Can the existence of God be proven?

The claim is often made that the existence of God cannot be proven. Some people wonder why so much time is wasted on attempting to prove the existence of God when this is the case. There are even a great number of believers who do not think the existence of God can be proven. I cannot help but think that this false notion is usually based upon the sad history of traditional proofs for the existence of God. Traditional proofs start with the would-be autonomous human and allegedly move to finally establish the existence of God. It is not surprising, then, to see that these proofs fail for a variety of reasons. Believers are sometimes brought to question their faith more through being presented with these proofs than they would have had they never heard such arguments.

Presuppositional apologetics differ from traditional approaches to apologetics in many ways. Much unlike classical and evidentialist apologetics, what God thinks of things is taken into account first and foremost as opposed to what sinful humanity thinks of them. What humans have devised with respect to alleged proofs for the existence of God is of small import. Thus, when people make statements about our inability to prove the existence of God, we should dismiss what the creature has to say on the subject and turn immediately to what God has to say. What these objectors mean by “proof” may be tremendously different from what God means by it. If we seek to think through the objection that the existence of God cannot be proven utilizing the authority of Scripture rather than our own authority, we will ask if God has met His own standard of proof. The answer, of course, is that He has.

It is shocking to me to hear Christians state that the existence of God cannot be proven when God Himself gives a plethora of information in His Word regarding how He views the evidences and proofs for His existence. Do we really think we know more than God on this subject? What a silly thought! The reason humanity is without excuse before Almighty God is because God has, according to His own Word, provided sufficient reason to believe in Him. Every person who enters the world not only sees the glory of God in every fact of existence, but also knows God for who He is. If you doubt this, then I would recommend spending some time with passages like Psalm 19 and Romans 1. Such passages changed my entire outlook on apologetics, and it is my prayer that they would do the same for you!

The next time someone tells you that the existence of God cannot be proven, start questioning his or her bold assumption. Ask the individual how he or she came to this conclusion, what the individual means by “proof”, and whether or not the God of the Bible believes He has proven His own existence. To reject that God has given us sufficient evidence to prove His own existence is to call God a liar. We need only repeat what Scripture has to say in order to execute a sound biblical apologetic. Whether or not a person claims to be persuaded by the proof God provides of Himself is irrelevant to the truth that He has provided such proof. God’s view of things is the only one which matters. If we follow Scripture then we must understand that God has revealed Himself to everyone in such a way that it is ludicrous to claim that He does not exist. This ludicrousness is what the presuppositional apologist points out in the unbeliever’s worldview when he or she is faithful to the apologetic provided for us in God’s Word.

God Is The Potter

…my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored Him who lives forever,

for His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

and His kingdom endures from generation to generation;

all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

and He does according to His will among the host of heaven

and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand

or say to Him, “What have you done?”

Daniel 4.34-35

That any human being might possess the ability to frustrate the will of God is one of many exceedingly arrogant doctrines taught in the Church today. Imagine the absurdity of worshipping a God who wills to do something but is unable to because His own creation stands in the way. Not only is this popular position on the relationship of God to created people unbiblical, but it would result in our inability to know anything if it were true.

A child has no trouble understanding that there is nothing to fear with respect to the mudpie she just made. A creation has no power over its creator. A potter does what he wants to do with the clay. So it is with God. (Romans 9.20-21) God is the Creator. We are created. (Genesis 2.7) Scripture everywhere attests to this distinction. To go against the great truth of God’s sovereignty over all of His creation is to turn one’s understanding of things on its head. Nevertheless, a great number of allegedly orthodox believers are plagued with this sinful would-be role reversal. Eve was told that she would be like God. (Genesis 3.5) Eve thought that she might know some fact independently of God. Eve was deceived. (1 Timothy 2.14) Those who reject passages of Scripture which clearly teach that God is sovereign as God are likewise deceived.

Our epistemology is revelational. We are able to have knowledge as we think God’s thoughts after Him. God made every fact what it is. God’s view of things is the only one which matters. For God, ‘all the facts are in’. Thus, we know a fact aright when our thoughts about that fact are in agreement with God’s thoughts.

The false, unbiblical theology which states that all of God’s will is not accomplished places humanity at the center of things and involves facts which are not created facts. Since, in this view, the creature is taken to possess enough power to overcome the will of God; there are some facts which God has not created. These are facts God has no control over. These are facts which exist apart from God. For example, if evil does not come about in accordance with the will of God, then it exists only because humanity or some other creature has willed that it exist apart from God’s will. Evil is falsely believed to be out of the control of God. The will of the creature trumps that of its Creator. The pot has overpowered the Potter. Some attempt to weasel their way out of this absurdity by submitting that only the possibility of evil is according to the will of God. However, this still places evil in God’s plan, a conclusion which runs counter to the claims of those who wrongfully think we possess the ability to resist the sovereign will of God.

