Presuppositional Conflict

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Puritan Sailor, Feb 11, 2004.

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  1. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    After reading some criticisms of Frames article on Presuppositionalism in 5 View on Apologetics, I thought I would bring this particular criticism out. I have seen similar ones made here on the Board yet no one really clarifies it. So here goes.

    Frame states that regarding the necessity of faith that "the unbeliever cannot think according to Christian presuppositions." Then in a footnote on this statment he write "I am reffering here to the unbeliever's [i:8d9a15b55c]dominant[/i:8d9a15b55c] presuppositions. As I said before, unbelievers often think Christianly in spite of themselves."

    And then again he writes:
    "Whether unbelievers admit it or not, God made them to think with the Christian-theistic worldview as their presupposition. And at one level of their consciousness, they do think that way... We may ask the unbeliever to think on Christian presuppositions, because in one sense he already does. Our plea is that he drop the unbelieving presuppositions that dominate his thought and give heed to those principles that he knows but suppresses."
    (5 Views, pg 217,218)

    I don't get it. How can he say they can't hold to Chrsitian presuppositions and yet say that they do hold to Christian presuppositions? Seems contradictory to me. Any Presupps care to elaborate on this concept?
     
  2. cih1355

    cih1355 Puritan Board Junior

    Here is what Frame means when he says that unbelievers cannot think according to Christian presuppositions:

    Unbelievers reason autonomously. They do not submit to the lordship of Christ. They do not hold to the Bible as their ultimate authority. They do not hold to the Christian view of God, sin, and salvation.

    When Frame says that unbelievers will somethings think Christianly in spite of themselves, he is saying that unbelievers will presuppose some things that make sense only within the Christian worldview. For example, the laws of logic make sense only within the Christian worldview. In fact, the laws of logic presuppose the Christian God. If an unbeliever uses the laws of logic, he is using something that only the Christian worldview can account for. If there were no God, then there would be no laws of logic. The presuppositionalist can point out that if there were no Christian God, then the unbeliever would not be able to use logic to make an argument against God's existence.

    There are other things that unbelievers presuppose that make sense only within the Christian worldview such as the laws of science, the induction principle, moral values, the existence of universals, etc.

    [Edited on 2-12-2004 by cih1355]

    [Edited on 2-12-2004 by cih1355]
     
  3. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    How do the "laws of logic" presuppose the Christian God?
     
  4. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    So if an unbeliever is suppressing his Chrsitian presuppositions, is it possible for him to give them up when talking with him about the gospel?
     
  5. Tertullian

    Tertullian Puritan Board Freshman

    [quote:2d69a2b7a2][i:2d69a2b7a2]Originally posted by puritansailor[/i:2d69a2b7a2]
    So if an unbeliever is suppressing his Chrsitian presuppositions, is it possible for him to give them up when talking with him about the gospel? [/quote:2d69a2b7a2]

    We should say that the unbeleiver cannot reason apart from God but only live under the illusion that they do... they try to live autonomously but they cannot live according to their own professed presumps... they live in God's world even if they won't admit it.

    So of course they can understand, in one sense since they cannot live autonmously, but in another sense, the self-deceive themselves (or the god of this age deceives them) so that they cannot understand it.


    To the Glory of Christ- Tertullian
     
  6. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Is it possible for a Christian to hold the right presuppositions but yet be mistaken either in his logic flowing from those presuppositions, or in some of the details from those presuppositions, whether it is in relationships of facts, or weight of evidences, or just plain misinformation or misbelief?That is: can one hold the right presuppositions and yet be wrong in those things which result from them?

    Another question: is it possible for someone who holds an "autonomous" presupposition to be right about some things based upon those presuppositions? Or: do those presuppositions that an unbeliever suppresses, but which he yet uses as a foundation for his own system, lead him sometimes to a more accurate conclusion, if he has concern for the person he is speaking to, than a believer whose concern is primarily to "destroy strongholds", regardless of who he runs over to do it? In short, is there more to it than presuppostionals, much more?
     
