Pointers for Defending the Faith, Part 2
Here’s our second pointer for apologetics:
2) Unbelievers [normally] do not distinguish between Creation and the Fall. As many thinkers have already noticed, the biblical mega-narrative (and for those of you who are familiar with the term “meta-narrative”please note that I’m intentionally not using it) follows the themes of creation-fall-redemption. Some of the things we experience this side of the fall where not a part of the original created order God declared “good.” Of course, the easiest example of this is moral rebellion (sin) against our Creator (i.e. sin)
What is worth noting is often what is considered natural by the non-Christian (ex: sexual lust), we may (and probably do) attribute to the Fall. We should bring to the attention of our non-Christian friends that not everything we find today is the way it ought to be. Christians (or, at least the Bible) make a distinction between two senses in which something could be considered “natural.” First, something could be considered “natural” if it was part of the original created plan of God. In this sense, marriage, heterosexual monogamy, and loving obedience and submission to God and His word are all natural. The second usage of the term “natural” has the opposite meaning. Yeah, I know, it’s confusing! According to this usage “natural” is contrasted with spiritual (or [Holy]Spirit-lead, cf. 1 Cor. 2:14, James 3:15). So, sexual deviation is perfectly “natural” in this sense, it “gels” well with our fallen condition. In some Bible versions, the term natural is more pointedly translated “carnal.” I think that gets my point across.
So, as we keep in mind these biblical usages of the word “natural,” we should be aware that unbelievers often blur or do not properly distinguish between Creation and Fall. So, when if they say, “what’s wrong with ____? After all, it’s natural.” We need to patiently point out that ____ (given it’s a sinful goal, motive, and/or standard) is not natural in the first sense (which is what Christian ethics is geared toward developing), but instead is natural in the second.
Two down, three to go…