Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Would Paul the Apostle Debate Modern Evolutionists?

Speculative questions can be as useful as a hole in a milk bucket, as you can spend a lot of time working at them, but not much get accomplished. You get a "what if" and a "yeah, but" added now and then, and folks get a mite overwrought.

On the other hand, if handled properly, though, thought experiments can be interesting and productive. Uncle Albert Einstein liked them, after all. So, let's see if we can make use of the question about whether or not Paul the Apostle would debate modern evolutionists if he rode into town today.


If the Apostle Paul were here today, we can wonder how he would have dealt with evolutionists. He did that very thing before.
Made at Break Your Own News, background image St. Paul Preaching in Athens, Raphael, 1515
Paul was enthusiastic, to say the least. He would reason, discuss, debate, and so on at the drop of a hat, and he'd drop his own hat if nobody else did. Okay, the last part is an exaggeration, but I don't reckon it's too far afield.

However, how would he deal with evolutionists? Would he try to "out evidence them" with piles of facts, hoping that if he was the best orator with the biggest prairie schooner-full of evidence, people would realize that they need to repent and bow to Jesus? That'll be the day! As I study on it, I believe one of the biggest problems with evidence-only apologetics is that the method not only appeals to the pride of the sinful man, but the pride of the apologist who is doing the presentation. We are supposed to be glorifying God, not ourselves, and Scripture clearly tells us that unbelievers are blinded and under the control of Satan. An even bigger problem is that by doing this, we are actually agreeing with unbelievers that the Bible is not true!

Now, don't be getting vexed. I'm not saying that there is no place for evidence, but it needs to be presented properly. Look at Paul in Acts 17-16-34. He was making his argument to the pagan evolutionary philosophers, just like we do today. Western society has been hijacked by materialistic philosophies, postmodernism, atheism, and evolutionism. How are we supposed to follow 1 Peter 3:15, "...ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you"? We sure as shootin' can't be an expert in every philosophy or every science view that is in vogue.

We have to believe the Bible, first and foremost. We presuppose that Scripture is true, and then we can present evidence in the proper framework that honors God. Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the others did the same thing. Also, the Bible is self-affirming.
If we jump back to Paul and consider his missionary journeys, sermons, and epistles, he saw a great number of people and surely encountered a great number of beliefs. 

. . .
In the greater context, we find Paul forced into a debate with Epicureans and Stoics. In fact, because they disagreed with him, they take him to Mars Hill (the Areopagus) to defend his views in front of the whole crowd of philosophers. So Paul masterfully begins his defense, which has gone on to become the basis for creation evangelism.
I'd take it mighty kindly if you'd read the rest of this article. To do this, click on "If Paul Were Around Today, Would He Argue Against Evolutionists?" Also, you may want to hear this short podcast of Scripture on Creation, "Creation's Role in the Gospel".

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