  7. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:874121fee1][i:874121fee1]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:874121fee1]
    So, what we do is accept his presuppositions, for arguments sake, and show how his folly(read presuppositions) leads to fooloishness and the destruction of knowledge, then we ask him to stand on our presuppositional framework and show him how the "facts" are only intelligible within our worldview. You see, if we tried to be "neutral" and accept his presuppositions (such as, the authority of science/locic etc) then we would "be like unto him." So, the Bible forbids a neutral approach.
    [/quote:874121fee1]

    Have you had any experience apologizing with unbelievers in this manner? If so, has it been used to bring them to faith? I'm just curious how this method works in reality.
     
  8. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    Patrick,

    [quote:5f0d57632c]
    How do the "laws of logic" presuppose the Christian God?
    [/quote:5f0d57632c]

    The laws of logic presuppose the Christian God in this way. First of all, we must say that logic presupposes morality. After all, the laws of logic are, indeed, "laws", which mean that as such, they OUGHT to be obeyed. Issues concerning what we ought and ought not to do are moral issues. Hence, the laws of logic presuppose moral standards. Morality, then, presupposes an absolute personality as the standard of right and wrong. It is critical to emphasize that the absolute standard must be personal because an impersonal absolute cannot hold us accountable and judge us for what we do. But if this is the case, then the whole idea of morality is meaningless. This absolute personality who is the ultimate standard of truth is Jehovah. There is no other religion in the world with a God who is both personal and absolute. God's existence gives meaning to both morality and reason.

    The short way to say it is like this: logic presupposes morality, while morality presupposes God.

    So we see, then, that even in our epistemology we must begin with God. If you do not begin with God, you have no business trying to be logical in your reasoning, since being illogical is of no consequence.
     
  9. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Paul and Craig,
    It would seem then that the Presuppositional method is not much different in practice than the classical method right? It's seems the emphasis for Presupp is keeping a certian mindset when apologizing the faith than using completely different arguments to prove the existence of God. That minset being, the absolute and solely rationale truth of God and the total depravity of man. But, in the end your still asking the same question of the unbeliever, "which world view makes more sense," or "which view is more rational?" Would this be a fair assessment?

    [Edited on 2-14-2004 by puritansailor]
     
  10. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    In my assessment, Patrick, I believe you are right in a very real sense (but that's John Frame's influence on me). I'm sure that men like Bahnsen and probably Van Til himself would disagree with you. The reason that I love Van Tillian apologetics is because it demands that we as Christians have a Christian epistemology in which we acknowledge Christ as the Lord in our thinking. As I see it, this is the essence of Van Til's thinking, moreso than the transcendental argument. Personally, I am not necessarily against classical apologetics, but I believe the classical arguments need to be utilized in a Christian epistemology. In other words, I would use classical arguments in my apologetics, but not without the transcendental argument or a heavy emphasis on presuppositions.
     
  11. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    If you don't mind my saying so, good answers, all of you. Especially seeing that they are to some tough questions. I wish I knew you guys years ago.
     
  12. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:c894e87105][i:c894e87105]Originally posted by JohnV[/i:c894e87105]
    If you don't mind my saying so, good answers, all of you. Especially seeing that they are to some tough questions. I wish I knew you guys years ago. [/quote:c894e87105]
    I agree. They have answered well so far. It is helpful for me.
     
  13. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:36c9498bc0][i:36c9498bc0]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:36c9498bc0]
    The reason that I love Van Tillian apologetics is because it demands that we as Christians have a Christian epistemology in which we acknowledge Christ as the Lord in our thinking.
    [/quote:36c9498bc0]

    How would you say then that the epistemology of a reformed Evidentialist or Classic approach is different from you? Wouldn't he agree that Christ is Lord of his thinking too?

