Presuppositional Apologetics

By George Alvarado

The most compelling (and some would argue the most biblical) of all three categories, Presuppositional Apologetics (PA) assumes the existence of God and the truth of Scripture as being absolute without our permission. It is biblically validated by Romans 1:18-19 when Paul reveals that mankind already knows that the God of the Bible exists and all that He has revealed is indeed true, we just suppress it in unrighteousness. In PA, it is not our job to “convince” the sinner using scientific evidence, logical arguments, etc. in order to sway them to believe (although we can use evidence and logic as complementary components), it’s our job to reveal how, without God and His truth, we cannot know anything to be true, including science, logic, etc.

To illustrate PA a little better, let’s say that someone asks you to prove that God exists. You point out various logical reasons, and perhaps even some scientific knowledge to show how DNA is proof there is an intelligent designer. The person then responds with a more logical and more scientific answer than yours as a rebuttal. You can either continue trying to prove to the person the truth of Scripture despite the fact they already possess an unbelieving heart, or you can affirm that what God and Scriptures teach are true regardless of whether one chooses to believe it or not. A caveat to this would be to reveal that any other worldview is inevitably self-contradictory in comparison to the testimony of Scripture.

The basic fundamental fact of presuppositional apologetics is the understanding that no one is neutral in any argument. Everyone affirms some sort of “truth” in any discussion or debate. For example, Christians, when we are preaching the gospel, are presuppositional standing in the position that what Scripture says is indeed true. An unbeliever, standing on the side of evolution, skepticism, relativism, Islam, or anything else that is contrary to Scripture, is affirming their side is absolutely true. Understanding a person’s presuppositions is central for a Christian to help someone discover how their worldview is wrong, and thus should leave them “without excuse” (Romans 1:20) before God; in other words, without a defense.