Why not both?

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by PuritanCovenanter, Sep 1, 2005.

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  1. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I feel the presups just don't get it. I do know that evidence is important or Jesus wouldn't have said, " Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he." Joh 13:19 And this also, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe." Joh 14:29

    I wish there was some way to approach apologetics from both angles. I believe Presup and Evidentialism are both means to bringing ourselves in line with truth.

    Well, Paul and Jacob, you can lambast me now.
    Not all things are either or. Some things are both and.

    Have I revealed my ignorance enough yet?
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I AM NOT MAD AT YOU!!!!!
    You ask a good question, and presuppostionalists haven't been all that consistent in answering it. What about evidence? At first glance presupps seem to get confounded by "evidentiary" false worldviews (think evolution). Presuppositionalists are starting to realize (and this isn't new with me) that we can use evidences, too!

    I never doubt that God can use Josh McDowell to bring someone to the faith. In fact, i was a BIG J.W. Montgomery fan (and there is much good that Montgomery has to offer--JWM is one of the sharpest legal minds alive today, even if I disagree with him on a lot).

    At the risk of annoying some on this board, this is where I found John Frame to be most helpful. We can presuppostionally use evidence in our arguments. Here is how I think it would work.

    1) Presuppostionalists teach that there are no *brute* facts. All facts are interpreted (and we would say "pre-interpreted" by God). Facts only make sense within a worldview. For instance, if I said, "That is a shoe on your foot." That statement--which both of us understand--is only meaningful (or, more fully meaningful) if I know: a. what shoes are; what they do, what your leg is; whta it does, etc).

    Those are all basic propositions about a shoe which we take for granted. But at the same time, we are interpreting the above propositions within a framework. Brute facts are mute facts.

    I will use some of Manata's blog on evolution as a test case:
    If an evolutionist presents you with a "fact" how do you look at it? Do you take a neutral view or are you presupposing Christian Theism? You will do the following (and so will I and so will most on this board)--you (and me) have a deeper commitment to Christian Theism and all "facts" will be interpreted in that light. BTW, as the rest of Paul M's blog points out, the evolutionist is desperately interpreting all of his facts within a philosophical--not scientific--framework.

    (my computer is about to crash. I am going to go ahead and post this incomplete post so I don't lose my information. I still have a few more observations to make).
  3. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think evolution is a good place to debate this. The reason being is that it is still only a theory based upon assumption concerning how some material things may be interpreted in light of a philosophical view. In the light of other monotheistic religions that confirm a deity should we always assume they are truth also. I would think we should do as Jesus taught us. Look to the evidence to conclude which is truth. I do think that all men everywhere do know there is a creator. In that reguards pressup is true. But who is the creator is answered by evidence and revelation.

    Epistomology can be a difficult thing. We do rely upon our senses. Eye sight and hearing are most vital to communication. Even for the deaf and blind who are taught by the hearing and seeing. But two plus two does equal four in all communication. There are substantial places to start with outside of scripture. Two of anything is always two of anything. We do have starting places besides God. They ultimately come from and point to our Creator but a circle doesn't always have the same starting point in relation to a certain position.

    Am I making myself clear as mud yet?

    [Edited on 9-1-2005 by puritancovenanter]
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    ROARS WITH WRATH!!!!!!!!
    I just lost a very important post!
  5. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Part 2 of 2
    by Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.


    Misconception #7: "œVan Til rejected the use of rational arguments and empirical evidences to support the claims of Christ. He simply told unbelievers that they must believe."
    On the contrary, Van Til affirmed that apologists should use every available rational argument and empirical evidence to present a convincing case for Christian theism. Traditional theistic proofs, archaeological evidences, and the like are part of the arsenal for believers engaged with the world of unbelief. They are tools that the Spirit uses to bring men and women to saving faith.

    Van Til did not, however, emphasize the use of particular rational and empirical resources. He was more concerned with alerting his readers to the basic outlooks people use to evaluate such evidences. Van Til believed that every fact of the universe confirms the truth of Scripture. How could it be otherwise? Nonetheless, appealing to particular facts or arguments to defend the faith often proves vain because unbelievers have alternative explanations that rise out of their basic world views.

