syl⋅lo⋅gism [sil-uh-jiz-uhm] –noun 1. Logic. an argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.” (www.dictionary.com)
My students are often reminded that there are no syllogisms in Scripture. Actually, this is not quite true, but it does capture something I hope to impress upon you now even if you have never thought of it before. Popular apologetics involve syllogisms, often lengthy and complex syllogisms, in an effort to persuade non-Christians to embrace the existence of God. The Bible never presents anything remotely similar to this method of showing that God exists.
For example, Genesis 1.1 does not read:
“1. Everything which begins to exist has a cause for its coming into being.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore the universe has a cause for its coming into being.”
Rather, it states:
“In the beginning God…”
God is in the beginning of the Bible in an account of what was in the beginning; no syllogism necessary. You did not come to believe in the existence of God through a syllogistic proof, and you are not going to convince anyone else to believe in God with such a method either. You already believed in God, and so did they.
The Bible presents the truth of the existence of God and argues that if it is rejected one is lost in total darkness, unable to make sense of anything. God is not hidden in puzzles that an ancient Greek philosopher named Aristotle thought up, He is present and plain for all to see in that He has revealed Himself to us. This is to be our message to those who attempt to deny the truth.
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