Legitimate use of Classical and Evidential apologetics within Van Tillian presuppositionalism?

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Me Died Blue, Jan 17, 2006.

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  1. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I know what you are getting at but I won't enter the debate at this time, since it would rehash old Clark/Van til debates. I was merely answering Saiph's question.
  2. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    We can't take someone by the hand, intrude into God's presence, and make introductions. In that way we cannot "prove" to the satisfaction of the inquirer, or doubter, or skeptic, that God exists. But the fact still remains as clear as ever for those who rejoice in God's presence that to not see the evidences of God's existence is nothing more than obstinacy and stubbornness in sin. What does not proclaim God's handiwork?

    Why fault the proofs when it is man that is at fault?
  3. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    We're using two different definitions of proof. I agree and stated that TAG can be a strong argument, as well as the more traditional arguments. But to say these arguments are proof is to say the conclusion is without doubt. Since they all contain fallacies, either by asserting the consequence (induction fallacy) or by begging the question, then they are not true proofs.

    The fault is in the proof. They do not prove what they claim to prove. I certainly see the clear evidence of God in the complexity and grandeur of creation - but I am a believer - and this is an inductive conclusion - not a proof of the reality of the God of scripture. When we as Christians start claiming we can prove the existence of the God of Scripture - and we make such blatant errors in reasoning - it only hurts our cause.
  4. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Well, I can't agree with that, Anthony. I do agree that different definitions of the idea of proof are concerned here. But I see no fault in the proofs. Perhaps they do not prove what you want them to prove, but they cannot deny God's existence, neither can they testify to anything else by God's existence, and they themselves cannot exist unless God exists. The fact that the man, whoever he may be, remains unconvinced is no fault of the proofs. Men kick against the goads all their life. It is only when God reveals Himself to men that they realize how obstinate they have been.

    I won't argue against the fact that we use induction in our conclusions of God's existence. I will dissent from the notion that this makes it any less certain.

    If men do not acknowledge God, it is not the fault of the proofs. Men have believed on a lot less evidence. It is, in fact, rather audacious to assume such comprehensive knowledge of truth as to blame the facts rather than man's limited understandings. If we are going to pin-point the induction fallacy then here is where our focus should be, making inductive statements about the whole of knowledge based on our limited understanding, not on the ample evidences for God's existence to which God Himself testifies.
  5. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    I agree with JohnV Anthony.

    Your statement here is a bit too rigid:
    Only God can know something exhaustively and without doubt.

    Must a rational person have proof or reasons for all his beliefs ?
    Is a person justified in believing a proposition only if it can be inferred inductively or deductively from the assumed incorrigible sensory data ?

    If I hear a bird singing outside my window, but do not see it, is that enough proof to believe a bird is actually there ?
  6. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Faith, is required to believe the gospel, but I do not think it is necessary for the existence of God. The fool has said in his heart there is no God, because he denies the obvious. What difference does it make if I cannot know a thing in itself (Ding an sich). Who cares ? ? ?

    The bible teaches that we not only can arrive at conclusions about reality beyond the phenomenal world by means of empyrical and rational categories, but that they are written on our being because we are made in God's image.

    Ex nihilo nihil fit.

    [Edited on 1-18-2006 by Saiph]
  7. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    We too can know some things without doubt if we can demonstrate the conclusion is deductivly true. The conclusion of a valid deductive argument is necessarily true if the premises are true.

    • All men are mortal.
      Socrates is a man.
      therefore Socrates is a mortal.

    The nature of deductive argumentations is that when correctly done, the conclusion follow because it is impossible for them not too follow. Proofs are only proofs if they are constructed as valid deductive arguments, not from induction or circular reasoning. They must be based on a priori knowledge, premises known to be true.

    Inductive arguments like those of ID and the Theory of Evolution, never prove a truth. But that does not make them false. It only makes them uncertain - maybe true, maybe false.

    No. It is reasonable to believe something on the basises of inductive or evidential arguments. We would can say we believe them, but we don't know them. And we do that all the time. This is also the form of argument that science uses to support ID and the Theory of Evolution, that psychologist use to support their view of homosexuality, that engineers use to build bridges. But I would never say I can prove this bridge will never fail. I know that under excessive loading it can fail. I also know that due to the properties of materials, even under normal circumstances there is a small probability that it will fail. We design to make that probability as very small, but never 0. So based on: my educated opinion that this bridge is correctly designed; and my trust in the builders to do the job; I firmly believe that the bridge is safe.

