Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.
Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, and biodiversity

You are not connected. Please login or register

Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design » Philosophy and God » Presuppositionalism


Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1Presuppositionalism Empty Presuppositionalism Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:28 pm



Naturalism cannot ground fundamentally anything. That is: 1. Existence itself 2. The meaning of life  3. The value of human life 4. Moral values 5. Knowing what is objectively ( ontologically) true in regards to reality 
6. Sound reasoning 7. Logic 8. Intelligibility 9. His mind and consciousness 10. Uniformity in nature. 

Atheists cannot ground fundamentally anything, that is:  1. Existence itself: Being cannot come from non-being or non-existence. Nor can there be an infinite series of events in the past. 2. The meaning of life: There can be no fundamental meaning if there is no God which made us for a specific purpose and if our lives will cease to exist one day. 3. The value of human life: Without God, there can be no intrinsic, sanctity, or inherent value of human life, there can be no measure to distinguish why a cockroach is less valuable than man. 4. Moral values: Atheists also presuppose that objective moral values exist - like it is wrong to torture and kill babies for fun. But atheists cannot consistently claim that any moral values exist if there is no prescribing higher entity that establishes binding "ought to be's". 5. Knowing what is objectively ( ontologically) true in regards to reality: If there is no God, there is no reference point for us to know what is ultimately true and real. It can be anything. We can exist in a matrix, we can be the experiment of an alien life form outside the universe. 6. Sound reasoning: If our biological features, and more importantly our cognitive machinery evolved from some evolutionary forces of nature, how can we trust our brain and our thinking? the very thinking, belief, or trust in naturalism which are the products of blind or unguided forces of nature?? 7. Logic: Objective logic cannot be based on our subjective minds, a non-static universe, or immaterial abstractions outside of a mind. 8. Intelligibility: To be ultimate and singular means to be the source of all possibilities. How can we establish what is possible and impossible without referencing God? 9. Uniformity in nature: In order to understand our existence, we need to presuppose an orderly universe, governed by physical laws.  Atheists have to assume it without having an explanation why it is so.  An atheist has no answers to why the initial conditions, and why physical laws exist at all. They have to presuppose intelligibility of the created order without having a justification of that state of affairs.

The very demand to provide evidence of God's existence requires the presupposition of uniformity of nature, a logical mind, and sensory perceptions that we can trust. And all three require God, which secures what is possible and impossible, and therefore, is required to provide continuity and stability of the universe. Logic and consciousness can not come from matter. In a recent YouTube stream, an atheist claimed that the brain is the hardware, and the mind, the software. Then I asked: Can the hardware give rise to the software? He immediately became aware that he shot in his own worldview, and tried to change the subject. We also need to have senses that can perceive the natural world. While naturalists claim that evolution is an adequate explanation, I think it's not. There are many things that have to work in an interdependent manner and have to originate all at once. In order to see, we need the eye, the optic nerve, and the visual cortex in the brain. if one is missing no deal.

Atheists cannot ground fundamentally anything, that is: 

1. Existence itself
2. The meaning of life 
3. The value of human life
4. Moral values
5. Knowing what is objectively ( ontologically) true in regards to reality 
6. Sound reasoning
7. Logic
8. Intelligibility
9. His mind and consciousness
10. Uniformity in nature. 

1. Existence cannot come from non-existence. Thomas Aquinas: By definition, a non-contingent effect causes itself.  These effects are not observed.  If an effect caused itself, it would need to have existed prior to itself.

2. There can be no fundamental meaning, if there is no God which made us for a specific purpose, and if our lives will cease one day to exist. If that is so, the day we cease to exist, even IF there is a God, what we did during our lifetime, will ultimately cease to have a fundamental meaning. It is just a momentary transition out of oblivion into oblivion.

3. Without God, there can be no intrinsic, sanctity, or inherent value of human life, there can be no measure to distinguish why a cockroach is less valuable than man.  

