Presuppostionalism "Eventually bogs down?"

Status
Not open for further replies.

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Why is it that only “major” debaters count? Do not the conversations I’ve had count? Why can’t I be my own apologist?

Sure, it counts. But the reason that William Lane Craig represents classical apologetics and I do not is because he has visibility.
Is it because Durbin thus invalidates the typical caricature you so often present of presuppositionalists?

yes.
By what authority do you get to decide who does and who does not “count”?

You have to presuppose my system before you can even make sense of that question.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Thank you for your honesty. This is not an intellectual objection; this is prejudice.

You didn't see the irony in the post, did you? I grant that there are presups who don't embody the "Yaah, howdoya know?" Approach. That's great. They also don't have the status or public visibility of Bahnsen. They aren't debating in major university forums. That's why I don't focus on them.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Poythress isn't an apologist.
Some of what Kline and Poythress wrote is apologetics. "The Structure of Biblical Authority" by Kline is very apologetical in nature and dedicated to Van Til. The books on worldview and the bible by Poythress are also apologetical.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Some of what Kline and Poythress wrote is apologetics. "The Structure of Biblical Authority" by Kline is very apologetical in nature and dedicated to Van Til. The books on worldview and the bible by Poythress are also apologetical.

Sure, they have apologetic value. Neither man, though, considered himself an apologist.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Sure, they have apologetic value. Neither man, though, considered himself an apologist.
That doesn't mean it isn't apologetic. Just because they don't claim to be apologists, and I'm not sure about that claim, doesn't mean they weren't doing apologetics. You seem, if I understand you correctly, to be restricting apologetics so that they can be ruled out as apologists. Am I right there?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
That doesn't mean it isn't apologetic. Just because they don't claim to be apologists, and I'm not sure about that claim, doesn't mean they weren't doing apologetics. You seem, if I understand you correctly, to be restricting apologetics so that they can be ruled out as apologists. Am I right there?

They do apologetics, but they aren't apologists like Bahnsen. Neither one did formal debates on the existence of God, or even appeared on CNN discussing this with atheists.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
They do apologetics, but they aren't apologists like Bahnsen. Neither one did formal debates on the existence of God, or even appeared on CNN discussing this with atheists.
True but the point is you said there are no presups doing "nitty gritty" scriptual apologetics. Those are two major scholars that did.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
You didn't see the irony in the post, did you? I grant that there are presups who don't embody the "Yaah, howdoya know?" Approach. That's great. They also don't have the status or public visibility of Bahnsen. They aren't debating in major university forums. That's why I don't focus on them.
It seems to me that God utilizes thousands upon thousands of people to do apologetics from all traditions and only hundreds upon hundreds to do it in a popular setting.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Sure, it counts. But the reason that William Lane Craig represents classical apologetics and I do not is because he has visibility.


yes.


You have to presuppose my system before you can even make sense of that question.
You can't possibly decide who does or doesn't count. That is up to the individual to decide whether they represent it or not. You also can't decide what a pressupossitional apologetics is by picking and choosing who counts, which seems to be the worst of us, and say "that's what pressupossitonalism is" (that's a straw man fallacy).
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Senior
True but the point is you said there are no presups doing "nitty gritty" scriptual apologetics. Those are two major scholars that did.

It seems to me that God utilizes thousands upon thousands of people to do apologetics from all traditions and only hundreds upon hundreds to do it in a popular setting.

You can't possibly decide who does or doesn't count. That is up to the individual to decide whether they represent it or not. You also can't decide what a pressupossitional apologetics is by picking and choosing who counts, which seems to be the worst of us, and say say "that's what pressupossitonalism is" (that's a straw man fallacy).

To be honest, brother, I don’t know how far this conversation is capable of going. I have a strong feeling we are dealing with some special pleading and some Texas sharpshooting. The difficult thing about that is that it’s very difficult to dialogue with it, since everything that is said in response will never meet the arbitrary criteria of the interlocutor.

So far, the only two objections I’ve gotten are these:

1) “The unbeliever on the street doesn’t understand it.”

2) “Sye Ten Bruggencate”

I’m not sure how to move forward with this.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
To be honest, brother, I don’t know how far this conversation is capable of going. I have a strong feeling we are dealing with some special pleading and some Texas sharpshooting. The difficult thing about that is that it’s very difficult to dialogue with it, since everything that is said in response will never meet the arbitrary criteria of the interlocutor.

So far, the only two objections I’ve gotten are these:

1) “The unbeliever on the street doesn’t understand it.”

