Gary answers questions from audience members about the Christian worldview on today’s podcast.

For those set in their anti-supernatural worldview ways, there will always be some naturalistic reason why miracles are impossible, and no amount of evidence will convince them otherwise. Consider the following humorous story to make the point that evidences only make sense within the context of a person’s already accepted worldview:

Once upon a time there was a man who thought he was dead. His concerned wife and friends sent him to the friendly neighborhood psychiatrist. The psychiatrist determined to cure him by convincing him of one fact that contradicted his belief that he was dead. The psychiatrist decided to use the simple truth that dead men do not bleed. He put his patient to work reading medical texts, observing autopsies, etc. After weeks of effort the patient finally said, “All right, all right! You’ve convinced me. Dead men do not bleed.” Whereupon the psychiatrist stuck him in the arm with a needle, and the blood flowed. The man looked down and contorted, ashen faced and cried: “Good Lord! Dead men bleed after all!” [1]

Sounds ridiculous, but there are real-life examples of people who argue in a similar way. The facts for this “dead man” were not convincing because of his operating presupposition. The evidence presented to him was incontrovertible for someone who operated within a worldview with the starting assumption that only living people bleed. In order to maintain the legitimacy of his worldview, our patient only had to make a few adjustments to his worldview to fit in a new “fact” unknown to him before—dead men do bleed. The doctor and the patient were looking at the same fact—the flow of blood—but their operating worldviews cause them to come to different conclusions as to what the evidence meant.

The goal in apologetics, as Dr. Greg Bahnsen taught his students, was to approach a person at the level of his worldview, a worldview that is built on a set of operating assumptions about the source and nature of knowledge that gives meaning to the facts and experiences he encounters. Dr. Bahnsen offers the following helpful summary of the methodology:

Everybody thinks and reasons in terms of a broad and fundamental understanding of the nature of reality, of how we know what we know, and of how we should live our lives. This philosophy or outlook is “presupposed” by everything the unbeliever (or believer) says; it is the implicit background that gives meaning to the claims and inferences drawn by people. For this reason, every apologetical encounter is ultimately a conflict of worldviews or fundamental perspectives (whether this is explicitly mentioned or not). [2]

Pushing the Antithesis

Pushing the Antithesis

Pushing the Antithesis consists of twelve chapters that include study questions, an answer key, a glossary of terms, and a comprehensive bibliography. If you want to be equipped to present the truth of the gospel in a compelling way, then this book is required reading.

Buy Now

Gary answers questions from audience members about the Christian worldview. He begins by briefly discussing an article written in the Yale Law Review in 1979 by Arthur Leff. In the article, Leff laments the fact that his atheism can’t account for moral absolutes. Leff puts his own anti-theistic beliefs to the test and this is exactly what Christians need to do when questioned about their own beliefs. Absolutes require an Authority.

Click here for today’s episode

Click here to browse all episodes of The Gary DeMar Podcast

[1] John Warwick Montgomery, The Altizer-Montgomery Dialogue (Chicago, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1967), 21–22. For a different illustration of this phenomenon, see the Introduction in Gary DeMar, Thinking Straight in a Crooked World: A Christian Defense Manual (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2001).

[2] Greg L. Bahnsen, Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings and Analysis (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1998), 30.