The "Knockout Punch" Syndrome |

TBC Staff

People often tell us excitedly how ‘the lights came on’ for them after being exposed to a creation message for the first time. Many become passionate ‘creation evangelists’ in their fervour to share the very same type of information that changed their own lives.

But sometimes they find it tough going. It often means answering question after question to remove the stumbling blocks that have built up in people’s minds over the years. Thus, many Christians mistakenly presume there must be a better way to reach larger numbers of people in one fell swoop. 

This leads to a phenomenon I call ‘Looking for the knockout punch’. In boxing parlance, it refers to a single ‘winning blow’ that will take down the opposition in one attempt. Similarly, many Bible-believers are eager to find some startling piece of evidence as ‘ultimate proof’ of biblical creation. Of course, we’d love nothing more than to be able to reach millions with such a ‘knockout blow’. For one thing, it would certainly make our job a lot easier. But, in terms of evangelism, this is not really likely. People rarely get converted on the very first occasion they are witnessed to anyway. Moreover, I don’t recall an example where a single brilliant evidence has led to mass conversions.

I don’t recall an example where a single brilliant evidence has led to mass conversions.

Sometimes such well-meaning individuals ask why we don’t use (or why we even recommend against) a particular exciting-sounding argument or creation evidence. Some even get angry and tell us, “Stop it! At this rate, we’ll have nothing left. The evolutionists have all the evidence.” It’s an understandable reaction if someone has been using a favourite argument for many years. However, wisdom is needed, particularly if the argument is not sustainable. It might simply not be the knockout punch we expect it to be. 

[Here’s a list of] ‘Arguments we think creationists should NOT use’,

 If asked, most Christians would probably believe that evolutionists have the most evidences on their side. Believing this is intimidating, and is a factor in them looking for the ‘knockout punch’. 

As we try to explain, though, it’s not a matter of ‘creation facts’ vs ‘evolution facts’ because—and this is a key point—both creationists and evolutionists actually have the same facts. We all observe the same fossils, the same DNA and have exactly the same universe to discover. But we all interpret these facts according to our pre-existing worldview presuppositions. That worldview, in turn, then enables us to interpret these facts and they become ‘evidence’ for our cause. For example, when an evolutionary geologist looks at the many sedimentary layers in the walls of the Grand Canyon, he ‘sees’ it as evidence for millions of years of Earth history. This is due to his pre-existing belief (from what he’s been taught in the classroom) that these layers built up from slow, gradual deposition of sediments, year after year. However, a creationist geologist can interpret the exact same facts (i.e. layers in the canyon walls) and see these as evidence for Noah’s catastrophic, globe-covering Flood. Neither one was there to see those layers form in the past. 

 So the real issue is helping everyone, even evolutionists, to understand that we all wear biased ‘glasses’ or filters that cause us to see the facts in certain ways. This especially applies to Christians, and it’s why this is a key component of CMI’s ministry to the church.

At the beginning of this article I mentioned how the lights came on for many hearing about creation. It was because we’d helped them change glasses...They no longer see a proverbial mountain of evidence that evolutionists supposedly have, because they can now see the same facts as a mountain of evidence for biblical creation. Simply, if more Christians understood how the facts do not speak for themselves, and how evolutionists interpret them according to pre-existing assumptions, they would (biblically):

   • Be less troubled and intimidated by the seeming weight of claims of evolutionists when they parade their latest and greatest ‘evidences’ (John:14:27).

   • Be able to break down the arguments that evolutionists use as a foundation to support their theory, by identifying, even demolishing, the worldview (with its presuppositions) that their own theory rests on (2 Corinthians:10:3–5). After all, that is what they seek to do to Christians, by trying to point out that somehow the Bible is scientifically wrong.

   • Be more discerning about the evidence and therefore less inclined to try and compromise to ‘fit’ those evolutionary ideas into Scripture somewhere, mistakenly thinking that the ‘science’ is on their side (Romans:12:12).

   • Be better able to give a defence for what we believe as Christians (1 Peter:3:15).