“I’ll raise it $5000“
Those around the table exchange approving glances with the thought: “He must be holding the 2 diamonds needed to complete that flush.”
He sounds assured of himself to add 5 large to the pot, but I’m skeptical…first, because I’VE got two consecutive diamonds to complete the straight flush, and secondly he claims to be an atheist. I think he’s bluffing, and I’m going to call him on it
“Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute! What does being an atheist have to do with poker?”
It’s an analogy. Bear with me.
This analogy sounds very much like dozens of conversations I’ve had with professing atheists:
- ApoloJedi: “As an atheist, how do you know that there’s no God?”
- God-Denier: “That’s NOT what atheist means!!!”
- ApoloJedi: “What do you think atheist means?”
- God-Denier: (smuggly) “It simply means that there’s not sufficient evidence for your sky daddy” (I raise $5000)
- ApoloJedi: (Hints at calling bluff) “What kind of evidence would you consider sufficient evidence?”
- God-Denier: (Less certain) “Well…if your sky daddy were real, she would know what evidence would be enough to convince me“
Before we work on calling the bluff of this generic and common God-denier, let’s discuss a couple of things:
- He makes a definitive knowledge claim for which he is responsible: “there’s not sufficient evidence”. This can also take the form “I don’t believe in your God because there is a lack of evidence”, but it is still a definitive knowledge claim for which he must provide justification. It’s likely that God-denier is only minimally familiar with the overwhelming case for God’s existence. And it is assured that the God-denier is completely unfamiliar with the Transcendental necessity of God’s existence for knowledge, morality, and induction. In our analogy, Christians hold the unbeatable royal flush
- When the apologist pushes back a little and asks the very reasonable question “What is sufficient evidence?” the god-denying interlocutor will almost ALWAYS deflect the question fallaciously by moving the goal-post: “God knows what would convince me, and since I’m not convinced there’s a God, then He must not have shown me enough evidence.” The form of the question that the apologist asks can also be “By what standard do you determine something to be sufficient?”
Unfortunately, the God-denier has derailed the conversation with his fallacious answer, and the intrepid apologist can “call the God-denier’s bluff” by holding the interlocutor to their claims: “What is sufficient evidence?” AND “How do you know the evidence is insufficient? Do you have access to ALL evidence? How do you account for evidence at all in your worldview?“
Their bluff is multi-layered and we can call their bluff by pointing out the following (what follows is both the calling of the bluff and the answer to the question above about what does this have to do with the bluffer being an atheist):
- The atheist has a worldview that cannot account for knowledge. They are epistemically unconscious. The God-denier has no path to knowledge
- They have not analyzed ALL evidence, nor do they plan to, nor can they view evidence as anything more than provisional/contingent (because of their worldview as shown in item 1 above)
- Even if they could possibly have access to all evidence (which would make them the omniscience God), they have arbitrarily declared that the provisional evidence to which they do have access is “insufficient”. When the apologist presses them for the standard by which they determine sufficiency, the God-denier is exposed and must argue fallaciously since they cannot account for transcendent standards.
- It is irrational to demand laboratory evidence of the transcendent Creator.
- Lastly, God HAS provided sufficient evidence for the judgment of all humans. Romans 1:18-20 tells us “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” ALL evidence (because it is upheld and sustained by God’s mighty power (see Col 1:16)) is evidence for God’s existence
Don’t be afraid to call the God-denier’s bluff. They are not holding any good cards, and by God’s amazing grace Christians most definitely are. Call their bluff, but do so with gentleness and respect
Be sure to check out the links (blue text) that are saturated throughout this post as most of the “leg-work” was completed by people much smarter than me…for whose work I am very grateful!
Excellent brother. This is it: “Don’t be afraid to call the God-denier’s bluff. They are not holding any good cards, and by God’s amazing grace Christians most definitely are. Call their bluff but do so with gentleness and respect.”
