This is a response to Ken Pulliam, Ph.D. over at Why I De-Converted from Evangelical Christianity about his unwittingly establishing the veracity of the Bible and its Author in his post about Ken Daniels, A Former Missionary with Wycliffe Translators is now an Agnostic Atheist.
There are several problems in this post that are working against Ken Pulliam's truth claim rather than for it. Unwittingly he is establishing the veracity of the Bible and its Author instead of nullifying it. Both his testimony and Ken Daniels’ testimony are perfectly and accurately described in the Bible.
Ken Daniels said, “If I could patch things up by forcing myself to believe again, I would do so in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I have tried that several times, only to be besieged again by doubt, and have come to the conclusion that attempting to will myself to believe that which in my heart I do not believe is futile.”
The Bible declares that no man can will himself to believe – “Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13 NASB). This verse not only does away with Daniels’ false notion that a man can believe of his own accord but also does away with his false credentials that you have put forward as evidence that Daniels was once a true Christian.
Daniels is right in this conclusion – “attempting to will myself to believe that which in my heart I do not believe is futile.” And what is necessary to be a genuine Christian? The Bible says, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NASB). The word confess, means to speak the same and be of one mind (same logic), which means that confession of Jesus as Lord is to say the same thing about Him that God says about Him because of illumination and not imitation. It’s the difference between a parrot saying that Jesus is Lord without understanding what it is saying and a person saying that Jesus is Lord with full understanding and logic so that the truth he is declaring is inline with what he believes in his heart.
The part of Romans 10:9 that says, “And believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead”, is the part that gives rise to the confession of Jesus as Lord. There is no confession of Jesus as Lord without the accompanying belief in the heart that God raised Him from the dead. The only alternatives are for one to say, “If God raised Jesus from the dead then Jesus is Lord”, or, “I sincerely know that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is false.”
For the person that says, “If God raised Jesus from the dead then Jesus is Lord”, there is no belief in the heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and therefore there is no confession (speaking the same thing and being of the same mind) of Jesus as Lord but only parroting Jesus as Lord. The person that does not confess Jesus as Lord and believe in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead is not a genuine Christian. He or she may profess saving faith but does not possess saving faith.
One who professes faith but does not possess faith may be sincere in his belief that he is a true Christian and as such would classify himself a “sincere Christian” but would nonetheless not be a true Christian irregardless of his sincerity.
So the combined testimonies of Ken Daniels and Ken Pulliam are this: Ken Daniels, “Attempting to will myself to believe that which in my heart I do not believe is futile”, and, Ken Pulliam, “You cannot force yourself to believe something that you sincerely know is false.”
Now if either one of you claims that your confession of Jesus as Lord was a result of believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, how did that belief in your heart come about? Did you will yourself to believe for a while against all sound reasoning? On what did you base your belief in the heart that God raised Jesus from the dead?