This week at the county fair I was asked to prove the existence of God by a skeptic who believes in evolution. As a Christian with knowledge of a few Bible verses and some basic logic, this task was rather simple.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Colossians 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Romans 1:19-20 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Question 1: How much knowledge do you think you have?
Answer 1: Out of all the knowledge in the universe, even the most educated person knows very little. Allowing the skeptic to have 1% of all knowledge is more than sufficient.
Question 2: In the 99% of knowledge you don’t have, is it possible that something contradicts what you think that you know?
Answer 2: In the unlikely event the skeptic answers no, simply ask how they know what they know. The only response will be an appeal to the senses. At this point they have committed the logical fallacy of Begging the Question, also known as Circular Reasoning, because they are using their senses to verify their senses. The skeptic I was talking to humbly answered “Yes”.
Question 3: If you could be wrong about everything you think you know, then you don’t actually know anything. Is that correct?
Answer 3: An answer of “No” will bring you back to Question 2 that asks how they can verify what they know without Circular Reasoning. An answer of “Yes” will refute their worldview because they are saying, “Yes, I KNOW that I DON’T KNOW anything.” This contradiction is inherent in every worldview that doesn’t believe in God.
Someone who believes the universe was formed by an un-governed, chance process (such as evolution) have to agree that their thoughts are nothing more than chance chemical reactions. It is not possible for an un-governed group of chemicals to know something for certain, so this is the correct position for the unbeliever. However, we can prove that the unbeliever does actually know things (I know that I don’t know…). Why do they know things? Everyone knows the true God (Romans 1) who is the source of all knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
Humans are fallen, and our senses are not always valid. The only way we can know something for certain is if there is someone who knows everything (and cannot lie) that reveals it to us. The self proclaimed “unbeliever” is in reality a believer who knows the true God (in a non-saving way). By being unable to deny that he does know things, he has contradicted his own worldview, and has proved the Christian worldview that claims God has revealed some things to us so that we can know for certain.
Just because you have proved their worldview is wrong, doesn’t mean they will be persuaded. They may say incorrect things like, “The Bible can’t be trusted because it was written one hundred years after the eyewitnesses died” or “Rubidium-Strontium dating proves the creation account in the Bible is wrong.” Since you have already won the argument, from this point on all you need to do is ask “Do you KNOW that for sure?” or “Could you be wrong?”
Don’t allow the skeptic to debate in the realm of evidence until they have done one of two things:
1. Stop stealing from the Christian worldview by making knowledge claims, or
2. Repent, and admit that their worldview is wrong.
Question 4: If God exists, is it possible that He could reveal some thing to us so that we can know for certain?
Answer 4: An answer of “yes” is the only option you will allow, because otherwise they will continue to make knowledge claims. This prevents the unbeliever from turning the argument back on you, because it is the Christian position that we can know things.
Not only has God given us knowledge, but He has also given us a conscience. At this point, staying in the realm of the intellect will be pointless. Show the skeptic that God has not only given them knowledge, but has also given them a conscience. Use the law to stop the mouth and leave him guilty before God (Romans 3:19-20). Don’t cast your pearls before swine, but if they are willing to listen, we always glory in sharing the gospel.
Romans 3:19-20 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
– By the Grace of God – Randy