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Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by TomVols, Aug 19, 2019.
Escape what? If you're referring to circulatory I've already addressed that.
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!
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.
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.”
I probably agree, but is it Van Tillian to separate the two? I remember Bahnsen and Van Til criticizing Schaeffer on this point. My Bahnsen reader is packed up, but I think I have the quote somewhere. I'll try to find it.
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.
I could be wrong, but I believe you are correct here in your assessment of Van Til and Bahnsen.
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.
They criticized Schaefer for regarding it as an "hypothesis" to be tested by evidence and reason. Whether that's fair I don't know.
I don't remember that. I'm interested in what inconsistency Schaeffer was engaged, that they would criticize him. FAS certainly had his share.
Sorry, I mainly meant that I think Jacob was correct about the separation of apologetics and evangelism. But @Henry Hall may have corrected me above.
True but I personally advocate a indirect method of challenging the unbeliever. And In my personal experience that works well.
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.
No problem brother. Keep posting!
But i know that in the Bahnsen reader that was the main critique.
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?
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.
Is Christianity merely an hypothesis or the truth?
Nice Van Till quote.
The truth. I'm sorry; I don't get the point of your question. Are you just amenning?
Again, I don't understand. Are you saying that Schaeffer got the orange illustration from Van Til?
No I'm wrong I heard Dr. Oliphint say it. I'm sorry.
I'm saying we know what the truth is. Why not go from there? Is it an hypothesis or the truth?
Preconditions of intelligibility. The TAG.
I wasn't talking about Schaeffer's inconsistencies, but that Bahnsen criticizing his separation of apologetics and evangelism.
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.
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.
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.
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.