4. Atheists also presuppose that objective moral values exist - like it is wrong to torture, rape, and kill babies for fun. But atheists cannot consistently claim that any moral values exist if there is no prescribing higher entity that establishes binding "ought to be's". 

5. Truth can be defined as that which corresponds with reality. However, how can we know what reality is?  If there is no God, there is no reference point for us to know what is ultimately true and real. It can be anything. We can exist in a matrix, we can be the experiment of an alien life form outside the universe, we can be the byproduct of a multiverse. Maybe solipsism is true. Whatever. We are left with the sober recognition that our lives are ultimately absurd. That leads to nihilism. 

6. Atheists cannot trust their reasoning and have no justification for it. J. B. S. Haldane, British Evolutionist. “If my mental processes are determined wholly by motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true – and hence I have no reason for believing that my brain is composed of atoms.”  Atheists assume their senses and ability to reason are accurately digesting the information around us. C.S. Lewis: Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true?  But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course, I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. 

7. What about the laws of logic? Atheists have to assume them. Which is another presupposition most all humans hold. Non-material entities such as objective truth is a myth since even the most basic principles of logic are all produced by a random accident, as is so the brain.

8. Intelligibility: Russell’s “naïve realism” (things are what they seem) is the idea that our sensory perceptions of color, shape, hardness, etc. drive our concept of reality, and produced the pursuit of reality: Physics. Yet they are not the things of physics, which goes deeper than the cosmetics of the object being observed, and shows that things are not “what they seem”.

9. The atheist mind recognizes only “Natural” and Material” effects, rejecting everything that cannot be proven empirically or forensically.  So the Atheist mind must also reject the existence of a mind, since such an intangible cannot be proven to exist empirically or forensically.

10. In order to understand our existence, we need to presuppose an orderly universe, governed by physical laws.  Atheists have to assume it without having an explanation why it is so.  An atheist has no answers to why the initial conditions, and why physical laws exist at all. They have to presuppose intelligibility of the created order without having a justification of that state of affairs.  If man could not be assured that the future will be like the past, that subsequent events will sustain a causal relation to previous states of affairs, the basis for any science would be lost. Initially, he would appeal to past uniformity; yet this fails to answer the question. What right have we to read the past into the future? Then the autonomous thinker might observe that we all assume this uniformity and even his critic relies on such a crucial axiom; however, this observation simply fails to justify the autonomous man’s axiom and only reiterates his uncritical dependence on it.

The mere fact that we are able and capable, as rational conscious beings to appreciate the physical world, its beauty, and variety from the macro to the micro is evidence of a creator. In order to evaluate evidence, one has to presuppose the following conditions: 

1. The uniformity of nature 
2. The ability to process the information ( using the laws of logic ) 
3. Reliability of our senses 

1. The uniformity of nature
We assume that the universe is orderly and obeys the physical laws that are the same over time and space. Unordered random stochastic events would not be able to give rise to a precise finely-tuned expansion rate of the universe, ( the cosmological constant is finely adjusted in 1 to 10^123) and there would be no universe.  

Paul Davies: This cosmic order is underpinned by definite mathematical laws that interweave each other to form a subtle and harmonious unity. The laws are possessed of an elegant simplicity, and have often commended themselves to scientists on grounds of beauty alone. Yet these same simple laws permit matter and energy to self-organize into an enormous variety of complex states. If the universe is a manifestation of rational order, then we might be able to deduce the nature of the world from "pure thought" alone, without the need for observation or experiment. On the other hand, that same logical structure contains within itself its own paradoxical limitations that ensure we can never grasp the totality of existence from deduction alone.

