The "sophisticated" world of Jesus' day was little different from our skeptical world. The PAX ROMANA was in force and the Greek intellectual dazzle of Aristotle and Socrates dominated educated society. Jesus and His followers often used evidential arguments and logic in their presentations.
The Message Begins at the Point of Unbelief
Throughout the New Testament, those who witnessed (including the Lord Jesus) began their presentations at the hearer's point of need—dictated by their culture and background. Nicodemus (John 3) was a genuine "seeker" with a scholar's working knowledge of the Old Testament. The woman at the well (John 4) was a Samaritan with cultic error in her heart. The Pharisees were religious legalists dominated by hypocritical sophistry (John 9 and 10). Mary and Martha were dear, believing friends who simply needed comfort in their faith (John 11). Paul dealt with pagans, sorcerers, demon-worshiping Jews, Greek philosophers, ignorant savages, and believers in every walk of life and stage of maturity.
The Gospel Never Changes; the Evidence Varies
Whether Jesus pointed to His miracles as evidence, or Paul pointed to the wonders of the created universe, the use of evidence has always been merely a tool to bring attention to the "glorious gospel" (I Timothy 1:11). The evidence does not save, the gospel "is the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16). We are commanded to be ready to "give an answer" (I Peter 3:15), but that apologia is to provide a "reason of the hope" that we have in Christ.
The Battle of Our Day Centers around Creation
Before one can come to God, he or she must believe that God "is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). All of atheistic naturalism attempts to write God out of the message. ICR is in the forefront of the battle to demonstrate the evidence of God's creative power. The ICR faculty and staff prays for the salvation of those who read, hear, and use our material. Please "hold up our hands" (Exodus 17:11-13) and enable us to prevail against the Lord's enemies.