’s thoughts do not fit into our old patterns of thinking based on the world’s mold. We must be transformed to think the way that God does.

Transformed in the Greek is metamorphoo {met-am-or-fo'-o} meaning to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure, as when Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the Mount of Transfiguration. This is the root word for metamorphosis, as when a butterfly is transformed from a lowly worm into a beautiful flying thing.

Now a lot of new agers talk about transformation, but they only have human means, molds and methods to try to effect a change. Biblical transformation comes as we renew our minds by God’s thoughts, and change from a human mold of thinking to a spiritual one.

1 Corinthians 2:11-13 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words [or interpreting spiritual truths to spiritual men]

So if Spiritual Logic revolves around God’s thoughts, how can man know them? The Word says that the Spirit of God knows His thoughts and will reveal them to us. Notice that Paul says "that we may understand what God has freely given us". The whole Bible is about God revealing Himself, not concealing Himself. He wants us to understand, and has given us the means by which we can understand Him and His logic.

Now the expression of God’s logic, since it is spiritual, is given in spiritual words and is understood by spiritual people. And our transformation into spiritual people comes first of all when we are born again of the Spirit. And continues as we renew our minds with God’s Word. This is not a function or product of human wisdom but is taught to us by the Spirit.

I Corinthians 2:14-16 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

This is why the "natural man" using human methods of logic does not accept spiritual things. They seem foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because their source is not intellectual but spiritual. The spiritual man is able to discern or make judgements about spiritual things, but himself is not subject to human logic or discernment.

Paul makes an awesome statement here. WE have the mind of Christ. Together we compose Christ’s body and as His Body we have access to His intellect and reasoning ability which is far superior to and also not subject to man’s logic. The limits are off! We have access to the Spiritual Logic that undergirds the Bible in two ways then: God has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us and we have access through the Spirit to the mind of Christ.

As far as God is concerned, then, we are without excuse when we claim that we cannot know God or understand Him. If we rely on human logic only, of whatever type, we will not be able to understand God. But if we are born again of the Spirit, and yield to God’s wisdom, we can know God, understand Him, and in some sense, be like Him.

So what are some characteristics of Spiritual Logic or Biblical Reasoning that I’ve observed that are different from human logic?

A. Biblical Reasoning isn’t linear
Normal human logic goes from point A to point B to point C and so on. If you are at all familiar with logic, you are familiar with IF, THEN, ELSE statements. IF something is true, THEN this happens, ELSE something else happens. But in the kingdom of God, reasoning is much more complex than that, and lack of understanding can arise when events don’t flow as we expect them to.

Romans 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. "Work together" is sunergeo {soon-erg-eh'-o} meaning 1) to work together, help in work, be partner in labor 2) to put forth power together with and thereby to assist.
Therefore our knowledge includes the realization that ALL things are working together in partnership and in power to assist in bringing forth our good, even when that working together is nonlinear.

My daughter recently got braces. I didn’t think her teeth were that crooked, but she did, so she contracted to pay for them herself. Well, I expected to go, get her wired up and that was it. I knew the wires had to be tightened ever so
often, but didn’t realize how complicated it all would be.

The first visit was an exam, and then they filled her mouth full of yucky stuff to make an impression of how the teeth were placed naturally. Then we met with the dentist to discuss what needed to be done.

For one thing, it turned out that her upper palate is too narrow in the back and they had to put an expander in for a while. Then they had to put stretchers between her back teeth to be able to put the braces in.

Then metal thingeys were glued on some of her teeth and wired together, but others weren’t in alignment yet and she has several springs in her mouth that are guiding other teeth into place, which will be removed after a while, and have metal thingeys pasted on them.

And every time she goes, she gets different colored bands that do this and that. Anyway, it isn’t a simple thing, somewhat like Biblical Reasoning. We think it’s just a matter of slipping into some "spiritual braces" and getting all the crooked parts straight all at once, but sometimes God has to do a certain work at a certain time before He can do something else later.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he
might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.