Apologetics, Catechism, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy

Life on Earth is Spiritual Warfare

Life Upon Earth is WarfareAfter the serpent deceived our first parents Adam and Eve, God revealed his plan to thwart the great enemy of those made in his image and likeness, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”[1] In the fullness of time, Jesus Christ crushed the serpent’s head through his suffering, death, and resurrection; himself being wounded on the heel.[2] Christ’s Blessed Mother participated in the crushing of the enemy’s head by her fiat at the annunciation. Adam and Eve failed to properly do battle against the serpent, the New Adam and the New Eve soundly defeated that ancient enemy, the Devil. Being filled with hatred, and knowing his time is short, the Devil now wages war against holy Mother Church, “And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”[3]

The Devil and his demonic battalions prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. And while the soldiers of Christ follow their King in his command to baptize the nations, the Devil’s mercenaries are looking to subvert the order of the Great Commission. The weapons used by Christ’s enemies are as diabolical as they are numerous, but they only inflict damage when the soldiers of the Church Militant are unprepared to counteract the deceptive vilifications from the accuser of God’s people.

Christ has exposed the true nature of the devil as the father of lies, “You are of your father, the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he abode not in the truth: because the truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.”[4] From the beginning of time to our current age, those who do the bidding of their father the devil will speak only lies against Christ and his Church, which is the “pillar and bulwark of truth.”[5] Truth cannot be defeated or proven false, so the only way to attack truth is to deceive and lie about the nature of truth. All truth participates in divine Truth. Those who are the enemies of truth do evil against its divine source. And because truth cannot be proven false, the only way to fight against it is to employ methods of tactical sophistry to confuse and lead people into the snares of sinful spiritual error. The devil did this with Eve in the Garden of Eden when he purposely confuses the command of God to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, eventually fooling her into believing his deception rather than following the will of God. Another examples is when the devil attempts to exploit Jesus’s bodily weakness after extensive fasting in the desert by misquoting the Sacred Page and challenging his omnipotence. And the devil now looks to twist and bewilder the minds of men so they might become comfortable in their sin, deny the faith, and disregard truth for the comfort of autonomous relativism.

The devil has been diligently working against the Church ever since her birth at Pentecost. Whether it is violent persecutions or damnable heretical movements, the Church has always been assailed by her greatest enemy and those willing to do his bidding. From the errors of Arianism to the synthesis of all heresies in modernism, the Church Militant has done battle for the sake of Truth, and she stands ready still for spiritual combat.

Modernism is the heretical plague of our current era, and a relatively recent expression of this heresy can be found in the New Atheist movement. This movement began as a rhetorically powerful battering ram for those looking to undermine religion in the culture and the public square. It has transformed into an aggressive program looking to employ its own antichrist evangel. Peter Boghossian provides a lucid description of the next generation of the new atheist movement,

“Street Epistemology is a vision and a strategy for the next generation of atheists, skeptics, humanists, philosophers, and activists. Left behind is the idealized vision of wimpy, effete philosophers: older men in jackets with elbow patches, smoking pipes, stroking their white, unkempt beards. Gone is cowering to ideology, orthodoxy, and the modern threat of political correctness.”[6]

He continues,

“Enter the Street Epistemologist: an articulate, clear, helpful voice with an unremitting desire to help people overcome their faith and to create a better world – a world that uses intelligence, reason, rationality, thoughtfulness, ingenuity, sincerity, science, and kindness to build the future; not a world built on faith, delusion, pretending, religion, fear, pseudoscience, superstition, or a certainty achieved by keeping people in a stupor that makes them pawns of unseen forces because they’re terrified.”[7]

Following this description, Boghossian provides a brief historical sketch of the movement and the direction he would like to take it,

“The immediate forerunners to Street Epistemologists were ‘the Four Horsemen,’ each of whom contributed to identifying a part of the problem with faith and religion. American neuroscientist Sam Harris articulated the problems and consequences of faith. British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins explained the God delusion and taught us how ideas spread from person to person within a culture. American philosopher Daniel Dennett analyzed religion and its effects as natural phenomena. British-American author Christopher Hitchens divorced religion from morality and addressed the historical role of religion. The Four Horsemen called out the problem of faith and religion and started a turn in our thinking and in our culture – they demeaned society’s view of religion, faith, and superstition, while elevating attitudes about reason, rationality, Enlightenment, and humanistic values.

