Presuppositional apologetics (PA) is a powerful tool and arguably the best one going for evangelizing, among others, two special groups: hard-core unbelievers and super-secularized, “I sure hope he actually is a Christian,” teenagers (please see Part 1). Polls show that thousands of young public-schooled church-goers are weak in the faith. For youth who seem solid, even one semester at Humanist State U is often all it takes to cut down their faith for years if not forever. But when a program (of what can be very enjoyable) parent-child teamwork is applied at home in the honing of PA skills, it nearly guarantees they won’t fall between the cracks at Secular U. That’s power for you! And PA’s not-all-that-difficult details are such that, when mastered by college students, they’ll be the ones holding all the spiritual high cards. And with it, the privilege of being effective defenders of the Bible in the classroom (lower grade risks aside) if and when they are prodded into going face to face (but respectfully) with hostile humanist professors.
As for the modern, oh-so-tolerant but skeptical types with whom you may only have one chance, it’s seldom that you’ll get even a minute’s time for a straight Gospel presentation. They hate what they think the Bible says. And “evidences that are supposed to demand a verdict” often cause them to regard you and your “corny” evidences with pity. They’re quick to go on the counteroffensive in any number of ways. There’s the pro-evolution or “science” ruse. The view that “the Bible is full of “superstition, errors and myth.” Other Christianity-denying “faith” positions such as New Age-ism may be used. Less openly, but often the truest reason is the hedonism which craves guilt-free pleasure, moral autonomy, and unchecked sexual gratification…whenever.
Let’s be honest. Why do you think the pro-abortion position is really defended hysterically by so many? Is it a principled concern for some “constitutional freedom of expression?” No. It’s all about pleasure seekers of course and about the zeal of those who would see Christian chastity codes destroyed. But the most critical motivation of all arises from the schemes of the power-seeking elite, those clever societal movers and shakers who know from history that if promiscuity and sexual license are promoted to obsessional levels, it will translate into decline of national moral fiber and destruction of character that can pull down every class of people including their own. The national 24/7 fixation with sex was not brought to us by accident.
Because there’s much at stake in needing to pretend that a standards-setting, judgment-dealing God doesn’t exist, evolution-worshiping unbelievers need to mock you and His message at every turn. So in sharing the Gospel, you and your teenagers have a tough job. But the surprising intellectual challenge that resides in a polished PA approach invariably catches them off-guard, especially coming from a subspecies (Christians) that elite doubters have been trained to think of as being the next thing to pond scum.
Just as the “scientific method” is a non-negotiable precondition for doing science, it’s also true that even when two atheists are engaged in serious dialogue, they must agree that finding a starting point for reason is their vital step-one if they would be intellectually honest. Epistemology is the recognized tool that can get them there. Once you’ve reached epistemology’s mountain top apex—if he lets it go that far—the impossibility of the contrary means that the man- and universe-creating God of the Bible is the non-negotiable, ultimate terminal of philosophical regress. He is the essential “uncaused cause” of the universe. The laughable hoax of evolution, also known as the modern “replacement” for God, was reviewed to remind you that it is not a serious example of science, philosophy, or anything else. It is merely the most popular of the various fictitious escape routes that guilt-avoiding, pleasure-seeking, I-want-me-to-rule-over-me materialists embrace. As to where God came from, it’s not important. We either come from God or we come from nothing. Thus, the impossibility of the contrary.
Had space allowed last time, the full title of this series would have been Eviscerate Evolution Via Evangelism. Thus, given space limits, the title should have been Presuppositional Evangelism. This puts the central emphasis where it’s most needed. Better evangelism is the goal of all this effort even though familiarity with evolution is very often a key side-detail while defending the Bible message.
The most famous (but futile) “solution” to the challenge of epistemology, or “how do we know (beyond question) what we know?,” was the proposal by Rene Descartes: “I think, therefore I am.” But it was only one fallen sinner’s opinion, and in the end could not be taken seriously. In fact, the tension between ever-changing human opinions vs. immutable laws is something that always brings us to a dead-end given the “impossibility of no God” factor. No disrespect, but Descartes’ offer was not only wrong; it was all sand and no concrete. A true solution to the epistemology challenge requires the humble admission that unless a “concrete” foundational source outside the sphere of puny man’s brain is identified, we are eternally sentenced to the land of an epistemological Catch-22 where we paint ourselves into a corner of fickle opinions of one fallen sinner after another. Truth chased, but never found. Instead, a transcendent basis (something outside of and superior to man’s “convictions”) is needed, and that source is not Carl Sagan, Descartes, or Oprah. What or Who else is it but God? If not Him, who? Again, the impossibility of the contrary applies. Your friend, possibly still scoffing, disagrees, but if asked for his foundation, you’ll receive a tangled, confused—sometimes disingenuous —sand pile of human opinion from him and, indirectly, from his mentors.
In theory and historically couldn’t at least one or two contrary opinions from unbelievers out of, say, a few million, turn out to be epistemologically rational? Not really. Unbelieving man (“I want it my way, not His”) hates God and is biased against every part of His standards and His sovereignty. Combine that with the only human-trumping option available which is that “God is,” and it means that there is no neutral “square one” (neither for God or man, nor against God or man) from which an unbeliever can launch a search toward solving the epistemology challenge. Remember especially Matthew 12:30 which states that if we’re not for Christ we’re against Him. There’s simply no point of philosophical neutrality. Incorrigible natural man hates God and is a fool in his folly for so doing. Still, he needs our help to see the futility of reasoning without God (Prov. 26:4–5).
The next challenge is to tackle the overall key to the PA “strategy.” It’s not the so-called Big Bang and evolution myth pitted against you and God. It’s the job of explaining why the unavoidable and basic topics of epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics can’t be rationally or consistently addressed by your skeptical friend, but they can be by you. And yet, you, with your “Christianity and faith-only” foundation is said to be the one who is irrational and anti-science.
Continue with Part 3 here.