Apologetics 4

Continuing, how does one argue for God's existence in a way that is biblical? Traditionally, apologists have taken a 2 step approach. First arguing from brute facts that god exists. The next step is to use Christian evidences (resurrection, historicity of the Bible, etc) to show that this god is the Christian God. This will not do. We have seen that there are no brute facts. Also, we do not honor God by arguing for a bare theism. We must start and end with the whole Christian worldview. We do not argue piece-meal. We being with the self-attesting God of Scripture and argue for Christian Theism as a unit.

So we argue transcendentally for the existence of God. That is, we argue from the impossibility of the contrary. If God does not exist, then you cannot make sense of anything whatsoever. The self-contained God is the precondition for the intelligiblilty of all human experience. He spoke the universe into being, and all facts are pre-interpreted by him. No fact makes sense apart from him. In this method, the apologist does an internal critique of the unbeliever's worldview to show its bankruptcy. The apologist 'takes the roof off' or 'tears off the iron mask.' Then you show the consistency of the Christian worldview. This is an indirect argument. You are not going to the unbeliever appealing to brute facts on the basis of common ground, but rather showing that only the Christian worldview makes all aspects of human experience intelligible.

Here is an example. Yesterday I had a conversation with a college student. He believed that the universe started from the big bang, yet he also believed in moral absolutes. This is impossible, both theoretically and practically. Unbelievers hold these contradictory views all the time. Sin makes people foolish in their thinking (Rom 1). No naturalist can appeal to moral absolutes. How does time plus chance plus matter in motion generate moral criteria? It doesn't. Naturalism has no rational grounding for moral absolutes, yet they all live with moral absolutes. Christianity is the only worldview that makes sense out of moral absolutes.The will and character of God is our absolute standard. Apart from God, moral absolutes are flushed and when this happens, society is flushed with them.

Another area is the trustworthiness of reason. On an unbelieving worldview, our brains are nothing more than electro-chemical reactions. There is no mind, only matter on their view. There is nothing that transcends the physical. Unfortunately for the unbeliever, the laws of logic cannot be explained by the materialist. Ironically, some accuse Christians of being irrational, but the unbeliever must borrow the Christian worldview in order to use and trust his reason. As Van Til said, they become like the little girl that slaps her daddy's face, but is only able to because she is sitting on his lap (anti-Theism presupposes Theism). The very act of argumentation makes no sense on the unbelieving worldview. On their view, I am what I am due to chance and the natural world. The use of reason is slain at the altar of chance. We on the other hand, can use and trust our reason because we are created in the image of God, who is orderly and rational Himself.

One great advantage of presuppositional apologetics is you can use any fact in the universe to argue for God's existence: reason, morals, beauty, creativity, sex, love, taste buds, induction, the uniformity of nature, balancing the checkbook, cause, freedom, dignity, responsibility, etc. The self-existing God is the only rational grounding for all these things. As Van Til says, "Christianity is the only reasonable position to hold. It is not merely as reasonable as other positions, or a bit more reasonable as other positions; it alone is the natural and reasonable position for man to take."