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rational logic (1)

(1.) I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (2.) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (3.) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (4.) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (5.) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (6.) So they are without excuse. (7.) For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile (see A. below) in their thinking (see B. below), and their foolish hearts were darkened. (8.) Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for images resembling corruptible man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1: 16-23
The rational logic of the eight sentences in bold above is worth following. This is no joke. This is not eclectic madness put together by an addled brain.

This articulation of rational logic was both individual and global. It describes the motivation of its writer, Paul, at the highest level of his personal conviction. It also describes the rational logic which is behind this whole world and its entire people. 


‘Nothing in this world is without reason.’ (A W Tozer, pastor and author, 1897-1963)
Yes, it’s that big. Let’s try to work it out. (1.) There is a way of salvation from all that is in and of this world. 

(2.) That way is the good news that the power of God is able to give – freely give - the very righteousness of God to everybody who believes. They are the only ones who live – truly live, and that for ever. 

(3.) Across this whole globe, God’s wrath can be clearly seen. It is totally against both a vertical awfulness and a horizontal awfulness. The vertical awfulness is “ungodliness” in us. The horizontal awfulness is the “unrighteousness” of all humans towards each other. Concerning these two matters God is angry towards all humans who suppress the truth – suppress the “vertical” (“there is no God”) and suppress the horizontal (“I am only my brother’s keeper if I choose to be”).

(4.) It is plain to all human beings that there is a God. 

(5.) This is so because the unseen attributes of the unseen God are totally visible by an honest examination of the things that are all around us, both near and far. A flower, a cat, an infinite nimber of stars; life; how my cut hands so quickly heal…..Not only are these totally visible but also God “is showing”them these things every minute of every day.

(6.) Human beings have no excuse when they deny any “vertical”, deny God.

(7.) Human beings have no excuse when they deny any “vertical” because, when they do that, they have actually chosen to go against the truth which they actually know in themselves, in their own hearts. They have decided to suppress that truth in their own thinking. They have decided not to honour God. They have decided not to thank God. 


‘Christians are committed to rationality because they view the cosmos as the creation of a rational God, and believe humans are beings made in God’s image.’ (Peter S Williams)
(A.) “Become futile”. The root word in the original Greek here is the verb “mataios” – to make empty, to become purposeless, to be void of result. (B.) “In their thinking”. The Greek word here is “dialogismois” meaning “in their inner discussion and decision”, “in their rationality”. (A. +B.) Their rational thinking has become futile and illogical. Emotions are affected as well. In fact, their whole being is foolish and dark (deprived of light).

(8.) All human beings still claim to be wise. But they are fools. This foolishness is clearly seen millions of times every day in the “exchanges” (the bargains and trades, the buying and selling) which humans enter into all the time. 

They no longer value the invisible glory of God – whose glory is incorruptible and unending life. Instead they are enthralled with “images” (pictures, drawings, carvings) which portray (resemble but are not) corruptible, temporary creatures - human, bird, animal and reptile. A picture of a man is worth millions more than the man himself. A ceramic cat is worth thousands of times a living cat.

If that were the only consequence of humanity’s failure to follow rational logic, things mightn’t be too bad. But see next week’s Info for Islanders.

Sinner Syvret

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