Saturday, January 19, 2008

Why Should I Believe that?

Every apologist is bound to get the question, "Why should I believe that?"

Sometimes the answer is as simple as: "Because the Bible says it," or "Because it follows logically."

But not everyone one meets shares one's common epistemic foundation. Not everyone accepts that logical deduction provides truth. Not everyone believes the Bible. What can we do then?

1. In some cases we can find some other common foundation.

For example, suppose we are addressing someone who accepts only the gospels, and not the other parts of the Bible. In that case, we may be able to prove our doctrine to them out of the gospels. If someone is unwilling to accept the Bible as true, we may be able to prove our point from shared intuition or some other aspect of creation.

2. In some cases we can present our case in a different way.

If a lack of common foundation prohibits strictly logical dialog, we can still discuss the matter using some other mode of discussion. For example, if a person refuses to accept absolute truth, one can appeal to their conscience, to their common sense, etc.

Bottom Line: Some Things are not Arguable

You cannot prove logic's validity logically. You cannot prove to people that the Gospel is true. You cannot cure congenital blindness, you cannot heal leprosy, and you cannot raise the dead. That's God's turf.

You cannot argue anyone to Christ. You can present the truth to them. You can defend the truth against their attacks, but you cannot force someone to believe, whether by sword, by love, by deceit, or by logic. We have to present the truth to people as best we can, and pray to God to open their eyes and hearts and minds to the truth.

May God do so!

-Turretinfan

1 comment:

natamllc said...

"we know in part"

I heard this plea from a well known Pastor/Preacher, of his day, who said this:

"if you don't want the Blessings of God, give them to me"!

Yes, what we can do is "pray" for spiritual wisdom and revelation for one whose "knowing" is a bit smaller than the parts you know.

Paul said that he did not shrink back from declaring everything that was profitable for those God placed him with as Jesus is building His Church.

This area of Scripture has done so much for me. I would like to post it in its entirety and leave it to the Holy Ghost to "enlighten" you too:::>

Act 20:26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you,
Act 20:27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
Act 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
Act 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
Act 20:30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
Act 20:31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Act 20:33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.
Act 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me.
Act 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
Act 20:36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.