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Reblogged this on clydeherrin.
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hmmm, quite the strawman atheist you’ve invented. How about addressing a real one?
ApoloJedi: “As an atheist, how do you know that there’s no God?”
There is no evidence for your god or any other god. Despite the claims of this god interfering with reality, there is no evidence for any of those supposed events claimed in your bible.
ApoloJedi: “What do you think atheist means?”
It means one has concluded that there is no god or gods. You are an atheist too, dear christian.
ApoloJedi: (Hints at calling bluff) “What kind of evidence would you consider sufficient evidence?”
This god fulfilling its promises. Your bible has your messiah promising that any true believer will have any prayer answered, no exceptions or excuses, and answered quickly. If you are a true believer, do pray for all burn victims and amputees to be healed of their injuries. Surely, you can trust your bible, right?
How about evidence for any of the essential events in the bible? The exodus, the flood, battles between hundreds of thousand of combattants, should all leave evidence behind. The exodus should have left one rather long trail of latrines since it was 600,000+ people and animals wandering around for 40 years on a path described by the bible. Funny how not one has been found.
It’s also rather curious that you have one source for stories about your jesus. No one else noticed a guy wandering around Roman-occupied Palestine with a literal Roman legion’s worth of men following him. No one also noticed this characters entrance into Jerusalem despite “many” people having been there and no one noticed a certain day where there was a major earthquake, the sky darkening and dead Jews wandering around Roman-occupied Jerusalem on a Passover. You have no contemporary reports about this supposedly astonishing man at all, just reports much later about what Christians claim to be true.
How do you account for the preconditions (knowledge, morality, induction) necessary for the concept of evidence?
Evolution, dear. Poor Apolo, still no evidence for his god, and he has the problem that he and his fellow christians can’t agree on what morality this god even wants.
You should pay more attention to my blog. Evolution cannot account for morality
Also, how do you solve Hume’s problem of induction?
Oh, I’ve paid attention to your blog. It’s just wrong and filled with baseless claims and lies.
Happily, morality can indeed be accounted for by evolutionary theory. Those with morals benefit from protection of others.
there is no “problem of induction” just one more baseless bit of philosophy which can’t be shown to be true. Hume makes claims and yep, nothing to support them, rather like religion. no one needs a god to understand that one can infer something from experience. Happily, we don’t live in a Dr. Seussian universe where anything can happen. That’s just the nonsense that theists claim with their magical nonsense.
btw, every cult makes this same claim and not one of these cults, including yours, has evidence to support it.
“Lastly, God HAS provided sufficient evidence for the judgment of all humans. Romans 1:18-20 tells us “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” ALL evidence (because it is upheld and sustained by God’s mighty power (see Col 1:16)) is evidence for God’s existence”
All evidence is evidence for the Almighty:
ROFL. Hmm, you first repeat the same baseless claims as all theists make. Still no evidence for your god. I love the nonsense that I have to agree with a failed book that insists that I already have information. Funny how I don’t and your book lies.
you try to claim that we can’t know anything without your god. there is no evidence yur god exists or that there are any preconditions for “intelligibility”.
“There are immaterial, invariant, universal entities.”
no evidence for these either.
yep, your set of books claims to be divinely inspired. No evidence for that either. Your book evidently lies again. No prophecies fulfilled, your jesus fails as the jewish messiah since that one doesnt’ need a do-over,
Then it’s onto the “logical” arguments for this god, none of which gets you to your god at all. They also all require presuppositions that this god is needed in someway, which has yet to be demonstrated.
DNA is indeed complex, and nothing more than physics is needed to make it. If you wish to claim your god made it, you have to explain how it is such a moron to make something that fails constantly.
Behe’s lie of irreducible complexity has been long shown to be a lie. There are no irreduciblly complex things, only items pressed into service for another task. This demonstrates the usual ignoance of theists when it comes to biology.
