Today during the gathering of my local church I witnessed a couple of young people a few rows in front of me snickering at what I thought was a remarkable presentation of “It Is Well With My Soul” sung by a group of Koreans who worship with us. Aside from many other valuable characteristics the piece was extremely aesthetically appealing yet the young people seemed to chuckle the most at the parts I thought were the most stirring. The almost total lack of appreciation for artistic beauty, not to mention (what I really intend to be in view here) the commonplace mockery of intellectualism prevalent in our culture rarely ceases to discourage me. It is no wonder that presuppositional apologetics so often are met with a blank stare. Our culture consists mainly of unthinking individuals who value entertainment above anything else.
Is there room for elaborate explanations of presuppositional argumentation in a place and time where people care more about obsessing over and voting for American Idol contestants than they do studying political philosophy in order to elect competent government officials? If only we had a culture like that of yesteryear where people really valued reason. Instead we are growing familiar with shrinking liberal arts programs in colleges which cannot afford to do anything other than teach business related courses which are more practical. Practical – at least – if one desires to enter into an almost normative desk job and make as much money as possible to purchase more entertainment than the next guy. Where is there room for presuppositional apologetics in this cultural climate? Most people who even hear a word like “presuppositional” are immediately turned off. We need to return to reason, or so it seems.
A return to “reason” apart from Christ is just as damnable as becoming a vegetable in one’s intellectual life. Even in the past when people allegedly placed much more value upon thought there nevertheless existed an abundance of the same type of fools (in the biblical sense) that exist today. We may become frustrated that people are often not willing to delve more deeply into the things of God and find that this is His world and He has revealed truth. Denying Christ results in complete absurdity in one’s thoughts and behavior, but few are willing to reason with you to ever see this truth through argumentation. Things would however be no different upon having a conversation with a well educated, deeply thinking self-proclaimed atheist who is willing to follow the arguments you present unless God brings that person to repentance from sin and faith in Christ.
People of the past valued reason, and people of today do as well, but reason is not the answer to our current problems any more than a recognition of say, “absolute truth” is. In actuality the abandonment of reason is more consistent for the non-Christian. We challenge the non-Christian concerning his or her supposed autonomy, not concerning his or her reasoning ability, though there are obviously implications which extend to that realm as well via alleged autonomy. My hope is that this brief observation will be an encouragement as well as a reminder to those reading to approach people with the Gospel as it is the only message by which people may be saved.