    For instance, the empty tomb does not prove that Jesus is the Son of God, unless we adopt a fuller Christian outlook on the world. Perhaps his body was stolen; maybe Jesus was a freak accident in a chance universe, the only mere man to come back to life. Likewise, the principle of cause and effect does not prove the existence of God, unless we operate with a host of other Christian ideas. Many leading physicists today simply respond that the universe is infinite and eternal; perhaps there is an infinite series of physical causes, or a multiplicity of gods and demons that formed the universe as we know it.

    Van Til affirmed that in reality most traditional arguments used in support of Christian theism are absolutely conclusive; they objectively demonstrate the truth of Christianity. But unless the Spirit is at work, unbelievers will dispute their decisiveness because they operate out of a false world and life view that keeps them from drawing the proper conclusions. When this occurs, Christian apologists must be ready to address the deeper issues that mislead unbelievers, especially their commitment to human autonomy. Van Til believed that these more basic commitments were neglected in other apologetic methods. So he stressed dealing with presuppositions over particular arguments and evidences.

    In a word, Van Til never disputed the value of rational arguments and empirical evidences. He simply called attention to how we should use them. On a practical level, Van Til followed the counsel of Proverbs 26:4,5:

    Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you will be like him yourself.
    Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes.
    He proposed a two-step approach. First, believers should invite unbelievers to consider the evidence for Christian theism on its own terms, making certain that we do not follow the principles of unbelievers (Prov. 26:4). Does it cohere? Does it make sense of the world? If Christianity is true, does it not explain reality? Here apologists use every argument, great and small, to demonstrate the credibility of the claims of Christ. On the deepest (transcendental) level, we urge that the only sufficient basis (or presupposition) for human knowledge is Christian theism.

    Second, believers should help unbelievers examine their own outlooks on life, so that they will not be so wise in their own eyes (Prov. 26:5). Do they cohere? Do they make sense of the world? If their world view is true, then why doesn´t it explain reality? Here evidences and arguments are used to demonstrate the futility of trying to understand anything on the basis of human autonomy. With the false self-confidence of unbelievers shaken, the truth of the gospel stands out clearly. If the Spirit is at work, it will become plain that Christ alone is "œthe way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

    Support from Van Til´s writings:

    "œI would therefore engage in historical apologetics. (I do not personally do a great deal of this because my colleagues in the other departments of the Seminary in which I teach are doing it better than I could do it.) Every bit of historical investigation, whether it be in the directly Biblical field, archaeology, or in general history, is bound to confirm the truth of the claims of the Christian position. But I would not talk endlessly about facts and more facts without ever challenging the non-believer´s philosophy of fact. A really fruitful historical apologetic argues that ever fact is and must be such as proves the truth of the Christian theistic position" (DOF 258).

    "œThe method of reasoning by presupposition may be said to be indirect rather than direct. The issue between believers and non-believers in Christian theism cannot be settled by a direct appeal to "œfacts" or "œlaws" whose nature and significance is already agreed upon by both parties to the debate. The question is rather as to what is the final reference-point required to make the "œfacts" and "œlaws" intelligible. The question is as to what the "œfacts" and "œlaws" really are. Are they what the non-Christian methodology assumes that they are?" (DOF 117).

    "œThe Christian apologist must place himself upon the position of his opponent, assuming the correctness of his method merely for argument´s sake, in order to show him that on such a position the "œfacts" are not facts and the "œlaws" are not laws. He must also ask the non-Christian to place himself upon the Christian position for argument´s sake in order that he may be shown that only upon such a basis do "œfacts" and "œlaws" appear intelligible" (DOF 117-118).

    "œAccordingly I do not reject "œthe theistic proofs" but merely insist on formulating them in such a way as not to compromise the doctrines of Scripture" (DOF 256).

    "œThat is to say, if the theistic proof is constructed as it ought to be constructed, it is objectively valid, whatever the attitude of those to whom it comes may be" (CTK 292).