Fine-tuning is also a failure since we have no idea how far off the suposed constants we can be and still get the same thing. Also, if the universe was meant for humans, do explain how your god was so stupid to make our main energy source give us cancer. So much for “fine-tuning” for human life.
The earth’s orbit is nothing like ‘nearly circular”. It varies by 3 millions miles when it comes to perihelion and aphelion.
Venus could have liquid water too, if it hadn’t a very thick atmosphere. Again, the theist shows how ignorant he is of the solar system.
“The atmosphere is also the perfect ratio of elements for respiration, combustion, flight, photosynthesis, condensation, evaporation, and UV protection. The atmosphere is also a great medium for passing smell and sound.”
the atmosphere has changed greatly, even within the short time oxygen breathing creatures have been on it. The oxygen percentage was much higher millions of years ago, and was even better for breathing, etc then. Your god certainly does fail. OF course, you lie and claim a “creation” of which there is also no evidence.
there is no “perfect” amount of force for tides. They have been stronger and they will get weaker as the moon moves away from the earth.
“We can view a perfect solar eclipse because the moon appears to be 400X smaller than the relative distance of the sun, which is 400X further away. Coincidence or design?”
ignorance on your part since the moon has been moving away from the earth for its entire existence and that “perfect” solar eclipse isn’t and won’t be in the future.
“The placement of the earth within the solar system protects the earth from most meteor strikes. The large gas planets “vacuum” up most of the dangerous ones”
alas the earth was part of the late heavy bombardment and is still struck by meteors, despite your lies.
“Symbiosis – Symbiosis is defined as “interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.” Unrelated biological systems that cannot exist independently are best explained by a master Designer, who planned their advantageous interactions.”
more lies, and just assumptions of a god that you can’t even show exists, dear. Evolution has no problem with symbiosis, but gee, you have no idea what that theory actually says, do you?
“The Moral Argument – While not a specific piece of evidence, the argument that there are ultimate moral laws necessitates a moral law giver. Again, naturalistic worldviews cannot account for universal, immaterial, and invariant moral laws.”
My favorite. Funny how Christians themselves can’t agree on what morals this god wants, so this is quite a lie when you claim that “objective” morality comes from your god. Which version of morality, dear christians? You will of course whine and claim that only your version is the right one, again with no evidence at all.
Happily, reality and humans don’t need your imaginary gods or you theists at all.
ApoloJedi: “There are immaterial, invariant, universal entities.”
Vel: “no evidence for these either”
ApoloJedi: Why do you reject logic, morality, and induction?
nice lie, there apolo. Where have I rejected any of these?
Good post! I plan to share it this week with the next round up!
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This is interesting. One piece of advice I would offer though, is to supplement your presuppositional apologetics with some evidential apologetics. You seem like you really want to help people, and I don’t think presuppositional apologetics helps people come to faith in Christ. Rather, all it seems to do is bolster the confidence of people who are already Christians. Christian apologists like the idea of having an argument that Atheists can’t refute, but I think the ultimate refutation of presuppositional apologetics, is that it doesn’t win people to Christ.
If you meet people where they are, giving them evidence they can grapple with, you have a chance of helping them see the truth of Christianity. Great work though, again, I can see that you really want to help people.
I appreciate the constructive criticism. I used to be an evidentialist, and I still love arguing evidence with people…because ALL evidence supports what God has revealed in his eternal word. Christians need not ever fear that there might be some evidence that is contrary to the Bible. Jesus is Lord of both his special and general revelation.
I was convinced that I had been doing apologetics wrong both by my own experiences and by my theological input (James White, Bahnsen, Jeff Durbin, Jason Lisle…) I argued the evidence with unbelievers and came to realize that everyone has access to the same evidence and everyone interprets that same evidence according to their worldview. So, I could rightly argue the truth of creation and the flood and salvation in Jesus, while the unbeliever argued according to his presuppositions. People will naturally accept cognitive dissonance rather than change their worldview. So the job of the apologist is to 1st be faithful to Christ and 2nd to show the unbeliever that they are being foolish (Prov 26:5).
