Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I pray this post will give encouragement to all those who are having trouble with every unbelieving attitude that comes their way.
What is a premise? It's the beginning of an argument from which all subsequent arguments are derived so if a person starts out with a false premise, their entire argument, no matter how valid the following points may be, fails. For example, let's take atheistic Darwinianism. These folks are clever in their words and their points, but they only deceive the naive. Regardless of how effective or persuasive their preceding arguments are, their case as a whole will never be true because they start with the premise: "there is no god." One problem with their premise is that that argument in itself is a straw man. Which god do they refer to? Do they refer to the god Allah? Perhaps the god Zeus? Maybe they even refer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster which was made a few years ago by a disgruntled Oregon State physics student of which Paul would also say of all three, "they are no gods." (1Cor 8:4) Christians (true Christians) hold there is only one true God: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Note that God never intended for believers to defend the existence of some abstract deity, but rather the sound doctrine of Christ. I believe that those who try to prove the existence of a god instead of defend the true God of Scripture often do more harm than good.
Here are two premises offered by unbelievers and atheists respectively. The unbeliever holds to the premise that there is no god (even though they seldom even try to attempt to refute the God true Christians actually hold to), and the believer starts with the premise that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the only true eternal God from everlasting to everlasting, Amen.
The point is, if you start with the premise that the true God of Scripture is the true God and all others are false as Scripture teaches, you don't have to worry yourself with all the petty arguments that come your way like, "Oh, did you know that we have a tail bone like a monkey?" or "Oh, that was Judas they hung on the Cross...", etc. When that comes your way and you start to get nervous, remember their premise, and the apologetic will go that much smoother.
As I mentioned before, I pray this will encourage all believers who may be in doubt when these unbelievers bring certain issues at you. Having a Youtube page, I am constantly bombarded with questions and random assertions that I either delete if or address depending on whether there is any amount of rationality to their claim in hopes that they will believe in the one and only Triune God. Of course, they consider this to be "cowardly sticking your head in the sand and not listening", but remember their premise which does not include acknowledging the Apostle Paul's admonitions to "avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they do cause strifes (to come about)." (2Ti 2:23) and "avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain." (Tit 3:9) Of course, their premise does not allow for such commands to even be considered, but if the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is your premise, these commands from the Apostle are completely rational and comforting, indeed.