Arguments and Pretensions- 2Corinthians 10:5 (Part one)

In the verse we will now examine, we are given insight into the primary weapons which our enemy uses to try and defeat us in the spiritual battle in which we are continually engaged. This verse reads as follows in the NIV: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ”. We will, in this study, focus in only on the first part of this rather lengthy verse. The verse begins by telling how we can “demolish” the weapons which our enemy uses against us. This Greek word translated demolish here is the present active participle of kathairo, to “tear down, take down, bring down”. The use of demolish captures pretty well the idea behind this word, which paints a picture of total destruction, of an elimination of the effect which these arguments and pretensions have upon our lives. The use of the present participle here highlights the continual nature of the struggle with the enemy, for his arguments and pretensions have become dominant in the culture in which we now live. The word translated “arguments” here is the noun form of the verb logizomai- literally “to reckon”. This is not a word with we we are normally familiar, for it is not used much in our modern discussions. To reckon means to “accept something as certain, to regard or consider something as sure”, so reckoning deals essentially with certainties, our reckonings are the things we accept as being certain or sure. These reckonings, then, refer here to the bottom line assumptions which we make about the nature of reality, the foundational presumptions and presuppositions on which all of our “knowledge” rests. One example of such a presupposition is whether to accept science or revelation as our ultimate arbiter of what is true or not, of what truly constitutes knowledge. As finite human beings, we cannot possibly “know” all things, we cannot definitively conclude certain things but must make assumptions in order to conclude certain things. A primary example of this is the “phenomenon” of cause and effect. We can observe a cue ball strike an eight ball on a billiard table and conclude that the cue ball’s strike (cause) made the eight ball move (effect). But, upon closer examination, we cannot “prove” the cue ball caused the eight ball to move, we can simply conclude that the two events both occurred, but cannot prove one caused the other. We must smuggle in the concept of cause and effect to “explain” the situation without ever being certain that one caused the other. We must “reckon” that cause and effect is the “truth”, we must assume as certain that which we cannot ultimately prove is certain. So, what we are ultimately told here, is that our enemies primary weapon against us, his primary means of building up strongholds, is by getting us to accept fundamental assumptions about the nature of reality based on human reason over the revelation of God’s word, by getting us to accept the presupposition that science (the primary arbiter of truth in our culture) is the ultimate determinant of truth rather than the Word of God. As believers, we must hold to the fundamental assumption that God’s word is our final determinant of truth, not “science” or any other “reckoning” which the spirit of the age presents to us. It is by accepting God’s “reckoning” that we destroy the hold which the enemy’s reckonings may have on us.

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