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Rabbits and Giraffes

By: Dr. Robert Morey  |  January 14, 2008

In the first class of incoming students at Westminster Seminary, Van Til always began by stating that the class was composed of “rabbits” and “giraffes.” He was 100% right.

 

Rabbits:
The “rabbits” were students who had not been properly educated in their previous college or university. Thus they had great difficulty in handling biblical apologetics.

  • They often ran off on “rabbit trails,” i.e. tangents that were irrelevant and a waste of time.
  • They could not keep focused on the issue at hand.
  • They were not able to define, document or defend their position.
  • They would get too emotional when challenged.
  • They were long on questions and short on answers.
  • They assumed that hurling a question at someone was a refutation.
  • They did not bother to wait around to see if their question was answered - because they were not interested in answers.
  • They never bothered to open a Bible but “leaned on their own understanding.”
  • They were great talkers but poor exegetes.
  • Whenever someone brought out the Bible, they would run for the hills or change the subject.

 

Giraffes:
“Giraffes” were properly educated and thus ready, able, and willing to exegete Scripture to find God’s answer to questions. They could keep focused on an issue instead of jumping all over the map. They did not run off on rabbit trails. As a result, they could see all around them.

They even looked with compassion at the poor rabbits running around on the ground.

Biblicalthought.com is much like Van Til’s class. It has rabbits and giraffes discussing issues. The rabbits run around like chickens with their heads cut off while the giraffes try to keep on topic.

Dear little rabbits, you know who you are. You have “Theological Attention Deficit Disorder” (TADD) and need biblical medication to calm down. If you don’t know if you are a rabbit, biblicalthought.com will help you to understand what you are in order to change your rabbit ways. We convert rabbits into giraffes on this site.

A good question was raised by a little rabbit, who then ran away without waiting to hear the answer from God’s Word. But the question is a good one and will help us to identify rabbits and giraffes. The question:

“Did God ever foreknow, foreordain, predestine, determine, predetermine, decree, etc. any sin of man in the history of the world?”

This question deals with four issues:

  1. Did God preordain from eternity any sin to happen in the future?
  2. Did God know with certainty that this sin would infallibly happen in the future because He ordained it to happen?
  3. Did the one or ones doing the predetermined sin have the freedom not to do it or did their sin necessarily happen as part of the divine plan?
  4. Were those who sinned according to divine decree held responsible for their sin?



Rabbits, we are not interested in your vain ideas, speculations, guesses, feelings, or opinions. We are not even interested in our own ideas. So why should we waste our time on your personal opinion? How then are we going to answer these questions?

“For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,”
declares YHWH.

“But to this one I will look,
to him who is humble,
and contrite of spirit,
and who trembles at My word. (Isa. 66:2)

If you cannot and will not tremble before the Word of God, you have to question whether you are a rabbit or a goat. If you are a real Christian, then you will submit to Scripture as the final authority on how to live and what to believe. If you have made some part of yourself into a god (your reason, experience, feelings or faith), this will come out when you answer these four questions.

For example, I was corresponding with the president of a certain Bible College on theseexact questions. When I exegetically demonstrated a solid biblical answer to the questions, he wrote back that I could give him a hundred verses from the Bible but it would not make any difference because he knew the answer in his heart! I wrote back that this may reveal an unregenerate heart. He never responded back.

If you are interested in discussing this question and will submit to Scripture, then you must comment on this post by copying and pasting the *statement below. Rationalists and other humanists need not apply. We want real Christians who bow before Christ and His Law/Word to discuss this issue.

Not only must you agree to submit to Scripture, but you must also agree with historical, grammatical, exegesis as the hermeneutics you will submit to in your interpretation of the Bible. No mystical interpretation will be allowed. You cannot ignore the context or the original languages.

If we have already left you behind in the dust and you don’t know what we are talking about, then you are either a rabbit or a goat. Only God knows your heart.

If you wish to join the discussion, then publicly declare your agreement as your first comment. Copy and paste the following statement, and include your screen name in the blank space.

*I, _____________, agree to submit to the
Bible as the final authority on the answer
to these questions and further agree that I
will follow the historical grammatical
hermeneutic in my interpretation of
Scripture. I also agree that I will submit
to the biblical answer even if it conflicts
with my personal opinion.

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