The previous post on Theophilus may be found here
Theophilus having explained that his God can be known to exist through both providence and creation, proclaims:
This is my God, the Lord of all, who alone stretched out the heaven, and established the breadth of the earth under it; who stirs the deep recesses of the sea, and makes its waves roar; who rules its power, and stills the tumult of its waves; who founded the earth upon the waters, and gave a spirit to nourish it; whose breath giveth light to the whole, who, if He withdraw His breath, the whole will utterly fail.
Why then is God not known? Due to “blindness of soul and hardness of heart”. How then can this be healed? By faith.
But before all let faith and the fear of God have rule in thy heart, and then shalt thou understand these things
This healing will be complete when God has raised the dead and the mortal puts on immorality. It is at this point Theophilus knew he would receive an objection, and so he answers Autolycus:
But you do not believe that the dead are raised. When the resurrection shall take place, then you will believe, whether you will or no; and your faith shall be reckoned for unbelief, unless you believe now.
He thus turns the matter back to faith: the trouble is not really with the resurrection, but with trust in the God of the resurrection:
And why do you not believe? Do you not know that faith is the leading principle in all matters? For what husbandman can reap, unless he first trust his seed to the earth? Or who can cross the sea, unless he first entrust himself to the boat and the pilot? And what sick person can be healed, unless first he trust himself to the care of the physician? And what art or knowledge can any one learn, unless he first apply and entrust himself to the teacher? If, then, the husbandman trusts the earth, and the sailor the boat, and the sick the physician, will you not place confidence in God, even when you hold so many pledges at His hand?
Yes, but, we can hear the critic say, I just don’t believe in such things. I will not believe that these things can be so. Theophilus turns the matter around:
Moreover, you believe that the images made by men are gods, and do great things; and can you not believe that the God who made you is able also to make you afterwards.
When a modern reads this, he could easily think, “Yes, but, I don’t believe in any god, invisible or represented in an image.” Think a bit further on that point. You believe that mere atoms moving around for a bit — if left alone for long enough — will write poems, fall in love, start wars. The modern in the end is worse than the most crass pagan in his believe in the divine power of matter. It is a strange thing to believe that an effect exceeds the cause (that life and person can come from atoms bouncing about through time). At least an idolator believes something extraordinary brings about extraordinary ends.