Why is Presuppositionalism so Popular?

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Paul wrote in another thread:

but Van Til's number one student (Bahnsen) took the apologetic world by storm showing the devastating method of VTEA in his debate with Gordon Stein

Although Bahnsen's views on theonomy haven't yet caught fire and taken the Reformed world by storm, the Van Tillian group (Bahnsen, Frame, Butler) are quite popular among the Reformed.

Why do you think this is?

1. Close connection with theology and evangelism (that is my own personal experience with it).

2. Lordship and No-neutrality.

3. Charismatic leaders (non-tongue speakers) who have written and spoken with style.

4. Bahnsen-Stein Debate.
 

crhoades

Puritan Board Graduate
God-centeredness.
Bahnsen being able to make Van Til readable - Always Ready
Bahnsen's legacy at Covenant Media Foundation
All purveyors of it are usually churchmen
It was/is taught at majority of reformed seminaries WTS, GPTS, RTS etc.
Rom. 1 and Acts 17 ;)

Still thinking...hopefully will come up with more later...
 

openairboy

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by Draught Horse
Paul wrote in another thread:

but Van Til's number one student (Bahnsen) took the apologetic world by storm showing the devastating method of VTEA in his debate with Gordon Stein

Although Bahnsen's views on theonomy haven't yet caught fire and taken the Reformed world by storm, the Van Tillian group (Bahnsen, Frame, Butler) are quite popular among the Reformed.

Why do you think this is?

1. Close connection with theology and evangelism (that is my own personal experience with it).

2. Lordship and No-neutrality.

3. Charismatic leaders (non-tongue speakers) who have written and spoken with style.

4. Bahnsen-Stein Debate.

What does VTEA mean?

I would say it includes all the reasons you mentioned, but, assuming for a second that Schaeffer's understanding is correct, namely that trends start with philosophers and artists, then trickles down into pop-culture, I think Van Til understood *this generations* thinking long before anyone else, at least in Christendom. He, in many ways, understood postmodernism while most were considering Positivism and we have been tremendously influenced by postmodern thinking, especially as it respects issues of hermeneutics.

That's my opinion.

openairboy
 

Apologist4Him

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by crhoades God-centeredness.

Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
Because it is the only form of apologetics that is biblical. :worms:

I believe those are the reasons why presuppositionalism will not be diminished any time soon.

I think Dr. Van Til and Dr. Bahnsen are largely responsible for popularizing the presuppositional method. Personally, I do not know if I would be a presuppositionalist were it not for those two men of God.

As far as the popularity of apologetic methods is concerned, I think either the Classical or Evidential methods are more popular. Norman Geisler, a Classical Apologist, is probably the most popular Christian Apologist ever (either him or C. S. Lewis). With the exception of the Westminster book store, Dr. Van Til's books are nearly impossible to find, where Norman Geisler's books are more readily available. Dr. Bahnsen's lectures are nearly impossible to find apart from Covenant Media Foundation. There are a couple of other places where a person might find a few tapes, but his lectures are not as easy to find as going to a local Christian bookstore. I hope Dr. Van Til's books do not become "rare". I hope Presbyterian and Reformed publishing can/will obtain the copyrights to all of his writings and always keep them in print. I would like to see a set of "The Complete Works of Cornelius Van Til" published in hardcover or leather format. Dr. Van Til's and Dr. Bahnsen's writings deserve to be presevered and kept "alive". I've found Dr. Van Til to be very quotable.

[Edited on 5-22-2005 by Apologist4Him]
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by crhoades
God-centeredness.
Bahnsen being able to make Van Til readable - Always Ready
Bahnsen's legacy at Covenant Media Foundation
All purveyors of it are usually churchmen
It was/is taught at majority of reformed seminaries WTS, GPTS, RTS etc.
Rom. 1 and Acts 17 ;)

Still thinking...hopefully will come up with more later...

:ditto:

R.
 

JonathanHunt

Puritan Board Senior
Because no-one can be bothered learning all the complicated facts and figures needed for evidential apologetics...

(Well, I can't any more anyway. My mind needs its capacity for scripture and God's truth, not rock ages and cosmology....)

:lol::lol::lol:
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
No, when we are born, we are arminians and our apologetic can be described as, "If it's says it in a book, it must be true." Then we discover Josh McDowel. Then we discover Presup and push all our evidentialist books right next to the cult section of our library beside Chuck Swindoll and Max Lucado. I said NEXT to the cult section! :book2:
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Perhaps it's better to simply look at Presupp as the churches response to the arguments of unbelief in our generation. Philosophy is getting more complex and devious, and thus requires a more rigorous defence from the Church. It's all part of the Church continually reforming as she clings to the truth of God in the face of new/renewed enemies and arguments. Modern Evidentialism, at least as devised by Butler, was initially devised in order combat Deism, not out right Atheism. There were still some common presuppositions to work with between the two. That is not the case at all with modern atheism, materialism, and post modernism today. Evidentialism simply is not equipped to meet the task unless it is modified. The Answers in Genesis crowd I think has done a good job adapting to this by answering unbelieving scientists in their own terms and still defending the truth of Scripture. Van Til does this philosophicaly and epistemilogically. Machen did it with the liberals in his day with theology and NT studies. Every generation needs to combat the new challenges by going back to the Scriptures and regrouping, reanalyzing the enemies attack, and countering the new troops of the enemy with the Word. :2cents:
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Originally posted by puritansailor
Perhaps it's better to simply look at Presupp as the churches response to the arguments of unbelief in our generation. Philosophy is getting more complex and devious, and thus requires a more rigorous defence from the Church. It's all part of the Church continually reforming as she clings to the truth of God in the face of new/renewed enemies and arguments. Modern Evidentialism, at least as devised by Butler, was initially devised in order combat Deism, not out right Atheism. There were still some common presuppositions to work with between the two. That is not the case at all with modern atheism, materialism, and post modernism today. Evidentialism simply is not equipped to meet the task unless it is modified. The Answers in Genesis crowd I think has done a good job adapting to this by answering unbelieving scientists in their own terms and still defending the truth of Scripture. Van Til does this philosophicaly and epistemilogically. Machen did it with the liberals in his day with theology and NT studies. Every generation needs to combat the new challenges by going back to the Scriptures and regrouping, reanalyzing the enemies attack, and countering the new troops of the enemy with the Word. :2cents:

Excellent post, Patrick. This is all summed up in the Festchrift to Van Til, Foundations of Christian Scholarship. It is a presuppositional analysis of education, law, philosophy, economics, and apologetics.
 

nonconformist

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by JonathanHunt
Because no-one can be bothered learning all the complicated facts and figures needed for evidential apologetics...

(Well, I can't any more anyway. My mind needs its capacity for scripture and God's truth, not rock ages and cosmology....)

:lol::lol::lol:
:lol::lol::lol:stop that
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
In addition to all the reasons listed above, I like the fact that presuppositionalism is better at coming to definite conclusions than any other type. I think the essential simplicity of the basic argument and the certainty in its conclusions have appealed to people. With evidentialism, you end up with a statement of probability--"This is the most likely explanation for the facts." Classical apologetics doesn't really offer certainty, either--you can just keep arguing the premises of the various "proofs." Presuppositionalism is so much better for showing why Christianity has to be true. It's much more intellectually satisfying.
 
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