The Bible tells us that God is responsible for changing the hearts of unbelievers. He obviously uses the preaching of the word by his people, and that shows that God is sovereign over both the ends and the means of salvation. God gets ALL of the glory for salvation. Humans (preachers, apologists) get no glory for salvation lest there be something about which I could boast.
If presentation of evidence could persuade someone to choose Christianity, then it logically follows that the presentation of evidence could deconstruct someone from being a Christian. If that is the case, then evidence is the highest epistemic authority, but I disagree with all of that.
Bahnsen has a great analogy for evidence. In our fallen state, humans are like a cars with engine troubles. Evidence is like gas. To fix a car that uses gas incorrectly, you don’t give that car more gas. The more gas you put in a car with engine trouble, the more that this car misuses the gas and causes further trouble for the engine and environment. Instead you get the Great Mechanic to fix the engine problems and then gas (evidence) runs smoothly in the engine
Thanks for your response; it helps me understand where you’re coming from. I used to be a presuppositionalist, but then I came to the conclusion that presuppositional apologetic arguments aren’t really valid. Or in the cases where they are valid, they are irrelevant.
Regarding worldview and interpretation, I agree with you to a point. Yes, people interpret evidence within their worldview. But if you can give a piece of evidence that is very hard to harmonize with their worldview, the hope is that they will consider changing their worldview in light of that.
I really see presuppositional apologetics as giving up on apologetics all together. Presuppositional apologetics essentially is the Christian insisting on their definition of everything, and then saying they win the argument by definition.
Let’s try this out and hopefully I can show you what I mean. I’ll defend the Atheist side of the argument, and you give me your proof that Christianity is true from a presuppositionalist perspective. So let’s begin, what proof do you have that Christianity is true?
If you used to be a presuppositionalist, then you know what my response will be:
The proof that Christianity is true is the impossibility of the contrary. Assume something other than Christianity and the concept of “proof” has no meaning (to know anything at all, one must know everything or have revelation from Someone, who does). We can leave out the discussions about the preconditions necessary knowledge, logic, morality and induction for now, but clearly unchanging, abstract, absolutes make sense only in a universe created by the unchanging, transcendent, absolute Creator. The Christian accepts that God has revealed Himself in creation, the Bible and in the incarnation. The fool (so called by God for rejecting the most obvious fact in all of reality) rejects this revelation and is left with no path to justified knowledge. I go into this in greater detail here:
As a fellow Christian, if you do not recognize the total dominion of Christ (who claimed authority over ALL things), then you have already yielded to the non-believer. We meet the non-believer on common ground, but it is not neutral ground. It is ground that is under that authority of Christ and the apologist must above all else – honor Christ as LORD (1 Pet 3:15)
Thanks for discussing, ok, let’s start with this:
“to know anything at all, one must know everything or have revelation from Someone, who does”
Who says? Maybe there’s something about life and our perceptions as human beings that allows us to know things, despite not knowing everything. And further, even if someone agrees with your extreme view, they can still feel comfortable saying they have what they call “knowledge” without knowing everything. For example, an Atheist might look outside and see trees, and feel comfortable saying he knows trees are outside. This Atheist will not be troubled at all that he does not know everything or have a revelation from someone who does. This Atheist is fully capable of living what he considers a rational life, with what he considers knowledge, without reference to a God at all.
Therefore, you have not proved the impossibility of the contrary, you have simply asserted it.
Thanks for discussing. I look forward to your response.
“Maybe there’s something about life”
This is the ignorance-of-the-gaps fallacy
“they can still feel comfortable saying they have what they call “knowledge” without knowing everything”
This is a lazy epistemology. It is also a false attribution. The Christian does not claim to know everything – only that we accept revelation from Someone who does.