    But the "proofs" for the existence of God, claim that we can "know" God exists based on the arguments. And the arguments fail because they make errors in logic. To know requires the thing known is true. And to prove something is true, it can not be just close to true, or probably true, but it must be neccessarily true. And if we know the premises are true, then we will know the conclusions it true. This is distinct from just belief. A belief does not need to be proven to be believed. But anything proven from what we know, is also knowledge. A proof of God claims that man can know that God exists apart from God revealing it to him, but rather through mans observations and reason alone.

    No it's not. It's not a proof. To be a proof, you'd have to accept the following valid deductive argument:
    • I am hearing the sounds a bird makes.
      The sounds a bird makes can only come from a bird.
      Therefore, I am hearing the sounds that are coming from a bird.
    The argument is valid, it follows the correct form and rules of a logical inference. But it is unsound; "the sounds a bird makes can only come from a bird" is a false assertion. Something else (no matter how unlikely) could be making the sounds, some cats, a cell phone (this is a new thing in ring-tones), a radio on your shelf near the window.

    Now, do you have good reason to believe that there is a bird outside your window? Sure! Who wouldn't. Based on the information give, although you can not prove a bird is there, the evidence is convincing enough for any person to believe the bird is there. Even if you don't know a bird is there, you can not be faulted for believing it.

    I also believe I can safely drive home and I can swallow a bite from a ham sandwich. I do not "know" that I won't crash, or choke on my sandwich. I know that I am a sinner - because I can deduce that from Scripture. I know math is a valid form of logic because God is logical, and Scripture demonstrates valid mathematical principles.

    It is not unreasonable to believe the conclusions of evidential arguments when they are strong. But we would not know they are true.

    The conclusions of a deductive proof will be known if you know the premises are true, and the argument is formally valid. The only alternative is to reject one or more of the premises as being false. It is deductive reasoning that tells us that Paul and James did not mean the exact same thing when they talked about "faith" - for if they did, it would be a logical contradiction in Scripture. Since God does not lie to us in His Word, and He is a God of wisdom and truth, we use logic to test the implications of what we think the Bible is saying to us.

    The danger of saying the TAG and other arguments are "proof" of the existence of God, is that a thinking man will see that the argument is fallacious by it's very form. This is not due to his being unregenerate, he is correct. If it is an inductive argument, it proves nothing but a possiblilty, and if it claims to be a deductive argument, it is circular or begging the question. Van Til said all worldviews a necessarily circular. Amen to that. But the implication is no proof of God is valid unless one adopts or presumes a worldview in which God exists. One must assume God, to prove God, and that is circular reasoning.

    In the end, we believe the Gospel because God gives us faith, and we can not believe the Gospel otherwise. And every man knows God exists because God has written that truth on man's heart. Not because of the evidence. A blind deaf and mute person knows there is a God. A person born with brain damage knows. They know because God makes himself known. We all know there is a God from the day we are conceived.

    The proof. An infants, even the unborn child, is in need of the blood of Christ. In order to be saved, the child must believe in Jesus. In order to believe, the child must have knowledge. To have knowledge, before one has had any experience, the child must have that knowledge imparted to him. He must know there is a God, or he has an excuse. He must know Jesus is his savior, or he can not be saved.
    And some infants will know the truth of Jesus, because God can (and does) impart this knowledge to them directly - even into a mother's womb.

    I guess I went off on a tangent there, but it was relevant. God is the only source of knowledge. Experience only serves to bring innate knowledge to light - the evidence does not prove God exists, we already knew - it merely makes us aware of the knowledge. We know God exists from our mother's womb, we are sometimes given faith in Jesus before we are born. We can not know God exists simply by means of observation of the "evidence", nor are there any valid proofs that God exists. God is not "one with nature" - but nature (the natural man) knows God exists - and he is therefore without any excuse. The spiritual man knows Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    We need to be clear that we can not argue our way into having the saving knowledge that is the Gospel, and God has made his existence known to all men so they are without excuse. Arguments can strengthen our faith, or soften the hearts (minds) of non-believers. But the line between belief in Jesus, and unbelief, can only be crossed by God's grace and free gift of saving faith. It can not be crossed by arguments. We can take a man up to the line, but only God takes him over the line.
  8. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I agree. :ditto:
  9. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    That God is the source of knowledge we both agree.