Evil, like everything else, comes about according to the will of God. (Ephesians 1.11) That humanity should do evil has always been a part of God’s plan. (e.g. Acts 4.27-28) God is not Himself evil, nor does He Himself actually perform evil, but rather has planned that evil occur. In fact, everything which occurs does so according to God’s plan! (Isaiah 46.10) This includes conversion. (Ephesians 1.4) Every person who is converted to Christ is converted according to the will of God. (2 Thessalonians 2.13)

Both the fact of evil and the fact of conversion are facts created and hence controlled by God. If it were any other way, then we could not know anything, for there would be facts which exist independent of God. If there were even one fact which might be known apart from God, then there is no reason to suppose that it could not be the same for other facts. Therefore the current infatuation with the idea of a weak and pathetic god who is subject to the will of his own creatures is fatal to our epistemological endeavors. Everything is rendered unintelligible through this false conception of God due to its inherent inconsistency with the idea of facts deriving their meaning from God. No fact can exist or be known apart from God. Thus a theology which rejects the complete sovereignty of God is wholly inadequate to deal with the challenges of worldly philosophy and is incompatible with presuppositional apologetics.

The Problem of Evil – Part 4

Two Considerations for a Solution

There are two considerations when offering a solution to the Problem of Evil from a Presuppositional standpoint. In order to look at the first, let’s reconsider the formalized statement of the problem:

a) God is all powerful
b) God is all loving
c) God knows that evil exists
d) Evil does exist
e) Therefore, God does not exist

Notice that this takes the form of a deductive argument, meaning that the conclusion “God does not exist” follows with necessity just as long as every one of the premises is true, and just as long as the form of the argument itself is valid (which in this case, it is).

An important aspect of the argument above to recognize is the difference between premises a-c, and premise d. In presenting this argument, the unbeliever is stating premises a-c as hypotheticals; that is, according to the claims of Christianity, premises a-c are true. However, premise d is presented as fact. 9 times out of 10 the unbeliever does not say “the Bible claims that evil exists”, but rather “evil exists”. Let’s consider why this distinction matters.

When presenting the argument above, the unbeliever is attempting to demonstrate the truth of all of his/her premises in order to demonstrate the conclusion is true. We, as believers, “give” premises a-c to the unbeliever, since those are the attributes of God found in the Bible. However, we don’t need to “give” premise d to the unbeliever, at least not at the outset.

Please note that I am not claiming that we, as Christians, do not believe evil exists – we obviously do. However, as the burden is on the unbeliever to make their case, there is a real benefit in pressing them to demonstrate that premise d is true. After all, if a demonstration of the existence of evil is not forthcoming from the unbeliever, then they have failed to prove that God does not exist. The purpose in taking this tack is not to avoid the question of whether evil exists, but rather to press the unbeliever’s worldview to demonstrate their inability to make the argument in the first place.

With that said, ask the unbeliever to demonstrate that evil exists. In doing so, be sure to clarify that they must offer an objective demonstration of this, if they wish to demonstrate their conclusion that God does not exist. This is exactly the point at which you can press the issue of worldviews, as the unbeliever does not have an objective, non-arbitrary set of presuppositions to use as a foundation to demonstrate that evil exists.

Short of offering an objective foundation for the existence of evil, the best the unbeliever can do is turn to you and state “but don’t you believe evil exists?” This is exactly what you want them to ask!

We will cover the second consideration next time around, and offer the Biblical answer to the problem.

— BK

C.S. Lewis…The Presuppositionalist?

Even though I strongly disagree with C.S. Lewis in many areas, I find myself strongly attracted to his ability to display the truth in powerful and beautiful words all at once. I have pulled some quotes from the works of C.S. Lewis that I most certainly agree with and could never dream of improving upon. Some of these thoughts are representative of the presuppositional method of apologetics, which I cannot imagine anyone ascribing to C.S. Lewis. If the claims of this method of apologetics are true though, we should expect to find it resting at the bottom of apologists’ arguments.

I pray that you will read closely, slowly, and savor every word. Afterall, “100 per cent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased”. These are serious matters, and no one could make certain that we understood this more than Lewis could.


“The notion that everyone would like Christianity to be true, and therefore all atheists are brave men who have accepted the defeat of all their deepest desires, is simply impudent nonsense.”

“A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere—’Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,’ as Herbert says, ‘fine nets and stratagems.’ God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”

“Really, a young Atheist cannot guard his faith too carefully. Dangers lie in wait for him on every side.”


