Presuppostionalism "Eventually bogs down?"

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jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
It doesn't have to be that way. Let's go another route:

The person might be asking a sincere question about the Bible, and shifting the discussion to the nature of contradiction and then saying 'your worldview cannot account for that' seems like dealing from the bottom of the deck.

What they will take home from the discussion is that the person didn't actually answer the question.


But that involves the actual text of the Bible, so we really haven't escaped that.
Escape what? If you're referring to circulatory I've already addressed that.
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
The person might be asking a sincere question about the Bible, and shifting the discussion to the nature of contradiction and then saying 'your worldview cannot account for that' seems like dealing from the bottom of the deck.
It *will* seem like that to the unbeliever, because whether he is aware of it, he has ultimate commitments—different from those of the Christian—and thinks that everyone should be arguing assuming assuming his worldview. Too often Christians have been willing to answer the fool according to his folly. Proverbs 26:4,5.

How dare the Christian make the unbeliever back up what he has to say against the One True God!
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It *will* seem like that to the unbeliever, because whether he is aware of it, he has ultimate commitments—different from those of the Christian—and thinks that everyone should be arguing assuming assuming his worldview. Too often Christians have been willing to answer the fool according to his folly. Proverbs 26:4,5.
I know all the Van Tillian talking points. I am not denying that people bring ultimate commitments to the table. I am simply questioning the wisdom of doing a post-Kantian master's course seminar on the sidewalk in an evangelistic encounter.
How dare the Christian make the unbeliever back up what he has to say against the One True God!
Dialing it back about 40 notches, I would respond that no one is saying "get the unbeliever off the hook." Sometimes press them on inconsistencies in their worldview. Fair enough. But maybe some unbelievers simply want some answers. Assuming they aren't there to be jerks, I'm perfectly fine to remove stumbling blocks to the faith and maybe, just maybe the Holy Spirit will convert them.

I've had more fruitful evangelistic encounters by simply giving knowledge in a kind way that cornering them with the impossibility of the contrary.
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
I've had more fruitful evangelistic encounters by simply giving knowledge in a kind way that cornering them with the impossibility of the contrary
This is not opposed to Van Tilian presuppositionalism.

Apologetics are not evangelism. Sometimes both occur in the same conversation. Other times, apologetics serve, as Calvin said, “to shut the mouths of the obstreperous.”

Van Til said that in some conversations, the only appropriate thing to do is to preach the Gospel “the same old way.”

*Of course* the presuppositionalist is ready to do that, and is hoping and praying for the conversion of his interlocutor.

To assume anything other than that about the presuppositionalist would not be “kind.”
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Junior
It also may tell them that we simply can't answer the question. [...] They probably won't care.
You are very right. I've experienced it many times. I just realize that I shouldn't necessarily question my apologetic—especially when I believe it is supremely biblical—simply because a God-hating reprobate mind continues to do what it does best. It doesn't mean I don't care for their souls. It just means that I won't be too concerned about my apologetic simply because the fool walks away thinking I am the fool.
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
You may be thinking of p. 57ff of Bahsen's Van Til's Apologetic, a section entitled "Different Ways of Speaking: Theology, Philosophy, Apologetics, Witnessing" in which the distinct disciplines are compared.

Yet apologetics are "the vindication of the Christian philosophy of life over against the non-Christian philosophy of life," which is not evangelism.
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
I probably agree, but is it Van Tillian to separate the two? I remember Bahnsen and Van Til criticizing Schaeffer on this point.
I don't remember that. I'm interested in what inconsistency Schaeffer was engaged, that they would criticize him. FAS certainly had his share.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
It *will* seem like that to the unbeliever, because whether he is aware of it, he has ultimate commitments—different from those of the Christian—and thinks that everyone should be arguing assuming assuming his worldview. Too often Christians have been willing to answer the fool according to his folly. Proverbs 26:4,5.

