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Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
I'm sorry to keep asking questions on the topic, but I want to refine my apologetic until it is flawless.

Van Til made a huge deal about arguing for Christianity as a whole, but I'm not sure exactly how to do it. The "piecemeal" method seems unavoidable.

This problem arose when I was trying to see how to definitely point unbelievers to Christ so that they are “without excuse.” I was trying to see what aspect of our universe would point to Christ as Redeemer, and not some generic desire for salvation. I fear from this that I am still trapped in the remnants of the traditional apologetic method.

How do we avoid the “piecemeal” nature of the method? It seems we have to build up one by one the doctrines of Christianity, through a transcendental method (e.g. the transcendence of a deity is established through the existence of universal laws, then the equally ultimate plurality and unity [triunity] are established with the one and the many problem, then the personal aspect is added with the notions of love).

For example, if we engaged with an unbeliever on the nature of uniformity, and I demonstrated that the notion is intelligible on Christian presuppositions but not on atheistic presuppositions, the atheist could take whatever aspect of Christianity that allows for uniformity and replace his old belief with that. He would no longer be an atheist, but he would also not be a Christian. In such a case, I would have to argue further to get closer to Biblical Christianity, but he could just keep refining his presuppositions to accommodate my arguments without turning to Christ. He could keep doing this until the entirety of Christianity was proven transcendentally.

Rather than causing a devastating shift of presuppositions from unbelief to Christ, all the argument seems to do is modify the starting presupposition closer and closer to Christianity, thus leaving man’s autonomy untouched inasmuch as it is short of the Reformed faith. As close as it can get to Christianity (establishing the necessity of a personal Triune God, or even further), such a method would have to prove all of Biblical doctrines by transcendental argumentation, which would annihilate the authority of the Bible by subjecting it to an external standard (as well as be very difficult to do).

Have I discovered a fatal flaw in presuppositionalism or am I doing something terribly wrong? I’m strongly hoping for the latter.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
This problem arose when I was trying to see how to definitely point unbelievers to Christ so that they are “without excuse.”
The whole point of that Romans text is that they are already without excuse.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
The modification of the worldview shouldn't involve a slow slide toward a more Christian worldview, but remember that you're dealing with fallen human beings who hate God and will do everything they can, including being illogical and dishonest, even with themselves and you, to avoid acknowledging that Christ is Lord.

The unbeliever is already a defeated adversary. As Mr. Tim has already pointed out, the unbeliever is already without excuse because natural revelation is sufficient enough to convey that God is there. Any aspect of natural revelation can be used to show this, from the existence of morality to the existence of existence itself. One of these alone being necessarily used by the unbeliever to complete their farce of a worldview is enough to warrant an intellectual conversion to Christianity, but conversions are not worked in the mind alone, but in the heart by God.

The whole point of it is thus:

If A, then C.
A.
C.

If you believe in morality, then you must use the Christian morality.
You believe in morality.
You must believe in Christian morality.

From there, logic would warrant a conversion to Christianity because God is the one who penned Christian morality, but this probably isn't the case.

The unbeliever at this point could just simply assent to this one outcome and make no move toward Christ, but we wouldn't expect them to. Although it would be logically and intellectually consistent to do so, they won't without God working in their heart. This is not a fatal flaw in the approach, but the nature of depravity; their reasoning is depraved, along with everything else.

Remember the purpose of apologetics. Both Calvin and Bahnsen agreed that its purpose was not to convert the heart of the unbeliever, it's to shut their mouths.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Remember the purpose of apologetics. Both Calvin and Bahnsen agreed that its purpose was not to convert the heart of the unbeliever, it's to shut their mouths.
That's my problem -- how do you get them to shut their mouths if they can offer a non-Christian worldview that accounts for everything? All they intellectually must do is modify their presuppositions to account for all the transcendental arguments presented. For the morality argument towards Christianity, the unbeliever could just take whatever he wanted from Christianity that accounts for morality, change his worldview accordingly, and reject the rest of Christianity. This is the problem I'm facing. It's hypothetical, but it's nonetheless a problem.