    [Edited on 2-15-2004 by puritansailor]
     
  14. Tertullian

    Tertullian Puritan Board Freshman

    [quote:1c931a8715][i:1c931a8715]Originally posted by puritansailor[/i:1c931a8715]
    Paul and Craig,
    It would seem then that the Presuppositional method is not much different in practice than the classical method right? It's seems the emphasis for Presupp is keeping a certian mindset when apologizing the faith than using completely different arguments to prove the existence of God. That minset being, the absolute and solely rationale truth of God and the total depravity of man. [/quote:1c931a8715]

    Well it is more than that for Presumps emphasis the analogical thinking while the other approaches emphasis univocal thinking and so they a fundamentally incompatible with each other. (Ask for clarification if you are not familiar with what Van Til meant by these terms)

    [quote:1c931a8715] But, in the end your still asking the same question of the unbeliever, "which world view makes more sense," or "which view is more rational?" Would this be a fair assessment?

    [Edited on 2-14-2004 by puritansailor] [/quote:1c931a8715]

    In the end, we are not saying that the unbeliever has his choice between worldview "A" and worldview "B" and that worldview "A" seems far more probable or is free from contradictions, while worldview "b" is less probable and full of contradictions. Instead, what the Presumppositional method does is argue that are choice is really between worldview "A" and "non-A"

    To use an example of how a transcendental argument works consider Aristotle's argument about the "Law of Contradiction." Aristotle argued that if you deny the "Law of Contradiction" you must first presuppose the truthfulness of the "Law of Contradiction" because the concept of denial only makes sense if the Law of Contradiction is in place. Hence, you cannot disprove the Law of Contradiction unless it is true, but of course, you cannot disprove what is true, and so out of transcendental necessity (the impossibility of the contrary) the Law of Contradiction must be true.

    Van Til developed an argument that works almost identically to Aristotle's argument for the "Laws of Logic." For Van Til argued that only the Christian worldview can make human experience intelligible, and therefore if you try to use things that make rational sense against Christianity, you will have already conceded the debate because you will have admitted that Christianity is true...

    Therefore, Presumps and Classical apologist differ in quality and not merely quantity.

    To the Glory of Christ-Tertullian
     
  15. RickyReformed

    RickyReformed Puritan Board Freshman

    Craig, you said "...we must say that logic presupposes morality. After all, the laws of logic are, indeed, 'laws', which mean that as such, they OUGHT to be obeyed."

    Are you implying that, for instance, the law of contradiction 'ought' to be obeyed? It seems to me that, like the law of gravity, it 'has' to be obeyed (certainly by we creatures) regardless of whether one 'ought' to or not. Is it possible that there is an equivocation in your use of the term 'law'? (I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm just trying to understand.) Thank you for your insights.
     
  16. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    Patrick,

    [quote:bfd685335f]
    How would you say then that the epistemology of a reformed Evidentialist or Classic approach is different from you? Wouldn't he agree that Christ is Lord of his thinking too?
    [/quote:bfd685335f]

    I certainly don't mean to imply that Christ isn't Lord in the thinking of the classical or evidentialists' epistemology. It is a debator's tactic to suggest such a thing, in my opinion, because all good apologists are seeking to honor Christ in their thinking. I happen to think that the presuppositional apologetic is important, though, because it makes a very bold claim. It suggests not simply that God MAY exist given the evidence we have, but that God MUST exist for us to know anything at all. That's a very bold claim indeed, but what it does is it forces the unbeliever to answer the question of just how he can account for knowledge (or really, anything) in his own worldview. While the classical arguments testify to God's Lordship from the creation (i.e., first causes, intelligent design, biology, etc.) , the transcendental argument testifies to God's Lordship from epistemology itself, because God's existence makes it possible for us to know anything at all.

    Ricky,

    I am thinking in terms of logical consistency. Even the law of non-contradiction can be ignored. People can try to say that some is A and is not A at the same time and in the same way. Postmodern philosophers do this all the time. Unless you are suggesting that it is impossible for people to be irrational and illogical, I'm not sure I understand your question. All I'm suggesting is that if logic does not presuppose morality, then why does it matter whether or not we are being logical in our thinking? If logic does not presuppose morality, then there is no objective reason to be logical.

