With tomorrow being Christmas I decided to resurrect this post from nine or so years ago. I feel the same way about evidential arguments for the veracity of the birth of Jesus Christ as I do about His resurrection. There is no neutral ground.
"Evangelicals are often prone to generate inductive arguments for the veracity of Christianity based on the historical resurrection of Christ, and such arguments occupy central importance in this apologetic. It is felt that if a man would simply consider the 'facts' presented and use his common reasoning sense he would be rationally compelled to believe the truth of scripture. In such a case the evidences for Christ's resurrection are foundational to apologetical witnessing, whereas their only proper place is confirmatory of the believer's presupposed faith. There is a certain impropriety about attempting to move an opponent from his own circle into the circle of Christian belief by appealing to evidence for the resurrection, and there are many reasons why the evidentialist's building a case for Christianity upon neutral ground with the unbeliever ought to be avoided."
- Greg Bahnsen
It's with this frame of reference that I went with some of my family to hear Josh McDowell speak at a church in our area this morning. I have read some of his books including Evidence That Demands a Verdict and More Than a Carpenter. I greatly appreciate his defense of the faith even though I do not share his approach. I was expecting a standard apologetic presentation defending Christian faith with evidentialist arguments.
Instead he gave a talk aimed squarely at believing parents, specifically fathers. Using a pyramid model, he discussed how familial relationships engender beliefs which help to develop a values system which influences behavior.
His talk challenged me to examine if my faith practically informs my relationship with my children so they do not hear empty words but see this faith expressed in my relationship with their mother and with them.