CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Reformed Apologist makes a very interesting point in one of his recent posts. He makes the claim that a sound proof for God's existence is actually very simple. Here is his proof.

Since the premises in the following argument are true and the form of the argument is valid, the conclusion is reliable and true.

P1. If God has revealed himself, then God exists
P2. God has revealed himself
C. Therefore, God exists

So Christian, please never say again that one cannot prove the existence of God.

The issue is not about proof. Proving God's existence is simple, as was just shown. The issue is over the justification of premises and what people will accept as authoritative. For instance, if one believes that his senses can justify premises, then one might choose to prove that there are crackers in the pantry in the following manner:

P1. If I see crackers in the pantry, then there are crackers in the pantry
P2. I see crackers in the pantry
C. Therefore, there are crackers in the pantry

The deductive argument for there being crackers in the pantry was implicit in Dr. Bahnsen's debate with Gorden Stein. The point I'd like to make is that only a skeptic would deny such a proof can be sound because only a skeptic would deny that one's senses can be reliable. Just the same, if a skeptic did not accept the truth of the premises, the proof would not become invalidated or proven false. In the like manner, only an unbeliever - who is suppressing in unrighteousness the obvious truth of God's revelation - would deny that God has revealed himself and, therefore, God exists. Just as it is true that the skeptic's disfunctional worldview cannot invalidate what is actually true - it is no less true that the fallen worldview invalidates the absolute authority of Scripture. Truth is not a matter of consensus after all. To think so is to confuse proof with persuasion, a fundamental error in apologetics.

I believe that the point being raised by Reformed Apologist, Ronald W. Di Giacomo, is very interesting. After all, it is certainly true that the Christian claim is that God has revealed Himself to mankind. God cannot reveal Himself if He doesn't exist. Hence, it logically follows that this is a sound proof for the existence of God provided that we can establish a sound case that God has revealed Himself.

Of course, that is the real issue, isn't it? After all, if everyone were certain that God had revealed Himself then the case of the apologist would be as easy as pointing to the crackers in the pantry. In such a case, the "cracker-apologist" would invite the "cracker-skeptic" to not only see the crackers but to pick them up and hold them thus increasing the certainty that the crackers were actually present in the pantry. Only a extreme skeptic would deny her own senses when the crackers are pointed out to them and would have to admit that witnessing the crackers in the pantry constitute proof that the crackers actually exist.

Jesus, as an historic person, cannot be seen and examined in the same way. God, as a incorporeal being, cannot be seen and examined in the same way. Thus, we need to establish that God has revealed Himself in a different way. We do so by pointing out that we have other types of evidence for God's existence. Among the evidence is the appearance of Jesus who was born, lived, taught, performed miracles, claimed to be God, was crucified, died and rose again on the third day. The record of these events can be found in the books of the New Testament.

Interestingly, Thomas, one of the disciples, had the opportunity to examine Jesus in the same way that the "cracker-skeptic" had the opportunity to examine the crackers in the analogy. Jesus appeared before the Thomas (the skeptic about the resurrection) providing visual evidence for His resurrection. Additionally, Jesus offered to allow Thomas the tactile evidence of feeling His wounds. Thomas, when confronted with the evidence, cried out "My Lord and my God."

I think that most skeptics, if confronted with the same type of evidence, would do the same. I pray that they come to the conclusion that God exists and that Jesus is His only Son before they see Him face to face.
(HT: Jeff Downs)

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