What is Apologetics?

Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense or an answer given in reply. In ancient Athens it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense or reply (apologia). The word appears 17 times in noun or verb form in the New Testament, and both the noun (apologia) and verb form (apologeomai) can be translated “defense” or “vindication” in every case.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Responding to the Atheist's Gauntlet: "There is no evidence for God's existence"

Evidence is defined as anything that tends to prove or disprove something; a ground for belief or proof. It also can be something that makes some thing plain or clear, for example having a flushed look making it clear that someone might be with a fever. In the context of jurisprudence, evidence can be data that is presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in the issue and which may include testimony of eyewitnesses, records, documents, or objects.[1]

In this posting I would like to address this "throw down gauntlet" of "there is no evidence for God's existence." The reason I started off with definitions of the word evidence is because I want to clarify that when atheists use the word "evidence," in many cases, that they are not interested in the types of evidence as described in the previous definitions.

This gauntlet is really problematic for the atheist, because they cannot logically make the claim. To put it more precise, in order for this claim to be true, an atheist would have to have exhausted all their knowledge on all of the alleged arguments that exist in order to state that there is no proof for God's existence. In other words, they do not have infinite knowledge of those arguments

The only thing that the atheist can do is a state that of all the alleged proofs that they have seen, there are none which have worked for them. They can only say that they "believe" there are no proofs for God's existence, and they try to do that with absolute certainty.  But this "the rub," because there then becomes the possibilities of proof or multiple proofs which they have not yet engaged.

At any rate, even if there was a proof that truly did prove God's existence, the question remains as to whether the atheist would accept it. Many of the presuppositions made by atheists, which are in opposition to God, are moral and not intellectual. Now I am not saying that there are not intellectual atheists out there.  What I am saying is, if the atheist has a presuppositional foundation that there is no God, they would have to change their foundation in order for them to be open to proving God's existence.

This would be a huge paradigm shift for the atheist because it totally disrupts their belief structure. This is why many atheists are pre-suppositionally hostile to any proofs for God's existence and are less likely to be objective about any proofs that defend God's existence.

This is why I think Frank Turek has a great question which addresses this subject, which I have adopted in my conversations with atheists. After leveling the playing field with asking for an answer to an honest question, he asks the following: "If Christianity were proven to be true, would you become a Christian?" In most cases the immediate answer to that question is a hostile "NO!"

For us Christians, I believe there are plenty of reasons for believing that God exists. There are plenty of different and creative angles to take in order to show the reasonableness of God's existence. With all those resources, we need to realize that we do not need the many plus one more in order to demolish this gauntlet.  

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