Why is there order in the universe? Why is it not random, stochastic, and unordered? Why are there laws of nature, that impose how matter behaves? If it is not God which is ultimate from which everything else derives and depends, being at the bottom of all reality, a necessary uncaused eternal being, the source of all possibilities who imposes what can and can not be, happen and occur or not, then, if anything, movement and change would emerge without deriving from an ultimate source at all, that change would be chaotic, random, without stability, unintelligible, and stochastic. The laws of physics could, and actually would have to pop up randomly, but could also cease to exist and then pop up again, in an unorderly frequency. Only a powerful creator is a possible rational explanation that can impose order in all created beings, and finely tune the universe and adjust its conditions that permit life. God upholds all things by His power (Heb. 1:3: "sustaining all things by His powerful word").  God maintains the universe, therefore, we are justified to believe that it is orderly and uniform. Why are there intelligent human beings that can take knowledge of the created order, rationalize it, take notice, discover it, observe it, think about it, and give praise? The universe could be simply lifeless and nobody would take notice of its existence. It would simply be an accidental product of unknown physical forces.

Paul Davies: an explanation of some phenomenon in terms of physics presupposes the validity of the laws of physics, which are taken as given. But one can ask where these laws come from in the first place.  Sooner or later we all have to accept something as given, whether it is God, or logic, or a set of laws, or some other foundation for existence.

2. The ability to process the information ( using the laws of logic )
Logical absolutes exist. Logical absolutes are conceptual by nature, and not dependent on space, time, physical properties. They are not the product of the physical universe (space, time, matter) because if the physical universe ceases to exist, logical absolutes will still exist. Logic is a process of the mind. Logic provides the framework for logical thought. A mind with the capability of logical thought cannot be the product of matter. A chemical state of the physical brain leads to another physical state of the physical brain but has never demonstrated to produce consciousness with the capability of rationality, rational thought, logic, and laws of logic which are independent of physical things. A chemical state of the physical brain leads to another physical state of the physical brain without requiring thoughts. So why would the brain produce consciousness, thoughts, and logic in the first place? The mind, and logical thought cannot be emergent properties of physical matter, and the brain. Logic depends on the existence of a mind. Logic is abstract. It is not a causal agent. 

3. Reliability of our senses 
We believe and presuppose that our senses are basically reliable and we can draw correct conclusions about the universe.  Unless the source of our own reliable senses is not as well reliable, unchanging in nature, how can chaos, and unreliability be the source of reliable senses?  We are warranted to expect that our memory and senses are reliable since they have been designed by God as stated in Scripture. God created us in His image, and since he is the supreme intelligence and all-knowing,  we are justified to believe that we have been created by God, able to gain knowledge and to reason. If our thoughts were chaotic and random, not using logic and rationality, we would not be able to make sense of anything that happens in the universe at all. 

From the book: Every thought captive
When we think even for a moment about Genesis 1:1, we recognize that the act of creation forms a basic division. On the one hand there is the One who created, and on the other hand, there is that which He created. Consequently, a distinction is made between God the Creator and God’s creation. We shall call this the “Creator-creature distinction” for it is a concept which must be explored further and to which reference will often be made. This distinction between the Creator and His creatures must never be forgotten nor set aside for even a moment for it is indispensable to the development of biblical apologetics.

God is not a dependent "sugardaddy”:
He is the all-powerful Creator and constant sustainer of all things. Romans 11:36 speaks to this effect:

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col. 1:17).

We will see in the lessons which follow that the recognition of this distinction between the independent God and dependent creation is one of the fundamental differences between Christians and non-Christians. Christians strive to see everything in light of creation’s dependence on God while the non-Christian tries to deny creation’s dependence. As strongly as it may be denied by some non- Christians, in one way or another, every person who has not trusted in Christ for salvation fails to account for the Creator-creature distinction and somehow puts God and His creation in mutual dependence on each other and ascribes to creation a degree of independence. With all the diversity of opinion among non-Christians, this is one uniting factor: the Creator-creature distinction is denied.

As creation cannot exist apart from God, it cannot be silent of God. The more fully one apprehends any fact of the universe, the more it will reveal God and His will to him.

