Apologetics need not be a faith-builder
When I was a new believer, I was delighted to know that Christianity is a reason-able religion. Talking about the Bible with non-Christians became important to me. I would read books that defended Christianity and browse websites, thinking alongside agnostics, skeptics or atheists to see what insane things they might say that I already knew were blunders. What a way to gloat, huh!
I soon ‘needed’ more evidence to win the battle for my faith online. I began to experience my heart hardening to God-given faith and an unhelpful urge to prove Christianity right! It is foolish to engage other worldviews by entering into debates or by reading atheistic books if we either try to build faith with evidence or adopt a neutral approach.
Neutrality undermines Christian defence
But what’s wrong with being neutral when considering skeptical claims?
Our friends might say, “Please leave the Bible aside and reason with us like normal people do”. But 1st Peter 3:15,16 talk about honouring Christ as Lord. But how can we honour Him by leaving out the assertions of the Bible?
Impartiality is not an option when it comes to Jesus. You are either for Him or against Him as the Bible clearly teaches.
Just like the neutral gear lets even small boys roll an SUV over a cliff, the dangerous demands of neutrality, nonsensically accepted by unwise Christians, can cause massive damage, not just to themselves but also to faithful communities – their churches who are to be rooted and established in love and unity.
Why presuppositional apologetics?
Presuppositional apologetics puts faith first. It does not assume any unbiased ground. It lets you have confidence about what the Bible says about other perspectives and exposes fallacies in another’s supposedly unbiased reasoning. As the late Dr. Greg Bahnsen said, “There simply is no presupposition-free and neutral way to approach reasoning”.
Once we see the validity of this statement, we will no longer feel the pressure to suspend our allegiance in the Bible when we put up a defence. First, strengthen your foundations by preaching the beautiful news of Jesus Christ to yourself. Then, learn how to find gaping holes in allegedly learned statements like this one David Hume (1711-1776) made: “Nothing can be more unphilosophical than to be positive or dogmatical on any subject”. Such a powerful declaration, right?
If this assertion is universally true, then it should be subject to its own account. Which means, Mr. Hume has been most unphilosophical since he has put forth the above allegation dogmatically! This shows he was never neutral even in his own call to neutrality. We must, at some point, faithfully point unbelievers to the fact that they are suppressing the truth they know about God in their own hearts (Romans 1:19,20,21) and that it’s only honest to put forth presumptions to test and see which endure authenticity. For a taste of presuppostional apologetics, here is a lecture by the late Dr. Greg Bahnsen on the myth of neutrality.
If you have dabbled in apologetics, you would have heard stories of people walking away from their Christian faith. Such news is anguishing and can tempt us to think this could happen to actual Christians. However, one cannot believe children of God can lose faith and at the same time believe what Jesus said- “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (Jn 10:28-29) .
No atheist can remove the faith the Author of life puts in the weakest, ignorant Christian. Such incidents only expose the unbelief that had always held throne within until the person found enough ‘rationale’ to justify “walking away” from Christ. It’s true that such incidents are not easily ascertained until they happen. But, as John Piper says – “No one will be finally saved who does not continue in the faith. ”