Friday, 15 July 2011


My hero, F.W. Boreham, had an interesting approach to proving God to unbelievers. He warned believers not to expend too much of their efforts attempting to prove God to a skeptic. Rather, he wrote, believers were more likely to be apologetically fruitful if they talked about God, who He was, what He had done, what He was doing. In fact, FWB wrote toward the end of his life that if he had his time over again as a preacher he would preach more about God than anything else.

Boreham argued that "proving" something that was obvious, could actually cause doubt about it. For example, imagining entering a majestic cathedral. The architecture is inspired by God's majestic transcendence. Its lofty ceilings, its tall stained glass windows, its artistically Biblical wall hangings, and its glorious timber beam trusses, all create a wonderful ambience for admiring the God Who rules the Universe. The Dean of the Cathedral, in the course of the worship service, may even draw the worshipers' attention to these elements of the old building. He may point out that the central part of the ceiling is dome-like and designed to point the worshiper to heaven. He may point to the very front of the Cathedral, the Chancel, to remind worshipers that we must draw near to God by means of approaching an sacrificial altar. But, if these objects and fixtures are pointed out in a cold fashion, their meaning is somewhat diminished.

But if the Ministering Dean was to go to great lengths to assure the gathered worshipers that the building they were in was "safe" and that there was no need to fear that the great timber beams they were gathered under would fall on their heads, and then proceeded to go to even greater lengths to describe in detail the material contained in the foundations of the Cathedral, he may actually be introducing an element of doubt into the minds of his listeners that was previously not there.

In a similar vein, when the believer tells the seeker about the scientific proofs for God from cosmology, astronomy, biology, archaelogy, and philosophy, he may actually create previously unimagined doubt in the mind of the seeker.
Instead, FWB encouraged, the believer was more likely to achieve their goal of helping seekers to believe if they spoke more of the One they believed in. By helping the visitor to use the Cathedral's majesty to help them worship the One the Cathedral was dedicated to, they could more likely help the seeker meet with God.

And this was FWB's grand argument. The greatest "proof" of God, he wrote, was to introduce the seeker to God! As believers spent time with God in their daily routines where their worship of Him is interwined with the more seemingly mundane activities, they were in a greater position to introduce the seeker to God.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8
There are good reasons to believe in God and equally good proofs for Him, but the danger is that we spend more time proving our proofs than introducing the One we are proving to the one who is seeking. Once introduced to God, the unbeliever-turned-believer can now appreciate the proofs for God - in a similar way that a worshiper more likely appreciates a Cathedral and its sacred fixtures when they are experiencing it.

Directly introducing a seeker to the God you are in relationship with is the greatest proof you can offer them. Once introduced to God, often through a worship experience such as a church service or prayer meeting, they can now begin to appreciate the cosmological proof, the teleological proof, the moral proof, the Christological proof and the experiencal proof.
Father, help us to introduce people to You. May our hearts ache with the ache of Your compassion for Your children who have wandered away from You. Open our eyes to see the world the way You want us to see it. May we as a church work together to introduce people to You. In Jesus Name', Amen.
Eph. 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ps. Andrew

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