I know that unbelievers are already without excuse, but obviously they will deny this, since they are blinded by sin. My problem is getting them to understand why they are without excuse.
 
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Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Have you looked at past discussions in which the shortcomings of the TAG was discussed?
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
I know that unbeliever are already without excuse, but obviously they will deny this, since they are blinded by sin. My problem is getting them to understand why they are without excuse.
Packa,

The unbeliever's denial of his blindness is one of the strongest weapons in your arsenal. The wickedness of man's heart is the issue. If you want to get them to acknowledge that they are so desperately wicked that they denial was is plain and evident, that will take a supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit. His appointed method is the declaration and application of Holy Writ. Do this, and you will slay demons (and, no, not in a charismatic sense).

Cheers,
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Have you looked at past discussions in which the shortcomings of the TAG was discussed?
Yeah, I just looked at the "TAG Questions" thread, and I do not see anything similar to the problem I have expressed here. Certainly there are problems regarding certainty in transcendental argumentation, since it is really a form of deductive reasoning which is never 100% reliable as long we are humans, but that thread did not mention anything about the problem I have expressed.

Packa,

The unbeliever's denial of his blindness is one of the strongest weapons in your arsenal. The wickedness of man's heart is the issue. If you want to get them to acknowledge that they are so desperately wicked that they denial was is plain and evident, that will take a supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit. His appointed method is the declaration and application of Holy Writ. Do this, and you will slay demons (and, no, not in a charismatic sense).

Cheers,
I know that it's not my job to change their heart and realize their wickedness, but it is my job to shut their mouths. If they can have an adequate philosophical system by accepting all of the characteristics their worldview must have (that I prove through transcendental argumentation), but they do not accept all of Christianity, then they are excusable before God. That is a problem.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Free Articles by Bahnsen

At this site, Free Articles, they have many free articles on Apologetics written by the late Dr. Greg Bahnsen. The majority of the book published after his death, Always Ready, is contained in these free articles. They also sell his lectures in mp3 format. I would recommend buying the DVD Basic Training for Defending the Faith with the book 'Pushing the Antithesis.' It lays a good foundation. I would follow this up with the mp3 lecture 'Practical Apologetics', then "Transcendental Argumentation", follow these with the 3 part series on the History of Apologetics and then his Seminary Apologetics. For money's sake you can leave out the History of Apologetics. Another good series is "Challenge to Unbelief" which was once available online for free.


Concerning your post:

For example, if we engaged with an unbeliever on the nature of uniformity, and I demonstrated that the notion is intelligible on Christian presuppositions but not on atheistic presuppositions, the atheist could take whatever aspect of Christianity that allows for uniformity and replace his old belief with that. He would no longer be an atheist, but he would also not be a Christian. In such a case, I would have to argue further to get closer to Biblical Christianity, but he could just keep refining his presuppositions to accommodate my arguments without turning to Christ. He could keep doing this until the entirety of Christianity was proven transcendentally.
What justification under an atheist worldview does he have for accepting as true the uniformity of nature? The Presuppositional argument is that one cannot appeal to the uniformity of nature without first appealing to the God which makes nature uniform.

The following is a list of links for the debate between Gordon Stein (atheist) and Dr. Greg Bahnsen:

The PDF file: http://www.bellevuechristian.org/faculty/dribera/htdocs/PDFs/Apol_Bahnsen_Stein_Debate_Transcript.pdf

The audio files: [video=youtube;u6iEUanJbsw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6iEUanJbsw[/video]

Here is a link to the DVD series I mentioned above posted at YouTube: [video=youtube;vPn8AX6Ru3E]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPn8AX6Ru3E&feature=related[/video]

Hope this helps.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Could You Clarify

