At a local Bible conference, a respected seminary professor unintentionally contradicted the apostle Paul. During the Q&A session, he opined that “you cannot prove the existence of God to anyone because you must choose to believe in God.” While the second half of that statement is correct, the first half fails Forensic Evidences 101, clashing with the proof principles taught in Romans 1:18-28.1
Did the seminary professor’s reasoning mischaracterize God’s proofs of His creatorship? If so, how did he stumble? The professor confused proof with persuasion.
Studying God’s truth, while appreciating its “many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3, KJV), is a sanctified usage of our minds. By intentionally glorifying God as our Creator and being grateful to Him as our Maker, we logically worship our Lord God.1 As ICR President Dr. Randy Guliuzza often notes, worship is the logical response to seeing and understanding God’s handiwork.2 This demonstrates the doxological role of biblical creation apologetics.1,3
Yet, creation apologetics has a horizontal role, too—we also share the evidences of God’s creatorship with others. Creation evidences are like testifying witnesses and trial exhibits that illustrate the work of the Creator, including His bioengineering genius and providential care.3
However, documenting and explaining these wonderful witnesses of creation don’t automatically convert skeptics into believers.3,4 Why? Because proof is not the same as persuasion.
Proof requires giving relevant information, true facts. But persuasion requires choice: “clearly seen” truth can be accepted or rejected.1,3,4 Proof of relevant, clearly seen facts—what the apostle Paul called “clearly seen” evidences (Romans 1:20)—is proof beyond an honest doubt, which can be (and often is) rejected when a person’s receptiveness to truth is corrupted.3,4 Such corruption comes from suppressing available God-given truth (Romans 1:18). Evolutionists attribute their origins to accidents occurring to inanimate material. Some imagine that geophysical elements somehow selected and/or sculpted inorganic nonlife into procreating life forms. Some accredit life on Earth to immigrating meteor-borne crystals or to lucky ingredients self-assembling inside a warm pond.1,3 In short, such imaginations are idolatry.2-4
Carefully presenting God’s truth along with its many infallible proofs can simultaneously glorify God and serve others, benefiting them with relevant information and insights. But no matter how skilled our presentation is, no matter how conclusive our evidences are, we cannot choose for others to believe that truth.
As Paul reminded the Christians in Rome, God manifests His power and glory in us—our own bodies are walking, talking, blood-circuiting, breathing witnesses of who God is as our Creator.4,5 God holds every breath we take—and every breath is itself a providential miracle!5
So, there is no lack of adequate proof of our Creator’s existence, power, wisdom, care, and glory. Rather, those who choose to be unpersuaded are, as the apostle Paul says, “without excuse.”5
- See generally Morris, H. M. 1996. Many Infallible Proofs. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, in light of Romans 1 and Psalm 19. See also Johnson, J. J. S. 2012. Genesis Critics Flunk Forensic Science 101. Acts & Facts. 41 (3): 8-9.
- “In short, people will either believe that God creates nature or that nature creates itself.” Guliuzza, R. J. Gaia and Selectionism’s Nature Worship. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org January 31, 2020. See also Guliuzza, R. J. 2011. Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: Natural Selection’s Idolatrous Trap. Acts & Facts. 40 (11): 12-15, in light of Genesis 6:5; Romans 1:21; John 1:10-12; 2 Corinthians 10:5; and Jeremiah 17:9.
- Acts 1:3; Job 12:7-9. Regarding doxological apologetics, see Johnson, J. J. S. 2019. Sanctifying our Hearts with Apologetics. Acts & Facts. 48 (12): 21, in light of 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 1:3-4. Regarding “reprobate mind” unbelief, see Johnson, J. J. S. New York Seminarians Worship Plants. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org January 7, 2020.
- Romans 1:20, 28 (“reprobate mind”); 2 Timothy 3:8 (“corrupt minds”). See also Johnson, J. J. S. 2011. Quintillions of Creation Witnesses: Blood Service Agents Testify for Creation. Acts & Facts. 40 (5): 8-9.
- Guliuzza, R. J. 2009. Made in His Image: Breath of Life. Acts & Facts. 38 (6): 10-11. See also Daniel 5:23; Job 12:9-10; and Romans 1:19-20.
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.