    "œIn not challenging this basic presupposition with respect to himself as the final reference point in predication the natural man may accept the "œtheistic proofs" as fully valid. He may construct such proofs. He has constructed such proofs. But the god whose existence he proves to himself in this way is always a god who is something other than the self-contained ontological trinity of Scripture" (DOF 94).

    "œThe truly Biblical view, on the other hand, applies atomic power and flame-throwers to the very presupposition of the natural man´s ideas with respect to himself. It does not fear to lose a point of contact by uprooting the weeds rather than by cutting them off at the very surface. It is assured of a point of contact in the fact that every man is made in the image of God and has impressed upon him the law of God. In that fact alone he may rest secure with respect to the point of contact problem. For that fact makes men always accessible to God. That fact assures us that every man, to be a man at all, must already be in contact with the truth. He is so much in contact with the truth that much of his energy is spent in the vain effort to hide this fact from himself. His efforts to hide this fact from himself are bound to be self-frustrative" (DOF 111-112).

    "œThe Reformed apologist will point out again and again that the only method that will lead to the truth in any field is that method which recognizes the fact that man is a creature of God, that he must therefore seek to think God´s thoughts after him" (DOF 119).

    "œIf one follows Calvin there are no such troubles. Then one begins with the fact that the world is what the Bible says it is. One then makes the claims of God upon men without apologies though always suaviter in modo. One knows that there is hidden underneath the surface display of every man a sense of deity. One therefore gives that sense of deity an opportunity to rise in rebellion against the oppression under which it suffers by the new man of the covenant breaker. One makes no deal with this new man. One shows that on his assumptions all things are meaningless. Science would be impossible; knowledge of anything in any field would be impossible. No fact could be distinguished from any other fact. No law could be said to be law with respect to facts. The whole manipulation of factual experience would be like the idling of a motor that is not in gear. Thus every fact--not some facts--every fact clearly and not probably proves the truth of Christian theism. If Christian theism is not true then nothing is true" (DOF 266-267).

    "œIt is not as though the Reformed apologist should not interest himself in the nature of the non-Christian´s method. On the contrary he should make a critical analysis of it. He should, as it were, join his "œfriend" in the use of it. But he should do so self-consciously with the purpose of showing that its most consistent application not merely leads away from Christian theism but in leading away from Christian theism leads to destruction of reason and science as well" (DOF 119).

    "œIntellectually sinners can readily follow the presentation of the evidence that is placed before them. If the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian position is only made plain to them, as alone it can be on a Reformed basis, the natural man can, for argument´s sake, place himself upon the position of the Christian. But though in this sense he then knows God more clearly than otherwise, though he already knew him by virtue of his sense of deity, yet it is only when by the grace of God the Holy Spirit removes the scales from men´s eyes that they know the truth existentially. Then they know him, whom to know is life eternal" (DOF 397).

    "œThis is, in the last analysis, the question as to what are one´s ultimate presuppositions. When man became a sinner he made of himself instead of God the ultimate or final reference point. And it is precisely this presupposition, as it controls without exception all forms of non-Christian philosophy, that must be brought into question. If this presupposition is left unquestioned in any field all the facts and arguments presented to the unbeliever will be made over by him according to his pattern. The sinner has cemented colored glasses to his eyes which he cannot remove" (DOF 94).

    "œOur argument as over against this would be that the existence of the God of Christian theism and the conception of his counsel as controlling all things in the universe is the only presupposition which can account for the uniformity of nature which the scientist needs. But the best and only possible proof for the existence of such a God is that his existence is required for the uniformity of nature and for the coherence of all things in the world. We cannot prove the existence of beams underneath a floor if by proof we mean that they must be ascertainable in the way that we can see the chairs and tables of the room. But the very idea of a floor as the support of tables and chairs requires the idea of beams that are underneath. But there would be no floor if no beams were underneath. Thus there is absolutely certain proof for the existence of God and the truth of Christian theism. Even non-Christians presuppose its truth while they verbally reject it. They need to presuppose the truth of Christian theism in order to account for their own accomplishments" (DOF 120).

    "œChristian theism must be presented as that light in terms of which any proposition about any fact receives meaning. Without the presupposition of the truth of Christian theism no fact can be distinguished from any other fact" (A 73).