I know that it's not my job to change their heart and realize their wickedness, but it is my job to shut their mouths. If they can have an adequate philosophical system by accepting all of the characteristics their worldview must have (that I prove through transcendental argumentation), but they do not accept all of Christianity, then they are excusable before God. That is a problem.
If I've read this right, you're already starting off with an incorrect presupposition that the atheist worldview is 'an adequate philosophical system.' Another point I just thought of, atheists already accept many premises from the Christian worldview. Here are a few examples: uniformity of nature, laws of logic, murder is wrong, 1+1=2, the ability to read, etc. In the apologetic encounter you show the atheist that he has no right to these beliefs under his worldview. If he wishes to use them, then he must reject atheism and accept Christianity. Without the operation of the Holy Ghost he will naturally refuse to do this, but by this point you have reduced his position to absurdity and have left him without the ability to speak without first presupposing the existence of the Christian God. All he can then do is sit there saying nothing. His mouth has been stopped, and now you can share the gospel with him.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks for the links. I've pretty much read through all of Van Til's Apologetic by Dr. Bahnsen, so I've got a relatively firm grasp on the material. Although, I don't think you understand my problem with it.

For example, if we engaged with an unbeliever on the nature of uniformity, and I demonstrated that the notion is intelligible on Christian presuppositions but not on atheistic presuppositions, the atheist could take whatever aspect of Christianity that allows for uniformity and replace his old belief with that. He would no longer be an atheist, but he would also not be a Christian. In such a case, I would have to argue further to get closer to Biblical Christianity, but he could just keep refining his presuppositions to accommodate my arguments without turning to Christ. He could keep doing this until the entirety of Christianity was proven transcendentally.
What justification under an atheist worldview does he have for accepting as true the uniformity of nature? The Presuppositional argument is that one cannot appeal to the uniformity of nature without first appealing to the God which makes nature uniform.
When the Christian shows the atheist that uniformity in nature is a belief only on Christian grounds, the atheist can ask what character of uniformity requires the entire Bible to be true. The Christian couldn't say the entire Bible -- he could only say something about the transcendence of God (or possibly the triunity) -- but the entire Christian worldview could not be proven on one single aspect.

Therefore, the atheist could modify his worldview to contain a theistic and even a triune god without having to believe in the Christian God. He could therefore account for the uniformity of nature and tell the Christian to tell him why the rest of Christianity is true. He would no longer be an atheist, to be sure, but he would also fall short of Christ. He would not be rationally required to be a Christian.

This could go on for a long time until the entirety of the Bible is proven, but that would mean the Bible loses its authority. It seems like a very large problem to me.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
I know that it's not my job to change their heart and realize their wickedness, but it is my job to shut their mouths. If they can have an adequate philosophical system by accepting all of the characteristics their worldview must have (that I prove through transcendental argumentation), but they do not accept all of Christianity, then they are excusable before God. That is a problem.
If I've read this right, you're already starting off with an incorrect presupposition that the atheist worldview is 'an adequate philosophical system.' Another point I just thought of, atheists already accept many premises from the Christian worldview. Here are a few examples: uniformity of nature, laws of logic, murder is wrong, 1+1=2, the ability to read, etc. In the apologetic encounter you show the atheist that he has no right to these beliefs under his worldview. If he wishes to use them, then he must reject atheism and accept Christianity. Without the operation of the Holy Ghost he will naturally refuse to do this, but by this point you have reduced his position to absurdity and have left him without the ability to speak without first presupposing the existence of the Christian God. All he can then do is sit there saying nothing. His mouth has been stopped, and now you can share the gospel with him.
Yeah, my point is that the Christian can't demonstrate why this leads wholly to Christianity, and not some generic belief in a triune theistic deity.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
I know that it's not my job to change their heart and realize their wickedness, but it is my job to shut their mouths. If they can have an adequate philosophical system by accepting all of the characteristics their worldview must have (that I prove through transcendental argumentation), but they do not accept all of Christianity, then they are excusable before God. That is a problem.
If I've read this right, you're already starting off with an incorrect presupposition that the atheist worldview is 'an adequate philosophical system.' Another point I just thought of, atheists already accept many premises from the Christian worldview. Here are a few examples: uniformity of nature, laws of logic, murder is wrong, 1+1=2, the ability to read, etc. In the apologetic encounter you show the atheist that he has no right to these beliefs under his worldview. If he wishes to use them, then he must reject atheism and accept Christianity. Without the operation of the Holy Ghost he will naturally refuse to do this, but by this point you have reduced his position to absurdity and have left him without the ability to speak without first presupposing the existence of the Christian God. All he can then do is sit there saying nothing. His mouth has been stopped, and now you can share the gospel with him.
Yeah, my point is that the Christian can't demonstrate why this leads wholly to Christianity, and not some generic belief in a triune theistic deity.
What does belief in a generic triune theistic deity look like?

