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How to Uncover Basic Flaws and Hidden Lies in Attacks against the Christian Faith

23. The Procedure for Defending the Faith

We must realize that the unbeliever is holding back the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). This involves presenting the facts within the context of the Biblical philosophy of fact:

1. God is the sovereign determiner of possibility and impossibility.
2. A proper reception and understanding of the facts requires submission to the Lordship of Christ.
3. Thus the facts will be significant to the unbeliever only if they have experienced a change of mind from darkness to light i.e. repentance.
4. The unbeliever’s espoused presuppositions should be forcefully challenged, asking whether knowledge is possible.
a. In order to show that God has made foolish the wisdom of the world (1 Corinthians 1:20), the believer can place himself in the unbeliever’s position and answer him according to his folly lest he be wise in his own eyes (Proverbs 26:5), that is, the believer demonstrates the outcome of the unbelieving line of thinking with its assumptions.
b. The unbeliever’s claims should be reduced to impotence and impossibility by an internal critique of his system; that is, the apologist should demonstrate the ignorance of unbelief by arguing from the impossibility of anything contrary to Christianity.
5. The apologist should appeal to the unbeliever as the image of God, who has God’s clear and inescapable revelation, thus giving him an ineradicable knowledge of God; this knowledge can be exposed by indicating unwitting expressions or by pointing to the un-admitted presuppositions.
6. The apologist should declare the self-evidencing and authoritative truth of God as the precondition of intelligibility and man’s only way of salvation.
a. The apologist should guard against becoming like the unbeliever; he should not answer unbelievers according to their folly but according to God’s word (Proverbs 26:4).
b. Unbelievers can be invited to put themselves in the Christian position in order to see that it provides the necessary grounds for intelligible experience and factual knowledge - thereby concluding that this Christian position is the only reasonable one to hold and the very foundation for proving anything whatsoever.

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