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Summary: Christian faith is more rational than atheism because it recognizes the minute information we possess and the insuperable complexity and design of the universe and life forms. We rest our intellect on the intellect of God. What could be wiser?

“DON’T CHECK YOUR BRAIN AT THE DOOR!”

Acts 17:11

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: THE CHECKER (I was told this by a friend)

1. I went shopping at Walmart earlier today and got a sack of chicken legs. Right before the young lady rang them up, I asked her if they were front or back legs.

2. She paused for a moment, then read everything she could on the package. Not finding the answer, she said, “I don’t know; let me go ask my manager.”

3. So I let her go. She came back a couple of minutes later, looked at me and said, “Not funny.” I said, “Well for me it was.” The guy behind me said, “I thought so too. That was a good one!”

B. TEXT

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character [“open-minded” GW] than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11, NIV

C. THESIS

1. I want to use this verse to highlight the fact that we have a reasoned, rational faith. It’s a faith that is open to examination. It’s one you can check out to see if it’s true.

2. We live in a country where some media personalities or educators view having ‘faith in God’ as being ignorant, as if you have to abandon your reason to believe in God. [Karl Marx called religion the “opium of the people.”]

3. Nothing could be further from the truth: our faith is built on facts, solid history, and is confirmed by science when it’s not biased.

4. So today’s message is entitled, “Don’t Check Your Brain at the Door!” (either at the church or the college class!)

I. IT’S INSANE TO THINK YOU “KNOW IT ALL”

A. BY ASKING FOR FAITH, IS GOD ANTI-BRAIN?

1. Not hardly. God gave us our brains and entire books of the Bible are devoted to helping us think better! God many times tells us to use our brains! [Prov. 2:11; 3:13; 15:14; 16:16;

23:23]

2. Your 3 pound brain is a marvelous instrument. It has a 100 billion neurons intricately linked to each other. It uses your retina cells to perform up to 10 billion calculations per second in determining the nature of the image transmitted to the eye by light photons.

3. No supercomputer on earth is capable of matching these virtually instantaneous calculations. Do you really believe such a marvelous super computer was an accident of unguided chance? Whose really naïve here?

4. According to Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Gould, for evolution to go from one cell to a full human would require 60 trillion contingent events -- 36 necessary events per day, each day for 4.55 billion years, in the right place at the right time in the right sequence.

5. No wonder that Norman Geisler wrote the book, “I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” because IT TAKES MORE FAITH TO BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION THAN GEN. 1:1; “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth!”

B. DID GOD EVER TELL US NOT TO USE OUR BRAINS?

1. Usually Christians tremble when they hear this question and say “Of course not!” But I think the reverse. YES, He did say that! Prov. 3:5; “Lean not upon your own understanding.” Why would God say such a thing?

2. Because “own understanding” is so incredibly limited. For instance, how many people on Earth have actually been to all 7 continents? Have many have visited Venus, the closest planet? How many have read one tenth of all that’s been written? How many of you have ever counted from to one to a billion? Probably nobody!

3. So what makes us think we know so much? The truth is, our knowledge is not only partial, but infinitesimal! A speck in the universe of knowledge. It’s really a form of insanity to trust in your own understanding.

4. When we don’t rely on the Creator for His wisdom, it’s like we’re saying; “I’m smarter than you. I am more authoritative than you. I think I can care for myself better than you care for me. You’re not a good-enough Father. And so, I’m rejecting your leadership.”

5. Really? We ALL have to trust other people who are specialists. We trust doctors for our health, lawyers for our legal matters, power companies for our electricity, car companies for our cars, restaurants for our dinner – so why is it thought strange to “trust” God about your soul & eternity?

6. You don’t even know what will happen to you tomorrow, but God does, because He’s outside the realm of time and possesses all knowledge.

7. So it’s really NOT the one who trusts in the Lord who is irrational, but the one who leans on his or her own understanding!

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