CT
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Nope, don't understand, need more clarification

When the Christian shows the atheist that uniformity in nature is a belief only on Christian grounds, the atheist can ask what character of uniformity requires the entire Bible to be true. The Christian couldn't say the entire Bible -- he could only say something about the transcendence of God (or possibly the triunity) -- but the entire Christian worldview could not be proven on one single aspect.

Therefore, the atheist could modify his worldview to contain a theistic and even a triune god without having to believe in the Christian God. He could therefore account for the uniformity of nature and tell the Christian to tell him why the rest of Christianity is true. He would no longer be an atheist, to be sure, but he would also fall short of Christ. He would not be rationally required to be a Christian.

This could go on for a long time until the entirety of the Bible is proven, but that would mean the Bible loses its authority. It seems like a very large problem to me.
What do you mean by the bolded statement?

If I understand your intent correctly, the atheist has attempted to flip the tables. The problem for him in doing this is that in his worldview there is no reason for the uniformity of nature. Why is nature uniform? Atheist response: it's just so.

The Bahnsen/Stein debate deals with this issue. Stein tries the 'just so' argument and Bahnsen tears the argument to shreds showing its futility. In the end Bahnsen demonstrates that an atheist cannot make any claims to uniformity without first presupposing the Christian God. But if the atheist is going to do that, then he has lost the argument.

Make the atheist explain why he believes in uniformity.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
If I've read this right, you're already starting off with an incorrect presupposition that the atheist worldview is 'an adequate philosophical system.' Another point I just thought of, atheists already accept many premises from the Christian worldview. Here are a few examples: uniformity of nature, laws of logic, murder is wrong, 1+1=2, the ability to read, etc. In the apologetic encounter you show the atheist that he has no right to these beliefs under his worldview. If he wishes to use them, then he must reject atheism and accept Christianity. Without the operation of the Holy Ghost he will naturally refuse to do this, but by this point you have reduced his position to absurdity and have left him without the ability to speak without first presupposing the existence of the Christian God. All he can then do is sit there saying nothing. His mouth has been stopped, and now you can share the gospel with him.
Yeah, my point is that the Christian can't demonstrate why this leads wholly to Christianity, and not some generic belief in a triune theistic deity.
What does belief in a generic triune theistic deity look like?

CT
Which lecture is that covered in Practical Apologetics by Bahnsen? I think it's in either the 1st two or the last two.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
What does belief in a generic triune theistic deity look like?

CT
The non-Christian's response could be that they don't have to explain it, as long as they explain the characteristics of it that make the universe intelligible, they don't have to explain any further.

It would be the burden of the Christian to explain why belief in a triune god must be belief in The Triune God.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
When the Christian shows the atheist that uniformity in nature is a belief only on Christian grounds, the atheist can ask what character of uniformity requires the entire Bible to be true. The Christian couldn't say the entire Bible -- he could only say something about the transcendence of God (or possibly the triunity) -- but the entire Christian worldview could not be proven on one single aspect.

Therefore, the atheist could modify his worldview to contain a theistic and even a triune god without having to believe in the Christian God. He could therefore account for the uniformity of nature and tell the Christian to tell him why the rest of Christianity is true. He would no longer be an atheist, to be sure, but he would also fall short of Christ. He would not be rationally required to be a Christian.

This could go on for a long time until the entirety of the Bible is proven, but that would mean the Bible loses its authority. It seems like a very large problem to me.
What do you mean by the bolded statement?

