I wrote this a while ago and thought I would post it here. In pondering the reliability of presuppositional apologetics, I was on the brink of providing a fusion of evidentialism and presuppositionalism. This would have turned out to be a bad thing indeed, given the fact that I had many objections against the former and had formulated seemingly insurmountable arguments against it. I thought I was therefore in a quagmire – I learned the need of evidential apologetics, but I had previously denied the validity of them. But this was all mistaken; I had made a false dichotomy of what each school of apologetics discusses. I had basically thought that presuppositionalism dealt with the internal consistency of a worldview and evidentialism with the external consistency. This is due to the fact that apologists such as Cornelius Van Til denied any kind of evidences (such as the traditional theistic proofs, facts supporting Christ’s resurrection, etc.) as proving God’s existence, because first, this would not prove the authority of God, but rather the authority of evidences; and second, man in his depraved state would always interpret things according to his presupposition – e.g. even evidence for Christ’s bodily resurrection would rationally be determined a naturally caused event according to naturalistic presuppositions. In my thinking on the subject, I was led to two huge questions: (1) Can internal consistency alone “prove” a presupposition? (2) Is everything interpreted or otherwise distorted by our presupposition? Regarding the former, this would appear to be insufficient. Take the following example: if you were to show that the implications of another person’s presupposition were logically inconsistent, the other person could simply disaffirm the laws of logic stemming from his axiom. And what about the fact that this is incontrovertibly contrary to experience? He could not possibly believe that laws of logic are not in effect, much less could he live like that. But if you were only allowed to argue for internal consistency, you could not make any sort of objection against him. He would have a coherent (though paradoxically incoherent) case for his worldview, since he denied logic as the “glue” for his coherence. And the same goes with the undefeatable axiom “Nothing exists,” which simply cannot be disproven internally. If internal consistency were the only criterion for “proving” a presupposition, then Christianity would be one among many. Clearly external consistency to some types of truths must exist, which leads us to our next question. As with the previous example, it would have been entirely fine to point out that the unbeliever’s worldview is incompatible with the laws of logic and should be consequently discarded. The laws of logic, by God’s grace, cannot be tossed out. They are within man necessarily. But what about Van Til’s claim that everything is distorted by the natural man? This is clearly evident in such examples as explaining away Christ’s resurrection to natural causes and “chance.” Interestingly enough, the story of Christ’s resurrection caused me to consider external consistency in apologetics in the first place. I wandered about the scenario, What if I saw the disciples steal the body (not through a videotape or anything, but with my own two eyes, an obviously hypothetical situation)? It would be improper for me to explain this away by denying sense perception or some similar absurd solution, since that would mark an inconsistency within my worldview, as sense perception is affirmed elsewhere. Thus I deduced that, in determining worldviews’ consistency, undeniable external evidences are just as much within the discussion as presuppositional corollaries. That is, just as I test for consistency throughout the implications of my presupposition, so also I must test consistency with undeniable facts of existence. But how do I determine which facts of existence are undeniable? It cannot only be those which can be axiomatic in themselves (logic, uniformity of nature, sense perception, etc.), as the example of witnessing the theft of Christ’s body would imply. But to go the other direction, it cannot be every witnessed event, as the naturalist’s rejection of the resurrection would imply. There must be a middle ground. I believe I have found it, and the answer is what I term to be primary interpretations. Primary interpretations are interpretations which have not yet gone through the filter of our presuppositions and therefore cannot yet be distorted by our depravity. As one example, unbelievers cannot deny that laws of logic exist (in practice, at least), though they may make a secondary interpretation and believe that laws of logic are self-existing, naturalistic entities. In the primary interpretation, we have a small amount of common ground (metaphysical rather than epistemological, in Van Til’s terms) with which to test external consistency, but we do not allow the unbelievers’ presuppositions to wreak havoc with the data. Although the unbeliever naturally sees all facts through his yellow glasses, there is a point at which God’s grace restrains him from distorting some facts, and it is those points which we attack. The question still remains, though, How can we discern which of the non-axiomatic beliefs can be deemed “undeniable”? What facts are on par with a personal witness of the disciples’ stealing Christ’s body? Thus far, the best answer I can give is that with such empirical data, the substance of the primary interpretation largely depends upon the data available. That is, I cannot give a hard and fast principle – much less an exhaustive list – of non-axiomatic data available. It depends largely on what exactly each person sees, which is hard to define, seeing as I do not know the future or other people’s minds. The one perceived exception to the “primary interpretation” rule is that the interpretation of texts seems to be safeguarded from depravity for the most part. That is, while some people may still sinfully interpret a text, all it takes is a more comprehensive exegesis (as opposed to a presuppositional worldview shift) to correct them. I am not sure how that currently fits into my apologetical theory of primary interpretations, but for whatever reason it nonetheless can be categorized under that. I will have to study more about the philosophy of language and its theological implications. Lastly, the significance of external consistency still does not permit for an autonomous view where one can collect all the undeniable truths (non-theistic axiomatic beliefs and primary interpretations) and subsequently decide which worldview is most fitting, i.e. a cumulative case apologetic. That view still leads to the destruction of knowledge. Christianity in the apologetical dispute must be presented as the precursor to argumentation itself: this is what our marvelous presuppositional apologists have taught us, and it is the most biblical method. Let us continue our endeavor in this way.