what view are you?

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by bigheavyq, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Classical (aquinas, geisler, sproul)

  2. Evidential (hanegraff, mcdowell, montgomery)

  3. Cumlative case (cs lewis, zacharias)

  4. Presuppositional I (van til, schaeffer, bahnsen)

  5. Presuppositional II (gordon clark)

  6. Reformed epistemology (plantiga, kj clark)

  7. Existential (barth, kierkegaard)

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  1. bigheavyq

    bigheavyq Puritan Board Freshman

    since there are about 6 views of apologetics which view are you?

    i am presuppositional from the van til school
  2. Timothy William

    Timothy William Puritan Board Junior

    I'm the same - 100% vote in the poll so far.
  3. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    I am presuppositional. :)
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Broadly Reformed Epistemology
  5. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    Gordan Clark was not presuppositional, he was a Christian Rationalist.
  6. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I'm largely in-line with the mindset (and the way of approaching issues) of the Van Tillian school of thought, except that I've never been convinced of the TAG as a silver-bullet.
  7. christianyouth

    christianyouth Puritan Board Senior

    Hrm... If existential means appealing to subjective religious experience(regeneration) as the basis for belief, then I'd be existential. Not sure if that that's the proper definition though.

    Just read what existential apologetics are. Much different from what my approach.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2007
  8. Sebastian Heck

    Sebastian Heck Puritan Board Freshman

    I am Biblical-Covenantal-Reformed Orthodox-Calvinist-Van Tilian. Honestly, I don't think Van Til reinvented the wheel here. He has more of the Reformed orthodox distinctions down (such as e.g. archetypal/ectypal distinction) than many realize. That's why I think the term/name "presuppositionalism" is not a very good one. It suggests Van Til was the founder of a new school which he wasn't. Guess what, he was Reformed!
    Gordon Clark wasn't biblical/presuppositionalist. But also Schaeffer shouldn't be grouped with Van Til - too many differences. Not even John Frame should be grouped with Van Til for that matter...
    Oh well, what a complicated world we live in! :)
  9. Brian Bosse

    Brian Bosse "The Brain"

    Hello Everyone,

    I voted for Presuppositional I; although, I think the poll is somewhat misleading. For instance, I think Clark is correct to understand starting points to be axiomatic. So, I am Clarkian in this sense. However, I do not believe that only and all knowledge is knowledge properly derived from the Scriptures. The key point being that there must already be knowledge of some sort prior to being able to derive anything from the Scriptures. The reason I pick Presuppostional I is because it really does attempt to start at the beginning - the presuppositions/axioms if you will. This underlies everything.

    With that said, I do not think Reformed Epistemology is properly called an apologetic method, even though it can be used with an apologetic method. The reason for my thinking being this way is that Reformed apologetics is really not offensive in nature. It does not provide a reason for someone to reject 'X' and embrace Christianity. It does provide an answer why my belief in God is warranted. So, it is not fair to compare it with all of the other methods listed.

    Classical apologetics is fun for me because of its philosophical basis. When one brings into apologetic the presuppositional underpinnings, then these arguments can be compelling.

    Evidential apologetics is my least favorite. If one wants to use this method, they need to be on top of all the latest science and discoveries. And even then, unless they deal with the presuppositional biases they will not get far. I do appreciate those who go into this arena - especially if they are able to point out the biases on the other side.

    Cumlative Case apologetics is part of evidentiary apologetics and maybe others. Again, you need to be on top of your stuff, and I absolutely enjoy reading these guys. Richard Swinburne's The Existence of God is a classic using an inductive logic based on several arguments to come up with the final conclusion that it is more likely God exists than not. Fun and fascinating. The problem with this is that you always have to be modifying the argument in some way as science continues to develop.

    Existential apologetics? What's that???

    In the end, I actually use a little of everything mentioned with the exception of "Existential", and the presuppositional argument underlies everything.

  10. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    My views are ecclectic so I really couldn't cram myself into one camp.

    I really like Francis Schaeffer but I like C.S. Lewis as well, and Sproul. So I guess that would make me just plain appologetically ecclectic.
  11. CatechumenPatrick

    CatechumenPatrick Puritan Board Freshman

    How about primarily 4 but with influences from 5 and 6; and 1, 2, and 3 (and possibly 4 depending on what is meant by "existential"--but no to the irrationalism of Kierkegaard and the likes, in any case), in supplemental, later work (such as after a presuppositional groundwork has been set, perhaps in an "ad hominem" of the opponents view as Clark called it).
  12. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I don't think this is true. A rationalist believes that truth can be obtained by human faculty alone. Clark believed that all knowledge depends on revelation. And his approach to revelation was completely presuppositional. Am I missing something?
  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Lately I have been feeling irrational/fideistic/existential.

    just kidding. I like a lot of what Van Til had to say. Read most everything he wrote, bahnsen wrote, and frame wrote. I disagree with Van Til's critiques of other apologists, though. In fact, I can show where Van Til uses the same terminology and methods as people he critiques (actually, followers of people he critiques use the same stuff as Van Til).