    "œThe proofs may be formulated either on a Christian or on a non-Christian basis. They are formulated on a Christian basis if, with Calvin, they rest clearly upon the ideas of creation and providence. They then appeal to what the natural man, because he is a creature of God, actually does know to be true. They are bound to find immediate response of inward assent in the natural man. He cannot help but own to himself that God does exist.

    "œWhen the proofs are thus formulated they have absolute probative force. They are not demonstrable in the sense that this word is often taken. As often taken, the idea of demonstration is that of exhaustive penetration by the mind of man; pure deduction of one conclusion after another from an original premise that is obvious. Such a notion of demonstration does not comport with the Christian system. That system is analogical. Man cannot penetrate through the relations of the Creator to the creature. But this does not in the least reduce the probative force of the proofs. Man is internally certain of God´s existence only because his sense of deity is correlative to the revelation of God about him. And all the revelation of God is clear" (DOF 196).

    "œThe argument for the existence of God and for the truth of Christianity is objectively valid. We should not tone down the validity of this argument to the probability level. The argument may be poorly stated, and may never be adequately stated. But in itself the argument is absolutely sound. Christianity is the only reasonable position to hold. It is not merely as reasonable as other positions, or a bit more reasonable than other positions; it alone is the natural and reasonable position for man to take. By stating the argument as clearly as we can, we may be the agents of the Holy Spirit in pressing the claims of God upon men. If we drop to the level of the merely probable truthfulness of Christian theism, we, to that extent, lower the claims of God upon men" (CG 62).

    "œHence Warfield was quite right in maintaining that Christianity is objectively defensible. And the natural man has the ability to understand intellectually, though not spiritually, the challenge presented to him. And no challenge is presented to him unless it is shown him that on his principle he would destroy all truth and meaning. Then, if the Holy Spirit enlightens him spiritually, he will be born again "œunto knowledge" and adopt with love the principle he was previously anxious to destroy" (DOF 364).

    "œThe indicia of divinity in Scripture are therefore part of the same process and act of the self-attestation of God. All the facts of the universe attest God. They are all inter-related in their testimony. If there is a cumulative effect produced by the evidence for the existence of God and for the truth of Christianity it is cumulative because each fact says the same thing, proves the same point in a different manner" (DOF 395).

    "œGod has continued to reveal himself in nature even after the entrance of sin. Men ought, therefore, to know him. Men ought to reason analogically from nature to nature´s God. Men ought, therefore, to use the cosmological argument analogically in order thus to conclude that God is the creator of this universe. Men ought to realize that nature could not exist as something independent. They ought to sense that if anything intelligible is to be said about nature, it must be in relation to the absolute system of truth, which is God. Hence, they ought at once to see nature as the creation of God. Men ought also to use the ontological argument analogically. Men ought to realize that the word "œbeing" cannot be intelligently applied to anything unless it be applied to God without limitation" (IST 102).

    "œOrder, when viewed from the point of view of the passage of time, is purpose. Men should therefore also have used the teleological argument analogically. It is in connection with the rational and moral activity of the mind of man that the concept of purpose comes out most strikingly. So then man should see that all things in this universe, and, in particular, all things in the mind and moral activity of man, would be at loose ends if it were not for God and his purpose with respect them" (IST 105).

    Abbreviations in this article:

    CG = Common Grace
    MA = Metaphysics of Apologetics
    SCE = Survey of Christian Epistemology
    CTE = Christian Theistic Evidences
    CTK = Christian Theory of Knowledge
    A = Apologetics
    TRA = Toward a Reformed Apologetics
    IST = Introduction to Systematic Theology
    DOF = Defense of the Faith
  6. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    That's right. A case in point. You maintain that it is a philosophy that is cut and pasting facts. I agree with you 100%. I think all un-believing worldviews do that.
    In a chance worldview (and my lost post answered all of your questions, btw. I am ruefully kicking myself) 2+2 is meaningless. Sorry, I had a better answer that was lost and right now I am too depressed as a result of losing that post to think clearly.
    Christian theism provides the "pre-conditions" of intelligibility. In other words, for two plus two to make sense, what must first be true?
  7. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Do take time to read the quotes from Van Til's own writings...
  8. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I will read it Chris, I was just editing my above post and will add it here also.