    And of course if morality then presupposes an absolute personality (i.e., Jehovah), then you can also say logic presupposes absolute personality as well.
     
  17. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    First, I know I may be touching some nerves here, but I'm trying to look at these perspectives from a "neutral" point of view ;)
    I've had little interaction with knowledgeable presuppositionalists (or classics for that matter) so don't get overly defensive if I push your explanations a little. I'm enjoying learning from you.
    [quote:5b648f859e] It would be odd to find such a thing when classicists (and evidentialists) critique presuppositionalism (cf. Habermas, Sproul, Gerster, Hoover, Geisler, Hanagreff, Moreland, Kokul, Webmaster, etc)! If our method is "basically" the same why the charge against our method as one which begs the question? [/quote:5b648f859e]
    I guess that's what I don't understand. When I read through 5 Views on Apologetics, I was left with the question, "So what's all the hub-bub about?" So, I'm trying to get past all the semantics and pride and deal with the substance of the issues. Reformed evidentialists or classics would agree that the unregenerate man cannot submit to the truth without the work of the Holy Spirit. They also agree man's reason is impaired by sin in some way.

    [quote:5b648f859e]To say that our worldview is "more" rational presupposes that theirs is "somewhat" rational. As Shaffer puts it, "we have the other half of the orange." This is not the case, i.e., they have no part of the orange! It is not as if the covenant breaker was fine in his reasoning, as far as it goes, and he now needs the added benifit of faith...or some "extra facts." To grant them this is to deny total depravity. The unbeliever cannot make sense of any fact! He needs to repent. We as reformed teach that man is lost morally, that he does no good, well this is the case intellectually as well. All your righteousness is as dirty rags. Just as man cannot do anything good before God, so he cannot reason properly.[/quote:5b648f859e]
    How would these arguments deny total depravity? The Classic admits man is incapable of apprehending the truth of God as a result of their depravity (again I'm refering to reformed Classics not arminians). But the doctrine of total depravity doesn't mean that man is a mindless ape either. You even said in explaining to the unregenerate: [quote:5b648f859e] So, what we do is accept his presuppositions, for arguments sake, and show how his folly (read presuppositions) leads to foolishness and the destruction of knowledge, then we ask him to stand on our presuppositional framework and show him how the "facts" are only intelligible within our worldview. [/quote:5b648f859e] Doesn't your method, as described from this previous post, presuppose that the unregenerate can some how "make sense" or "reason properly" at least enough to understand you? Why else would you go through the 2 world views with him if you didn't think he could understand it? Now, I know you believe he must be able to comprehend something of the truth you present, or else you wouldn't be talking to the unbeliever at all. You said in another previous post above that you thought unbelivers come to faith over time through a series of encounters, not just one. So I would suspect that you would want your one encounter to leave a lasting impression so that the unbeliever can think about it during this series of encounters. That presupposes he has some ability to think these things through before he is regenerate and/or comes to faith, right?

    So when it comes to approaching the unbeliever, Presupps and (reformed) Classics both agree that man's reason is totally depraved? Yet, they would seem to agree that the unbeliever can understand something, right? And they would both agree this ability to understand something doesn't deny total depravity right?

    It would seem to me that total depravity in our reason is not necessarily about knowing [i:5b648f859e]about[/i:5b648f859e] the truth but about [i:5b648f859e]submitting[/i:5b648f859e] to the truth. Isn't all irrational thought really just the suppressing response of the one who hates God? Isn't that the point of Romans 1? (Perhaps this question gets to deep for my purposes here on this thread so if this provokes a huge response we should move it to another thread)

    [quote:5b648f859e] [i:5b648f859e]posted by Van Til ;) [/i:5b648f859e] We must not say that the Christian position is just as good as the non-Christian's, but rather the only position that does not make nonsense out of human experience. [/quote:5b648f859e]