“an Atheist might look outside and see trees, and feel comfortable saying he knows trees are outside”
The atheist can know that trees are outside, not because his assumptions are correct – but in spite of them. The knowledge of trees outside is true because Christianity is true. The atheist assumes that senses/reasoning came about through a process of random mutations that were brought about for survival value – NOT to ascertain concepts and abstractions of the cosmos. So, their presuppositions of origins is incompatible with the presupposition of justifiable knowledge. Secondly, should this devastating critique be overlooked, the BEST an atheist could do to justify knowledge is solipsism. An honest atheist will acknowledge this, but just as quickly hold onto their cognitive dissonance. Dr. Lisle makes plain this shortcoming from the atheist presuppositions with more depth here
Christianity, on the other hand offers justification for knowledge. Christians accept the revelation that we are created in God’s image. God as the omniscient One, who has revealed his creative power, reasoning, and justice, shows us that his image-bearers are capable of being creative, reasoning and just. The concept of evil makes no sense except in light of an ultimate Source of goodness. Since we all recognize that there is evil in the world, we are rightly justified in our presupposition that God has revealed Himself, and can dismiss the presuppositions of the atheist. Here’s the worldview consistency flowchart that I wrote a few years ago
Just to get outside the discussion for a bit: I address the claims of the atheist religion (evolution) based on their own claims to evidence and why their evidence is not what it has been asserted. So it’s not that I’m against evidence. I’ll challenge what the atheist claims is evidence, and in of these cases, I’ve shown that the atheist’s claim to evidence is impotent
Thank you so much for the detailed response, I appreciate it.
““Maybe there’s something about life”
This is the ignorance-of-the-gaps fallacy”
I disagree. An Atheist can be personally convinced that his experiences are veridical, that they give him knowledge about reality. He may not know all the details as to why, and he doesn’t have to. There is no fallacy.
““they can still feel comfortable saying they have what they call “knowledge” without knowing everything”
This is a lazy epistemology. It is also a false attribution. The Christian does not claim to know everything – only that we accept revelation from Someone who does.”
It is not “lazy epistemology” at all. What you are doing is intellectual bullying. Because you think your epistemology is better, you are calling names. The Atheist may well have to suffice with an epistemology that is not as fleshed out as yours. Ok. So what? They feel confident that they have knowledge, and that works for them.
“…only that we accept revelation from Someone who does.””
That’s what I was referring to. I’m a Christian, I know we don’t claim to know everything.
“The atheist can know that trees are outside, not because his assumptions are correct – but in spite of them.”
Prove it. The Atheist believes that his mind has evolved to such a point that it can ascertain truth, trees outside, whatever. Presuppositional apologetics does not prove he is incorrect. To do that, you have to give evidence that evolution is not true, that the brain could not evolve to its present state. That’s the route I would take, and if done well, it is convincing, whereas presuppositional apologetics is not convincing.
“The atheist assumes that senses/reasoning came about through a process of random mutations that were brought about for survival value – NOT to ascertain concepts and abstractions of the cosmos. So, their presuppositions of origins is incompatible with the presupposition of justifiable knowledge.”
This is Plantinga’s argument, and it fails miserably. In order to survive, one must have reliable information about reality, so the senses and reasoning of an evolved mind most certainly are brought about for ascertaining the truth about reality.
Thanks for discussing this with me. As I said, I used to be a presuppositionalist myself. My goal here is to help you realize that evidence will help the Atheists you engage with, while presuppositional arguments will fail to convince them.
Another important issue is the reality of the Holy Spirit’s testimony. That is the reason people become Christians, not argumentation. Apologetics is vitally important, but don’t let the Atheist get you so focused on arguments that you forget that this life is a spiritual test. God isn’t interested in who can follow the evidence, that’s why there is no “rational” proof for Christianity. God is looking at the heart, that is what gets you into heaven.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
4 but, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals but to please God, who tests our hearts.