The Four Horsemen identified the problems and raised our awareness, but they offered few solutions. No roadmap. Not even guideposts. Now the onus is upon the next generation of thinkers and activists to take direct and immediate action to fix the problems Harris, Dawkins, Dennett, and Hitchens identified.

A Manual for Creating Atheists is a step beyond Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, and Dennett. A Manual for Creating Atheists offers practical solutions to the problems of faith and religion through the creation of Street Epistemologists – legions of people who view interactions with the faithful as clinical interventions designed to disabuse them of their faith

Hitchens may be gone, but no single individual will take his place. Instead of a replacement Horseman, there are millions of Horsemen ushering in a new Enlightenment and an Age of Reason. You, the reader, will be one of these Horsemen. You will become a Street Epistemologist. You will transform a broken world long ruled by unquestioned faith into a society built on reason, evidence, and though-out positions. This is work that needs to be done and work that will pay off by potentially helping millions – even billions – of people to live in a better world.”[8]

There you have it, a declaration of war. It is a confrontation between the army of atheistic horseman and the Church Militant.

Let’s do battle.

Peter Boghossian’s Manual begins by highlighting the importance of defining the terms within the debate, “One could easily fill an entire book with faith deepities – many, many authors have. Christians in particular have created a tradition to employ deepities, used slippery definitions of faith, and hidden behind unclear language since at least the time of Augustine (354-430).”[9] Before presenting his definitions of faith, Boghossian says, “The word ‘faith’ is a very slippery pig. We need to get our hands on it, pin it to the ground, and wrap a blanket around it so we can have something to latch onto before we finally and permanently subdue it. Malleable definitions allow faith to slip away from critique.”[10]

On Boghossian’s view then, it is important to properly define what “faith” actually means so that it can be thoroughly refuted by a well-trained organization of motivated Street Epistemologists.

Without further delay, here are the two definitions of “faith” provided by Boghossian:

  1. Belief without evidence.[11]

And

  1. Pretending to know things you don’t know.[12]

In an attempt to bolster the justification for the first definition, Boghossian quotes atheist John W. Loftus, “My definition of faith is that it’s a leap over the probabilities. It fills in the gap between what is improbable to make something more probable than not without faith. As such, faith is an irrational leap over the probabilities.”[13] In summary agreement with Loftus, Boghossian argues, “’Faith’ is the word one uses when one does not have enough evidence to justify holding a belief, but when one just goes ahead and believes anyway.”[14] Finally, Boghossian says, “If one claims knowledge either in the absence of evidence, or when a claim is contradicted by evidence, then this is when the world ‘faith’ is used. ‘Believing something anyway’ is an accurate definition of the term ‘faith.’”[15]

In order to explain the second definition, Boghossian suggests that when the Street Epistemologist hears the term ‘faith’ used in a sentence, they should translate the word within the context of the sentence to mean, “pretending to know things you don’t know.”[16] Admittedly, this will make the sentence more “clunky,” but according to Boghossian, this translation will bring out the transparent irrationality of the faith claims being made.[17] In order to properly train his army of atheistic antichrist evangelists, Boghossian offers a useful table demonstrating what he means by such a translation,[18]

Faith Pretending to know things you don’t know
“My faith is beneficial for me.” “Pretending to know things I don’t know is beneficial for me.”
“I have faith in God.” “I pretend to know things I don’t know about God.”
“Life has no meaning without faith.” “Life has no meaning if I stop pretending to know things I don’t know.”
“I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.” “I don’t pretend to know things I don’t know enough to be an atheist.”

 

Alternatively, if atheist is defined as “a person who doesn’t pretend to know things he doesn’t know about the creation of the universe,” the sentence becomes, “I don’t pretend to know things I don’t know enough to be a person who doesn’t pretend to now things he doesn’t know about the creation of the universe.”

“You have faith in science.” “You pretend to know things you don’t know about science.”
“You have faith your spouse loves you.” “You pretend to know things you don’t know about your spouse’s love.”
“If everyone abandoned their faith, society would devolve morally.” “If everyone stopped pretending to know things they don’t know, society would devolve morally.”
“My faith is true for me.” “Pretending to know things I don’t know is true for me.”
“Why should people stop having faith if it helps them get through the day.” “Why should people stop pretending to know things they don’t know if it helps them get through the day.”
“Teach your children to have faith.” “Teach your children to pretend to know things they don’t know.”
“Freedom of faith.” “Freedom of pretending to know things you don’t know.”
“International Faith Convention” “International Pretending to Know Things You Don’t Know Convention.”
“She’s having a crisis of faith.” “She’s having a crisis of pretending to know things she doesn’t know.”

