I’ve decided to bite the bullet and deal with the final portion of Mark Sandlin’s post “10 Things You Can’t Say While Following Jesus”, as painful as it is. I’ve dealt with 8 of the 10, in groups of two, over the past few weeks, here, here, here, and here. Today, we finish his top-10 style list dealing with points 2 and 1.
2) Have you heard about Jesus?
1) There are no atheists in a foxhole.
Really? There are atheists in church and you honestly think there are no atheists in foxholes?
Look, I get that the point is supposed to be that when faced with death we all turn to God. However, not only is that simply not true for everyone when faced with death, it is really bad logic.
Let me demonstrate.
When faced with death in a foxhole – grenades flying overhead and limbs being blown off the person next to me – am likely to soil my britches. It does not follow that I should always soil my britches.
In foxholes there are a whole bunch of people trying to stay alive and they pretty much don’t care what the other person believes about God. They just want to stay alive… and possibly a clean pair of britches. (See what I did there?)
This is clearly where Rev. Sandlin breaks from a Reformed understanding of the nature of man as revealed in Scripture (notice that he hasn’t even used ONE, SINGLE verse of which to ground his assertions). What does Paul say about this? Let’s see.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 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. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:19-21, ESV [emphasis added])
Scripture is clear: men know that there is a God, but in their ingratitude they exchange true knowledge for false knowledge in which,
…since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:28, ESV)
…men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18, ESV)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 53:1, ESV)
It is the inconsistency of how they conduct their lives that reveals the truth. While people may say that they are atheists, they do not live their lives in such a manner: insisting that things like logic, morality, and the ability to reason exist even though there is no consistent way to ground those immaterial concepts in their worldview.
Okay, so, what have we seen in this series? That Rev. Sandlin makes arguments based on his authority (a fallacious argument), he purposefully avoids grounding his arguments in the text of Scripture (possibly because they would actually refute him), and that he doesn’t understand how Scripture reveals the nature of man. This could be because he has rejected the authority of Scripture, which seems to be the case. These facts would seem to indicate that Rev. Sandlin has descended into apostasy and believers need to be praying for his repentance. While I agree with a few points that he has made, on a superficial level, on the whole, I believe that his illogical and inconsistent arguments can be rejected on their face.