The DEEP

Paul and the Declaration of Independence

Some things are obvious.

Romans 1:18-23 (ESV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 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. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

This is about people who not only don’t believe in Christ, they don’t believe in a creator at all. To Paul, that’s ridiculous; they are without excuse. Their whole thinking process is undermined. They became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

The Declaration of Independence assumes that the existence of “nature’s God” is obvious—that it’s “self-evident” that people are “endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” So does Paul assume that the evidence of the existence of God is unmissable.

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.

Yet there were many in Paul’s day who couldn’t see the obvious, and many of them mocked Paul and his faith. Curiously, they worshipped gods made with their own hands.

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

That’s just nuts.


Atheism is alive and well today and so is the mockery of our faith. At least they’re not making gods with their hands, right?

No, it’s worse. They’re making gods of themselves. Our culture has become so ego driven that many people expect to receive worship, rather than give it. This includes, movie stars, sports heroes, and, of course, American IdolsTM.

Many Americans are full of themselves to an amazing extent. They seem incapable of worshipping anyone else.

Claiming to be wise, they became fools.

Sigh.


All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.