You’ve already given your testimony. His rebuttals may be: “The Bible is a book of myths. Christianity is just religious escapism. Most Christians are small-minded, anti-science, judgmental and bigoted. The universe came from the Big Bang, thus science, ‘reason’ and evolution offer all the information I need.” Perhaps he’ll use this famous challenge: “If God exists and is all-good, but evil also exists, then God can’t be all-powerful. If He were He’d put an end to evil. But if God is all-powerful and evil exists, then God must not be all-good since He wills or allows evil.” Or your friend may say he’s been “personally betrayed” by God…a belief that has created an embittered vow never to be betrayed again. Then there’s the powerful “need for a green light” to explore the pleasures of hedonism. Also possible, even likely these days, is the “postmodern” assertion that there are no absolutes and no truth. (“And, that’s the truth!”)
Indeed, God undoubtedly does have good and sufficient reasons, unknowable to man, for what He does. And we know that “betrayals” often end up later in life can be seen as good things, etc. For now, however, the next place you want to take this chat is philosophically much deeper than the level represented by those smoke screens of doubt, complaint, and excuses that your “victim-friend” seems tethered to.
Instead, by using the tool of Presuppositional Apologetics, you can now present this all- important revelation: The fact that he could communicate his beliefs about God, man, and existence in the relatively logical, rational way he just did is going to be the very thing that proves God exists! With this attention-getting claim you’re ready to tell him it’s time to visit three important “thought provinces” or realms to see why your claim, not his, is true. These three together—epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics—lie at the very core of your Christian worldview. And they’re not nearly as difficult to grasp as you may often have been led to believe:
1. The Province of Epistemology and Knowledge. As you know by now, epistemology is the study of how we know what we know. It’s the only tool able to give honest thinkers an uncontestable starting point for reason. The “only” one because knowledge and its philosophical base don’t start, cannot start, with such things as a computer processor, the internet, a library, or even reason itself. Man’s sin-tendencies permeate and inundate any such non-sources, rendering them fruitless as potential starting points. Fortunately, while struggling to find a “concrete” epistemological base, the grim reality that man is sinful and inconsistent finally forces us to look for a source outside of and superior to man. Our only option is to appeal to a transcendent, divine entity—God. He is our “presupposed” starting point, our “necessary precondition” for knowledge. Neither evolution nor any of the world’s “great religions” or would-be scholars posit any other source except perhaps a pathetic “we just don’t know.” As a useful analogy, think of the U.S. Supreme Court as a “non-negotiable, ultimate terminal of political and justice-related regress”—the “court of last resort.” (Of course, being inhabited by weak humans, it is anything but!)
Although your friend is probably not yet ready to “convert,” he’ll admit that both sides so far have used logic and reason with equal facility. This fact is vital for our “Province 1” study, so keep it in mind. Also, please understand why I’m stressing evolution as much as I am in today’s article and in this series. (As an evangelist, you may have to refer back to it regularly.) That’s because side-A of the God debate coin reads, “we start with the Triune God because of the impossibility of the contrary,” while the contrary side-B will always be that “evolution is true.” Bluster though they may, the only option for God-deniers is that the universe is a mystery except for evolution. It is “creator-less” and “always was.” Then, one day, somewhere in a small region of cosmic slime, the universe accidentally gave birth to a simple, one-celled thing that eventually grew, again by accident, into a pollywog, then into a mouse, mice and eventually to men. “Side B.” While evolutionists refuse to believe in an uncaused cause (God), they don’t seem to have a problem believing in an uncaused effect (the cosmos).
Your evolution-leaning friend, as he’s been trained to do, confidently lays claim to logic, science, and Reason in accounting for his theory of knowledge. (I stress “evolution-leaning” because if given a chance to truly study the subject, no one would really believe it since it is not observable, testable, repeatable science, just a “fairy tale for big people” that seeks to displace the divinely revealed creation record. Where, to cite just one example, are the millions of “missing” transitional fossils? There are none. Evolution is counter-intuitive since our self-awareness and self-evident personal sense of human dignity automatically causes us to distinguish ourselves from plants, ants, and monkeys. And just a glance at the electron microscope-revealed intricacies and stunning complexity of a kidney or a bird feather, or one day in the life of a honey bee, shouts out purposeful creation by a designer-creator. A “simple” sunset has settled it for even the hardest cases. Non-believing, evolution-deceived man has been well-trained to deny God, but down deep he knows the truth. If his life depended on it he might well sound like Billy Graham in defense of God. He knows God to be true by general revelation even if he never heard a sermon, never met a missionary, or never read the Bible. The evolution fantasy was invented by man to try and get rid of his “prying, guilt-inducing, fun-spoiling” God.)
Next time we’ll conclude this key “province” of epistemology. Numbers two and three will deal with the closely related topics of metaphysics and ethics. I suggest when this series is finished that you print out each one and then convert them into an outline form of your own design. This will help lock in the information, making it always handy when opportunities for sharing arise. Most importantly, do this so that you can explain it to your own children or those children with whom you have or could have spiritual influence. You’ll also find that by doing this you’ll be exceptionally well-prepared to read an important AV product, Pushing the Antithesis, by Greg L. Bahnsen, a book that will fill in any chinks remaining after studying this Eviscerating Evolution Via Evangelism, quick-summary series.