If I understand your intent correctly, the atheist has attempted to flip the tables. The problem for him in doing this is that in his worldview there is no reason for the uniformity of nature. Why is nature uniform? Atheist response: it's just so.

The Bahnsen/Stein debate deals with this issue. Stein tries the 'just so' argument and Bahnsen tears the argument to shreds showing its futility. In the end Bahnsen demonstrates that an atheist cannot make any claims to uniformity without first presupposing the Christian God. But if the atheist is going to do that, then he has lost the argument.

Make the atheist explain why he believes in uniformity.
Maybe a mock response will help (I'm going to oversimplify the argument against uniformity, but my point will still stand):

Christian - Atheism can't support uniformity, because that requires a necessary cause for uniformity, some kind of being that transcends the universe and gives order to it. Christianity satisfies this, but not atheism.
Atheist - Okay, that's cool. I'll believe in a transcendental being that gives uniformity.

Note that he would no longer be an atheist, but he would be rationally justified in his beliefs without resorting to Christianity.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
What does belief in a generic triune theistic deity look like?

CT
The non-Christian's response could be that they don't have to explain it, as long as they explain the characteristics of it that make the universe intelligible.

It would be the burden of the Christian to explain why belief in a triune god must be belief in The Triune God.
They have to claim that they have a different triune god than Christianity, right? That would require some details. I would ask them how they know it is not the same god?

CT
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
What does belief in a generic triune theistic deity look like?

CT
The non-Christian's response could be that they don't have to explain it, as long as they explain the characteristics of it that make the universe intelligible.

It would be the burden of the Christian to explain why belief in a triune god must be belief in The Triune God.
They have to claim that they have a different triune god than Christianity, right? That would require some details. I would ask them how they know it is not the same god?

CT
They could say they have no reason to believe that their triune god sent his son to die; therefore, to believe in such a thing would require further evidence. Again, the burden of proof would be on the Christian to tell the unbeliever what his worldview is lacking, or else the unbeliever is justified in his beliefs and therefore justified before God.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
The non-Christian's response could be that they don't have to explain it, as long as they explain the characteristics of it that make the universe intelligible.

It would be the burden of the Christian to explain why belief in a triune god must be belief in The Triune God.
They have to claim that they have a different triune god than Christianity, right? That would require some details. I would ask them how they know it is not the same god?

CT
They could say they have no reason to believe that their triune god sent his son to die; therefore, to believe in such a thing would require further evidence. Again, the burden of proof would be on the Christian to tell the unbeliever what his worldview is lacking, or else the unbeliever is justified in his beliefs and therefore justified before God.
Your ending here hit the key point on the head. He sees no need to be justified before God. That has to be handled first or really really close to first. If he sees no need for this, then why should he care about his worldview being right or wrong?

The clearest answer is that if the God-man did not die then you are dead in your sins.

Also at this point, we no longer have generic truine theism. That was my core point, there is no such thing as generic truine theism.

CT
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
They have to claim that they have a different triune god than Christianity, right? That would require some details. I would ask them how they know it is not the same god?

CT
They could say they have no reason to believe that their triune god sent his son to die; therefore, to believe in such a thing would require further evidence. Again, the burden of proof would be on the Christian to tell the unbeliever what his worldview is lacking, or else the unbeliever is justified in his beliefs and therefore justified before God.
Your ending here hit the key point on the head. He sees no need to be justified before God. That has to be handled first or really really close to first. If he sees no need for this, then why should he care about his worldview being right or wrong?

The clearest answer is that if the God-man did not die then you are dead in your sins.

Also at this point, we no longer have generic truine theism. That was my core point, there is no such thing as generic truine theism.

CT
If the unbeliever's worldview is completely rational, that is, if all the transcendental arguments presented by the Christian have been accepted by the unbeliever, then the unbeliever is *not* rationally required to believe in Christianity. All he has to do is believe in a god who is transcendent, triune, etc. -- whatever fulfillments are needed to make his worldview intelligible.

