How can I talk about the existence of God with someone who refuses to listen to the Bible?

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This is the beauty of classical apologetics. It’s a two-step apologetic. We can start with the existence of God.

I will go back to Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas said that if you have an unknown thing and a known thing, you go from the known thing to the unknown. So, what do we know? We know the world as an effect. But what do we not know? What’s hidden? It’s the cause. The effect leads us to the cause, so we focus on the effect. This is where the classical arguments come in—the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, etc. These are Thomas Aquinas’ Five Ways. That is natural theology. It leads us to the conclusion that this is indeed the world God made. Paul does this in Acts 14 and Acts 17.

We can make a case for the reliability of Scripture. We can look at the external corroboration of the events that happened in Scripture. Go ahead and compare it to the Qur’an or the Book of Mormon—the Bible is unique among religious texts. Its events happened in plain view. This, to me, is one of the strongest apologetics for Scripture. There is an ordinariness to it. It’s not some sort of cosmic book that you need a decoder ring to figure out. So, what does that point to? It points us to think: “This is a unique book. Maybe I should pay attention to it.”

So, we have at our disposal reason and argument to lead someone to Scripture, but we don’t have to start there. We can lead someone there. That is the beauty and the genius of classical apologetics.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Stephen Nichols and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email or message us on Facebook or Twitter.