Connection Pitfall: premature presuppositional arguments

In “Desires in Conflict”, Josh uses an evidential critique leading to a presuppositional argument to try to convince Kevin which science is trustworthy.  There are 2 things going on here, so I want to clarify that.  1) Josh’s argument is correct, 2) That doesn’t help him connect relationally with Kevin.

Sometimes called a “nuclear strength apologetic”, a presuppositional argument is an actual end point where logically there is no other valid worldview than Biblical Christianity.  In other words, once presenting a presuppositional argument, there is no rational denial for the other person to present.  Instead of admitting their fault, most people react with whatever emotions are tied to the experience which kept them from accepting the Biblical God in the first place.  This could look like anger, fear, sadness, or for the case of someone with a shame-trauma – shame (a counter-emotion).  The only path of escape from the presuppositional argument is to deny the moral intentions of the person presenting the argument, and to interpret the argument as a trick, a trap, set and laid to intentionally repeat the previous emotional trauma.  After all, if the person putting me into the dead end argument does not love me, their logic is irrelevant.  And in this, they are, in fact, correct.  Remember, God commands us to speak the truth in love.

Far too often Christians attempt to implement this command by rationalizing: “Someone who hated him would tell him lies, thus I’m loving him by speaking truth”.  Nope. You actually have to love them, which means caring about how they feel – i.e. empathy.  I know this is hard, so I suggest practice, that’s why we’re doing this project, so you can begin to empathize with our characters, and transfer that empathy onto the real men in your life.  Before establishing a foundation for a gospel presentation, you must demonstrate in real ways your love for the person, or they will likely not believe you.  And I mean agape love, typically following phileo.  This means lots of empathizing.  This means you must truly lovingly pursue him (in a boundary-respecting way, not a creepy-stalker way).  Imagine a man dying of thirst.  Do you tell him of Jesus’s living water in the moment before he dies, or do you hand him a cold drink of water and thereby demonstrate your intentions, and then share Jesus?  Let’s start sharing those cool refreshing drinks of water with real men in our lives.

When working the details of theology, presuppositional arguments are amazingly useful, but they don’t directly address the core need of men who experience eroticized same sex attraction: acceptance, affirmation (as a gendered being) and (non-erotic) affection.