    It is not pantheistic to assert that God has given empyrical evidence within the created order.

    God has given man empyrical and rational proof of His existence so that man is inexcusable.

    Paul is referring to the concept of the teleological argument, which even Kant could not unravel, and Hume made feeble attempts at.

    [Edited on 1-18-2006 by Saiph]
  10. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    If you use the term "proof" to mean an argument which is convincing, then you are making it possible for man to know God apart from God's revelation. But the evidence points in different directions, depending on your presuppositions. This gives the atheist a good excuse for denying God. By the atheists worldview, the "facts" point to there being no God. Their worldview dictates this conclusion. However, it is fallacious in the same way "proofs" of God are always fallacious. The evidence is not neutral. Observable facts are our "interpretation" of our sensory experiences. They are subject to the principle presuppositions (the axioms) we have about metaphysics and epistemology. If one holds a empiricist+atheist world view - the evidence can not point to God.

    If you talk to a true believer in the Theory of Evolution, they will always point to the overwhelming evidence. And they are right. But only because they have already presumed the presuppositions of "natural" science - that says that only observable things are real, and that only a "natural" answer can explain our observations. Given those presuppositions, they have no choice but to believe in the TOE. The evidence points to TOE! Even though TOE is bad science, by it's own standards, it's still the only reasonable conclusion, because a supernatural answer is rejected out-of-hand. Until you show them that their presuppositions dictate their view of the facts, no evidential arguments will even begin to convince them.

    If you talk to a rationalist who presumes there is no God, he will see the logical fallacy of the TAG and other so-called proofs of God. It is immediately evident to the rationalist that the conclusion follows only by presuming God exists. This is circular. The fault is in the form of the argument, not in the man.

    The nature of God makes it impossible to prove His existence is necessarily true. A neutral position on God's existence, can not lead to a proof of God. All the proofs that deduce God, have the assumption that there must be a "first mover" or a "first reasoner" or a "transcendental cause of intelligibility".

    Here is the picture of a neutral man: he has no experience; he has no knowledge. Now how does he get started? He can not deduce anything from nothing. Let's assume he can gain "experiential" knowledge (it's absurd but let's assume it anyhow). Observations of the natural world can not lead necessarily to the conclusion of a supernatural being, because this is a logical fallacy. You can only deduce in terms of prior knowledge. But if he knows innately that God exists, and he acknowledges this truth, all the evidence will point to God. If he suppresses this knowledge, none of the evidence will convince him. For he assumes no God exists, and the evidence (observations of the natural world) can only prove the existence of the natural world (if even that).
  11. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    For God showed it to them. This does not indicate he gave us clues, or that he drew a picture to see with our eyes. When God "shows" us things, it means he is given us knowledge. Let him who has eyes see the truth. The truth is the Word of God revealed to man by God.

    "They who are without excuse" refers to "the things that have been made". And "in" can be translated "by".

    How can we say this is empirical evidence of the "invisible attributes". It only makes sense of man already has innate knowledge of God. To clearly perceive means to understand, not necessarily "see with the eyes". We understand the truth that God has shown us, his creation.

    I don't think this supports empirical knowledge - rather it supports innate knowledge. I think innate and revealed spiritual knowledge is better supported by scripture.

    And this would also excuse our children and others who are too feeble minded to "perceive" this evidence of God's invisible attributes.

    [Edited on 1-18-2006 by Civbert]

    [Edited on 1-18-2006 by Civbert]

    [Edited on 1-18-2006 by Civbert]
  12. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Because God is invisible and His attributes are abstract. I could just as well say that by your actions and works of art I can see your invisible attributes.