Thanks again for the discussion, God bless! 🙂
Thanks for the discussion. You were not able to be persuasive with a failed epistemology (evidentialism) to convince me to stop using biblical epistemology (presuppositionalism). God bless!
If you’re still reading, do you hold to reformed theology?
If yes, then you know why I’m a presuppositionalist.
If no, then I can understand how you are able to justify evidentialism. But if you’ll allow me to explain why those of us, who hold to reformed theology, cannot embrace evidentialism. The T in TULIP stands for Total depravity.
“There is none, who is good. No not one” Ps 14:3
“I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth” Gen 8:21
“All have sinned” Rom 3:23
AND sin has affected all of creation – including the reasoning of humans. So the unregenerate person cannot reason properly to the truth. Truth must be revealed to them
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption…we know that the whole of creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” Romans 8:21-22
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing” 1 Cor 1:18
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” 1 Cor 2:14
Because the Bible is true, we do not expect the unregenerate man to understand the truth. It is only when God (by his amazing grace) changes the heart of the unbeliever. How is the heart of the unbeliever changed? Romans 10:14-17 “Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ”
So, we must preach the word in season and out of season because we pray that the sovereign Lord will give grace to all who hear the Word…never doubting the truth of the Bible or the authority of Jesus over every atom in the universe
Like Bahnsen’s car/fuel analogy – giving more evidence (fuel) to the unregenerate man (clogged engine) doesn’t cause the unbeliever to repent (fix the engine). Only grace from God heals the unbeliever to reason properly so that evidence makes sense
Thank you for sharing that. I understand where you’re coming from. No I am not a Calvinist, I believe in free will. I think you’re right though, that we need to keep preaching the word of God.
I would say that the presuppositional apologetic is evidence, just like any other evidence. You are giving people a piece of reasoning that you hope will help lead them to Christ, that’s evidence. My point is simply that the presuppositional evidence is poor evidence. It is weak and unconvincing. So since you are giving unbelievers evidence, why not give them good evidence? That’s my point.
What is referred to as “evidential” is the same as “presuppositional,” since both are giving evidence. But the “evidential” evidences are powerful and convincing, where the presuppositional evidences are not. Presuppositional arguments are so far off the beaten path that people feel totally comfortable laughing at them and ignoring them, and that doesn’t help anyone.
But hey, anyone using their mind in the service of Christ is doing a great thing, so I commend you. 🙂 God bless!
The only evidence that the presuppositionalist gives is the Word of God. It is on the basic foundation of revelation from God in the Bible that Christians should stand. Why do you consider the Bible to be “poor, weak and unconvincing”?
The Bible is not just evidence, it is proof of the truth of Christianity, so I commend you for using the Bible. But the evidence I’m talking about is the failed philosophical arguments you share as a presuppositionalist. The uniformity of nature is presupposed by the Atheist, they don’t need to account for it. In the Atheist view “laws of logic” are not laws at all, they are a description of the way the universe works. And subjective morality is just something the Atheist accepts as a fact of their worldview, so they adult and deal with it. And there goes your presuppostional arguments down the toilet. That’s the poor, weak and unconvincing evidence I was referring to.
I don’t mean to come down to hard on you though, you’re doing apologetics work and that’s awesome. I’m just trying to encourage you to use good evidence, as opposed to poor evidence.