 

Alternatively, “She is struck by the fact that she’s been pretending to know things she doesn’t know.”

These two definitions and their subsequent explanations direct the Street Epistemologist toward the proper understanding of the claim that faith is an intrinsically faulty epistemology. If these two definitions appropriately capture what it is people mean when they use the term “faith”, then it stands to reason that faith as a system of knowledge is not adequate to provide human beings with the suitable tools for comprehending our surrounding reality.

Boghossian’s critique of faith as an alternative epistemology, however, entirely depends on whether or not he has properly defined the word. Even a rudimentary examination of his definitions will uncover the fact that he has misidentified the term. But let’s go beyond a basic fact-checking mission and thoroughly analyze what the headmaster of this legion of Street Epistemologists is offering.

Consider the first definition – belief without evidence. I take this to mean that a belief is held without any evidence whatsoever concerning a specific truth claim about reality. In this context then, and according to Boghossian’s definition, belief in God or having faith that God exists, is held without a single shred of evidence in the affirmative for this belief. Rather than a gentle tilt, the scales of evidence would tip dramatically to the side of atheism. If asked where the evidence is for faith in God, the person claiming to believe through faith would be forced to answer, “I have no evidence, as the scale clearly indicates.” There is a significant difference, however, between belief without evidence and belief despite sufficient evidence. From the definition to the explanation, Boghossian moves from the former defined position to the latter explanation. Moreover, the quote offered by Loftus in support of the definition discusses an irrational leap over the probabilities, but an unjustified leap over the probabilities is different than taking a blind leap without probabilities in the affirmative for a specific belief. In agreement with Loftus, Boghossian suggests that “faith” is the term employed when belief is going to be held without enough evidence for said belief. Again, this is much different than believing without evidence.

The first definition is not only incorrect; it is totally confused. On the one hand the definition states that “faith” entails belief without evidence, and on the other hand, it is considered to be a leap over the probabilities, or when a belief is held without enough evidence. This is confused for at least two reasons. Loftus’s statement fundamentally misunderstands the potential relationship between what it might mean to use the term “faith” in light of specific probabilities of a belief being true. If it is believed that event X is 90% likely to take place, the missing 10% is not filled in by faith, as if probabilities were an epistemic container for justification. All this probability suggests is an increased justification for the likelihood of event X to take place. Acting on this probability is to trust in the methods informing the 90% probability of the event’s actualization.

The second reason this definition is confused is based on Boghossian’s shift from belief without evidence to belief without enough evidence, indicating that the term ‘faith’ could be defined differently than he has advocated. Belief without enough evidence alludes to the possibility that there is in fact evidence for a belief, but that the claims being made given the evidence publicly available are not warranted. For example, an evidence based claim for the existence of God could be the realist identification of design intrinsic to the natural order. An atheist may counter this view by suggesting the design we see in the natural order is illusory, and any theistic explanation of the illusion of design lacks epistemic plausibility. However, this explanation provided by the atheist would mean that belief is being held with insufficient evidence rather than the total absence of evidence. This example also hints at something important for the sufficiency of evidential claims, and that is the philosophical interpretation of what actually counts as evidence in the first place. An atheist claiming that design does not count as evidence for the existence of God due to an anti-realist metaphysical commitment toward the concept of design does not amount to the demonstration of a lack of evidence for the claim. What is actually taking place is the application of a differing philosophical interpretation of the evidence that is available.

The first definition then, is considerably muddled. It offers no substance to the debate because it is itself trapped between two different misunderstandings of what the term “faith” might mean when examined with malicious intent. Additionally, it presupposes a philosophical interpretation of what counts as evidence that lends a favorable hand to the atheistic naturalist position. So the first definition is not only wrong, it also begs the question concerning the nature of evidence.

What about the second definition? Does it offer anything of substance for the person looking to become a Street Epistemologist motivated to talk people out of their faith?

Not even close.

