A couple of definitions:
Apologetics: n., Reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something
Christian apologetics: Christian apologetics is the science of defending the Christian faith against intellectual accusations and objections whether they come from hostile skeptics or sincere seekers.
Presuppose: v., Suppose or believe in advance. adj., presuppositional:
Pesuppositional apologetics for the Christian then would be the science of a reasoned defense of the faith carrying certain beliefs (suppositions) into the debate or dialogue
OR, more simply put:
“Read the Bible, and believe what is says.”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Rom 1:18-23 ESV)
The above passages says:
Everyone believes that God exists (presupposition), however some suppress the truth they already know. Those who suppress the truth of God’s existence end up with muddled (futile) thinking and claiming to be wise, they become fools.
Don’t go around calling unbelievers fools with dark hearts, but when you get into a discussion about the existence of God, walk in with the ‘presupposition’ that all men DO know God exists in spite of any protests to the contrary. It’s in the text of Romans 1, therefore it is true.
For example, if someone asks “How do you know that God exists?”, you can enthusiastically answer “The same way you do, my friend!” (See Romans 1)
Or if someone demands that you ‘prove’ the existence of God, you don’t need to go into ‘lawyer’ mode and put God on trial. After all, God’s the judge, not the defendant. However, since you read the Bible and believe what it says, you can ask “Since you already know God exists (Romans 1), why do you want me to prove it?”
Keep in mind that the conversation could then take a number of turns. But no matter where it goes from there, stick to what the Bible has to say, after all you believe what it says on all matters – it’s your standard of truth. And actually, that’s another ‘presupposition’ you carry into the dialogue – The Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and the standard of all truth.
Even if they don’t like what you have to say, they will walk away knowing you believe what you believe and won’t back down. That will always count for something. Share the truth with love and respect and God will do the rest.
Who knows if one day someone you stood your ground with and who walked away in a huff will one day walk up to you and say “Remember what you told me that time about God, and I ran screaming from the room? Well, guess what’s happened since then?” Then you hear how God melted a hard heart and another child of God was ushered into the Kingdom. You’ll rejoice with the angels!
Food for thought on a Saturday afternoon.