Quartz Hill School of Theology

Appendix One

Apologetic Flowchart

Presuppositions of modern science that also underlie Christianity:

Axiom 1: There is an actually existing, objectively real, external universe.

Axiom 2: The external universe is attainable accurately by our senses.

Axiom 3: The external universe is orderly and endowed with cause and effect and it follows the laws of logic.

A question rises at this point: has the universe always existed, or did it have a beginning? It is now almost universally accepted that:

Axiom 4: The external universe had a beginning.

The above four axioms are the points of agreement between theists and non-theists. The differences arise with the next axiom:

Axiom 5: If the universe had a beginning, then --

Theistic Perspective
Non-theistic Perspective
it had an intelligent cause it had no intelligent cause

Based on how the above axiom is worded, the development in thinking then will branch markedly between a theist and a non-theist:

Theistic Perspective
Non-theistic Perspective
1. What is the nature of this higher intelligence? 1. Such a question is nonsensical

a. If a higher intelligence exists, then
"How can we know anything about

b. If God/gods have performed a self-
revelation, which revelation is the real one?

c. If Monotheism is correct, then which is it:
Judaism, Islam, or Christianity?

d. If Jesus is the savior of the world, what is
the personal significance?

2. "How did the universe begin?" 2. "How did the universe begin?"


Obviously the answer to the question of how the universe began will differ markedly based on the presuppositions underlying it. Notice that the cause of four extra steps on the theistic side is necessitated by first determining the nature of the cause of the universe, before tackling the how of the universe.

As an example of how this chart works out practically, take the question of evolution vs. creationism. Frankly, it is rarely discussed properly. The above presuppositions must first be established, and any worthwhile discussion between a theist and a non-theist regarding the question is highly unlikely until then. In fact, evolution vs. creationism is best argued between theists, where there is some basic agreement on presuppositions. Discussions between theists and non-theists would better take place at an earlier presuppositional level; i.e. it is probably best to confine discussion to the question of the existence of God. For theists and nontheists to discuss questions of origin and the how of creation is nonsensical.

From the theology book by R.P. Nettelhorst, Does God Have a Long Nose?

Contact Details

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Email: info@theology.edu
Website: www.theology.edu

Quartz Hill School of Theology
43543 51st Street West
Quartz Hill, CA 93536

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