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Is Belief in the Accuracy of the Bible Based on Circular Reasoning?


If you have not read Stories Versus Truth, you may want to read that before reading this.

Don't forget where you are going. You get past the questions/attacks so you can proclaim the Gospel. It is the proclamation of the Gospel, not argumentation, that transforms minds. See Give Them the Gospel.

How to Handle This Question  

(The parts in quotes are just examples of what you might say or ask.)  

It is best to ask them a few questions first and to listen to their answers  

  • "Have you heard something about circular reasoning and the Bible?"
  • "I take it that someone has told you that belief in the Bible is circular reaoning. Do you understand what you have been told about that?"
  • "What is your understanding of circular reasoning?"
Let them know you understand
  • "I want you to know that I can understand how you might ask this since many followers of Christ do use circular reasoning to defend the Bible."
  • "I actually can relate to how you feel about this. I didn't understand it for a long time."
Relate to them  
  • "When I first heard this question, it seemed to challenge what I know to be true.
  • "I used to feel uneasy with the questions that came to my mind regarding this."
  • "At first glance, this question gives the appearance of being a problem."  
Tell them what God has shown to you  
  • "Then, I discovered that everything resolves down to what appears to be circular reasoning if you accept the view of those who don't believe in revelation. There is no other way it could go. If you keep asking for the reason for the conviction of anything and you really give it serious thought, you eventually get down to the root or you could call it the foundation of the person's thought. For a person who doesn't believe that God holds everything in His hand, this foundation may be the unproveable claim that everything happens by natural causes. And they believe this simply because they believe it. For the person who believes that the Bible is the Word of God and doesn't understand that it is God Himself Who told them that, they will tend to put the Bible as their foundation. They will say that they believe this because they believe it. Neither the naturalist nor the Bible believer is making any sense in these cases. The naturalist has no choice, but God showed me something about this. He told me that the reason that I believe the Bible to be the Word of God is because He told me that it is the Word of God and I believed Him. He further told me that the reason that the unbeliever does not believe that the Bible is the Word of God is because the devil told the unbeliever that it is not the Word of God. He let me know that every single human thought, word, and action has its origin in the spiritual realm. supernatural belief and trust (faith) of God comes by hearing His utterance, His voice. And unbelief comes by hearing the voice of Satan. All those who want to obey God will be able to hear His voice."
It is then good to ask an open followup question (not a "yes" or "no" question) to allow them to process what you have said.
  • "How do you see this as applying to your life?"
  • "What are your thoughts?"
  • "Where do you see this as different from your view?"  

A More Complete Answer

This is not Circular Reasoning

Here is some circular reasoning:

  1. Is the Bible the word of God without error? Yes.
  2. How do you know? Because the Bible says so.
  3. How do you know the Bible is correct? Because it was inspired by God.

This is NOT circular reasoning:

  1. How do you know that the Bible is the Word of God without error? Yes.
  2. How do you know? Because I have met with God and He leads me moment by moment. He has revealed to me that the Bible is His Word without error.  

This is NOT circular reasoning:

  1. How do you know the Bible is correct? Because God has personally told me this.
  2. How did God show you? He revealed it to me using the Bible and other means.  

It would be equally valid to say that He revealed it to you using the Bible, my conscience, a still small voice, prophecy in several Church services, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, a dream, a vision, and creation if that is the case. It is no more circular to say that God showed you something using the Bible than it is to say that a professor showed you something using a textbook.

Of course, the scoffer can always say that he or she doesn't believe you, and that is no surprise that a scoffer would scoff.  More often, they say that they don't understand.  No one wants to understand what they don't want to know about.

Ungodly people are forced to hold on tightly to some basic presuppositions.  These presuppositions are just simple-minded assumptions.  They are filters and a way to censor out any information that supports the existence of God.  They set up a web of rules to filter out God.  They will only accept those things that conform to Naturalism, materialism, and uniformitarianism.  Naturalism claims that God does nothing.  Materialism claims that there is no God or spiritual realm.  Uniformitarianism claims that there was not creation and that there was no violent worldwide flood, as the Bible and numerous other historical accounts record.  Whatever they observe that does not conform to this complex filter is censored.  The way that it is censored can take several forms.  The ungodly may boldly proclaim that, though the data appears to support God's version and refute the version of the ungodly, yet it still must be interpreted to mean just the opposite of what it does mean.  A backup method that ungodly people use is to prophecy that in the future, science will be able to explain what they see as an anomaly.  If that fails, they will hide the data, set it aside, or lie to keep the public from knowing the truth.  The data clearly demolishes the story of the ungodly and clearly supports the reality of the Creator God, His Bible, and His abiding Presence in His people.  When confronted with the obvious, a closed-minded ungodly person says, "I can't understand it."  They are willingly ignorant because they refuse to hold God in their knowledge.  The reality is that these people, for whatever reason, don't what to know the Creator.  They don't want to truly know Jesus, their Creator.


Last updated: Aug, 2013
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