The suggested characterization of faith as – pretending to know something you don’t know – is nothing more than an accusation of moral ineptitude, rather than a realistic attempt to define a word. To claim a person is pretending to know things they do not know is tantamount to calling them a liar. It is itself an accusation requiring sufficient evidence to be credibly warranted as an epistemic indictment.

In addition to the sheer stupidity of the proposed definition, it is loaded with philosophical problems.

First, the Street Epistemologist must in fact know that a person is pretending to know something they don’t really know. In order to accomplish this they would need to have direct acquaintance with the reasons a person might have for a specific belief, which of course they do not have. And because the Street Epistemologist does not have direct acquaintance for the reasons a person might hold to a specific belief, they are the ones who are awkwardly pretending to know things that they in fact do not know. Second, the Street Epistemologist must know what it is a person is pretending to know before they can accurately say that any person is pretending to know something they don’t know. And if the only thing they would have to go by is the incoherent definition and explanation provided above as their justification for making this claim, then they are operating far outside the parameters of their own epistemic justification. Maybe the person is pretending to know something they don’t know, but the Street Epistemologist who is working from an inherently faulty definition of faith doesn’t actually know what it is that they are claiming a person is pretending to know. Third, the only way the fervent Boghossianite would know with any amount of plausibility that a person of faith is nefariously pretending to know something they don’t know is if their own philosophical presuppositions were themselves adequately examined and justified in their own right. Unless the Street Epistemologist can offer some alternative standard for truth that does not beg all the important questions, and can offer a worldview that does not violate its own standards of rationality, can they even begin to impugn a person of faith with an intrinsic moral fault such as pretending to know things they don’t actually know. Finally, to take the hubristic position that the Street Epistemologist knows that a person of faith is pretending to know something they don’t really know, is to transform themselves into an omniscient being that can probe the complex inner sanctum of the believer’s own subjective conscious cognitive capacities. They unwittingly claim to transcend the irrationalities of faith while being imminently present in the mind of the believer. This strangely eerie delusion hearkens back to the ambitions of Lucifer looking to dethrone God. In order to refute faith in God, they have made themselves gods, or as Scripture says, “professing to be wise they became fools.”[19]

So the second definition of faith offered by Boghossian – pretending to know things you don’t know – is an even worse failure than the first definition – belief without evidence.

Not only has Boghossian failed to properly define exactly what it is he is looking to refute, but he also advises his followers to ignore the actual point of contention between a theistic understanding of reality and its atheistic counterpart, namely, the existence of God. It is remarkably telling that Boghossian implores his followers to avoid disputes in the realm of metaphysics. He says,

“A solid strategy for lowering your conversational partner’s self-placement on the Dawkins’ Scale, and one that I repeatedly advocate throughout this book, is to focus on epistemology and rarely, if ever, allow metaphysics into the discussion. This is even more important in discussions about God – a metaphysical entity.”

Boghossian continues,

“In other words, focus on undermining one’s confidence in how one claims to know what one knows (epistemology) as opposed to what one believes exists (metaphysics/God). Instead of having a discussion about the actual existence of metaphysical entities that can neither be proven nor disproven, direct the discussion to how one knows that these alleged entities exists. (This may also avoid one of the most common retorts among uneducated, unsophisticated believers, ‘You can’t prove it not to be true.’)”[20]

Contained in these paragraphs is an endnote, further explaining why the Street Epistemologist must avoid metaphysics,

“Metaphysical discussions center on the furniture of the universe – what exists or does not exist. Bringing metaphysics into a discussion is usually fruitless and may even be counterproductive, in some cases pushing people further into their faith and metaphysical delusions. Conversations about what there is, as opposed to how one knows what there is, cannot gain cognitive traction because the entities in question (God, angels, demons) have no attributes that leave a footprint in the natural realm. Given this starting condition, there’s nowhere for the conversation to move. Consequently, these discussions almost invariably devolve into he said, she said.

