This is in response to [the] article, “The Impropriety of Evidentially Arguing for the Resurrection” by Dr. Greg Bahnsen.
As a Christian I feel this article is counterproductive to our efforts at evangelism and apologetics. If Dr. Bahnsen’s premise is indeed correct, then this website and all other apologetic efforts are in vain. Instead, we should simply go around and preach “Christ is Risen!” and let that be the end of it. Those who will listen will listen, those who will not, will not.
Dr. Bahnsen’s article effectively repudiates the validity of human reasoning and argues for a completely blind faith. How can Answers in Genesis ministries possibly support such a position?
Paul says in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
This represents an endorsement of evidentialism.
—P.P., U.S.

Making Progress

As a Christian, I wish to offer advice. Often times, atheists are unmovable in the belief that atheism is the only rational option, and will dismiss contrary arguments and evidence regardless of their strength.

As a former atheist, I did not begin to reconsider my beliefs until I discovered atheism’s best kept secret.

Atheism inescapably lends itself to determinism. Most atheists, and theists I might add, are unaware of what exactly this means.

Simply put; if everything we are, what we think, feel, and do, are chemical reactions which are themselves determined by prior reactions in a unbreakable chain leading back to the random origin of the universe, what significance do our thoughts, feelings, and actions hold? In what way can we even have personal identity? In what way can we have objective or subjective meaning if everything we will have ever been and will be is no different than falling dominoes?

Ask this to an atheist, and one will make progress.

—J.S., U.S.

Have Something to Add?

Let us know what you think.

As a Christian I feel this article is counterproductive to our efforts at evangelism and apologetics. If Dr. Bahnsen’s premise is indeed correct, then this website and all other apologetic efforts are in vain.

Not at all. Dr. Bahnsen’s central thesis in this article is that the evidence of the resurrection cannot be separated from the Christian worldview in which that evidence is meaningful. One cannot argue on “neutral ground.” This is clearly what the Bible teaches (e.g., Matthew 12:30; Romans 8:7; James 4:4).

If we reject the Bible as the ultimate standard by which all facts are interpreted, then we have given up the very biblical authority that we are attempting to defend (Colossians 2:3, 8; Proverbs 1:7, 26:4). If Dr. Bahnsen’s conclusion is wrong, then so is the Bible; for the Bible clearly teaches this.

Instead, we should simply go around and preach “Christ is Risen!” and let that be the end of it. Those who will listen will listen, those who will not, will not.

This isn’t what Dr. Bahnsen is advocating. Preaching the gospel should indeed be part of our apologetic (Mark 16:15), but we are also to reason—to make an argument for our position (Acts 17:17; Jude 1:3; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:25). Dr. Bahnsen strongly encouraged believers to be “always ready” (the title of Dr. Bahnsen’s book) to reason with the unbeliever.

Dr. Bahnsen’s article effectively repudiates the validity of human reasoning and argues for a completely blind faith.

This is the exact opposite of Dr. Bahnsen’s position! Dr. Bahnsen believed that the Christian faith was absolutely true and objectively provable. Even in the very article you are criticizing, Dr. Bahnsen pointed out that “all facts demonstrate the truth of Christianity.” One can take any fact whatsoever, and point out that such a fact only ultimately makes sense in the biblical worldview, thereby absolutely proving the truth of the Christian worldview. Does that sound like “blind faith”? Dr. Bahnsen used this transcendental argument to demonstrate the fact of Christianity in many debates—including the legendary “Bahnsen-Stein” debate.

How can Answers in Genesis ministries possibly support such a position?

We don’t support fideism as you suggest. Rather we support (as did Dr. Bahnsen) the exact opposite. The Christian worldview can be known with absolute certainty (Hebrews 10:22; Proverbs 22:21; Luke 1:4; Acts 2:36). This is far different from the evidential and probabilistic approach that Dr. Bahnsen rightly criticizes. If the Christian argues that the biblical worldview is (merely) very probable (arguing, for example, that the resurrection of Christ is much more reasonable than the alternative explanations), then that would mean it is not absolutely certain—which contradicts the above verses.

Paul says in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
This represents an endorsement of evidentialism.

On the contrary, Romans 1:20 is a devastating refutation of strict evidentialism! Many Christians think that the unbeliever’s problem is that he is simply unaware of the evidence; thus, the way to bring the unbeliever to the saving knowledge of God is to share more evidences with him. But Romans 1:20 makes it very clear that everyone already knows God! God has clearly and unequivocally revealed Himself to everyone. That’s why the unbeliever is “without excuse.” The problem is not that people don’t have enough evidence of God. The problem is that they “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).

We do use evidence as part of our apologetic—for example, to expose the unbeliever’s inconsistency and suppressed knowledge of God. However, we should never treat our understanding of evidence as superior to (and therefore in a position to judge the truthfulness of) God’s Word as Dr. Bahnsen shows here: Evidential Apologetics. This, after all, was Eve’s mistake. She decided that she would not accept God’s words as her ultimate standard. Rather, she would rely on her senses and her mind to judge whether or not God’s statements were true. After all, apart from God’s Word, what reason would we have to trust our mind or our senses? Yes, we can and should use scientific and historical evidences in our apologetic, but we must never divorce such evidences from the Christian worldview which makes sense of all facts.

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