W.M. Christie published the book “THE BARREN FIGTREE”
“Now, the facts connected with the fig tree are these. Toward the end of March the leaves begin to appear, and in about a week the foliage coating is complete. Coincide with, and sometimes even before, there appears quite a crop of small knobs, not the real figs, but a kind of early forerunner. They grow to the size of green almonds in which condition they are eaten by peasants and others when hungry. When they come to their own indefinite maturity they drop off.
These precursors of the true fig are called TAQSH in Palestinian Arabic. Their appearance is a harbinger of the fully formed appearance of the true fig, some six weeks later. So, as Mark says, the time for figs had not yet come. But if the leaves appear without any TAQSH – HE KNEW THAT “it was an absolutely hopeless, fruitless fig tree’ and said as much. You don’t criticize a gardener, much less a farmer, for cutting down a tree like that.”
John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” comments:
“Paul claims that rejection of God has a detrimental effect on reason.
Many atheists, who think that their position is an oasis of reason and clear-headedness, would loudly protest. It is important for me to say that I am not suggesting that atheist cannot think. Some, however, particularly those of the “New Atheist” brand, make a great fuss of what they think is the damage that belief in God does to the mind. Their descriptions of religious belief (like “virus of the mind”) are not uncommon. It does not seem to occur to them that the shoe could be on the other foot.
When it comes to thinking about God, why do some otherwise rational, intelligent people seem unaware that they become irrational?”
“There are gradations in that descent. When human beings reject God they die spiritually, and that death touches, spoils, distorts, twists and eventually destroys all that makes human life what it is – from the moral to the aesthetic, from family relationship to work.
We have only to think of some examples of what is accepted as art or entertainment nowadays to understand that rejection of God leads to the death of civilized culture. It leads to the inversion of values; where a pile of excrement is hailed as AVANT GUARDE ART, and blatant immorality is hailed as marvelous theatre.
The darkness is such that there is little or no understanding or appreciation of what has happened – man has descended to the animal.”
“Nebuchadnezzar’s system of values was flawed. Ours may be flawed too. I am sure we have noticed that when we give in to pride our behavior may rapidly descend into the kind of raw jousting for position that is evident in the animal kingdom. It is then that we risk being cut down.”
Francis Schaeffer published the book ‘THE GOD WHO IS THERE’
“The importance of understanding the chasm to which man’s thinking has brought him is not of intellectual value alone, but of spiritual value as well. The Christian is to resist the spirit of the world. But when we say this, we must understand that the world-spirit does not always take the same form. So the Christian must resist the spirit of the world IN THE FORM IT TAKES IN HIS OWN GENERATION. If he does not do this, he is not resisting the spirit of the world at all. This is especially so for our generation, as the forces at work against us are of such a total nature. It is our generation of Christians more than any other who need to heed these words attributed to Martin Luther;
‘If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.’