The Bible is the authority. That’s the evidence I give. Unfortunately you are incorrect that professing atheists “adult” when faced with the inherent incompatibilities in the worldview. Instead, they wallow in cognitive dissonance. Because of the fall, even reasoning is corrupted by sin, so a person is not able to reason to God. Since Jesus is the Truth, one must reason from God. The sinner will not reason TO God. The apologist’s job is to
1. Honor Christ as LORD in your heart. Those who present evidence to the unbeliever are assuming that Christians & unbelievers meet on neutral ground but that is not glorifying to the claim of Jesus who declared definitively “ALL authority on heaven and earth” are his
2. With gentleness and respect show the fool the folly of his argument (Prov 26:5)
3. Many evidentialists are satisfied to present evidence for a generic theism, but again this is unbiblical and dishonors the Lord of glory
I can understand that you dont like the presup apologetic method. Atheists and now apparently Christians rationalize throwing epithets at those of us who would argue biblically by honoring Christ First and foremost. One cannot be wrong by arguing from the presupposition that God has revealed Himself in creation, in the Bible and in the incarnation. When one suppresses this knowledge they end up with an absurd epistemology and rather that “dealing with it” God-deniers try to ignore the problem. Giving them more evidence for the God-denier to misuse is folly
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
“Those who present evidence to the unbeliever are assuming that Christians & unbelievers meet on neutral ground but that is not glorifying to the claim of Jesus who declared definitively “ALL authority on heaven and earth” are his”
I’m not assuming there is neutral ground, but there is common sense. People can see evidence and understand where it leads, that’s how people invent things, they look at the evidence and develop technology by following the evidence wherever it leads. Atheists don’t want to follow the evidence to God, but when we show them evidence that points to God, that’s the best we can do to help them. It’s on them from there.
And no it is not an affront to the glory of Christ to offer someone evidence that Jesus is Lord. That’s what you are doing too, you’re just doing it with poor evidence instead of good evidence.
“Many evidentialists are satisfied to present evidence for a generic theism, but again this is unbiblical and dishonors the Lord of glory”
You’ve got to stop claiming that giving someone good evidence for God and Christ “dishonors the Lord of glory.” That’s part of the presuppositional rhetoric that borders on self-induced brainwashing. You keep telling yourself that, and it pulls you deeper into the cult of Presuppositionalism. And yes, it becomes a cult when you seriously think every other Christian apologist is dishonoring God because they don’t do it your way.
Further, all Presuppositionalism does is present evidence for a generic theism! Don’t you see that? Look at the three “arguments” I gave, uniformity of nature; laws of logic; absolute morality. They get you to a generic theism, they have nothing to do with Jesus! Evidentialists have the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ, and fulfilled prophecy, we’re the ones who get to Jesus, not you.
“throwing epithets at those of us who would argue biblically by honoring Christ First and foremost.”
There you go again, insulting me and every other apologist who gives evidence, by claiming we don’t honor Christ as much as you do. You’ve got to get over that self-righteous cult delusion.
“One cannot be wrong by arguing from the presupposition that God has revealed Himself in creation, in the Bible and in the incarnation.”
True, but one can go wrong by using Bahnsen’s lame and easily refuted apologetic “arguments.”
“Giving them more evidence for the God-denier to misuse is folly”
Then stop giving them presuppositional argument evidence. When I give evidence, it is in the hope that God will use it to help them, I don’t give it to them so they can misuse it. You’re just making excuses to stay locked in the presuppositionalist cult.
Thanks so much for discussing, I think you’re a great Christian, and you’re doing great work by using apologetics. Again, I’m just trying to encourage you to use the best evidence.
PL21: “People can see evidence and understand where it leads”
If that were true, then everyone would be a Christian. What you seem not to understand is that everyone interprets evidence from within their worldview. The more evidence that I give to the atheist, the more they will misuse it and bend it to their own thinking. Here’s an example:
Christian: Look at this dinosaur fossil. It is evidence that God brought judgment on the wickedness of men by flooding the whole earth. The fossils are buried quickly, still contain blood cells, and cross multiple layers, so the idea that fossils were buried slowly over millions of years is wrong
Atheist: That’s false. Dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteor 65 million years ago. The KT layer proves it. The discoverer of soft-tissue in dinosaur bones is a Christian, and she said that creationists cannot use her theories because iron preserves the soft tissue over millions of years. You have been deceived by Ken Ham
Christian: But you see…ad infinitum
PL21: “They get you to a generic theism, they have nothing to do with Jesus!”