    Can you see, touch, or hear emotions love, fear, anger, etc . . . Can you see attributes like omnipotence, immutability, goodness ? ? No, but when we look at the sheer imensity of the universe and the unfathomable complexity of the world, we are right to conclude that it did not happen by chance, and out of nothing. If someone put it all here, they preceded the time space continuum, and are therefore eternal. You can work most everything out from there.

    I said that the knowledge is innate as well and deductive from the phenomenological. The TA and the classical arguments are good.

    One needs faith to believe the gospel. God must grant faith to someone for them to realize that the limited atonement of Christ applies to them.
  13. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    All very good reasons why I am not a Presuppositionalist, why I reject it, Anthony. I'm not saying that I won't agree with it; I'm saying that I can't agree with it.
  14. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Really, we need to adress the initial question set forth by Chris.

    Are the classic evidential arguments unbiblical ?

    I say, it depends on how far you take them.
    I believe Van Til is correct in saying the knowledge God imparts to us of Himself through natural and special revelation is integral to understanding anything else.

    However, should we conclude from that, as Anthony and John Frame seem to do that unregenerate man cannot discern this knowledge by reason and the senses ? And that it is by intuition only ?

    My question is, without language, or understanding, what form does that intuition take ? And does it really diminish God's sovereignty to say rather that God created man's mind, and senses, in a generally capable capacity to understand His eternal attributes from nature ?
    After all, man is the single component of the same created order that God displays His attributes through, that alone reveals those in a very unique way, because we bear His image.
  15. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    All men are liars, and they lie to themselves also about what they know, or what they think they know. It is called "dissembling". The facts to not lie, but men do.

    The facts are what they are, not what men make of them, whether they are unbelievers or Christians. I take my own presuppositions as needing to be brought into conformity with God's revelations, both general and special, a lifelong process that is never finished. These revelations cannot fail us, but our own thoughts can fail us. Thus conformity to truth is always the watchword for the man wanting to gain in understanding.

    It is not that the unregenerate man does not or cannot see the same things as the Christian. Anselm showed conclusively that the man who intelligently denies God's existence is merely lying to himself and to others. Not only is the image of God in him, but it is evident all around him. The Presuppositionalist has this right: the "intelligent" unregenerate man, who disbelieves because of "the evidences" is being dishonest to his most basic preconsiderations. But he is also dishonest about those evidences. It is impossible that there be evidence that God does not exist. Any person, regenerate or not, can come to that conclusion, if he is willing to submit to truth.

    And that is the crux of it: willingness to submit to truth. The evidences are not to blame; the classical categories are not to blame; and the creation is not to blame. What gives men the boldness to make public spectacles of themselves, proudly proclaiming their pretenses, is that they find a willing audience in the masses, people hungry for the emptiness and nothingness, the foolishness that is foisted as knowledge. There is a ready market for it. And where there is a ready market, there are many who are more than willing to provide for that market.

    But men themselves are vain. They prefer the lie. And if God approaches them, they run the other way to avoid Him. How could they run the other way if they could not see Him coming? And surely they do that. So they are liars if they tell me that they do not see Him, that they intelligently deny His existence.

    It's like denying that cars exist, but yet always looking both ways before crossing the road.
  16. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Well said John. :up:
  17. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I don't necessarily disagree with you. But it there are two issues that I think distort the facts: the noetic effect of sin on mens minds, and the worldview they hold. I don't think the unregenerate atheist will even agree on what the facts are. The facts we determine, are themselves an interpretation of our senses (when they are empirical) and are therefor subjective. A person with an anti-Christian worldview will not agree with the Christian in what he thinks the facts are, much less what they infer.

    One can see this by simply adopting our opponents axioms (presuppositions) and see that the facts they believe are completely different. And the conclusions they point to is not the existence of God, or his attributes. We see God's attributes in the creation because we are aware of his attributes and this makes sense of the world. But the only thing that empirical observations will tell the atheist is that the only thing that is real is what he can sense.

    So whether you want to say this is due to their suppressing the truth that is written in their hearts (minds), or it is due to their worldview axioms, it comes to the same thing. Men will not believe the Gospel based on "evidence" that they don't see, or "proofs" which are necessarily circular.

    People come to Christ because they hear the Gospel, and if Spirit makes them believe the truth, and their need for Christ. And with this regeneration of their minds, we can see how it explains the world around us.