    In the light of other monotheistic religions that confirm a deity should we always assume they are truth also. I would think we should do as Jesus taught us. Look to the evidence to conclude which is truth. I do think that all men everywhere do know there is a creator. In that reguards pressup is true. But who is the creator is answered by evidence and revelation.
    Two of anything is always two of anything. We do have starting places besides God. They ultimately come from and point to our Creator but a circle doesn't always have the same starting point in relation to a certain position.

    [Edited on 9-1-2005 by puritancovenanter]
  9. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Done that before.
  10. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Yea, my wrath burns hot at the moment.
  11. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member


    Here is my point made clear. Man is separate from God now. His reference point doesn't always start with a presupposition that God is watching him or even if He exists. Things alert mans intelligence toward truth and knowledge. If reference points were not made as evidence, man would be lost forever. Mankind might as well be deaf, mute, and mentally incapable of learning such as a severally retarded person is. Man is ultimately corrupt and cannot ascend but he can discern certain things. He can't love or act correctly but he can discern in a corrupt way and acknowledge.
    Reference points that are evident must be present. That is why I referenced Jesus in John 13:19 and John 14:29. He was giving evidence.

    When I was born and raised I didn't know there was a God. I wasn't raised in a religious home. I am not even sure we had a Bible. My first lesson about God came from my Dad who attempted to calm my fears of death and separation from himself. My Great Grandpa had died and I didn't want to. I didn't want to grow up and leave my Dad and Mom. I didn't want them to leave me by dying. That was the beginning of my religious education. My Dad told me about a God who created us. He also told me if I was good I would get to go to heaven. It didn't comfort me at all. I still didn't want to see life through this supposition.

    My point is that we as fallen humans don't start from the same point. We are all broken but we don't all start at the same place. Some start off with the supposition that God is. I didn't. I started off with death and ended up with Christ.
  12. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    As far as the concept of non-Christian mathematics here is an excerpt...



    A Christian view of mathematics seems absurd to many people. It is often cited as the prime example of the folly of integrating academics with Christian theology. However, this view displays an ignorance of philosophical issues that have been debated for ages.
    One of the earliest known philosophers was Parmenides. He was a strict rationalist and taught that, since the changing world perceived by the senses is contradictory (e.g., A becoming B), all plurality is an illusion. Everything is one. On the basis of such a philosophical commitment, 1+2 does not equal 3; it equals 1. Everything equals 1, a pure emptiness.
    Another early philosopher was Heraclitus, whose famous saying was panta rei, all things flow. You can´t step into the same river twice. All unity is an illusion. On this view, there can be no mathematical laws, or any other laws. Language and mathematical symbolism would have no fixed meaning. Experience would have no regularity, so that apples might disappear or turn into something else while they were being counted. In short, such a view destroys the possibility of mathematics, as well as rationality in every area of life.
    Naturalistic empiricism dominates the present age, and this worldview emphasizes particulars over universals. Mathematics cannot be built on such a worldview. A person can write "3" on a piece of paper so that it can sensed empirically. But if the "3" is erased, does the number "3" no longer exist? No, because the numeral "3" (the symbol) is not the same as the number "3." Yet by strict empiricism, there is no number to know if nothing sensible exists. The atheist takes the existence of such things as mathematics, logic and morality for granted, yet they are excluded on the assumptions of his worldview. Numbers, laws of logic, and moral laws do not grow on trees; they cannot be isolated in test tubes. They are not material objects.
    There are many numbers and mathematical concepts that are further beyond our experience than threeness, such as complex numbers, abstract algebra, and thousand-sided objects. We can understand what a thousand-sided object is even though we have never had an experience of one. Most people have experienced three apples, but who has experienced 2,646,123 apples + 10,126,484 apples = n apples? We can solve the equation for n, not because we have experienced the result, but because we follow abstract laws of mathematics.
    Atheists often answer that we generalize from experience to the more complex mathematical concepts; however, generalization goes beyond what is strictly experienced (see my comments on Hume, above). In generalization general rules are applied to experience to produce a generalization involving the particulars of experience. This process is not possible in terms of a worldview that excludes universals from particulars from the outset.
    Conventionalists try to solve the problem by saying that mathematics is simply how our society uses language. But this is an appeal to abstract universals that have no connection to the particulars of experience. Since universals are arbitrary on this view, two apples plus two apples might equal five apples in some other society. On the conventionalist view there is no reason to expect different societies to be able to communicate mathematical knowledge to one another so as to promote the development of global human civilization. Furthermore, advocates of this view want us to believe that mindless molecules produced finite minds that are then supposed to produce abstract concepts that can be known to apply throughout the universe. The conventionalist view turns out to be just another failed attempt to relate universals to particulars.
    Beginning with unity or plurality in complete abstraction from the other cannot yield rationality, only the void and chaos. Only on the basis of the existence of a concrete universal God, in whom unity and plurality are eternally related, is mathematics possible.
    Another implication of Christianity for mathematics is the ethical use of mathematics. Because ultimate reality is amoral in the non-Christian worldview, there is no basis for ethics every coming into existence. Thus in the non-Christian worldview there are no ethical restraints on the use of mathematics. There is nothing to say that cooking the books is wrong on such a view. Only because the ethical is ultimate in the Christian worldview is it possible to have ethical restraints in the use of mathematics. [85]
    [85] For more on the Christian philosophy of mathematics, see Poythress, "A Biblical View of Mathematics," pp. 158f.; and James Nickel, Mathematics: Is God Silent? (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2001), p. 229-33.
  13. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Chris I wish you would answer me instead of cutting and pasting.

