By Elias Ayala (MDiv & M.A.T.)
Not all unbelievers reject Christian evidences. Some unbelievers see the evidence presented as valid and interesting although not convincing to warrant an acceptance of Christian theism. Others reject Christian evidences because they do not see the “evidences” that Christians present as valid evidence. For example, when a Christian presents historical evidence which they think points strongly to the resurrection of Jesus, the skeptic will not accept such information as warranting belief in the resurrection. They will say something to the affect that while interesting, historical evidence is too weak a foundation to warrant an acceptance of something like Christianity.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that evidences are usually marshaled to defend steps in an argument which seek to demonstrate a conclusion. Within the context of apologetics, these arguments relate to the desire to demonstrate the existence of God. So when the Christian employs evidence to support a step in an argument for God’s existence, the skeptic will often point to the fact that the evidence we use do not actually support the conclusion we derive, nor do they necessarily support the steps within our arguments. This is not a bad thing. We as defenders of the faith are not immune to using bad and logically invalid arguments; nor are we immune from invalidly using evidences to support steps within an argument.
Keeping all this in mind, there is the ever important issue of worldview differences between the Christian and the non-Christian. Because both persons (Christian and Skeptic) are wearing different worldview lenses, they necessarily approach the data with certain assumptions that affect how they interpret the data, and hence, both come to radically different conclusions.
On this level then, one of the primary reasons a skeptic tends to reject or take issue with some of the evidences the Christian presents, is that they have different presuppositions with which they come to the discussion. Because this is the case, it is important to understand that the conflict between the believer and unbeliever is not one of evidence per-say, but the interpretation of the data.
Since the debate is not really about the evidence, but worldview assumptions, now I think it is easy to see why the unbeliever often times rejects the evidences we present. They reject the evidence because they have the wrong worldview context in which the evidence we present makes any sense. And yes, they have the “wrong” worldview. Please do not take this as arrogant since I am merely pointing out that I believe the Christian worldview is true and is the proper intellectual context through which things like evidence, science, philosophy, history, etc. make sense in the first place. If I believe the Christian worldview is true then this logically entails that I believe all non-Christian World-views to be false. This is not arrogance but consistency.
On that note, a very helpful tool in apologetics and critical thinking comes in acknowledging the issue of World-views; for they act as the lens through which we see and understand the world around us. As Christians, let us be consistent in seeing the world as God has revealed it in his Word, pointing to the fact that the unbeliever, while having his own worldview, is inadequate for making sense out of anything at all.