Special Revelations of God
God has for various reasons always seen fit to accompany His revelation in all of creation with special revelations of Himself. In the garden of Eden, He spoke audibly to Adam about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To the patriarchs, God disclosed Himself in dreams, appearances, and visions. To Moses, God spoke in a burning bush and on tablets of stone.To the apostles, He spoke through the life and words of Jesus, His Son. For our time, God has spoken by the inspired Scriptures.

The Dependence of Man On God
The Psalmist directs us to remember who we are with these words: 

Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves (Ps. 100:3).

Man is no less dependent on God than is the rest of creation for he himself was created by God and is sustained by Him. Man is the crown of God’s creative activity, but he is still a creature and is returning to dust (Gen. 2:7). “In Him [God] we live and move and exist’’ (Acts 17:28) and apart from God we are nothing.

Man’s knowledge is dependent The Psalmist puts it this way:

In thy light we see light (Ps. 36:9).

Apart from God’s light of revelation in creation and in Scripture, we can never know light. God knows all and it is upon His knowledge that we must depend if we ourselves are to know. Any true understanding which men have is derived either intentionally or unintentionally from God. Men do actually think, yet true knowledge is dependent on and derived from God’s knowledge as it has been revealed to man.

Because man chose to think himself independent of God the whole creation was cast into sin. In many respects, however, the redeeming work of Christ is the restoration of men and the world back to the original state in which they were first created.

When turning from God, the unbeliever asserts with absolute certainty that the biblical distinction between the Creator and His creature is false; he therefore puts on the mask of absolute certainty. Yet, when turning from God, the unbeliever is left in the postion of having no solid ground for knowledge and must therefore wear the mask of total uncertainty.

My comment: We see that all the time, when atheists claim to be atheists and agnostics. They reject the God of the Bible, but had no alternative explanation of our existence, and say " We don't know".

Certainty is impossible for the non-Christian since he has rejected the only source of true knowledge and is left to finite speculation. He may say that we cannot be sure of what we think we know or that we may arrive
only at “probable knowledge.” Such a stance may seem less presumptuous on the surface, but it is actually a statement of absolute certainty as well as total uncertainty.

“It is absolutely certain that there are no absolute certainties.”

Since the unbeliever has not examined all the possible evidence for God’s existence, he cannot be absolutely certain that He does not exist. This does not mean, however, that the unbeliever may safely claim that God’s existence is uncertain. In taking this stance of agnosticism, he is thrown into the same dilemma as the atheist. The unbeliever holds this view of total uncertainty while ignoring that agnosticism necessarily involves the absolute certainty that God has not made Himself known in such a way as to demand recognition and submission from all men. The agnostic is absolutely certain that God’s existence is uncertain.

The claim of absolute certainty is made, for instance, when the non-Christian says that the world is in some sense orderly and understandable. He is absolutely certain that the order he discerns is in reality actually there. Yet, the non-Christian is faced with the fact that he has not investigated and cannot investigate the entire external world in such a way as to avoid total uncertainty. The presence of the unknown calls into question all that the unbeliever claims to know. Total uncertainty regarding the external world often involves the notion that the world does not have order and is ruled by chance and makes no sense to man. It is obvious that even when the unbeliever denies the possibility of knowing the world in this fashion, he is making a statement of absolute certainty about the character of the world. He knows for certain that the world is of such a character that it is unordered and that it is a product of mere chance. Once again, the unbeliever is faced with the dilemma of being absolutely certain and totally uncertain at the same time.

My comment: The atheist must take the notion that the world is orderly and understandable as an axiom, without having a warrant for that. He does not know if this universe is a matrix, or a computer game performed by a 15 year old kid plaid from a parallel universe. Or that solipsism is true. That he is the only person with consciousness, while all other humans are pre-programmed robots. But even more than that, how can a man without God be even certain that his own consciousness is real, and not a programmed simulation from the outside? Maybe his inner consciousness and self-awareness is an illusion. He cannot know for certain, that its not, and must take it as an axiom that it is without warrant for it.

