In several recent avenues, I have been confronted with the bold proclamation of the truth of God’s Word set in contrast to the ideas of classical and evidential apologetic methodologies. It is interesting to me how many people have never even heard of presuppositional apologetics (presupp).
For example, in the men’s group I lead at church, we use Grudem’s Systematic Theology as a text to understand doctrine of the faith. Grudem doesn’t even give presupp a nod, let alone a mention.
Is he unaware of the method or just choosing not to present it?
I don’t know.
He mentions, the moral, ontological, teleological, and cosmological arguments for the existence of God, but he never touches on the transcendental argument. So, I had to offer those ideas to the men so that they could be exposed to themand consider them as they share the hope of Christ with those around them who reject God.
Everyone knows God exists!
And not just some random force that created the universe—they know the true God and at least some of His attributes by simply looking at the creation that He has made. God makes this perfectly clear through the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:18–32:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Did you just blow through the words of God because you are familiar with them, or did you take the time to read them?
If you just skipped through there, let me point out one very important thing—the eternal and omnipotent God who created the universe is known by every person on the planet. They know this because God has clearly shown Himself. Looking at the amazingly complexity of the world and universe, THE GOD is evident, not just some vague creator who painted on a canvas.
This leaves those who suppress this truth without an excuse on the Day of Judgment. No one will be able to stand before God on that great day and say, “I didn’t know whether you were real or not.”
There are no atheists. Everyone who is not worshipping God the Father through the Son by the Spirit is an idolater. In most cases, the idol that is worshipped is Self.
Sye Ten Bruggencate is an apologist who understands these truths and has embraced, to the glory of King Jesus, and applied them to a faithful and bold proclamation of the Gospel. A recent documentary titled How to Answer the Fool features Sye as he travels to several locations to confront those in rebellion to his King. (www.howtoanswerthefool.com and www.proofthatGodexists.org)
In this documentary-style film, Sye takes us through the basics of the presupp apologetic in various settings. From a classroom to interviews to open-air proclamation on a college campus, he confronts the rebels with the truth that apart from God, they could not know anything is true. By denying God, they are denying any claims to truth and reducing their own worldview to absurdity. This allows them to see their need for a worldview grounded in the One who has created all things and sustains all things. They have sinned by not acknowledging God and need to repent and trust Christ so that their reasoning can be redeemed as well as their souls.
Many will find Sye’s methods a bit abrasive or harsh, but I would suggest a large part of that is a sensitivity to the culture’s unbiblical view of tolerance. Jesus said some very sharp things to those who were caught up in idolatry, but he did it with grace and truth. I would suggest that Sye does the same as he does not allow the rebel off the hook as he confronts his suppression of the truth.
As a film, it is very engaging. The crew has done a masterful job of presenting an already compelling subject in a visually enticing way. The story is told in a way that unfolds in little cycles that overlap just enough to drive you forward in the film while repeating many key elements that will be new, and probably quite radical, for many viewers—even seasoned evangelist and apologists. This makes the film a great teaching tool.
So what’s with the title? I thought we were supposed to love people?
When the Bible calls someone a fool, it is a moral judgment, not an intellectual one. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1) This fool faces judgment for his wicked suppression of the truth, not his ignorance. Sye explains this and uses several passages from Scripture to demonstrate the need to confront the fool in his folly while pointing them to hope in Christ with meekness and fear. He does all of this without allowing the fool to sit in judgment over the King.
Sye doesn’t use various evidences to allow people to decide if God exists.
People don’t need evidence for the existence of God—they already know He exists.
When we present people with various evidences for God’s existence, we are saying, “Hey, you! You with the unregenerate mind that is darkened by sin: I am going to give you some evidence for the existence of God. You get to sit in judgment over God and decide if He really exists. Sound good?”
Of course it sounds good to them. They get to sit in judgment over God—something they have been doing all along. And, we encourage them to put our Lord in the defendant’s chair, where those accused of a crime typically sit, while they sit as judge and jury over the righteous, holy Judge of all the earth.
Kinda silly when you look at it that way, no?
There are no theists…everyone who is a non-Christian theist is actually an idolater because they are not acknowledging God as who He is, but making a god in their own image.
Same goes for deists. Idolaters.
We are not being obedient to 1 Peter 3:15 if we simply give a pile of evidence for the rebel to sift through because we have not first set apart Christ as Lord—Lord of everything.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Without acknowledging God, the unbeliever has no ground to stand on in order to build his worldview and begin his arguments.
He must trust Christ, repenting of his idolatry, so that he can reason. Let Sye show you how to do this and apply what he teaches you for the glory of King Jesus. Get the film and watch it, absorb it, and apply it.
In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)
Look to Christ!
(Also, check out the work being done by Crown Rights Media www.CrownRights.org, the producers of the film. Marcus and Crew do some great work for the Kingdom.
You can also find more great resources on the presupp method at www.AnswersBookstore.com by searching for “ultimate proof” and other resources by Dr. Jason Lisle.
Articles on the topic can be found at www.AnswersinGenesis.org.)