‘Prove to me that God created everything!’ Have you had anyone say that to you? Or ‘Prove to me that God exists’? Have you ever tried to do that, but encountered a brick wall of resistance where the challenger dismisses anything you have to offer? Your friend might even say, ‘You just have faith, you have no evidence, I base my beliefs on evidence.’
What is going on here? Your friend is beginning with a different worldview, an over-arching view of everything through which he/she interprets the evidence. The common non-Christian worldview in the West nowadays is secularism/atheism based upon naturalism. This has no place for a divine Creator and certainly not the One the Bible reveals, or the history of His works recorded in the Bible. Your arguments seem to fall on deaf ears.
The Bible says that such people have no excuse for adopting a view that excludes God.Romans 1:18 says that they are suppressing the truth in their unrighteousness because God’s existence is evident from what He has created (vv. 19ff).
Within the secular worldview, intelligent people are feverishly trying to work out clever-sounding ways to try to explain how the universe made itself, life made itself, and the diversity of life-forms on earth also made themselves. This is the grand scheme of cosmic evolution. They expend much energy trying to make it seem that they really knowhow these things happened. Much of this may even be in an effort to convince themselves—since the suppression noted above is by no means all conscious. They claim ad nauseum that this is a ‘scientific view’, but everything making itself from nothing contradicts something that is affirmed by every scientific experiment ever done. At its very core, science operates on the law of cause and effect; that things do not happen without something sufficient to cause them to happen.1 But that ‘minor point’ is overlooked.
We are talking about presuppositions here; fundamental assumptions or axioms that people bring to the evidence, and which they use to interpret it accordingly. It is very important to remember and point out that every person brings a worldview to the table when considering the origin of everything. We all have the same evidence in the present that we interpret according to an assumed history of the origin of everything—either that things self-created somehow, or that God created them.
So, it is not ‘science versus religion’ or ‘facts versus faith’ but one faith versus another faith. It is certainly important to show someone that their view, whatever it is, is not just ‘the facts’, but that they have brought certain assumptions (axioms) to the table for which they have no evidence, and that their presuppositions determine how they interpret facts that they then claim is evidence for their worldview.
Biblical creationists interpret the facts/data in terms of the axioms revealed by Scripture: creation about 6,000 years ago, the Fall bringing sin and death, and the global Flood. From different axioms are deduced different world histories to explain how the current evidence came to be. In reality, evolution is a historical idea deduced from the assumption of materialism or naturalism—matter is all there is. Another way to put it, as Dr Carl Wieland did in a profound article back in 1988, is that evolutionists ultimately exclude creation a priori not because of evidence, but because it violates their arbitrarily decreed materialistic ‘rules of the game’.
What about ‘the facts’/the evidence?
In creationist circles, this understanding about the importance of presuppositions in the origins debate has been loosely termed ‘presuppositionalism’ (to distinguish it from ‘evidentialism’ which naively presumes that evidence speaks for itself). It has been very significant in advancing the creationist cause. However, it can be taken too far. Some speak almost as if the evidence does not matter, that it is just a matter of interpretation: ‘Same data, just different interpretations.’ This view can all too readily morph into a type of post-modernism, whereby ‘it’s all in your head’ and all we can hope to do is work on changing the person’s worldview so that he/she can begin to see the same evidence in a different light that is compatible with a Christian worldview. Proponents often recommend that approach, rather than dealing with the creation-evolution issues, which entails pulling the philosophical rug from under an unbeliever by showing how their presuppositions fail to account for the evidence.
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