How dare the Christian make the unbeliever back up what he has to say against the One True God!
True but I personally advocate a indirect method of challenging the unbeliever. And In my personal experience that works well.
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
They criticized Schaefer for regarding it as an "hypothesis" to be tested by evidence and reason. Whether that's fair I don't know.
Bahnsen criticized Schaeffer for saying in Death in the City that he encourages people to look at non-Christian worldviews and the Christian worldview side-by-side, and on that basis see the superiority of Christianity and choose it.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Bahnsen criticized Schaeffer for saying in Death in the City that he encourages people to look at non-Christian worldviews and the Christian worldview side-by-side, and on that basis see the superiority of Christianity and choose it.
But i know that in the Bahnsen reader that was the main critique.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
I know all the Van Tillian talking points. I am not denying that people bring ultimate commitments to the table. I am simply questioning the wisdom of doing a post-Kantian master's course seminar on the sidewalk in an evangelistic encounter.


Dialing it back about 40 notches, I would respond that no one is saying "get the unbeliever off the hook." Sometimes press them on inconsistencies in their worldview. Fair enough. But maybe some unbelievers simply want some answers. Assuming they aren't there to be jerks, I'm perfectly fine to remove stumbling blocks to the faith and maybe, just maybe the Holy Spirit will convert them.

I've had more fruitful evangelistic encounters by simply giving knowledge in a kind way that cornering them with the impossibility of the contrary.
I think all in all your second part of your response was spot on, dont see what that has to do with Van Til. As far as the post Kantian remark I'm not following you?
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
Bahnsen also criticized Schaeffer for his telling the unbelieving scientist that he did well; he had "half the orange." Now he just needed to get Christianity into his project; then he would have the other half of the orange.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Bahnsen also criticized Schaeffer for his telling the unbelieving scientist that he did well; he had "half the orange." Now he just needed to get Christianity into his project; then he would have the other half of the orange.
Nice Van Till quote.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Preconditions of intelligibility. The TAG.
Does that make Van Til Post Kantian or did he borrow a method? If borrowing a method makes him Post Kantian than that's a very Vantillian critique of Van Til. I follow Frame in thinking that Van Til wasn't always his best at criticism. Although his worst still had some merit. I do think he nailed Karl Barth despite what some people think, probably his best.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
I wasn't talking about Schaeffer's inconsistencies, but that Bahnsen criticizing his separation of apologetics and evangelism.
Have you read Dr. Edgar's paper on the subject? Well worth the read. Again it seems to me that his critique of Schaeffer was the same as Carnell.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
The truth. I'm sorry; I don't get the point of your question. Are you just amenning?
Like Carnell, Schaefer thought Christianity was a hypothesis to be tested. Does that make more sense? If it is, in theory, merely a hypothesis than that gives the unbeliever the right (Practically or otherwise) to their autonomy.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Does that make Van Til Post Kantian or did he borrow a method? If borrowing a method makes him Post Kantian than that's a very Vantillian critique of Van Til. I follow Frame in thinking that Van Til wasn't always his best at criticism. Although his worst still had some merit. I do think he nailed Karl Barth despite what some people think, probably his best.
I am not saying Van Til is Kantian because he talks like a post-Kantian. I am saying he used the discourse he inherited from post-Kantian idealism. That's not good or bad. It just is. the larger question is whether that discourse is the best way to do philosophy. I don't think it is.

My comment didn't have anything to do with Barth (who himself abandoned Kant after his discovery of the anhypostatic distinction).

My point is that when you talk about preconditions of intelligibility, you are following the discussion Kant laid down.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
I am not saying Van Til is Kantian because he talks like a post-Kantian. I am saying he used the discourse he inherited from post-Kantian idealism. That's not good or bad. It just is. the larger question is whether that discourse is the best way to do philosophy. I don't think it is.

My comment didn't have anything to do with Barth (who himself abandoned Kant after his discovery of the anhypostatic distinction).

My point is that when you talk about preconditions of intelligibility, you are following the discussion Kant laid down.
Would you agree it was methodological in nature, his use of post Kantian philosophy? And I only brought up Barth as an example.
 
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