By Hank Hanegraaff
Over the years I have observed an alarming trend toward what I call “magic apologetics.” In place of an emphasis on such great apologetic verities as the creation of the cosmos, the resurrection of Christ, and the inspiration of Scripture, we are being bombarded with a host of apologetic pretenders. One of the more curious brands of magic apologetics circulating through the Christian community is called “the gospel in the stars” (GIS). This apologetic posits that, from the beginning, God wrote the unique message of the gospel in the signs of the zodiac. At first blush this magic apologetic may appear to have merit; closer examination, however, exposes it as a counterfeit.
First, nowhere in the Bible is there any indication that God has given us two sources of special revelation—the gospel in the stars and Holy Tradition which has bequeathed to us the infallible repository of redemptive revelation. Nor was GIS used by the prophets, the apostles, Jesus Christ, or the early church as an apologetic for the gospel.
Furthermore, GIS confuses special revelation with general revelation. General revelation proclaims the glory of God through order and design (Psalm 19:1). Special revelation is found in the “law of the Lord” set forth in the pages of Scripture (Psalm 19:7). From the lights we gain an unspoken knowledge of the Creator; from the law we find salvation for our souls. Common sense should suffice to tell us that while the heavens declare the glory of God, they do not provide us with specific salvific content. Looking at the night sky we would be hard-pressed—apart from special pleading—to see the gospel in the zodiac.
Finally, GIS subverts the natural use of the stars for a superstitious use. The natural use of the stars is to “separate the day from the night,” “serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,” and “give light on the earth” (Genesis 1:14–15). Stars can also be rightly used for varied purposes ranging from natural revelation to navigation. Indeed, “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1–4).
In light of the fact that GIS compromises Holy Tradition, confuses special revelation with general revelation, and promotes superstition, it would behoove Christians to reject it and return to mastering genuine apologetic arguments. Every Christian should be equipped to communicate the evidence that God created the universe, that Jesus Christ demonstrated that He is God through the immutable fact of His resurrection, and that the Bible is divine rather than merely human in origin.
God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:14–15 NKJV
For further study, see “ Charles Strohmer, “Is There a Christian Zodiac, a Gospel in the Stars?” Christian Research Journal 22, 4 (2000). See also What is Wrong with Astrology?
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