    I think the only use for evidential arguments is gained if we get our opponents to admit that they hold epistemological and metaphysical presuppositions. And then, we try to get them to adopt our presuppositions for the sake of argument, to show how it make sense of the world and morality and our relationship to God. Even if this does not convince them (it will not), they will (if they want to be rational about it) admit that the Christian worldview is good. Then perhaps we can adopt their presuppositions (for the sake of argument) and show how their worldview leads to skepticism or or irrational mysticism. This won't convince them either, they may just admit they are skeptics or mystics and say that's the way things are.

    We can hold our own with apologetics, showing the rationality and cohesiveness and comprehensiveness of Christianity. We can demonstrate the flaws of other worldviews. *But we can not prove the truth of Christianity without abandoning the logic we defend it with.

    If we could prove the truth of Christianity, they would have no choice but to believe it, and they would do so without receiving it as a gift from God! So a proof of Christianity is a violation of what we say is the source of saving faith. Only the regenerating of the Spirit can give one saving faith.


    *I am using proof in the sense of the classical proofs being deductive and formally valid and sound arguments.

    P.S. Anselm was wrong. ;)

    [Edited on 1-19-2006 by Civbert]
  18. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    :ditto: and :amen:

    I would also clarify that certain arguments like TAG do not fit under this category of "proof." TAG is certainly sound, but it assumes that scripture is true in both of it's premises, and therefore assumes what it is trying to prove, and therefore circular. In language, this is not what people want when they ask for "proof".

    Sadly, when people ask for "proof", what they really want is empirical or rational evidence.

    1Co 1:22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;
    1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
    1Co 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
  19. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Anthony, I am not talking about a proof of Christianity, I am talking about a proof for the existence of God.

    Big difference.
  20. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I'm talking about both. Teleological, Transcendental, Evidential, they all fail to prove God exists due to errors in reasoning.

    [Edited on 1-19-2006 by Civbert]
  21. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Yeah, its cool, it seems to be a bit hyper-vantillian. I have a broader definition of proof.

    Proof n.
    The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true.

    Nothing can be known with absolute certainty, because it requires exhaustive knowledge, which God alone posesses.

    But we certainly do have enough proof dislayed in nature to our senses, and enough proof within our own consciences to comdemn us for eternity. We need grace to receive salvation.
  22. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    So the errors are in men, not in the evidences? Or is it that even if God were to part the sea right in front of us, that would tell us nothing because all evidences fail due to men's errors in reasoning?

    [Edited on 1-19-2006 by JohnV]
  23. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Proof doesn't have to be exhaustive, just sufficient. I don't know God exhaustively, but I know Him. And He didn't show me all of Himself, but He showed me enough to convince me. If I am not satisfied until He has shown me everthing about Him then that is stubborness on my part, remaining unconvinced even when more than enough proof has been given me, simply for the reason that He has not given me all of it.
  24. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Exactly John, no one will be able to say, "But God, there simply was not enough proof."
  25. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    What I need from a Presuppositionalist to convince me is integrity. Internal and external integrity. No offence, Anthony, but your defence of it is laden with contradictions. It is quite suprising to me that people believe this kind of thing, and that it is so openly defended as such.

    But the integrity that I'm looking for is for a Presuppositionalist to stand up, finally, and say "Enough of this!" Did you know that men are standing on pulpits proclaiming Presuppositionalism as necessary according to Scripture? Did you know that Sola Scriptura is equated with Presuppositionalism on pulpits? Did you know that some proclaim that to disagree with Presuppositionalism is a sin?

    The RPW, as it stands in our day, is now of two different and mutually exclusive parts, but hold together because they relate to two different kinds of people. The RPW that we all know goes like this "Whatever is not commanded is forbidden." But that is for the non-ordained. The RPW for the ordained is "What is not forbidden may be commanded." If GA says that a certain opinion does not violate the WCF, then it may be preached by an ordained man, on the grounds that the preacher believes it to be Biblical. So in the case of Presuppositionalism, it may be preached. It has not been ruled as what the Bible teaches or imposes, because the same "not forbidden" ruling has been granted to Evidentialism and Classicalism; so they don't really say what the Bible teaches in that regard. As an opinion it does not violate the WCF. So men who are ordained may preach it because for them the RPW is that "what is not forbidden may be commanded." As proof of this, look how many are preaching the Framework Hypothesis, Postmillennialism, and even heretical views such as Federal Vision, simply on the grounds that they believe it to be Biblical themselves, not because of any denominational decision that these are what the Bible imposes. If it is not forbidden then it may be commanded by ordained men; this is now the rule by convention. ( That is, it is the going rule because everyone is doing it, unchecked and unabated. )