Why can't he have generic triune theism? Say you went to a neighbor's house and he told you he had ordered some computer from a store that was to be delivered in the next couple days. He doesn't know what its more specific characteristics are, but he knows it's a computer. Is it alright for you to tell him exactly what type of computer it must be if you can't prove this to him, or is it alright for him to settle on not knowing the specific characteristics? Obviously the latter. He knows for sure that there are more specific characteristics (it's not a blank computer), but he doesn't know what they are.

Likewise, you can't assert that an unbeliever must "fill in the details" on his triune god. You can agree with him that some details must be there, but you can't prove whose details are correct without evidence.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
They could say they have no reason to believe that their triune god sent his son to die; therefore, to believe in such a thing would require further evidence. Again, the burden of proof would be on the Christian to tell the unbeliever what his worldview is lacking, or else the unbeliever is justified in his beliefs and therefore justified before God.
Your ending here hit the key point on the head. He sees no need to be justified before God. That has to be handled first or really really close to first. If he sees no need for this, then why should he care about his worldview being right or wrong?

The clearest answer is that if the God-man did not die then you are dead in your sins.

Also at this point, we no longer have generic truine theism. That was my core point, there is no such thing as generic truine theism.

CT
If the unbeliever's worldview is completely rational, that is, if all the transcendental arguments presented by the Christian have been accepted by the unbeliever, then the unbeliever is *not* rationally required to believe in Christianity. All he has to do is believe in a god who is transcendent, triune, etc. -- whatever fulfillments are needed to make his worldview intelligible.
One problem is that you seem to be abstracting a lot of things. These characteristics stated above have implications in the world. It is not like you just order cheese on your whopper.

Why can't he have generic triune theism? Say you went to a neighbor's house and he told you he had ordered some computer from a store that was to be delivered in the next couple days. He doesn't know what its more specific characteristics are, but he knows it's a computer. Is it alright for you to tell him exactly what type of computer it must be if you can't prove this to him, or is it alright for him to settle on not knowing the specific characteristics? Obviously the latter. He knows for sure that there are more specific characteristics (it's not a blank computer), but he doesn't know what they are.
The problem with this analogy is that you want him to be able to argue over what kind of computer it is. If he is in the dark, then he cannot argue that it is an Intel instead of an AMD.

There is also a question of whether the computer will be working or not.

Likewise, you can't assert that an unbeliever must "fill in the details" on his triune god. You can agree with him that some details must be there, but you can't prove whose details are correct without evidence.
I never spoke against evidence. Everything is evidence for something. The issue is how to rationally interpret that evidence.

CT
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
One problem is that you seem to be abstracting a lot of things. These characteristics stated above have implications in the world. It is not like you just order cheese on your whopper.
I know they have implications in the real world -- they actually go towards modifying worldviews, entire views of life. I just don't see how the entirety of Christianity -- the whole Bible -- can be justified through presuppositional argumentation.

Why can't he have generic triune theism? Say you went to a neighbor's house and he told you he had ordered some computer from a store that was to be delivered in the next couple days. He doesn't know what its more specific characteristics are, but he knows it's a computer. Is it alright for you to tell him exactly what type of computer it must be if you can't prove this to him, or is it alright for him to settle on not knowing the specific characteristics? Obviously the latter. He knows for sure that there are more specific characteristics (it's not a blank computer), but he doesn't know what they are.
The problem with this analogy is that you want him to be able to argue over what kind of computer it is. If he is in the dark, then he cannot argue that it is an Intel instead of an AMD.

There is also a question of whether the computer will be working or not.
How can you demonstrate that he's in the dark with regards to the computer? If you try to demonstrate that he doesn't know why he should believe Scripture because Scripture says the only reason he's not believing is because he's in the dark, then you're arguing in vicious circles.
 

cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
Packabaca,

Are you trying to find a single argument that can prove Christianity in its entirety?
 
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Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Packabaca,

Are you trying to find a single argument that can prove Christianity in its entirety?
That's what Van Til's apologetics endeavor is all about. Showing the unbeliever why he is completely without excuse. All unbelieving worldviews, all worldviews that are not explicitly Reformed Christianity, crumble.

