Everyone has faith in something…usually the thing that they worship.
For Christians, we have faith in and worship God. For naturalists, they have faith that nature emerged from an aggregate of random mistakes…and they tend to worship some aspect of creation (as is predicted in Romans 1).
One of the most common attacks on Christianity is to ridicule its reliance on faith. Atheists proudly proclaim their dependence upon reason or logic whereas Christians practice a faith in a magic book trusting their imaginary friend named Jesus. This tactic has proven very effective damaging the faith of many and keeping others from ever coming to Christ. In my last post, I stated that it is impossible to escape faith while seeking to discern truth. Indeed, everyone practices faith. It is impossible to live and not have faith.
Obviously, we cannot address this issue without defining faith and therein lies the problem. The definition of faith promulgated by atheists is that of a belief or trust in something without evidence or reason, an irrational belief. Unfortunately, even many Christians have accepted this definition in their practice of Christianity. As I have shown, neither the Bible nor Jesus Christ ever…
Because evidence is interpreted within one’s worldview, evidence that corroborates scripture will never be accepted by the naturalist. They will always interpret evidence from a naturalistic worldview.
So, to faithfully present the gospel of Jesus, the apologist should critically analyze the skeptic’s worldview (or presuppositions). All worldviews that do not begin with the Creator as the omniscient Revealer, will end up with contradictions or unfounded regressions.
Point: Some Christians engage in apologetics in a piecemeal fashion. They give evidence here and there. They refute an objection here and there. They might not realize the importance of Presuppositional apologetics (as taught by Cornelius Van Til) with its emphasis of going beyond the individual sparring of the skeptics’ objection and instead pursue refutations of the opponent’s worldview at the level of presuppositions. How can you illustrate the importance of refuting an opponent’s worldview?
In a debate with astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle, Hugh Ross tries to defend his old universe claims in contradiction to God’s written revelation and the words of Jesus. The moderator, Frank Turek asked Hugh Ross If there was anything that refuted the biblical claims of Jason Lisle. Ross talked about his books. To be fair, Turek asked Dr. Lisle what book would refute Hugh Ross. In one of the best debate responses of all time, Lisle held up the Bible as the book that refutes Hugh Ross. If you watch the linked debate above, this golden moment happens about 1:17:24.
God has chosen to reveal Himself through his written Word, through creation, and through Jesus. With this starting point, we can conclude that each of these revelations are cohesive in their message.
God’s written revelation begins with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” The rest of Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11 tell us that God did his creative work in 6 days. Genesis 1 also tells us seven times that God describes his creation as he describes himself: good. God’s written revelation also describes how mankind’s rebellion brought a curse on all of creation, and this is why we all experience suffering and death. We also see in God’s written word that His plan of redemption through Jesus will defeat death (I Cor 15) and bring all things under the authority of Jesus.
God’s revelation in creation is sufficient evidence to bring judgment on those who suppress knowledge of the Creator in their wickedness (Romans 1)
God’s revelation in Jesus is the fulfillment of all of His plans throughout history.
God’s word is clear in its message, even though there are places in the Bible that need interpretation. As Christians, we cannot let one’s own assumptions guide the interpretation of scripture. That’s called eisegesis. The proper interpretation method is to use scripture to interpret scripture. This is consistent and faithful.