“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. … Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless–I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

“If naturalism were true then all thoughts whatever would be wholly the result of irrational causes…it cuts its own throat.”

“When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all.”

Evidence of God

“The universe rings true wherever you fairly test it.”

“‘Something of God…flows into us from the blue of the sky, the taste of honey, the delicious embrace of water whether cold or hot, and even from sleep itself.'”

“If the universe is so bad…how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute it to the activity of a wise and good Creator?”


“Whenever you find a man who says he doesn’t believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later.”

“This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people.”

“Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can’t really get rid of it.”


“We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin.”

“Every uncorrected error and unrepented sin is, in its own right, a fountain of fresh error and fresh sin flowing on to the end of time.”

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Implicit Contradictions

Well, I haven’t made much progress with the “Militant Atheist” I spoke of the other day, but I have gotten him to contradict himself. It happened in another part of the same discussion thread, where he and I were basically trading insults (yes, I know – I shouldn’t even bother). Here is how the conversation went (btw, I changed his handle to “MA” to protect his identity):

MA: “The only standard that needs to be considered is the scientific method. If you can’t do it, then just admit it so I can quit wasting my time.”

BK: “If this is a waste of time why do you continue to respond?”

MA: “Becuase I enjoy watching you avoid something we both know you can’t do. It is funny”

BK: “Well which is it? Do you want me to “admit” something and stop wasting your time, or do you want me to keep it up so you can “enjoy” yourself?”

Pointing out this implicit contradiction (that he wanted me to stop what I was doing as it was a waste of time, yet he really wanted me to keep doing it as he enjoyed it) really changes nothing in the overall discussion between us. However, pointing out such slip-ups helps keep us both on our toes.

— BK


It never ceases to amaze me how difficult it is to reason about our presuppositions.

The most natural approach to reasoning, I believe, is to rest upon our presuppositions blindly, without thinking about them at all. This is apparent to me time and time again in discussions I have with unbelievers. A rather enormous challenge in presuppositional apologetics, therefore, is getting your opponent to see that they have presuppositions, and that they must give an account for them. This is no easy task, believe me! The discussion I had two days ago was no exception.

There is this discussion board that I literally “lived” on for the past 7 years, that I have only now begun to wean myself from. It hasn’t been all bad, actually – I learned a great deal about the beliefs of others, and about what I didn’t know about my own beliefs by spending time on that board. My skin grew thick from the constant abuse I took there, and my skills as an apologist grew greatly from what they were when I started out.

Two days ago I ventured back to that board, and entered into a discussion about prayer. Never one to give even an inch to Christianity, this individual latched on to one of my comments and immediately challenged me to prove that “my god” answers prayer. Seeing an opportunity to challenge his presuppositions, I responded – and we were off!

After a few exchanges, where he challenged me to prove the truth of the Bible, I said to him “I’m not trying to prove the authority of scripture – I am relying upon it“, realizing – hoping actually – that he would challenge me to account for what I was relying upon. Sure enough, he responded with “Well, before you can rely on it, you must prove it is valid“. After some more back and forth, he set the bar with the following – “The ONLY way to demonstrate that the bible is true is by hard evidence and facts“. This was the perfect lead-in to start to challenge him about his standard, which I proceeded to do.

I then asked him “what standard are you measuring [your standard] against” and “why should you use this standard, and not another?” His response? “The validity of my standard can be validated in every observation that that has ever been made that resulted in a hypothesis that was tested and validated (or not) since the beginning of history.

This was just what I was hoping for. I countered with “So your standard is validated by using the very thing your standard relies upon – evidence, reasoning, and the scientific method“, hoping that he would see the circular nature of his argument. He didn’t. It required another few rounds of back and forth before he finally realized he couldn’t simply assume that his standard was valid, and responded with “Okay then, how would you suggest demonstrating the validity of the scientific method?“.

I will likely return to the board in the next day or so to respond, at which point I have no idea how far I will get with him.

Regardless, this conversation got me thinking. There has to be a way to make presuppositionalism succinct. There has to be a way to get right to the heart of the matter, within just a few minutes, because there is so much time to spend after you reach that point. What is that “heart of the matter” of which I speak? Getting your opponent to realize that they are arguing from a standard – a worldview – that itself needs to be accounted for.

This is one of my goals to tackle – to figure out a “formula” (for lack of a better word) to accomplish this.


— BK

A Study of “Always Ready” – Part 3

So on Sunday the “Choosing Hats” study group met once again via Skype, and went through chapter 10 of “Always Ready”. We also recorded the study – or so we thought.