    That is what using the pulpit for it is doing; it identifies the minister's opinion with God's commands. In spite of all the church documentation that prohibits this, that only the Word of God be preached, yet these very churches allow the pulpit to be used to expound and propagate men's opinions from the pulpits, and therefore as equal to the Word of God.

    But it does not stop there. Did you know that Presuppositionalism is now prerequisite to theology? It is a fundamental doctrine for certain ideologies. Reconstructionism comes to mind. It is vehemently defended as the true form of Reformational interpretation, but Presuppostionalism is a necessary prerequisite. That is, then, that Presuppositionalism is necessary to interpret the Bible properly. So it is even more fundamental than the Bible. And this is how it is preached from pulpits: it is expounded, defended, porpagated, and imposed because the pulpit is liberally used to this end.

    Within my lifetime the case has been that if a minister preached his opinion, because he thought it was Biblical, but on the pretense of his own ordained authority, then it resulted in a scandal. It was considered the most audacious act a minister could do, to preach his opinions as Biblical based on the fact that he was ordained to preach what he believed rather than what he was commanded to preach. If he saw the two as the same thing then there was a big problem. To say, "It is his opinion" was an indictment, not an excusing.

    In our day, if it is found that a minister is convinced that his opinion is Biblical, and it is not forbidden, then that is reason enough for him to preach it. The consciences of the unordained mean nothing; they, the unordained, have to abide by the other RPW, which forbids what is not commanded. So a minister may command his opinion, and therefore the unordained may not oppose it because it is commanded. This man is ordained and he may lord his opinions over the unordained. He lives by a different rule.

    So you have the possiblitity that God commands this apologetic in one church, another apologetic in another church, and perhaps no particular apologetic in a third church. All this being sanctioned by the same Spirit. Presuppositionalism makes these different views mutually exclusive. So in one church you may have the Spirit-sanctioned teaching that is mutually exclusive of what is Spirit-sanctioned in another church.

    And this we present to the world as the gospel?

    It is true that this states the case almost too blatantly, though not untruly. But my point is that there is no single Presuppositionalist that stands up and says, "This is enough; it is forbidden." Not one is found who cares enough for his point of view to protect it from this kind of abuse. Who of the Presuppositionalists protested when Mark Rushdoony delivered his speach at the Chalcedon convention? Who of them said that this is going far too far, making Presuppositionalism, a man's precept, into a fundamental ground for new ideologies, and calling it superior Christianity? Are there any? If there is, then I'd like to know, because perhaps he may be able to convince me. At least he may have some integrity for his reasonings to seem credible. But while this remains as going on, unabated and unchecked by Presuppositionalists, no Presuppositionalist has credibility. Even if there are credible Presuppositionalists, they are of such a minority that they have no say in things. When it finally finds its proper place in theology it may have some, we'll have to see. But until then, while it imposes itself even over God's Word with reckless abandon, and no Presuppositionalist is found to give it integrity, it has no credibility.
  26. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    I would like to know these contradictions of which you speak. If one must rid all contradictions in their theology (which should be done) one must rid themselves of all logical fallacies, as the presupps are trying to do.

    As they should.

    I don´t know of any specific cases, but I can definitely see the STRONG relationship between presuppositionalism and sola scriptura. Let me ask you, do you believe that "œAll Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work"?

    The Bible furnishes man with all of the apologetic necessary for Christians. Pressup is the apologetic of Jesus and Paul. If you can provide me one apologetic that is different, I would love to see it. We are commanded to defend the hope that is in us for sure, but will throwing tomatoes do? Will a rocket launcher help? No. God has given us a specific weapon and told us to use it, the Bible.

