David Chilton on Natural Law

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crhoades

Puritan Board Graduate
Here we should notice that Frances Schaeffer's apologetic method was based on this, and that Van Til attacked him for this. Schaeffer said that man's rebellion always brought it him into conflict with reality, so that man had to become inconsistent in order to get on with life. This inconsitency gave a point of contact for evangelism. Further, since Van Til denied this, Schaeffer said that Van Til was like Barth at this point. (The reconstructionist also denied it, following Van Til. I remember arguing with Jordan about this.)

Not to rabbit trail the thread even more, but from your perspective what did Van Til consider to be the point of contact? I thought he would argue for the same inconsistency.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
Not to rabbit trail the thread even more, but from your perspective what did Van Til consider to be the point of contact? I thought he would argue for the same inconsistency.

Schaeffer complained about this. He would run into it when Van Til's students came to L'Abri. They would tell people "I can't talk to you unless you accept my presuppositions." because Van Til had taught them that there was no other point of contact. If there was no other point of contact all that is left is "witness and wait for the grace of God to strike" as with Barth. But Schaeffer believed that there was always a point of contact because the nature God had created in man and outside of man has an inescapable character.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
:amen: to your wise posts Rev. Winzer!

In discussions I have had with people regarding the civil magistrate's responsibility to regulate both tables of the law, I have often argued that a lack to enforce the first table implies a "right" to the contrary of the first 4 commandments given to the people. It is obvious that God does not give people any "rights" to worship another God, or to take his name in vain. However, to say that the civil magistrate can institute these rights to men seems to make the civil magistrate NOT an extension of God for good, but rather an autonomous institution (i.e. a law unto itself). This is not how I see the role of the civil magistrate in scripture. Even the civil magistrate has the duty to recognize Christ as King (the Proverbs!) and to submit to his law as the ultimate law for all time.

I also believe that there can be visible transgressions of the first table of the law. Blasphemy and the Sabbath are both examples.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
" the point of contact in man's sense of deity that lies underneath his own conception of self-consciousness as ultimate can we be both true to Scripture and effective in reasoning with the natural man."
(Ibid., p. 58)

The sense of deity is a different point of contact than man's humanity or outer nature. One can claim that it is there, but getting hold of it for apologetics purposes is another matter.

This distinction may never have occured to Van Til, who mostly dealt in the dialectics of abstractions.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
But regardless of this side debate, you just admitted that Van Til had a "point of contact" with man and so you've agreed with the defeater of your claim regarding Van Til's apologetic. We thus see that this claim: "They would tell people "I can't talk to you unless you accept my presuppositions." because Van Til had taught them that there was no other point of contact. If there was no other point of contact all that is left is "witness and wait for the grace of God to strike..." looks false.

Furthermore, Van Til was well known for talking to, say, construction workers and bar flys in Philly. None of the reports of his apologetic encounters with the man in the street has Van Til saying, "I can't talk to you unless you accept my presuppositions." Indeed, Van Til's "Why I Believe in God" directly refutes this notion.

I engage unbelievers on a regular basis, and this sin't my approach either.

So, I'm not here to debate Van Til, just correct the misrepresentation. I'd say the contradictory of your claim is self-evident even from a cursory reading of Van Til's works.

best,
PM

It's a theoretical point of contact, one you can seldom put your finger on. Schaeffer used as points of contact the difference between what people professed and their actual conduct and commitments, that is, specific and concrete points of contact.

Van Til's point of contact is the sort of abstraction that is characteristic of his stuff in general. The sort of thing that you would have to "agree with his presuppositions" to even see as being there.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
"Van Til knew that because man was a creature of God he could not avoid the image popping up in all he says and does."

"So, if the above claim of yours is enough for a reputable point of contact, then Van Til had it. "

You still don't get the distinction.

Schaeffer was talking about meeting people where that are at, because there there will be found a point of contact.

Bahnsen and Van Til are gasbagging about what the implications of peoples' point of view really are (as seen from Vantilian presuppositions) if they only knew it.

Read any attempt of Van Til's to take on another point of view. The other point of view is never what it says it is. It is always some dialectec between two abtractions. To accept the analysis one would have to agree with Van Til in the first place. It is the apologetics of pontifications from the podium. Both abstruse and useless.
 

crhoades

Puritan Board Graduate
Now that you mention it, the Bahnsen-Stein debate was a waste...Not a good apologetical encounter. No one has profited from it.:rolleyes:
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
The second part of the method calls for us to take exactly what they say their view is, and then critique it. This was shown above with my quote from Bahnsen.

So, the method is precisely contradictory to your claims. Now, you may disagree with the method. You may not like it. You may say it doesn''t work, etc. But why the misrepresentation move? If you can't critique a position correctly, then don't bother critiquing it at all.

Ignoring all the pseudo-depth psychology, let us take your new evidence that you don't get it.

Taking some supposed viewpoint and critiquing it is precisly not a dialogue with a concrete individual and dealing with that individual's changing life and views as they are.

The fact that you can't see the difference between that and debates and philosophical jabber shows that <<you don't get it>>. You still don't understand what it is that you are tried to claim Van Til did.

As for how good Shaeffer's philosophical critiques were, who cares? After all that is NOT what we are taking aboug here. You only think it is because <<you don't get it>>.

So what if Bahnsen was a good debater? That is not the point. It is not what we talking about, but you think it is because <<you don't get it>>.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
If you had ever bothered to talk to old men and dude's in coffee shops, you'd know that you won't get far with "abstract dialectical language." But, since you simply care about debating methodology and carrying on your well-known tradition of critiquing Van Til (even though you've been corrected many times) rather than dialoguing with men in the street, I'd not expect you to "get" these things. Tell you what, go find a construction site and start talking in abstract dialiectical language and see if (a) you're there for more the 5 minutes and (b) if you don't wind up with a shovel upside your head.

Too bad he couldn't teach it to his students instead of producing a cult of personality full of fanatics.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
From an article "The Two Tables of the Law" by Alan Reinach

http://www.libertymagazine.org/article/articleview/502/1/82/

"For centuries Protestants have found a convenient division between the first and second tables of the ten-commandment law. Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, was the first American to associate two concepts: the separation of church and state and the two tables of the law. It was Williams, not Thomas Jefferson, who coined the phrase about a hedge, or wall, separating the garden of the church from the wilderness of the state."


"Williams also conceived that the first four commandments, or the first table of the law, addressed one's obligations to worship God, while the last six commandments, the second table, addressed one's civil obligations. The American Protestant concept of separation of church and state was largely built on this distinction. Thus state law could properly address moral issues such as adultery, stealing, and murder because these were in the second table of the law."

...

"Under the American constitutional system, the state has no charge to order public morality according to the second table of the ten-commandment law, but neither is the state compelled to reject the second table. It is entirely legitimate for Americans to invoke the commandments in public policy debate, so long as the distinction between the first and second tables is observed."

So it seems that the New Confessionalism is Baptist.
 
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