At this point, I am waiting on a return email from technical support for the developer of the plugin I used to record from within Skype. All of the tests we did worked fine, but the 5.5GB!!!! file that represents our hour-long discussion now seems to be corrupt. Hopefully (God willing) they will be able to assist me in removing the source of the corruption in the file.

So for those of you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next installment … don’t slide off!

— BK

More on the Free Will Defense

The article below on the Free Will Defense to the Problem of Evil has generated some interesting comments. Here is one that caught my attention:

Perhaps in heaven God’s immediate presence naturally produces the desire to remain as such, which consistently trumps any potential desire to sin.

I don’t think it is God’s presence so much as it is the fact that we have been changed from the inside out.

Chapter 9 of the Westminster Confession of Faith states the following:

Chapter IX

Of Free Will

I. God has endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined good, or evil.

II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God; but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it.

III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.

IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage under sin; and, by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he does not perfectly, or only, will that which is good, but does also will that which is evil.

V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only.

Supporting scripture …

[11] EPH 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. HEB 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. 1JO 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. JUD 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.


— BK

The Problem of Evil – Part 3

The Common Solution

Given the fact that the Problem of Evil has been around for centuries, it should be no surprise that Christians have come up with (what they believe to be) solutions to the problem. And although many different approaches to solving this have been attempted, one approach in particular stands out as the most common. This is typically termed the Free Will Defense.

As the name implies, the Free Will Defense starts with the assumption that people have free will, and therefore have the ability to choose to do either good or evil. According to this view, God didn’t create robots (that would not be a loving God, after all), and so the existence of evil is therefore a potential situation. Since people have the freedom to choose to do good acts or evil acts, it is ultimately their freedom of will that brings about these evil deeds.

There is, however, a large problem with this particular line of defense. All the unbeliever need do is bring up the subject of Heaven, and the free will defense completely collapses. Why is this the case? Well, consider that there will be no sin (i.e. evil) in Heaven, but there will be people there who purportedly still have free will.

The unbeliever may point out that since the inhabitants of Heaven have free will, and free will can lead to evil (the very basis of the free will defense), then what is to guarantee us that there will be no evil in Heaven? It seems that the Christian must either give up free will, or the existence of evil in Heaven, or he must rethink his defense.

Now, in response to this challenge, the Christian might claim that God actually keeps people from sinning in Heaven[1], as that is the only way to be certain sin will never enter his presence. In other words, God actively works in people in order to keep them from sinning. However, the unbeliever can simply point out that God could also do the same thing on earth. If God is able to suppress people’s ability to sin in Heaven, then he certainly could do so here on earth. He is an all-powerful God, after all.

The Christian might instead claim that the inhabitants of Heaven will be able to sin, but that God knows that they will not sin. In other words, the claim that there will be no sin in Heaven is purely prophetic, rather than decretive[2]. For instance, heaven may be such a wonderful place, that the Christian never again will have the desire to choose evil, and therefore will not.

But the unbeliever is bound to ask some questions. For instance, how many variations of creation did God “test drive” (by looking ahead at an eternity of people’s choices) before creating the world he did, in order to guarantee that none of the people who end up in heaven will ever sin? Besides, the fact that God chose to create a universe where he knew people would sin (at least on earth) still makes God the ultimate cause of sin, it seems.

In addition, and more to the point, why didn’t God simply create earth just like heaven in the first place? Didn’t God know ahead of time how people would act? Didn’t he know that they would sin and do evil deeds? Doesn’t the fact that God could create a place free from sin (even if it partially owes to man’s free will), and yet he didn’t, mean that he is not all-loving? Doesn’t the fact that God knows there is evil going on right here and now mean he is also to blame for not stopping it by using the same “fix” he uses in Heaven?

The fact is, no matter what tack this Christian takes in using the free will defense, he must be able to provide an answer to the Heaven Test. The existence of a sin-free Heaven is a real problem for the Christian that chooses to use the free will defense.

In addition to the free will defense, there are a variety of other approaches that Christians use, each of which ultimately fails the “Heaven Test”. If God could have created earth just like Heaven (or just skipped earth altogether), then he is either not all loving for being unwilling to do so, or he is not all-powerful, for being unable to do so.

Next time we’ll look at what I believe to be the Biblical (and only possible) answer to the Problem of Evil.

— BK

[1] Of course, it should be obvious that this answer presents a real problem for anyone presenting the free will defense in the first place, as it would seem that God is messing around with the will of people, in order to keep them from sinning.

[2] A purely prophetic claim means God “looks ahead” at the choices his creatures will make, and realizes that none of them will sin in Heaven. A decretive claim indicates that God, in some sense, is in control of Heaven and does not allow any sin.