    Yes. In order to use empirical or rational arguments, one must DENY GOD in order to PROVE GOD. This is sin. The empirical or rationalist must completely abandon the scripture for just a moment when he argues with nonbelievers. "œLet me pretend for just a moment that God does not exist, so I can prove him to you." Does this sound like Christ is King, even over our apologetic? Christ must be central to ALL of our apologetic endeavors.

    No comment.

    Pressup is NOT man´s opinion, it is the Bible´s. Just because you disagree with pressup does not make it non-scriptural. I have heard pressup from the pulpit, and give it a hearty AMEN!

    I have no idea what you are talking about, can you cite examples?

    No comment.

    This is true, but the question is, which one is right?

    John"¦.that is why we are to STUDY and to find out exactly what the Bible does say about pressup, RPW, traducianism, supralapsarianism, birth control etc. etc.

    The church will not be harmonious on these doctrines until that great day (and a GREAT day it will be!).

    I don´t know what presupps you have been reading, but the pastor of which I speak is willing to call it sin, and say ENOUGH. To my knowledge, so do the greats of pressup in this centure, GHC and CVT. It is not a matter of "œgetting a little better" in our apologetic, it is a matter of a right apologetic, and a wrong one. One that is logically found in the WCF and the scriptures, and one that is not found in either.

    Chapter I Of the Holy Scripture
    IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.[9]

    9. II Peter 1:19-20; II Tim. 3:16; I John 5:9; I Thess. 2:13; Rev. 1:1-2

    V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.[10] And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts. [11]

    10. I Tim 3:15
    11. I Cor. 2:4-5, 9-10; Heb. 4:12; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11, 59:21; Rom. 11:36: Psa. 19:7-11; II Tim. 3:15; I Thess. 1:5; I John 2:20, 27
  27. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    :up: Jeff

    John, with all due respect you are drifting from the purpose of the thread. While I will not say, "He is a sinner because he is non-presup," if presup is biblical, then (___________________; draw the conclusion).

    How or would I preach presup? Well, for one I wouldn't preach presup. But I will say this from the pulpit: The scriptures judge us, not we the Scriptures. I wouldn't give evidential arguments from the pulpit for that matter. But even granting your points, so? This doesn't apply to me or any presups I know and is a moot point on this thread.
  28. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    This is not the ruling of the church, for the church has ruled that three different apologetics do not transgress the WCF, and therefore do not transgress Biblical teaching. If the authority of Christ on earth, namely the church ruling only by the Word and necessary consequence, has not ruled that Presuppositionalism was the apologetic of Jesus and Paul, then men may not do so on their own. If it is not a church ruling, it is not authoritative.

    Men insist on it, not churches. It is men who say it should be preached, not the churches' Confession. It is men who claim it to be Jesus' and Paul's apologetic, not the Bible. It is men who usurp the authority of the pulpit to proclaim it, just as you say they should. So far no reputable church has mandated it as exclusively Biblical, no accepted Confession, and no Biblical necessity has done so either. It is only in your own mind that this has taken place.

    Presuppositionalism will finally just fade away. What I am concerned about is the church. The pulpit is the central focus of the church: the preaching of the Word. When that is polluted by men, then where is the church? Surely there are still faithful people in the church, but if the pulpits are not kept, then how long will that be so? On the arbitrary ruling of men things are propounded from the pulpit, not just as being equal to the Word, but as being necessary prior to the Word.

    I actually have to provide no examples, though I am quite able to. For you yourself have not only suggested but insisted that Presuppositionalism ought to be preached from the pulpit, and that Presuppositionalism was the apologetic of Jesus and Paul. This is quite audacious enough. I need prove no more to you, for you prove it to yourself. You say these things as if they are obviously true, and yet without any sanction from any real authority. No one has ruled that these things are so, but only men have.

    [Edited on 1-20-2006 by JohnV]
  29. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    John, help me out:
    Given your standards, it would seem that all the church could preach on is what's specifically stated in the Confessions. But this would rule against making good and necessary deductions from the Confession. No, the Confession doesn't state presuppositionalism, but a pastor in the pulpit, applying the word to current situations, may indeed discover, alongside the teachings of sound men, that this indeed is in harmony (More so?) than the others.
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