    I don't concern myself with dilusional people or people who just want to argue for arguments sake.
    We are told to avoid such.
    2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
    This goes along the lines of,
    "(Pro 26:4-5) Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    To this kind of thinking I will just add something I heard years ago.

    At the end of a class a professor of philosophy asked the students if they had any questions. A student stood up and thinking he was intelligent asked, "How do I know if I am even here?" The prof just answered back, "To whom may I address an answer to the question."

    Everyone knows if you have two sticks and obtain two more you have four sticks.

    Maybe I am simplistic.
  14. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    The question is, will their worldview account for it? The fool says in there heart there is no God. If someone wants to deny God and embrace materialism then they need to be shown that they can't even add 2+2 on their worldview. 2+2 only makes sense from a Christian worldview. That is a bold statement but it is true. This is right in line with answering/not answering a fool according to their folly.

    The reason that everyone knows how to count sticks is because they are created in the image of God. They repress it but they are on borrowed capital.

    As far as cutting and pasting is concerned...I'm at work and don't have time at the moment to interact with all points that are made as much as I would like to (deadlines...:banghead: ). Also, if I were to discuss the concept of Christian mathematics and 2+2 stuff, why would you want to read my tripping over myself trying to explain things intelligently when someone else has already done a better job of it? Plus, sometimes when I copy and paste stuff in here it might not be just to address something that you or someone else has requested. Someone else might happen along this thread and see that and be edified by it. They might click on the link and be taken to a very valuable website that condenses down a lot of Van Tillian thoguht. I know a lot of people don't like to be footnoted to death...I'm not one of them. I am of the opinion that we will not sort through everything in this type of medium. I've been pointed to works like Jus Divinum etc. that will give me more time to read in-depth further than looking up a thread here.

    I'll try to take more time and interact directly at lunch.:handshake:

    [Edited on 9-1-2005 by crhoades]
  15. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Given the (usually) Chance universe of the sceptic, 2 + 2 doesn't always make sense. I mean, yes, it works today but how do we know that by some chance it will be like that tomorrow? Of course, they don't worry about stuff like that, but that is an honest question that they have to face.

    As for Parmenides, this isn't just drawing historical nuts out of the closet.