In sum, unbelievers cannot know anything for certain. Neither if there is a God, if the real world he lives in is real in the sense he understands it, and neither if his consciousness is singular, indivisible, and his own, rather than the product of something more fundamental, of which he has no knowledge of. In contrast:

1 Corinthians 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Christians are able to know and follow the truth of God’s revelation and therefore produce a philosophy which is not according to independent human perspectives. Believers are actually able to develop a philosophy pleasing to God. The reason for this lies in the religious commitment at the base of the Christian point of view. After describing non-Christian philosophy as we have seen in Colossians 2:8, Paul goes on to reveal the nature of the religious commitment which is fundamental to Christian philosophy.

The Christian seeks to depend on God in all things so that he may handle all things according to this principle: . . .

(Col. 3:17) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father

The notion of human dependence does not depend on itself for ultimate support. It rests on the solid ground of God and His revelation. When asked why he is dependent on God, the Christian will respond that he is commanded to be so by the revelation of God, and that Scripture is authoritative for the Christian because it is God’s Word. He will claim that he knows that the Bible is God’s Word by the testimony of the Holy Spirit and the redeeming work of Christ. There is no independent human choice underlying commitment to Christ. The Creator who speaks for Himself and His revelation is alone the ground on which the Christian faith stands.

Christians and non-Christians are involved in circularities; they are impossible to avoid when considering our most basic conviction. Yet, an important difference must be seen between them. Non-Christian circularity
consists of the attempt to justify t±ie groundless assumption of independence by independent thought and results from mans inability to do otherwise.

Christian circularity, however, consists of the recognition that nothing is more ultimate than the authority of God and His Word The former is the evidence of futile thought struggling to support itself. The latter is the proof of enlightened minds returning to the only one without need of further support, God the Creator of all. Despite the similarities, these differences form a great chasm between the two views of the world which is crossed only by the one touched by the regenerating grace of God.

Christian philosophy provides escape from the futility of the non-Christian dilemma. In Christ the basis for man’s certainity and the answer to his uncertainty is found. Christian philosophy is supported by the commitment to
dependence on God which rests on God and His revelation. Because God is seen as the source of all knowledge, the Christian does not face the problem of being irreconcilably certain and uncertain. To be sure, there is certainty and uncertainty in Christian philosophy but these are companions under the Lordship of Christ.

Resting our philosophy on God and His revelation means accepting as certain those things revealed. Unlike the non- Christian, the Christian’s certainty is not destroyed by what he does not know. God knows everything exhaustively and is therefore able to provide for man even in the face of his finiteness. So long as man depends on God’s revelation for understanding God, the world, and himself, he will know truly without fear of error.

There are matters which are beyond his comprehension and which have not been revealed by God. In such areas the Christian confesses uncertainty and trusts God’s wisdom and understanding.

Unbelievers are in the dilemma of absolute certainty and total uncertainty. Christians, however, find the solution to this difficulty by having dependent certainty and dependent uncertainty. We shall show how this solution relates to the Christian concept of God, the world, and man.

1. Regarding God
The Christian has dependent certainty about the existence and the character of God because he receives as true the revelation of God in Scripture. God has spoken and revealed Himself that He might be known by those who commit themselves to belief in His Son. Even so, the Christian has dependent uncertainty because he does not know everything about God.

While non-Christians have severed their relationship with God and have therefore fallen prey to the dilemma of God’s judgment, Christians have been reunited to God and have found in Him the confidence needed for certainty and the solution to their uncertainty.

My comment: In other words, Christians can be certain of their salvation, and forgiveness of sins, and find peace in their hearts. Atheists, on the other hand, must live in constant fear, and the uncertainty that God actually DOES exist, and that then, they will be judged according to their sins. Of course, they attempt the suppress the notion of this uncertainty, but nevertheless, it is something that from time to time is nagging in their minds, and results in unrest and cognitive dissonance.