Am I setting my standards too high? Should I settle for less than what Van Til did, and attempt to only show that Christianity is the best worldview, rather than the only one?

It doesn't have to be one single argument, either.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
Packabaca,

Are you trying to find a single argument that can prove Christianity in its entirety?
That's what Van Til's apologetics endeavor is all about. Showing the unbeliever why he is completely without excuse. All unbelieving worldviews, all worldviews that are not explicitly Reformed Christianity, crumble.
They will crumble, but to do that does not mean that you have to explicitly prove every verse of the Bible.

Am I setting my standards too high? Should I settle for less than what Van Til did, and attempt to only show that Christianity is the best worldview, rather than the only one?

It doesn't have to be one single argument, either.
I think Romans 1 leads one to go down the path that you are following. There are definitely more than one worldview, however the claim is that all other worldviews are at bottom irrational.

CT
 

Jaymin Allen

Puritan Board Freshman
Christian - Atheism can't support uniformity, because that requires a necessary cause for uniformity, some kind of being that transcends the universe and gives order to it. Christianity satisfies this, but not atheism.
Atheist - Okay, that's cool. I'll believe in a transcendental being that gives uniformity.
I've run into similar bricks utilizing the presuppositional method. It seems silly to use the transcendental argument against; Muslims, Jews, or anyone who has a "rational" basis for their beliefs. Once in a debate with a Muslim that endorses the transcendental argument and even uses it against atheists, it's superfluous to employ this type of reasoning against that Muslim.

It seems inevitable that you'll have to get into Christian Particulars (nature of prophecy, historical confirmations and veracity, etc.) vs. opposition particulars. We'll have to stop arguing with the "the only proof for God's existence is that without God, you cannot prove anything" reasoning, for that's already covered in whatever god they've endorsed.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Not the FULL presuppositional argument

Christian - Atheism can't support uniformity, because that requires a necessary cause for uniformity, some kind of being that transcends the universe and gives order to it. Christianity satisfies this, but not atheism.
Atheist - Okay, that's cool. I'll believe in a transcendental being that gives uniformity.
I've run into similar bricks utilizing the presuppositional method. It seems silly to use the transcendental argument against; Muslims, Jews, or anyone who has a "rational" basis for their beliefs. Once in a debate with a Muslim that endorses the transcendental argument and even uses it against atheists, it's superfluous to employ this type of reasoning against that Muslim.

It seems inevitable that you'll have to get into Christian Particulars (nature of prophecy, historical confirmations and veracity, etc.) vs. opposition particulars. We'll have to stop arguing with the "the only proof for God's existence is that without God, you cannot prove anything" reasoning, for that's already covered in whatever god they've endorsed.
This isn't the complete presuppositional argument. Just because a Muslim endorses the transcendental argument and uses it, does not mean he has a right to it. He has no self-authorizing authority upon which to rely. If he appeals to the Koran then he appeals to a book which claims to be an expression of Allah in human language. However the Koran also claims that nothing about Allah can be expressed in human language. The koran is its own worst enemy. And without such a self-authorizing authority he has no foundation upon which to begin a transcendental argument.
 

Jaymin Allen

Puritan Board Freshman
This isn't the complete presuppositional argument. Just because a Muslim endorses the transcendental argument and uses it, does not mean he has a right to it. He has no self-authorizing authority upon which to rely. If he appeals to the Koran then he appeals to a book which claims to be an expression of Allah in human language. However the Koran also claims that nothing about Allah can be expressed in human language. The koran is its own worst enemy. And without such a self-authorizing authority he has no foundation upon which to begin a transcendental argument.
John Gill,
If it were that easy, there wouldn't be any Muslims. I'm inclined to agree with you, yet I am sure your objection to the Koran isn't impervious to rebuttal from the followers of Islam. Not to mention the Koran honors the writings of Moses, David, etc. as previous revelations of God. Muslims could appeal to these, just as the Jew, and argue transcendence against the atheist.

What is your understanding of the complete presuppositional argument?
 
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