    So, to bring this series of questions to a conclusion. I would agree with the Van Til's assessment here, except for the fact that he is implying reformed Classics are presenting Christianity as "just as good" as the non-Christian view (i.e. I think this is a straw man). Christianity is the only rational position. But when I asked: [quote:5b648f859e] But, in the end your still asking the same question of the unbeliever, "which world view makes more sense," or "which view is more rational?" [/quote:5b648f859e] I was not implying that Christianity was one of many rational worldviews out there, but that there are generally many worldviews out there which must be sorted through. So I think Presupps and Classics would agree that Christianity is the only rational worldview.

    So now, you as a presupp, have thrashed this unbelievers irrational worldview, and set forth how Christianity is the only worldview by which we can account for or understand anything. You have leveled the Transcendental argument against him, showing him how his own experience and reasoning proves God's existence. In the end your still just asking him, "doesn't this Christian worldview make the most sense of your knowledge and experience?" And isn't this the same question the Classic leaves the unbeliever with after presenting all his "arguments" and "evidence?"


    [Edited on 2-17-2004 by puritansailor]
     
  18. RickyReformed

    RickyReformed Puritan Board Freshman

    Craig,
    Thanks, I see your point now. I guess I was just trying to say that even when someone denies the law of contradiction he assumes it. Of course, your point was that they cannot deny it [i:5b9fb8e37a]consistently[/i:5b9fb8e37a] i.e. at all times and in all instances.
     
  19. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Craig:
    I am trying to catch up on this thread, but as I am doing so, I'd like to comment on what you said. Maybe it will help me to understand some things if you interact with this.
    [quote:275451c8e6]I happen to think that the presuppositional apologetic is important, though, because it makes a very bold claim. It suggests not simply that God MAY exist given the evidence we have, but that God MUST exist for us to know anything at all. That's a very bold claim indeed, but what it does is it forces the unbeliever to answer the question of just how he can account for knowledge (or really, anything) in his own worldview. While the classical arguments testify to God's Lordship from the creation (i.e., first causes, intelligent design, biology, etc.) , the transcendental argument testifies to God's Lordship from epistemology itself, because God's existence makes it possible for us to know anything at all. [/quote:275451c8e6]
    I am not a presup'n'st; never have been and don't pretend to understand it, though I do understand some things quite well. But from what I do understand about epistemology from my perspective, what you say above is no different than my own view. And as I have studied the Classical and Evidentialist views, they too would make that claim. I make a distinction between modern versions ( or to use your term, 'post-modern', which may be a more accurate one) of these and the ones that existed before methodology was given so much consideratin, as much as the theological perspectives from which it was approached. Back then the big difference was whether one was arguing from Roman Catholic givens or Reformed givens, when opposing the worldly arguments. There was a clearer discrimination concerning confessed truths as major components of the apologetic.

    Having said that, I would add that there are things that I don't understand about these modern methods as well, though not quite to the degree that I do not understand Presup'n'sm. For one thing, I don't understand why they insist sitting on the side of the branch they are cutting off as much as they do, for it adds nothing to their arguments. But it would be a wrong assesssment to think that they are assuming autonomous grounds, or that they are not assuming that God is Lord of all things, including the axiomatic that God must exist for everything to make sense. It seems to me that this is not exclusively presup'n'ist.
     
  20. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:86cd44d9fb][i:86cd44d9fb]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:86cd44d9fb]
    That's one problem. That book is a horrible defense of presuppositionalism. Now, I love Frame but I think that he used it as an opportunity to show unity rather than faithfully defend presuppositionalism. In the above posts I gave resources which critique Frames views. I will give you a couple sources so you can see what the huh-bub is about....if you are truley interested in learning about presupositionalism then take the time to read them:
    http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pa003.htm
    http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pa016.htm
    http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pa089.htm
    http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pa206.htm
    http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/PA061.htm
    [/quote:86cd44d9fb]

    Thanks fo the links. I will try to look through them. I also have Bahnsen's book on Van Til and plan to read it but after glancing through it I think it will be slow going. That why I read 5 Views first. So thankyou for your patience with my ignorance thus far :)
     
  21. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    John,

    Your last post is funny because that is a lot like what John Frame said to me not too long ago. He said that he believes that the classical apologists, even though they go about their method in a different way, are still assuming the truth of their worldview. This is why Frame says that the classical and presuppositional apologists aren't as far apart as they think from one another. I tend to agree.
     
