Answering the Highly-Educated Atheist
by Dr. Jason Lisle (PhD in astrophysics from the University of Boulder)
Most people just blindly assume that our senses are reliable, that the mind is rational, and that the universe is orderly and understandable.
Few people think to ask, “Why should knowledge be possible?”
Although there is a place for discussing scientific details, it is good to remember that science itself is based on a Christian worldview. We must patiently get the unbeliever to realize that he couldn’t even do science if his evolutionary worldview were true.
If (macro) evolution were true, would there be any reason to think that the mind would be capable of rational analysis? If the universe were just the aftermath of a big bang, why would we expect it to be orderly or comprehensible? If the universe is just matter in motion, then how could there be abstract laws, such as mathematics and logic, which are required for rational thinking? If any alternative to Christianity were true, then there would be no foundation for any of the things necessary for knowledge.
This isn’t to say that non-Christians cannot know anything. Obviously they can. But this is possible only because they are being inconsistent—implicitly relying on biblical principles while simultaneously denying the Bible.
Consider those who say, “Christians are dishonest. They teach that God created the world only thousands of years ago, which is clearly false.” First, using the “don’t answer” strategy, (from Proverbs 26:4) you’d reject the starting assumption of the critic and say something like this: “I don’t accept your claim that teaching creation is dishonest. We are equally convinced that evolution is untrue.”
Then you’d go to the “answer” part of the strategy (Proverbs 26:5) and show that the critic’s position is inconsistent: “But for the sake of argument, even if we were lying, why would that be wrong according to your worldview? The idea that it’s wrong to lie is a Biblical concept. Lying is wrong because it’s contrary to the nature of God. But in an evolutionary universe, on what basis could I say that it’s wrong to lie—particularly if it benefits my survival? I understand you agree with me that it’s wrong to lie. But my point is that such a belief makes sense only if the Bible is true.”