Is there anyway we can have a History board-- just to talk general history?

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WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
So we should tell others what they believe rather than let them tell us what they believe in philosophical debate? I'm not denying that naturalists have suppressed knowledge about God in unrighteousness, but I don't think it is very beneficial to tell them that they have a theological worldview through which they interpret "facts." Unless of course you want them to do the same to you. But, I'm sure there's some clever Enlightened response to that from Van Til or whoever.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Really, I think we are just talking past each other. Of course, I have no problem with the atheist telling me what he believes. But ultimately, it does come down to him suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by SemperFideles
Gabriel (or is it Gabe?),

Have you ever listened to or read "The Great Debate" between Bahnsen and Stein? Good example of presup apologetics:

http://www.popchapel.com/Resources/Bahnsen/GreatDebate/
Yes, I'm fairly familiar with such an apologetic approach. Bahnsen did a good job in that debate defending the Christian worldview.

edit: We probably are talking past each other in a sense. Actually, that is almost always the case any time someone engages in dialogue, assuming their presuppositions are different.

My only concern is really this: I debate philosophy with naturalists, a Jew, agnostics, a Buddhist, a Lutheran and some existentialists several times a week in my 300 level philosophy classes. I would not last 5 seconds in a discussion if I was to generalize and tell the non-theists that they are interpreting "facts" through a theological worldview. I would personally find that impolite and would even go so far as to say such "tactics" would damage my witness to the grace of God in Jesus Christ in how I live and talk with those who are not receiving God's grace in salvation. Just my :2cents: I have been able to gain their respect and see them concede that Christianity is a strong and complex worldview despite all the opposition I face in our modern times (thanks to TBN, dualistic dispensationalists and the like...). BUT, that would never happen if I went in the classroom discussion with arrogance and antagonistic tendencies, defining people's worldviews for them.

[Edited on 3-10-2006 by WrittenFromUtopia]
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I'm not understand you then. I think Bahnsen does show Stein that he is operating from, essentially, a suppressed theological view...
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by SemperFideles
I'm not understand you then. I think Bahnsen does show Stein that he is operating from, essentially, a suppressed theological view...
Bahnsen attemps to show Stein that his worldview (non-Christian) cannot account for things such as logic, but Stein didn't really agree with Bahnsen's view of logic either.. so, I don't know.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Right, Stein doesn't believe it but it doesn't mean that Bahnsen's argument wasn't sound. I'm not an expert in this stuff. The presup (see the Apologetics forum) will say that it's not our job to convince (that's the Holy Spirit's job). Bahnsen just shows that Stein's atheistic worldview cannot account for uniformity, ethics, absolutes, etc and says he must borrow capital from the Christian worldview which can. Since we presuppose that atheists know God but suppress the truth in unrighteousness, we believe we are "reminding" them of something they know but are suppressing.

I don't think I want to go much further down the rabbit trail than that. :)

Edit: Forgot to add that Stein believes it now!

[Edited on 3-10-2006 by SemperFideles]
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia

My only concern is really this: I debate philosophy with naturalists, a Jew, agnostics, a Buddhist, a Lutheran and some existentialists several times a week in my 300 level philosophy classes. I would not last 5 seconds in a discussion if I was to generalize and tell the non-theists that they are interpreting "facts" through a theological worldview. I would personally find that impolite and would even go so far as to say such "tactics" would damage my witness to the grace of God in Jesus Christ in how I live and talk with those who are not receiving God's grace in salvation.
This is really the meat and potatoes of the Christian theory of knowledge. You are bound ethically, as well as philosophically, to tell these men that they are indeed intrepreting "facts" or whatever we wish to call their ideas (meta-narratives, opinions, etc.) through a theological framework. We can debate the usage of linguistic signs, but the ultimate dispute is over the person of the theos (or if you prefer, the logos).

In our current discussion the word "God" (taken from the use of "theology") is being used to indicate an unchanging standard by which all metaphysics and ethics, specifically concerning history, can be made sense of. Without such a standard we lack a compelling reason to believe that history is static or that there is inherent meaning about it. Every man has a god. It can be no other way.

When the agnostic, the Buddhist, the Jew, the Lutheran make statements about events in history, they must necessarily include a theological appeal. There is simply no other way to communicate. Without the anchor the ship bobs aimlessly about the sea. Socrates knew this in ancient Greece, which is why he could say "The Heracliteans must walk about in perpetual silence." They could not even talk, for by their standard, langauge was ever changing, and thus ultimately without meaning.

Of course the vast majority of theological appeals will be assumed, and therefore silent, but with enough prodding they will surely surface.

This is the lynchpin issue on which all other intellegent argumentation stands or falls. For the Christian to agree to the non-Christian's appeals to reason or logic apart from the Triune God is to sell the farm.

I believe we have good Biblical warrant for such argumentation as well. See Paul at Athens-

Acts 17: 22- 31 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone"”an image made by man's design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

Notice how a metaphysical dispute became ethical. Paul also uses two of the Athenians' inconsistencies (having an unknown god and a belief that the Athenians were God's offspring) to expose their need for the true God. It should also be remembered that the Greek's philosophical schools were inherently religious. The Pythagorians had temples for math.

Everyone worships a god. It may be "unknown," but it nevertheless is necessary for all of their points of reference. For any true intellectual progress it must be exposed.

This does not mean that you must be rude or arrogant, though a line like "God commands all men everywhere to repent" will most likely not be taken with a smile.

[Edited on 3--10-06 by Draught Horse]
 

Ron

Puritan Board Freshman
Gabriel,

You might begin by engaging the unbeliever at the presuppositional level. Ask him how he knows that there even is truth, let alone memory that corresponds with a true past that is not illusory. (1) The assumptions he makes do not comport with his worldview, for his worldview cannot account for reason. (2) The assumptions he makes are only possible if the Christian worldview is true.

Ron
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Ron,

I discuss those kinds of issues at length with them. I usually do my best to get them to admit that they have no way to account for their own worldview, rather than me telling them they cannot. That works for me. I never hesitate to defend the namesake of Jesus Christ.
 

Ron

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
Ron,

I discuss those kinds of issues at length with them. I usually do my best to get them to admit that they have no way to account for their own worldview, rather than me telling them they cannot. That works for me. I never hesitate to defend the namesake of Jesus Christ.
Indeed. It does no good simply to state the obvious. They need to actually think about the foolishness of their worldview and what better way than to ask them to defend it, as I'm sure you are doing.

Ron
 
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