2) “Sye Ten Burggencate”
I'm willing to conversate with anyone as long as they want to. You've given great posts BTW, very Insightful.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
To be honest, brother, I don’t know how far this conversation is capable of going. I have a strong feeling we are dealing with some special pleading and some Texas sharpshooting. The difficult thing about that is that it’s very difficult to dialogue with it, since everything that is said in response will never meet the arbitrary criteria of the interlocutor.

So far, the only two objections I’ve gotten are these:

1) “The unbeliever on the street doesn’t understand it.”

2) “Sye Ten Bruggencate”

I’m not sure how to move forward with this.
What is Texas sharpshooting? I lived there for 4 years and I never heard that before. It's funny.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
By the way, I consider James White to be an example of someone who is a presuppositionalist who does nitty-gritty apologetics. I also think Ravi Zacharias's worldview structure of Origin, Meaning, Morality, and Destiny is a form of presup. I've found Van Til to be helpful but I agree with some criticisms that have been leveled against really strict approaches that focus primarily on the issue of epistemology.

I've tried to follow the philosophical debates over the years over whether or not common sense realism or idealist approaches are philosophically sound. Some blame the former for Princeton's slide into heterodoxy.

I tend to see philosophy as a useful tool but the more fundamental issue is a respect for the Creator-creature distinction and a theological commitment to God's Word as God-breathed. People like the Socinians are more committed to the idea that they can philosophically pin God down before they are committed to God's Revelation to creatures. There's a whole crop of Christian intellectuals in the William Lane Craig mold who are more committed to arguments that are philosophically sound first according to the creature's standards and then subjecting the Scriptures to what is theologically fruitful to truth as measured by man.

I personally think that 2 Tim 2:24-25 is a solid foundation upon which any apologetic should proceed. The Christian no longer lives in bondage, soul and mind to idolatry. He never loses track of the fact that the person whom he is interacting with is enslaved just as he once was and should be patient in answering objections. He must never forget, however, that he's not converting people to a sound philosophical argument or to a worldview but from death to life. The person born in Adam is altogether like him as a man created in the image of God but is ethically hostile to God. He has the "machinery" of thought but it is weaponized in hostility to the Creator. We can and should defeat all arguments that deny God but in a spirit of humility and pity. It's a tall order.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Ravi endorsed Norman Geisler's apologetics. Ravi did admit, though, that he is more of an existential apologist.
Fair enough. Wherever he falls he is a warm person who engages hard questions and challenges people to think through their assumptions I don't always agree with the way some of his team is soft on certain assumptions they are committed to the idea that faith in Christ is more than an intellectual movement and aren't as speculative as WLC.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Ravi endorsed Norman Geisler's apologetics. Ravi did admit, though, that he is more of an existential apologist.
Ravi is amazing his way of talking alone is amazing. I do like the existential side of things, thet tend to get more personal, like the examples I gave.
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
It's what Chisholm and Moreland and Willard called "particularism." I don't have to worry about having to keep justifying my foundations or worried about the preconditions of intelligibility. It's what phenomenology ultimately got right: when I know a fact, I know the fact as it is presented to me (though this might take us too far afield on phenomology).
But do you know that fact only inasmuch as you presuppose the Christian God, or do you know it denying that that fact was preinterpreted by God?
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
Well for me, I hope some humility. I'm glad that he's changed. There's no reason to engage people like he used to.
I think part of what people didn't like about him was that he would destroy them in debates. When you do that, and may be you don't have the tact of Pastors Bahnsen and Durbin, then people--I'm sorry...like some women I've known--will start complaining about the WAY you're arguing.
But my point was, here's a guy who applies presup at the in a popular, less academic, street-level way.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
I think part of what people didn't like about him was that he would destroy them in debates. When you do that, and may be you don't have the tact of Pastors Bahnsen and Durbin, then people--I'm sorry...like some women I've known--will start complaining about the WAY you're arguing.
But my point was, here's a guy who applies presup at the in a popular, less academic, street-level way.
I'm a guy who does "less academic, street-level" pressupossitional apologetics with people and I've never treated them that way. The value of Van Till is you can let start wherever they want and go from there.
 

TomVols

Puritan Board Freshman
How much value is in the “In your Face” street style? Tim Keller said once he wasn’t a fan of doing CNN etc because it led to “sound-byte apologetics” and I have to agree. That said, I want public engagement in congenial ways. Again, Keller and others have addressed Google and Veritas. But Keller did say that presuppositional apologetics is the best method if you’re in that circumstance because it quickly addresses the root of the issue involved rather than lengthy proofs.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top