Cornelius Van Til says that “there is certain proof for the existence of God” He continues: The Reformed apologist maintains that there is a valid argument for the existence of God and the truth of Christian theism. He cannot do less without virtually admitting that God’s revelation to man is not clear.
Scripture says that God exists. So here, the truthfulness of Scripture would be one hypothesis, and the teaching that God exists would be another. In our previous analysis, this argument is a sound one. The first premise is true because Scripture is God’s Word and, therefore, is inerrant. Most intelligent unbelievers today would dismiss it simply by denying the biblical authority on which it is based. One way to approach this problem is to revise our concept of logical proof in apologetics. We might say that an argument, to be proof, must be persuasive to every rational person.
I think persuasion is an important concept, but I’m not at all convinced that persuasion should be incorporated into proof. That would limit our proofs to those that persuade people. Scripture teaches that good proofs do not always convince, for unbelievers repress the truth. One might note that this process of suppression is not rational. Unbelievers do not fall into the category of a reasonable person in the proposed definition of the concept of logical proof in apologetics. Then that definition is of no apologetic significance.
The apologist has no obligation to refuse such requests, for God’s revelation is in all creation. Even those facts that unbelievers use to oppose Christianity are seen to have God’s mark on them. Even evil is quite unexplainable apart from a Christian theistic worldview. Broader arguments seem to work best.
Summary on Restrictions
The only restrictions on an apologetic argument that emerges from our discussion so far are these:
(1) The premises and logic of the argument must be consistent with biblical teaching (including biblical epistemology), and
(2) The premises must be accurate and logically valid.
(3) The specific subject matter of the argument must take into account the specific situation of the inquirer: his education, his interests, his questions, and so on.
No single argument is guaranteed to persuade every unbeliever or to assuage every doubt in a believer’s heart. But since every fact testifies to the reality of God, the apologist has no shortage of resources but rather a great abundance. Let us know what you think in the comments below.