Do Christians Always Have the Burden of Proof?

Nanyangosaurus_dinosaurI was talking about creation theology with a friend of mine yesterday and somehow we got onto the topic of Dinosaurs. The questions was, do we have an obligation to explain this within the context of creation. During the back and forth I asked him, what if they missed the arc because they were outside playing with the unicorns? Of course I thought this was funny and it stopped my friend in his track because, well, how do you respond to that statement? Have you ever been caught off guard by a statement with weak or outrages claims and then tried to defend against it? As Christian we sometimes get called upon to answer every charge or statement levied against the bible including things that are not in it.

The Transnational principle of law: Trans-Lex.org states that, the burden of proof is often associated with the Latin Maxim, semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, “the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges”. What this means to me is that when someone lays a claim at my feet or makes a statement, I am not the one obligated to prove or disprove it, they are.

Take for example the problem of evil. The most reasonable explaination for evil is that there is a just God, otherwise we wouldn’t recognize it. This topic and issue has been pretty heavily documented on this site so I won’t go into to much of a defense of that statement here. This is however, one of the most levied objections against Christians. It would seem to me that evil is more of a problem for the athiest than it is for the Christian, we understand it becasue evil is built into our theology. So if we take the principle of the burden of proof and apply it to evil, I would say that the athiest has alot of work to do in making a case for evil that excludes God especially if they bring the objection.

I am not saying that we never give our reasoning and defend our positions but, I think we need to give careful consideration of who has the burden of proof when a statement is made at the beginning of a conversation. Recognizing that the other person has made a statement and not asked a question should give us a good indication of who has the burden of proof at the start of an exchange of ideas.

Jassen Bluto

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