Evasive Arguments from Unbelievers
Reasoning With Unbelievers (Part 1)
Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies
by Bob Burridge ©2011
When we confront unbelievers with the Gospel there are bound to be objections raised. The unbelieving mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit, he will miss the logic of it.
1 Corinthians 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
What is very consistent thinking will seem to him to be irrational. He will work very hard to redefine reality and remove his accountability. He will attempt to redefine God to lower his authority and ultimate honor in all things, and he will elevate the standing of the creature over his Creator, particularly by denying man’s total depravity and accountability to a perfectly holy and just God.
Romans 1:25, “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
Fallen man uses all his God-given skills to try to explain away his Creator. To evade the issue, he develops ingenious and complex theories about himself, society, and the universe around him. The unbeliever contrives very creative alternatives to what God says is true.
The unbeliever inconsistently stands on the very ground created by God to argue that the one who made him, and who made the ground under him, does not exist as he must.
As C. S. Lewis said, “When you are arguing against Him, you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all.”
Or as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 9:20, “… who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?”
In an attempt to eliminate the need for a Creator he makes untestable assumptions that support his theory of Macro-Evolution. Since he presumes that there must be an alternative to special creation he arranges the observed facts in such a way that to him suggests that chance determines all things.
He fails to admit that if chance determines things, then he can’t really affirm or deny anything as true or false. Yet he never fails to declare creation to be false, and evolution to be true. He sees order in the universe when it supports the scientific models that are consistent with his view, but insists upon chaos as underlying that order. The statistical average that produces what he perceives as order is by definition a mere artifact of his expectations.
We need to restrict our presentation about Creation to only what is demanded by Scripture. The danger is for the Christian to expand theories of his own which are no better founded upon fact than what the unbeliever presents as his arguments.
The logical next step in evolution theory and humanism is to assume the view of modern self-esteem psychology. If man’s own view of himself is what gives him ultimate pleasure, then it becomes his most logical goal to build up his feeling of self-worth.
The problem is, that’s not the way God created things to work. God has created us to exalt him first and to see ourselves humbly as needy creatures who fall short. Only by humble living in repentance and dependence upon God, giving him the glory for all good, can man the creature attain real inner peace and contentment.
We are never told in the Bible that we don’t love ourselves enough. It repeatedly warns against loving ourselves too much. Sadly, many counselors who call their approach “Christian” have accepted this humanistic idea. It is the theory that best fits their idea of a God where the Creator depends on man’s permission to do anything. Those who pursue a better self-image tend to be among the most depressed. Such a deception and misdirection of glory to the creature rather than to the Creator actually undermines and weakens a persons inner peace.
Liberal Social Theory
Those who reject the absolute truth of the Scriptures, are left with the belief that human society alone can solve all its own problems. Social welfare, larger and more intrusive government, and agencies of so called experts are seen as the greatest hope for improving the world. The gospel and the true church are seen as a hindrance to progress. Yet the most socialized nations have become the most oppressive in history.
Not all unbelievers are against the idea of religion and belief in a god. Their prejudice is only directed against the God who is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. They don’t want a God to whom they must answer morally, or upon whom they must depend for their care, blessings, and eternal hope. By attempting to limit God in a way that makes him more acceptable to fallen man, they create a religion that doesn’t get in their way. It’s a source for getting things when they want them, and an escape from the realities they can’t face. God becomes a mere idea created in the mind of man, or is reduced to a limited God who can only do what man gives him permission to do.
In each case, the understanding of God is lowered from absolute Sovereign Creator, and some part of his creation is raised above its duty of exalting God first and depending upon him for all blessings.
When these devices are challenged by the gospel, tensions will result. There will be some hard questions to answer. Questions can be a wonderful opportunity for the believer to explain what God has done and made known to us. Though challenging, finding realistic and honest answers to sincerely raised questions should not discourage even the most uneducated Christian from being a faithful witness. There are answers we can all find and present. God’s truth cannot be stumped if we properly understand the question and the confusion which makes problems seem to appear.
>> To be continued in our next blog: “Objections from Unbeliever”