One reason many people assign belief in God a high number on the Dawkins’ Scale is because they started with metaphysics and worked their way back to epistemology. That is, people started with the belief God exists and then asked themselves how they know this. This is confirmation bias. No discussion of alternative formulations of what there is (maybe there’s a God but it’s somehow limited, maybe there is a God but in creating the universe it extinguished itself) will divorce this self-interested bond with metaphysics.”[21]

These paragraphs further expose the explicit philosophical mark of sophistic pretentiousness among the New Atheist movement. Boghossian waxes laboriously against the allegedly deluded maniacs holding to a faulty epistemology of faith, which is comfortably defined in such a way that lends support to his atheistic presuppositions so that serious interaction can be altogether avoided, all while begging the most important metaphysical questions. It is transparently absurd to suggest that the very thing under dispute, namely, the existence of God to which faith would be extended given this metaphysical reality, should be ignored as a topic of conversation so that the seeds of epistemic doubt can be planted in the mind of a believer. If God is in fact among the objects of our metaphysical reality, it cannot be rationally suggested that belief in the existence of God is intrinsically delusional. Rather than entering into a serious, sophisticated, intellectually honest discussion with a religious believer, Boghossian is training his army of Street Epistemologists to openly engage in egregiously vapid and dishonest sophistry. Truth is not on the table in these interactions, rather, winning an argument against less astute adversaries is the goal. Nobility, then, has no place among the character of the Street Epistemologist. They are charlatans eager to spread lies.

Moreover, Boghossian ignores the fact that metaphysics is always in the philosophical driver seat. Every epistemological theory is going to presuppose a metaphysical understanding of the surrounding reality we participate. For example, the Cartesian “cogito” rests squarely upon the metaphysical bifurcation of reality according to the presuppositions of substance dualism. An externalist epistemology coupled with a functionalist solution to the mind/body problem presupposes metaphysical naturalism/physicalism. Boghossian shows his metaphysical cards when he asserts, “God, angels, and demons do not have the attributes which leave a footprint upon the natural realm.” This statement presupposes an unexamined metaphysical naturalism, which is also being coupled with a self-referentially incoherent epistemic scientism.

The metaphysical naturalism of the atheistic worldview is viciously circular in its statements concerning the nature of reality and how we attain knowledge about this reality. The circularities of the atheist goes something like this – science explains everything about reality, which we know because anything that science cannot explain doesn’t exist, which we know because whatever exists must be explicable by science, which we know because science explains everything about reality.[22]

Despite all of these devastating faults of the Street Epistemologist project, there is more damage to be levied against their fatuous game of semantic trickery.

Prior to the now recognizably defunct definitions of faith, Boghossian says that this term is notoriously problematic to define due to the slipperiness of meaningless religious deepities. This too is a false claim.

Consider these references for proper definitions of faith:


“In preparing and instructing men in the teachings of Christ the Lord, the Fathers began by explaining the meaning of faith. Following their example, we have thought it well to treat first what pertains to the virtue.

Though the word faith has a variety of meanings in the Sacred Scriptures, we here speak only of that faith by which we yield our entire assent to whatever has been divinely revealed.”[23]

Student: What is Faith?

Teacher: Faith is the first of the Theological virtues regarding God. It is His proper office to enlighten the intellect, rouse it to every belief which God reveals to us through His Church, even if it might be very difficult and more sublime than natural reason.”[24]

“Faith is man’s response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man to a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of life.”[25]

“By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, ‘the obedience of faith.’”[26]

* The Catechism of the Catholic Church goes on to provide two individual examples of perfect exemplars of what it means to have faith, that is, assent to what God has revealed.

“To obey in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.”[27]

Faith is a grace – “When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come ‘from flesh and blood,’ but from ‘my Father who is in heaven.’ Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. ‘Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.’”[28]

Faith is a human act – “Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act. Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths he has revealed are contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason. Even in human relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us about themselves and their intentions or to trust their promises to share a communion of life with one another. If this is so, still less is it contrary to our dignity to ‘yield by faith the full submission of…intellect and will to God who reveals,’ and to share an interior communion with him.”[29]

Faith is a personal act – the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself.”[30]


These definitions and descriptions tell us a number of things about the true nature of faith while simultaneously exposing Boghossian’s incompetent mishandling of the subject.

First, they provide a very clear, concise, and easily understood definition of the term – faith is an assent to what has been revealed by God. Far from being the impossible task of wading through the theological and metaphysical ‘deepities’ of superstition, the definition is easy to discover and comprehend if a person is willing to charitably interact with the relevant material. The fact that Boghossian relies on the support of an incoherent characterization offered by an embittered former evangelical is a manifestation of his own laziness rather than astute intellectual capability.