The Myth of Neutrality
Hardly a day goes by when we do not hear someone say, “I just want to deal with the objective facts as they really are. I want to keep away from religious questions.” As well meaning as they may be, these non-Christians are far from being neutral. They simply fail to realize that even seeking neutrality is a rejection of Christ. He does not ask for “neutral honesty” for such a stance is just a disguised form of allegiance to independence. As Jesus said,
He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters (Matt. 12:30).

My comment: It is very common these days unbelievers to resort to the confession: " We don't know, and we are perfectly honest about that". If there were hundreds of possible statements, then claiming of not knowing which makes most sense could be justified.  In the quest of God, there are just two possible explanations. Either there is a God, or not. There is however a wealth of evidence, which can lead us to informed, well-justified conclusions.

As the image of God, the nonChristian knows God and His demands in his heart Though he denies it, every fact of creation speaks to him of God. Even the very words of the Christian speak to the awareness of God which never fully escapes him. Finally, we may communicate effectively with the non-Christians because the potential of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is always present.

Biblical apologetics must maintain the Creator-creature distinction.
Christians must always remember when defending the faith that human reason is never to be treated as the ultimate or final authority. The goal of apologetics is to have men submit dependently to God and we must not seek to bring them to that point by encouraging the non-Christian to continue setting himself up as judge of the credibility of Christianity. All too often apologetics merely challenges the non-Christian to clean up some of the flaws in his supposed independent reason. Yet nowhere in Scripture are men told to sit as judges over the claims of Christ; they are consistently exhorted to forsake their foolish ways of rebellion and to acknowledge their total dependence on God.

Biblical apologetics seeks to communicate effectively and convince the non- Christian on the basis that he is God’s image and is aware of his creatureliness. fallen man is still the image of God and therefore knows God even though he refuses to acknowledge Him. Whenever we approach the non-Christian we may have confidence not because he is reasonable or logical. We may speak to him on the basis of what he is and what he already knows.

My comment: I have seen the reaction of atheists many times, claiming that it was arrogant from Christians saying that they knew that God exists, but was unwilling to acknowledge and surrender to him. Based on my experience, I don't know if that approach "works", or if it is  productive in a conversation with atheists.

The fall of man involved the entirety of man; all aspects of his personality were corrupted by sin. As a result, reason is not the judge of truth; only God can act as such a judge. Moreover, sin has so affected mankind that even rational abilities are not neutral. Christians seek to use their reason in dependence on God. Non-Christians seek to be independent in their thinking; there is no neutral ground on which to deal with unbelief. Human reason can be as much a hindrance as a help to faith in Christ As St. Augustine once said, “Believe that you may understand.” To rest our faith on independent reason is to rebel against God. Reason must rest on our faith commitment to Christ and our faith must rest on God alone.

The unbeliever is encouraged to act as if he were God and able to judge the question of God’s existence independently.

Many apologists operate on the assumption that it is possible for reflective unbelievers to see God in creation. The Scriptures, however, teach that all men, even the unreflecting, know the God of Scripture through creation.To
try to convince the unbeliever of the existence of a god of some undefined character, is to lead him away from what true knowledge of the God of Scripture he already has. For these reasons, to argue for the existence of God as Little has suggested is clearly contrary to the guiding principles of Scripture.

There are four possible ways of reacting to Jesus. He is either a liar, a lunatic, a legend ( a fictional character), or truly the one he claimed to be. In response to the notion that Jesus was a liar: Even those who deny his deity affirm that they think Jesus was a great moral teacher. They fail to realize those two statements are a contradiction. To the idea that Jesus was a lunatic: But as we look at the life of Christ we see no evidence of abnormality and unbalance we find in the deranged person. In response to the idea that Jesus’ claim of divinity is mere legend or that he was a fictional character after all: The legend theory does not hold water in the light of the early date of the Gospel manuscripts, extrabiblical testimonies, and the Shroud of Turin. The last alternative is that Jesus spoke the truth. 