That is not true. Presup is WAY more than just TAG. It is an internal critique of the non-Christian position. We ask the non-believer to justify their assumptions, claims to knowledge (epistemology), and justification for why they claim the Bible to be in error. Since none of those things are possible without first affirming Jesus as Lord, they will always resort to fallacious arguments or remain quiet. Presup is a 2 step apologetic. 1-show the unbeliever that they cannot logically account for knowledge, induction, morality (anything) 2-Show how Christ is the source of knowledge (Col 2:2-3), induction (Col 1:16), morality (John 14:15), truth (John 14:6). Jesus is the reason for all things
Jesus was a presuppositionalist. The evidence I give you for this is scripture. See Luke 16:19-31 “He said to them, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'” In a debate I had with a skeptic, this was revealed to be true. I asked him what would convince him, and he literally said, “Well, if someone were to die and live again after a few days, I would believe.” My obvious response was “Like Jesus did?!?” and he said, “Not like that”. The Words of Jesus in scripture are true
If someone rejects the truth of God’s revelation, they have no epistemology for properly understanding truth. This too is scriptural:
1 Cor 1:18
1 Cor 2:14
2 Cor 4:4
To be clear, I too was once an evidentialist, and I do not doubt your salvation or your desire to serve the Eternal Monarch. But we must let God’s Word shape our apologetic and not the philosophies of this world: Col 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ”
One of the strongest arguments that revealed to me why evidentialism is insufficient: is the issue of authority. Since the Bible is the ultimate authority for knowledge, we must start there. What the Bible reveals is self-authenticating because it comes from the inspiration of the One, who knows everything. All assertions that are in conflict with what the Bible has revealed are false because they are in conflict with what God has revealed to be true. There is no higher authority that can refute or confirm scripture. IF there were something that could refute/confirm scripture, then THAT something (what you keep hoping evidence will be) would necessarily be the highest authority. The atheist will choose empiricism as their authority and it is thusly always contingent (never true knowledge). In the evidentialist theater, the evidentialist can lose the argument because the interlocutor has a more prestigious education (higher authority), more prestigious peer-reviewed papers (higher authority), or greater amount of data on a subject. The evidentialist is trapped by trying to meet the non-believer on (non-existent) neutral ground. Neutral ground is a myth, so evidentialism is fallacious thinking built into its foundation
As a presuppositionalist, I can stand solely on the truth of God’s infallible Word…knowing that all evidence supports God’s Word: the highest authority for knowledge.
How do we know that God created everything? Gen 1:1 and so many other scriptures
How do we know that God created in 6 days? Gen 1, Ex20:9-11
How do we know that God judged the whole world by a global flood? Gen 6-9, 2 Peter 3:5-6 and others
How do we know that God created all humans from 1 man (twice) so that racism is wrong? Gen 1:28, Gen 8:23, Gen 9:1, Acts 17:26
How do we know where different languages come from? Gen 11
How do we know that sinners are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone? All of scripture, but specifically Eph 2
Therefore, I expect all of evidence to corroborate what God has revealed in his eternal word…not the other way around as evidentialists attempt to show
1. You keep saying that arguments based on the Bible and on Christ (presup arguments) are “weak” and “poor evidence”. At this point, it is simply a wild assertion. How do you justify your assertion? By what transcendent standard do you determine what is poor/good evidence?
2. How did I insult you?
3. How do you refute “Bahnsen’s lame and easily refuted apologetic arguments”?
4. What do you consider the “best evidence”?
5. Which parts of reformed theology do you reject?
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. At this point I think I’ve said everything I can, and I appreciate you taking the time to read my comments. You’re doing great Christian work, God bless.
You’re welcome. I can’t help but notice that you originally commented with great fervor, but when I pressed you for philosophical logical justifications for your grand assertions, you chose instead to depart with great haste
That’s your prerogative and I wish you the very best