The key to effective evangelism is navigating around the intellect and addressing the conscience. We do this most effectively by using God’s law to lead people to Christ, so that they may be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24). But sometimes addressing the intellect by using science and logic is effective to:
- Draw people into conversation so you can swing from the natural to the spiritual.
- Show people how Christianity is reasonable, and is the only worldview that makes sense of science and logic.
- Show people that the unbelievers worldview is based on false assumptions and logical fallacies.
Some people scoff at the belief that God created the world (2 Peter 3). Instead they believe that the world, and all creatures therein, evolved without any intervention by God. Both creation and evolution are beliefs about the past; however, some people have been convinced by a logical fallacy that evolution is science.
Below is an example of the logical fallacy of equivocation:
- Premise #1: Practice makes perfect.
- Premise #2: Doctors practice medicine.
- Conclusion: Therefore, doctors are perfect.
This would be a valid argument if the word ‘practice’ did not change meanings between the two premises. Below is another example of equivocation:
- Premise #1: Science deals with things we can test, study, and observe.
- Premise #2: We have observed the evolution of bacteria into bacteria.
- Conclusion: Therefore, the evolution of humans from single celled organisms is science.
This would also be a valid argument if the word ‘evolution’ did not change meanings. Operational science does deal with things we can test, study, and observe, but evolution can have a variety of meanings. Evolution can just mean “change within the kind” (existing genetic information expressing itself), or evolution can mean “change from one kind to another” (new, never before existing, genetic information being added to the genome).
When you are evangelizing, or addressing the intellect as a spring board for the gospel, don’t be intimidated by people claiming to have scientific evidence that evolution is true. Instead make sure to point out how they have committed the logical fallacy of equivocation.