    All reality is One. Okay, let's assume his position for a moment. If all reality is one, can we make distinctions? No. Can we account and practically work out morality? No. If I slept with my (non-existent) wife, that would be okay. If I slept with my best friend's wife, that's cool too, because ALL is ONE {edit: there is no difference between my friend's wife and mine, nor between my friend and me, nor between, well, you get it}. (Think of many eastern worldviews at the moment--the ones flooding america). {The above was a reductio and was not mean to be taken seriously}

    [Edited on 9--1-05 by Draught Horse]

    [Edited on 9--1-05 by Draught Horse]
  16. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    This is just not true. 2+2=4 to the Muslim or Morman also. They could make the same claim as you are making based upon there presuppositions concerning the creator.

    I don't agree with you on this either based upon the fact that if a person has four items, they are in possession of four items.

    This is true.

    Does your work allow you to do the forum while you are being paid for your time? I was questioned about witnessing to a customer once. I explained it was just conversation. My boss understood.
  17. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    We do not say that the unbeliever cannot count. We said that he cannot account for counting. Furthermore, the Muslim/Mormon god is finite and non-existent and suffers from absurdities. If I were with a Muslim Mormon I would have to answer those questions; that's fine. I believe by the grace of God I can do that. I would still insist, however, that he cannot account for counting.
  18. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    They could make the same claim but they would be refuted. They do not believe in a trinitarian God who alone allows for unity and diversity. {insert long philosophical copy and paste here} :)

    I come in early, work through lunch, stay late and travel with a ton of unpaid time on the road. If I pop in and out of the PB, I do not feel that I have stolen from them. If anything, I will have stolen time from my wife...Of course she has accused me of that before with the PB!;)
  19. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    No one has touched my St. John passages. Jesus gave them as evidence that pointed to him as being Messiah the Prince. If a person hardens himself against God that doesn't mean that the evidence is not there. I can claim to be a three headed monster with a tail. I can claim to be omniscient and live in fantasy. But the evidence and revelation will always point me ultimately toward Christ if it is truth. Self deception and this argumentation about 2 not being 2 is stupid. This is the foolish argumentation that we are warned against doing.
  20. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    AT this point that is why we need the evidence of whether the scriptures are God's word or not. The doctrine of the Trinity comes from written revelation. Either the Holy Bible is God's word or maybe the Koran is. Where is the evidence?

    I know where it is but I don't believe Christianity is as presupposed in us as you might claim.
  21. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    There is no need to touch your John passages. I'm all for it as was Van Til, Bahnsen etc. Read the Van Til quotes above. He was for facts and evidences. But at a certain point we have to push the unbeliever to say that he is arrogantly presuming upon our worldview to account for facts.
    We're not saying that it isn't. We agree.:handshake:

    You have a tail?:eek:

    You are a believer with the mind of Christ and are not trying to repress everything against God. The unbeliever will take every fact and seek to do that.

    And here all along I thought I was doing: 2Co 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, . I would be a little more charitable than to say something is stupid and foolish. Take some time and read Van Til and Bahnsen et.al. that is all I ask. They deal with Scripture etc. I'm not going to convince you otherwise in a few short sentences. Also notice that we agree here in most things. :handshake:
  22. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    No one addressed because it didn't say anything against presuppositionalism. All it said is that Christ said that people would believe in him because: 1)he said so; 2) he militates against the idea of "brute fact" ( a key evidentialist premise).

    Presuppositionalists, contrary to legend, do not have a problem with evidences. We simply maintain that for evidences to be meaningful they must already be pre-interpreted by God (which is what happened in John). Case in point:

    Matthew 28:17, "And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted."

    How can someone who has seen the Risen Christ in all of his glory--the best evidence ever imagined--doubt? Because there are no brute facts. All facts are interpreted within a worldview.

    Back to Muslims and Mormons:

    1)The Muslim god is a monad (Allah is One). As a result he cannot make predications, nor can his people logically predicate about him. He cannot reconcile Universals and Particulars. Remember, Allah is One. He is universal--so goes the argument--but that is it. Following that out to its logical conclusion Allah merely becomes abstract. Remember, Allah is One; there is no Many in Allah. He cannot be logically predicated. As a result, there can be no Particulars in a muslm worldview. Therefore, there can be no counting. But Muslims do count! And in doing so, they borrow my worldview.

