The Mind Justifies What the Heart Has Chosen
When it comes to understanding and embracing truth one of the things the Bible shows is that wrong conclusions are a result of wrong presuppositions.
If I believe in the God of the Bible and the inerrancy of Scripture, I will interpret all evidence in light of that presupposition. On the other hand, if I reject the God of the Bible and the truthfulness of the Scriptures, I will interpret the evidence on the basis of my unbelief.
If, in buttoning up my shirt, I put the first button in the wrong hole, all the other buttons will be in the wrong holes. So it is with the unbeliever, he has the first “button” in the wrong hole. As a result he is unable to properly align his worldview with the reality of God, which is, according to the Scriptures, evident within him (Rom. 1:18-21).
The non-believer is not capable of proper reasoning. Their mind, as well as the rest of their being, is fallen and corrupt. Their mind is set on the flesh and therefore hostile toward God (Rom. 8:7). They have exchanged the truth of God for a lie (Rom. 1:25). Their foolish heart is darkened (Rom. 1:21). The Scripture declares them to be fools (Rom. 1:22). We are told in I Corinthians 2:14 that: “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” When the Holy Spirit regenerates sinners, their eyes are opened and they can grasp the truth of God’s revelation. Until then they are dead in their trespasses and sins, and their minds and understanding are darkened (Ephes. 2:1-7).
The irrationality of the unbeliever’s thinking is rooted in a “wicked, corrupt heart.” It ultimately is not the mind, which needs to be convinced it’s the heart that must be changed. The mind justifies what the heart has chosen. The unbeliever recognizes that to agree with the Christian concerning the claims of the Christian faith has implications he does not want to face.
Josh McDowell,recognizes this reality. As he has stated, “Some people reject the clear evidence because of moral implications involved.” McDowell quotes the extremely revealing remarks of Aldous Huxley:
“I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves . . .For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”
Huxley’s admission is what Clark Pinnock calls a “moral unmasking” of the pseudo-intellectual excuses the unbeliever maintains in order to justify his lawlessness. Pinnock, in his book entitled, Set Forth Your Case, says, “In Christian apologetics, as in theology, the law is preached before the gospel in order that the unregenerate man will be unmasked before the demands of a holy God. The scandal of the gospel is not its alleged immunity from proof. Its offense lies in its moral unmasking of the sinner, not in its supposed untruthfulness.”