Sunday, March 05, 2006

Unbelief as a Symptom of a Deeper Problem

Things have been rather hectic around here lately and I have been unable to write a new entry so instead today I would like to share an Excerpt from Edward Donnelly’s book Biblical Teaching on the Doctrines of Heaven and Hell.

“Unbelief as a Symptom of a Deeper Problem

“Why should we think about hell? Its intrinsic importance and the unbelief with which it is surrounded are both valid reasons. But there is a third, more significant than either of these. The unbelief is symptomatic of a deeper problem.

“A symptom is so-called because it has an importance beyond itself. One day you discover a lump on your body. It is not painful and does not inconvenience you in any way. You can live normally and get on with your work. In that sense the lump is insignificant in and of itself. Yet is that how you react? Not if you care for your body and have any sense. You go to your doctor and have an examination. You seek treatment. It is not so much because of the lump, but because of what it might signify—something more dangerous, of which it could be an evidence.

“Unbelief is, of course, more than a symptom. It is itself a sin. But the illustration is valid to this extent: unbelief is an evidence of something worse. It is a symptom of humanity’s deepest problem, man-centredness. Here is the root cause of all our difficulties. We make ourselves the centre of our universe. We become the beings around whom everything else revolves. It all goes back to Eden, where Satan said to Eve, ‘You will be like God’ (Genesis 3:5), and she listened. Indeed, it goes back further. Satan himself had said, ‘I will be like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:14).

“This sin of self-centredness, or humanism (for this is another name for it), has been present in the world since the Fall. But it has in our day come to dominate the culture, so that it saturates the world in which we live. Man-centredness is as pervasive, and as unnoticed, as the air we breathe. No one is unaffected by it. Like pollution in the atmosphere, it is there, we absorb it, it is poisoning us.”

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