How do you explain the supernatural world to a skeptic?

(Titus Chereches) #1

Hi everyone,

I am curious how you would explain to someone that we are more than a body (how do you explain the soul), that there’s an after-life after death and that the supernatural world exists.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

(SeanO) #2

@titusul One classic approach is to appeal to peoples’ sense of eternity. Ecclesiastes says that God has set eternity in the human heart - we long for eternal life with God even if we do not yet know what it is we long for… Lewis argues that this desire for another world points to its reality as sure as the desire for food points to the existence of food. We try to make ourselves eternal by building something that will continue after we die or passing down our name / way of life to our kids - we have that innate sense that there ought to be more… We can draw on that because God has set it there and it points to the reality of a world beyond our own.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has also set eternity in the human heart

Hope that is helpful :slight_smile:

Lewis’ Argument From Desire Against Materialism

“The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.” - C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

What is a Soul?

Biblically, there are at least two distinct aspects of a human being—spiritual (spirit/soul) and physical (body). Some interpreters hold that the “soul” and “spirit” are distinct parts of a human being, and therefore that we are composed of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. This view is called “trichotomy.” However, the vast majority of evangelical scholars today hold that “spirit” and “soul” are basically synonymous and are two different ways of talking about the immaterial aspect of our being, “soul” pointing to our personal selves as responsible individuals and “spirit” pointing to those same selves as created by and dependent on God. This view is called “dichotomy” (see note on 1 Thess. 5:23–28). It is important to see that there is a fundamental unity between the physical and spiritual within humans. While a distinction is made in the Bible between the material and immaterial parts of the human being, the emphasis is on the necessary connection between body and soul. Regeneration and sanctification for the Christian is a spiritual experience intended to be expressed in the physical body in and through which we have been made to live. The separation of body and soul caused at death is an unnatural tragedy, which will be remedied when the body is resurrected, allowing humans to exist as they were intended to do.


Eric Metaxas has written a book on miracles. While talking about miracles is not a helpful approach for some skeptics, it may be helpful for others.

(Stephen Wuest) #3

Although this web site is about apologetics – explanations – I would pray that God would reveal himself to the person.

There are sections in the New Testament that talk about the difference between the spirit and the body, but if someone has no respect for the origin of the New Testament, I don’t think that these passages will be helpful. (A lot of modern Christians don’t really grasp how some New Testament writers express thoughts about the spirit and the body, differently.) Unless God directly convicts the person of the truth of the biblical text.

The purely materialistic approach leads toward the conclusion that a grasshopper has the same worth as a human being. I think that many people can grasp that this is an unsatisfying conclusion, and are willing to look for a much more insightful explanation.

(gerhard NvC) #4

The it is useful to refer to the supernatural as the metaphysical - as the supernatural is often misunderstood to be the unnatural and confused with the paranormal.
That there is something outside the physical sphere should be clearer to us living in the information age as we discover more and more information contained in the physical world that is not selfexplanatory. Logic and mathematics used to describe the material universe is clearly not physical and the question arises if the rules that control reality are man made or if they existed independent of humanity. That they seem to fit to our understanding of times long before the existence of humans suggests that they predate us humans
The concept of the soul and the afterlife is more difficult to argue as we have no way to describe it appropriately, and the conceptualisation of it in physical terms is difficult. in it’s simplest form we can project ourselves thus have the ability to live in other people. As I define life as the ability to move energy or matter by will (in the simple lifeforms derived from the information stored in it’s DNA we humans can exercise will and perceive it by revelation, thus in “thy will be done” the everlasting life of God is exercised in everything that follows his instructions, meaning that God is alive in us, and if we self-identify with God or Jesus we are by definition part of his everlasting life

Poetically speaking:
To live forever is the art
to learn to live in Jesus heart