  22. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Craig:
    You and I have done that long ago, remember?
     
  23. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:0f4a21d571][i:0f4a21d571]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:0f4a21d571]
    John,

    Your last post is funny because that is a lot like what John Frame said to me not too long ago. He said that he believes that the classical apologists, even though they go about their method in a different way, are still assuming the truth of their worldview. This is why Frame says that the classical and presuppositional apologists aren't as far apart as they think from one another. I tend to agree. [/quote:0f4a21d571]

    I guess that's what I've been discovering too. But, I will try to tackle Bahsen now and review some classic guys too. I'm still not convinced that the difference is too great. We'll see.
     
  24. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:2325577fce][i:2325577fce]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:2325577fce]Finally I would say that the best example of how this method works in real life is to hear Dr. Greg Bahnsen use it in his debate with Dr. Gordon Stein
    [/quote:2325577fce]

    I just finished listening to this debate and I have to say I was quite impressed. Bahnsen does an excellent job. It has helped me much in understanding the presuppositional understanding. But are there any other debates out there with "better" atheists? Stein never really dealt with the argument.
     
  25. Momo

    Momo Inactive User

    Van Til's apologetic

    Hello Puritansailor,

    I think you might find the following post (from the Van Til list archives) very helpful.

    It is simply a thumbnail sketch of Van Til's apologetic, and I think it is eminently concise and lucid relative to most of what passes for descriptions of presuppositionalism.

    http://www.ccir.ed.ac.uk/~jad/vantil-list/archive-Feb-2000/msg00218.html

    Blessings in Christ,

    Momo
     
  26. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Momo:
    I have left off reading the Van Til list for a while now. This is not out of lack of interest as much as it has to do with time. This post to which you pointed us is typical of the kind of clarity I look for when I desire to know about something I don't understand. If the writer is correct, as you seem to agree that notion, then he has explained a lot more to me than what was written. I must say that if what he describes is indeed Van Til's system of apologetics, then I have no difficulty with it. I have never been a Presuppostionalist and yet I have tried to practice most everything that Mr. Byron claims to be component to Van Til's thought. I would use different terms, which I believe communicate better to the unbeliever, or which describe my method, if such can be done at all. Even after reading Byron's explanation I am no more compelled to be Van Tillian than I was before, and yet I am warmed to the method. I believe the beauty of such a clear, concise, and even-handed composition is that there is no hint of antagonism over methodology, nor an arrogating of one precept or concept to exclusivity, but there seems to be an inclusion of all methods as if there is a flow to the gradual increase of grasp for the human intellect as we submissively and dutifully put ourselves to the task of righting our previous wrongs and shortcomings when faced with the task of reaching those who put up fences to keep truth out because of their sinful nature and inherent hatred of God. There are always new objections and new excuses, and as these too grow with the culture we must maintain our being equipped to give an answer for the hope that lies within us, remembering that we have no need to fear them if we reverence Christ in our hearts, and place the terms of apologetics as the relaying of that gentleness and reverence to those who question us for our hope. This is the directive we are given in 1 Peter 3:13-15, the oft quoted text for apologetics.

    Thank you for making us aware of it. I will resume my readings of the Van Til list as time allows. But for now, do you have a ready connection to the second part to which Mr. Byron refers?

    [Edited on 2-21-2004 by JohnV]
     
  27. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Do these links deal with atheists who attempt to actually answer the TA or just do the same as Stein and avoid the question?
     