    I don't hold to the silver bullet TAG (not many do, come to think of it).

    As pertaining to a negative critique of opposing worldviews, I am definitely Van Tillian. This was Bahnsen's best arena.

    I really don't know what I would at this point as to offering a positive alternative. I guess that's where the existential fideist in me arises, sort of.

    Right now, if I had to offer an argument I would just say--look at this example of Beauty. Therefore, God exists (or something like that). ;)
  14. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'd have to agree here.

    Even though RE guy Kelly James Clark contributed to Zondervan's 5 Views on Apologetics Book, Michael Sudduth told me that RE was not an apologetic *method* but that doesn't mean an RE can't have a *view* on apologetics.

    In this sense, the poll is misleading....
  15. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

    What is this exactly: Cumlative case (cs lewis, zacharias)?
  16. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    CC guys point to a lot of individual lines of evidence, taken singularly aren't impressive but taken together are supposed to make a good case for Christianity. Its pros is that it has a lot of good names wiht it. But I am not too impressed.
  17. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore


    I'd recommend this book.

    It's on my wish list, so I can't tell you anything from personal experience, but it comes highly recommended from people I highly respect.

    It is expensive, so here is a paper he wrote on the subject. If you like it, that may influence you to break down and purchase the loner, more rigorous (both intellectually and monetarily!) project.

    When I clikc on that link it doesn't work for me, so I'll offer the non-hyperlinked version

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2007
  18. Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner Puritan Board Professor

    The Presups 1 has won the day.
  19. D. Paul

    D. Paul Puritan Board Sophomore

    I am so glad you said that! :agree:
  20. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think so. You're talking about rationalists like 'Descartes.' But he was not a Christian rationalist. That a classical rationalist thinks that all truth can be obtained by human faculty alone does not imply that a Christian rationalist would think so.

    Now, this is not to say that the classification "Christian rationalist" is apropos to Clark (it may or may not be, you guys would need to debate that), it's just to say that I don't think your point serves to offer a rebutting defeater to Daniel Ritchie's claim.
  21. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Puritan Board Sophomore

    Paul, the link of that book you recommended doesn't work either. What is the name of the book?
  22. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Puritan Board Sophomore

    heh...sometimes I don't have a lot of common sense...

    Caleb McWoodrow out.
  23. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I fixed the link. It just had "http://" twice in a row.
  24. Robert Truelove

    Robert Truelove Puritan Board Sophomore

    This subject is for me one of the top 3 biggest disappointments I have as a pastor in Reformedom.

    That is, we spend 98% of our time (perhaps I am being too gracious, truth be known I see it more like 99.9%) discussing and debating apologetical methodologies then actually employing them in discussions with those on their way ot eternal destruction.

    I'm not saying that in criticism of this thread, there is certainly a place to discuss this subject. I just hope all those who spend a lot of time discussing and arguing over this subject spend even more time dealing with unbelievers.

    If I were on my presbytery's credentials committee for the examination of elder candidates, the question of "when was the last time you witnessed to an unbeliever?" would be far more important to me than "What is your apologetical methodology?" (Not that I wouldn't ask the second question.)

    [[to the mods...I have no idea why my sig will not show in this post.]]
  25. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    Sorry I missed this; Curt Daniel explains the difference between Gordon Clarke's Christian Rationalism and Van Tillian Presuppositionalism in this lecture on Calvinistic Philosophy.
  26. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    So...should I be trying to figure out which one of these labels I firt under? I've got no clue? Does my ignorance of these labels affect my evangelism?

    Where can I find simple explanations of these positions? And how each would appraoch an unbeliever? Would they approach them hugely different?
  27. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    I think a presuppositional approach is best for evangelism for a number of reasons:

    a) Its Biblical.

    b) It shows men that the pride of their hearts is their real problem with the gospel, not a lack of proof that the Christian faith is true.

    c) It means that the weakest believer can confront the greatest scholar without fear.
  28. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Tom the classicist would tell the unbeliever, "The Christian faith is entirely rational. I will prove to you by deductive arguments that the Christian worldview is rational." And then he would use something like the Cosmological argument: All things have a cause. The universe has a cause. That cause is God."

    Joe the evidentialist would tell the unbeliever: There is good evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. You should look at these facts for the resurrection and on the basis of these evidences, believe the gospel.

    Cal the presuppositionalist would tell the unbeliever: Unless you submit to Christ's lordship, you cannot make sense of reality. The proof of the Christian God is the transcendental argument: believing in Christ provides you with the preconditions of intelligibility.

    Martin the fideist would tell the unbeliever: Your deepest heart-felt need is to find fulfillment in the gospel, which you would find by taking a leap of faith.

    Alvin the Reformed epistemologist would tell the unbeliever: The Christian is warranted in believing in God even without foundational evidence. You, on the other hand, are not warranted in believing ___________."
  29. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    I'm a presuppositional classical evidentialist.
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