Second, these definitions and descriptions indicate just how wildly far off the mark Boghossian is in his treatment of the term. Faith is not based on a series of evidential probabilities weighed by the rationalist dictates of secular reason, but an assent to what God has revealed about himself, reality, and the salvific path toward beatific vision. The content and methods of faith are not the same as those utilized by the physical sciences, nor can the content and methods of faith be reduced to the standards of empirical verification. To suggest that a reduction like this is even possible is to fundamentally misunderstand the topic under discussion. A feat such as this would be as misguided as attempting to determine the qualitative literary properties of Tolkien’s work by bringing Lord of the Rings to a chemistry lab for empirical testing. Boghossian is recognizably guilty of committing a disastrous category error.

Third, these definitions and descriptions expose a central mistake expressed in the pontifications of Boghossian’s project, which is the treatment of faith as being a one-sided event in the life of the believer. Contrary to this mistreatment, faith is an assent toward something, namely, revelation. On Boghossian’s specious view, faith is treated as a leap into the irrational abyss of metaphysical nothingness. But this is not how the believer understands faith. There are two sides to the coin. On one side is the object of revelation – God – and on the other is man’s capacity to move in authentically free, and submissive obedience toward that object by an act of faith.

Fourth, by misunderstanding the interactive relationship between revelation and faith, Boghossian has entirely misrepresented any meaningful understanding of what a Christian epistemology might philosophically entail. The comparison of his cartoon version of faith as a faulty epistemic theory with that of his unjustified atheistic scientism is an exercise of duplicity.

Fifth, as previously indicated, the approach Boghossian takes on this topic begs the most important metaphysical question, which in this case is whether it is true that God exists. He takes it for granted that God does not exist, mocks the notion that a rational demonstration may be possibly articulated, criticizes erudite philosophical articulation of demonstrative arguments for the existence of God as nothing more than sophisticated semantic delusions, implores his followers to avoid even discussing the topic due to its metaphysical complexities, incorrectly treats faith as an illogical jump into a metaphysical chasm of absurdity, and shifts the dialogue from being a philosophical interaction to a psychological intervention. To say that this is philosophically problematic would be a significant understatement.

What is clear following this analysis is that Peter Boghossian is arming his battalions of Street Epistemologists with dull and damaged weaponry. The interactive maneuvers recommended in this Manual may have an affect on those who are uninformed and ill equipped for the battle, but they do not stand a chance against the Church Militant committed to doing spiritual warfare.

The Sacred Scriptures tell us that, “The life of man upon earth is a warfare.”[31] St. Paul advises us to,

“Be strengthened in the Lord an in the might of His power. Put on the armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the Principalities and the Powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness on high. Therefore take up the armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and stand in all things perfect.

Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of justice, and having your feet shod with the readiness of the gospel of peace, in all things taking up the shield of faith, with which you may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take for yourself the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, that is, the word of God. With all prayer and supplication pray at all times in the Spirit, and be vigilant in all perseverance and supplication for the saints.”[32]

If we do not put on the full armor of God when meeting those who look to do battle against us, whether it is the devil, the demons, or a Street Epistemologist preaching an antichrist evangel, we may fall prey to their wicked stratagems. To safeguard against this potential scenario, let us arm ourselves with the truth, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The victory has already been won, now we must boldly walk toward the fire of spiritual warfare.

 

– Lucas G. Westman


[1] Gen. 3:15

[2] Douay-Rheims Holy Bible Commentary

[3] Rev. 12:17

[4] John 8:44

[5] 1 Tim 3:15

[6] A Manual for Creating Atheists, Pg. 16

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid, Pg. 17, 18

[9] Pg. 22

[10] Pg. 23

[11] Pg. 23

[12] Pg. 24

[13] Pg. 23

[14] Pg. 23

[15] Pg. 24

[16] Pg. 24

[17] Pg. 24

[18] Pg. 25, 26

[19] Rom 1:22

[20] Pg. 79

[21] Pg. 98, 99

[22] A version of this circular explanation of naturalism can be found in David Bentley Hart’s book, The Experience of God.

[23] The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Pg. 11

[24] Catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine, Pg. 191

[25] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., Pg. 17

[26] Ibid, Pg. 44

[27] Ibid, Pg. 45

[28] Ibid, Pg. 47

[29] Ibid, Pg. 47, 48

[30] Ibid, Pg. 52

[31] Job 7:1 Douay-Rheims

[32] Eph 6:10-20

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