    2) The Mormon god is not self-existing from all eternity; he is not self-knowing; he cannot know all facts. He cannot interpret those facts within a worldview. Since he was created (multiple times?) he has problems with the laws of logic and morality. Who knows if they were existent before he was created? {EDIT: As such, the laws of logic/morality can be conventional for the mormon. Therefore, he cannot consistently live within his worldview}

    [Edited on 9--1-05 by Draught Horse]
  23. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    As an unbeliever I wasn't trying to repress truth. I just didn't care because I didn't understand or know. I discovered Christ by reading the Word. I wasn't introduced to Christianity be means of a human teaching me truth. I had never heard the Gospel when I read the Gospel. I didn't know anything about Jesus.

    Paul said things were foolish. I have definitely been stupid and foolish many a time. I was implying that to argue about facts that are so simple is just not right. Is that not the proclamation of Proverbs 26:4,5? I wasn't trying to be uncharitable.
  24. Apologist4Him

    Apologist4Him Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, but Jesus' authority is self-attesting, self-authenticating (where ours is not), for Christ is God in the flesh, and in the Son, the Father has made Himself known. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, had the luxury to say; "you want evidence, look to me, I am all the evidence you'll ever need"! We are sinful human beings lacking the luxury of being able to say that. Not only that, but Jesus could perform a miracle at will, where we do not have that luxury. But I think presuppositionalism could also be demonstrated in the words and actions of Christ found in the Scriptures. If I am not mistaken, He refused to do miracles for certain people. Why didn't He give everyone evidence?

    Self-deception is based on total depravity and the effects of sin on the heart, mind, and soul. If you were to spend a reasonable amount of time debating nonbelievers, you would begin to notice a couple of things. Not only worldview differences but presuppositonal differences. I understand your "common sense realism", but is your common sense realism, common sense realism outside of your presuppositions? Outside of the presuppositon that God exists? So, in the mind of a nonbeliever, your just as self-deceived to them, as they are to you!

    [Edited on 9-1-2005 by Apologist4Him]
  25. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    And herein is the beauty of presupp...We weren't arguing whether 2 +2 =4 with the unbeliever. That all parties would grant. We take the unbeliever to look at his own worldview, his own presuppositions, as he espouses them and show him that it is folly and that it is so absurd to not even allow them to add. A darwinist can no doubt balance his checkbook but he cannot account for his accounting.

    You take any "fact" in all of the universe and prove that God exists from it. You don't have to understand the anthropic principle in physics, you don't have to have all archaeological knowledge, etc. And don't get me wrong, we continually show them positively from Scripture the law and gospel for the conversion of souls. We just ask that in their repentance that they also turn from autonomous thinking as well and acknowlege with their lips that all the riches of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ including their capacity to add.
  26. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    By this pre-interpretation do you mean foreknowledge? He is omniscient. He defined things before their substance or laws. Is this what you mean?

    What do you mean by "brute fact"? Something that just appears by fiat of it's own?

    I could argue the cults but think it would detract from the discussion at this point.

    [Edited on 9-1-2005 by puritancovenanter]
  27. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I am not understanding you Chris. Are you asking a convert to presuppose something or to arrive at a belief based upon pressupositions? That is what it sounds like you are saying. Or are you asking a convert to come to conclusions based upon the evidence that scripture is reliably the Word of God?
  28. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    I'm lost...could you rephrase your question, please? This was what I was referring to about me tripping over myself. By the end of this, you'll be begging for long quotes of Van Til!:lol:
  29. Apologist4Him

    Apologist4Him Puritan Board Freshman

    :lol: While lacking it myself, a quality I can appreciate in others, is someone who doesn't take his self too seriously. :)

    [Edited on 9-1-2005 by Apologist4Him]
  30. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    O K A Y A M I G E T T I N G C L E A R E R ?:lol:

    Are you asking a convert to presuppose something or arrive at a conclusion or belief based upon pressupositions?

    In other words are you just asking someone to believe something just because you believe it? Just because it is supposed truth? i.e. Christianity. Or are you asking someone to believe something about Christ and the Scriptures based upon evidence? i.e. blind faith vs. faith based upon evidence.
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