  28. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:30b1a01d3f][i:30b1a01d3f]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:30b1a01d3f]
    michael martin has written a paper trying to counter the transcendnental argument. (funny how he did it [i:30b1a01d3f]after[/i:30b1a01d3f] Bahnsen died, things that make you go hmmmm....maybe Gary North was correct, "now that bahnsen is dead, everyone will want to debate him.)

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/martin-frame/tang.html
    [/quote:30b1a01d3f]

    Thankfully, Bahnsen doesn't have to be around to refute this nonsense. By, nonsense I don't mean an ad hom attack on Martin, but that he contradicts himself in the argument. He tries to assume the Christian worldview to show how the laws of logic would fail.

    "Moreover, if principles of logic are contingent on God, God could change them."

    This is the point in his argument where he departs from the Christian worldview, therefore destroying his whole endeavor to prove logic fails in the Christian worldview. In the Christian worldview, God doesn't change the laws of logic.

    He tries the same in his argument for morality failing in the Christian worldview.

    "On the other hand, determining the will of God is impossible since there are different alleged sources of this will (The Bible, the Koran, The Book of Mormon, etc) and different interpretations of what these sources say; moreover; there is no rational way to reconcile these differences."

    Again, he abandons the Christian worldview (which states only the Bible is the source of God's revealed system of morality) thereby undermining his whole argument that morality fails in a Christian worldview.
    On his paragraph on science, he never even attempts to assume the Christian worldview, but assumes the "science" worldview. So he can't prove his point either with this.
    So his conclusion is based on faulty premises and is therefore false.

    How'd I do Paul?

    [Edited on 2-22-2004 by puritansailor]
     
  29. Momo

    Momo Inactive User

    Request for further clarification on Van Til

    John V,

    Thankyou for your kind post. It's much easier to readily assent to Van Til's motives and models when he's rightly
    understood. I'm glad to see we're in agreement with Van Til's methodology -- for I believe it is the only apologetic methodology warranted by scripture.

    As per your request, sadly, I don't think David ever got around to typing up the 2nd part of that exchange. Though it's a shame...still, over the course of three years, David and many others corresponded quite casually and regularly on the VTL. I cannot recommend enough patiently going through the archives on the list and mulling over the lead exchanges among
    D. Byron, G. Welty, S. Choi, V. Crisler, P. Martin, and James Anderson. I think you will not find a clearer and more helpful exposition of just who Van Til was and what exactly it was that he was trying to do - than you will by doing this.

    You might start, if you haven't already, by reading through the "Frequently Encountered Misconceptions" -- compiled and edited by many of the list's major participants.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.vantil.info/articles/vtfem.html#AI2

    Also, here is another post by that I think you will find helpful.

    http://www.ccir.ed.ac.uk/~jad/vantil-list/archive-Jul-2000/msg00041.html


    Let me know if I can help out more.

    grace and peace,

    Momo
     
  30. Momo

    Momo Inactive User

    Hello Paul,

    You wrote:

    [quote:a3ad705733]
    Byron (not his real name) is intelligent and has some good things to say, but he is does not properly represent Van Tilianism. Also, I do not go to the list and involve myself with it because of a HUGE personal issue wiht Byron. I would advise people to not support that list until byron is removed (or something else, but I don't want to put out something for all the public to read...any questions john u2u me.) But, that was a fair presentation (the above link) and the second part of the article is basically his fristianity objection..you can search the site and find his objections.
    [/quote:a3ad705733]

    Well, for my part, though I do not know the nature of your complaint against David, he has emulated the mind of Christ to me more than any thinker I have come across. And, as a glad friend, I'd certainly take up an opportunity to vouch for his representation of Van Til's views.

    So, Paul, could you please reference or cite these occurrences? It's rather easy to say someone has erroneously misrepresented a model -- especially one as widely and sadly misconstrued as "presuppositionalism".

    Much thanks,

    Momo
     
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