The NEW Presuppositional Champion

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by JohnGill, Aug 10, 2008.

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  1. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    This may have been discussed on another thread and if so I apologize.

    Who is currently using the Van Tillian apologetic method as forcefully and as effectively as Dr. Greg Bahnsen did? Which atheists have they debated recently?

    I have heard of Michael Butler, but haven't heard of him doing anything recently.

  2. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    I would say the best Van Tillian alive today would be K. Scott Oliphint of Westminster East. At this moment, I think he "gets" Van Til better than even Bahnsen. I do not think he has participated in many/any debates against atheists, but then I also do not find atheism very interesting. The most interesting opposition to Christianity are alternative Theist/Deist systems.

  3. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    I agree with your assessment of atheism. If an atheist was consistent he'd play Russian Roulette with all six chambers loaded. All the while he would have to believe that the bullet may or may not fire.

    But atheism is prevalent up here in Fairbanks more than competing pseudo-christian worldviews. This is due to the local college, which can legitimately be called a place of higher learning due to its location atop an hill.

    Throw a cat and hit 7 atheists and only one pseudo-christian.

    Thanks for the name. Does he debate muslims and such?
  4. Heldveld

    Heldveld Puritan Board Freshman

    Gene Cook Jr. used to argue presuppositionally with atheists quite often on his podcast, The Narrow Mind. Although he hasn't done it recently.

    Paul Manata, occasional guest of Gene's, has also done debates with atheists, like Dan Barker. If you Google you can probably locate some MP3 files.

    They probably are not as scholarly as Oliphint, but they are interacting with the enemy and doing a good job exposing his folly.
  5. Answerman

    Answerman Puritan Board Sophomore

    Here is my assessment;

    Van Til, from what I’ve heard, he preferred to casually chat with people over coffee than embarrass unbelieving thought in front of an audience. I personally think there is a time and place for both methods and Van Til may have felt that he wasn’t the type of person to engage in the latter method. In my humble opinion, he was too soft-spoken.

    Bahnsen is still the best. He is still refuting atheism from the other side of the grave by the simple fact that no one has refuted him yet. I’m convinced that most of his abilities came from his very strong work ethic. He was always studying and reading up on the subjects that he debated. He’s a great example for how a Christian should think and act.

    Oliphint, I’ve heard a lot of good things about him but like Hermonta said, I haven’t heard him in action. Even if he was to only debate a theists/deists I’m sure his presuppositionalism should be evident in a debate. Waiting to see him in action.

    Michael Butler, supposedly Bahnsen’s successor. I have heard some of his lectures, I haven’t heard him debate, based on his lectures, he doesn’t sound as knowledgeable, quick on his feet or as aggressive as Bahnsen.

    John Frame, I’ve heard that he does not like to participate in public debates. I’ve read an online debate he had with Michael Martin, I liked bahnsen’s analysis of Martin better. I’ve listened to his Apologetics course and I don’t like his dry teaching style, Bahnsen’s lectures on Apologetics were much more interesting and memorable.

    Our own Paul Manata, pretty good considering that he has a ways to go in catching up with Bahnsen’s depth of knowledge.

    Gene Cook, not bad, again he needs more study to be able to run circles around his opponent like Bahnsen was able to.

    Anyone else I left out?
  6. Robbie Schmidtberger

    Robbie Schmidtberger Puritan Board Freshman

    Anyone else think Tim Keller is a gifted evangelist/apologist/preacher?
  7. Devin

    Devin Puritan Board Sophomore

    You'll be hard pressed to find anyone as quick on his feet as Bahnsen. The gears of his mind always seem well greased.
  8. sotzo

    sotzo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Other issues notwithstanding, my vote would go to Doug Wilson as the most erudite presupper around. Check out his stuff vs Farrell Till and Christopher Hitchens.
  9. tellville

    tellville Puritan Board Junior

  10. interalia

    interalia Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, but that might get you into trouble here. :lol:
  11. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    Prepare the gallows.
  12. interalia

    interalia Puritan Board Freshman

    +1, but I think FV is off limits here...but from what I've read, DW's presupp approach is not tainted by FV (or not as much?).:oops:
  13. interalia

    interalia Puritan Board Freshman

    Told ya'!!!:popcorn:
  14. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't agree with him on some issues, but he does a good job at working through post-modern arguments. In his book Reason for God, he basically follows the presuppositional method by spending the first half of the book tearing down the unbelieving postmodern worldview and then the second half setting forth the Christian worldview and how it better makes the good things post-moderns love more intelligible and plausible. I think he makes a valiant attempt to reach out to secular thinkers.

    Bahnsen and Oliphant are outstanding, but they are not very accessible to the average unbeliever who might be interested in learning more about Christianity :2cents:
  15. christianyouth

    christianyouth Puritan Board Senior

    in my opinion, I want to see a presuppositionalist who actually engages atheist and puts his arguments to work. It's easy to make arguments work in a class room environment, but when actually using presuppositional apologetics in the atheist vs theist debate the strength of the argument will be tested. Bahsen had arguments that were able to stand up under scrutiny, and he applied the presuppositional position to hard philosophical objections toward Christianity. I haven't seen any presupper do that since.

    To the OP, Douglas Wilson is the only one I know who is a presupper and who is actually in the atheist vs theist debate.
  16. Tim

    Tim Puritan Board Graduate

    You know what I would like to see...presupp apologetics taken all the way down to the layman, such as in the simple methods used by "Way of the Master" to present the Gospel. That would be good.
  17. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    I don't know if its a healthy exercise to constantly compare all those following after to one hero. Each teacher and shepherd we are given is different than the last and there won't be another Greg Bahnsen again, niether a Van Til, nor a John Calvin, nor a Martin Luther, etc. etc. We don't need another one. We already had them. Now we'll have someone else.

    That being said, Dr. James White has debated against just about every worldview. He's into debating against Islam right now however. I'm guessing he finds atheism as uninteresting and silly as everyone else does.
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