Imagine a cheesy image of a detective with his trusty magnifying glass. A despairing citizen has come for help and his response is, “Don’t worry, I’m on the case! I’ll get to the bottom of this and discover the truth!”
Grab your magnifying glass–today we’re going on a truth search.
First let’s set the scene: You’re having a chat with a friend, who insists there was no flood as described in Genesis. You ask why she says that, and she responds, “There’s no evidence for it.” Perfect! Up to you to produce some evidence, then. Get ready for your truth search.
1. Identify the question
First, identify the question behind the comment. Often the best way to do this is to ask some questions yourself.
Here’s how this could look in our encounter:
Friend: “There’s no evidence for a global flood.”
You: “Interesting that you say that. So, the reason you don’t believe a global flood occurred is because you don’t see any evidence that it happened?”
Friend: “That’s right. Without evidence, it’s just a story, like the Epic of Gilgamesh.”
You: “I see what you mean. What kind of evidence would you expect to see if there were a global flood?”
Friend: “Well…there would be something in the rock record, right?”
CUT! Here’s what we’ve just done. We just asked a question to clarify what our friend is asking. We expressed understanding of their need for evidence. Then, we asked them what kind of evidence they expect. This will help us later when we dig for truth. Excellent–time for the next step.
2. Discover the heart of the issue
Don’t skip this step! Whether this comes out in your actual conversation, or is just something you think through for yourself, it’s crucial to pinpoint the heart of the issue as best you can. After all, the point of apologetics isn’t just to answer a bunch of factual questions. It’s to bring people closer to a relationship with God.
So, ask why. Why did your friend say what they did? Why do they have this particular question? What are their underlying assumptions, questions, and fears?
In the case of our friend with the flood question, the underlying issue is: The Bible is not a trustworthy account of events. This is the assumption we will have to address as we answer her surface question. Keep this in mind on your truth search.
3. Dig for answers
Now for the fun part. You’ve parted ways with your friend for the time being and now it’s time for a little research.
Being somewhat familiar with apologetics resources already, you open up creation.com and type “global flood” into the search bar. Bam! The first hit: an article titled “Geomorphology provides multiple evidences for the global flood.” You have no idea what “geomorphology” means, but it looks promising, so you click on it. Aha! It’s talking about the shape of the earth’s surface, including rocks and other geological features. Just like your friend mentioned.
Your eye catches on another article about the interpretation of the Biblical account. Add that one to your read list.
Before you get too excited, a brief word of caution: Don’t get caught in a never-ending link trail. You are looking for resources to answer a specific question, so don’t click from article to article until you find yourself armed to debate extraterrestrial life instead of provide geologic evidence for a global flood.
4. Have your conversation
Hopefully by now, you’ve found some helpful answers for your friend. You can respond to her request for geologic evidence for the global flood, and you can also address the underlying concern of whether or not the Bible is reliable and accurate.
A few tips for this stage:
- Have a follow-up conversation, not a lecture.
- Ask and listen more than you answer and speak.
- Ask your friend if she’d like to continue looking into the evidence together.
Congratulations! You just performed a truth search. Your confidence in this process will continue to grow and improve as you do. Don’t forget to post in the Clear Lens Forum to let us know how your truth search went, or ask for help!