Tire Track Apologetics

Belief in God as the Creator and Sustainer of all things is the most foundational theological truth of the Christian faith.

Scripture begins with the statement “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). It is no surprise that many of our apologetic conversations center around this important doctrine. The fact that we are created beings accountable to our Creator has a profound impact on a person’s worldview. However, we know that not everyone accepts this truth.

Argument From Design

One approach to present the reality of God’s existence is the “argument from design.” Essentially this is an appeal to logic. When we see obvious signs of design, we immediately understand that there was a designer involved. Typically this argument relies on complex and orderly examples to make the logical connection (think of a pocket watch or Mount Rushmore).

A Simpler Approach

The argument from design can actually be strengthened by giving examples of relatively simple things which we would still never attribute to mere chance.

Consider the impressions a vehicle’s tires make in the mud. Although a tire track is a rather simple pattern pressed into the wet ground, no reasonable person would see one and entertain the possibility of it occurring naturally.

Everyone who comes across a set of tire tracks rightly assumes that some sort of vehicle has recently driven through the area. There is little chance that you could convince someone of any other possible explanation. When we see evidence of design, even a simple pattern pressed into the earth, we know that there must be a cause outside of natural forces.

If we cannot bring ourselves to believe that wind, water, or erosion has caused a rudimentary pattern, we can argue that it is also reasonable to attribute the abundance of complex life on earth to a Creator. If even simple things point to external causes, how can the incredible complexity we see in the created world, and in our own bodies, be attributed to impersonal natural causes?

Conversational Apologetics

When we think of arguments for the existence of God or for the fact that we are His workmanship, it is easy to be overwhelmed. We aren’t sure where to start or what evidences we can present reasons for our belief in God as Creator to a skeptical friend or relative.

Rather than trying to memorize and present more complex reasoning such as the teleological or cosmological arguments for God’s existence, try helping your friend to see the absurdity of attributing even the simplest of designs to chance. While it may not take them from being a skeptic to being a believer, it can help illustrate the reasonableness of the Christian view of a Creator.

In using this conversational approach, we can hopefully help someone be more open to the reality of God’s existence without being combative. When presenting the case for God’s existence or other Christian beliefs, we must always remember this: When giving a reason for the hope within us we are commanded by Scripture to do so with gentleness & respect (1 Peter 3:15). Tweet That

Photo Credit: Lewis on Flickr

  1. As an amateur apologist myself, I must say that:
    A. Analogies are a favourite tool of mine but singularly ineffective against rabid atheists as they can only be stretched so far + and they will.
    B. This one has no stretch whatsover. Wind, erosion etc create patterns all the time. Many hard to believe they have not been designed.
    Sorry to be a downer on this one.

    1. @Dennis

      1. Valid analogies like this one are extremely effective against rabid atheists. In fact, they are rabid precisely because it is very effective and they wish it weren’t.

      2. The difference between wind, erosion, etc… is that whatever results from wind is structureless and devoid of intention, while even the simplest pattern of a tire truck has structure and intention.

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