The problem with much of the popular tactics used by many defenders of the faith today may be summed up as a problem of authority. The apologist must see clearly that the non-Christian is in need of forsaking his commitment to independence and should turn in faith to the authority of Christ.

If, however, trust in Christ is founded on logical consistency, historical evidence, scientific arguments, etc., then Christ is yet to be received as the ultimate authority. The various foundations are more authoritative than Christ Himself. To use yet another analogy, if belief in Christian truth comes only after the claims of Christ are run through the verification machine of independent human judgment, then human judgment is still thought to be the
ultimate authority (see Fig. 20).

Presuppositionalism Bolsas10

In spite of all our efforts and our most profound arguments the unbeliever will not be won unless he is touched by God’s grace and is made willing to believe from his heart

Evangelism deals more with what we should believe and apologetics more with why we should believe. We may think of apologetics as extended evangelism for it seeks to defend and convince the unbeliever of the message of judgment and hope as it is presented in the gospel

Absolute unity and simplicity require no-thing outside because there is no "outside". It is all there is. If something "outside" added to that absolute unity/simplicity it is not absolute or ultimate. You can't add or divide from that absolute simplicity. It is the ultimate perfection that everything from eternity to eternity is perfect and lacking none. All possibilities are contained in it. It's actually an Anselmian thought...nothing greater (simpler) can be conceived. The theological name for this is GOD.

If the distinction Creator-creature is given up, then, as Paul Davies says: there remains the old problem about the end of the explanatory chain. However successful our scientific explanations may be, they always have certain starting assumptions built-in. For example, an explanation of some phenomenon in terms of physics presupposes the validity of the laws of physics, which are taken as given. But one can ask where these laws come from in the first place. One could even question the origin of the logic upon which all scientific reasoning is founded. Sooner or later we all have to accept something as given, whether it is God, or logic, or a set of laws, or some other foundation for existence. Thus "ultimate" questions will always lie beyond the scope of empirical science as it is usually defined. So does this mean that the really deep questions of existence are unanswerable? Davies continues: I now realize that it reflects my instinctive belief that it is probably impossible for poor old Homo sapiens to "get to the bottom of it all." Probably there must always be some "mystery at the end of the universe." But it seems worth pursuing the path of rational inquiry to its limit. Even a proof that the chain of inference is uncompletable would be worth knowing. Something of that sort has already been demonstrated in mathematics.

My comment: The origin of mathematical principles also requires an explanation.  

Darth Dawkins: I have a question. Since you don't believe in God then is anything impossible? ​And if so what imposes that? If nothing can be defended to be impossible then how can anything be intelligibile? ​If nothing is impossible then all propositions are of equal value and absurdity results. ​Can you please address the above. All of your statements here right now are meaningless unless you demonstrate that is some impossibility.

To be ultimate and singular means to be the source of all possibilities. How can you establish what is possible and impossible without referencing God?
Calvin recognized fully that if man is to have true knowledge of himself he must regard God as original and himself as derivative.

Presuppositionalism Tumblr10

Last edited by Otangelo on Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:57 am; edited 9 times in total

2Presuppositionalism Empty Re: Presuppositionalism Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:17 pm



fundamentally absolute means unchanging
do you believe that anything at any given moment is changing? yes? then you have destroyed your worldview. If everything is changing, then nothing remains the same.
principle of continuity, vs principle of discontinuity.
properties and attributes that have always existed, and never cease to exist, are unchanging
independent, and outside of time-space continuum.
If nothing is changing at all, then there cannot be human intelligibility.
in order to talk about probability, some things have to be static, and others changing.
probabilistic assessment requires background information. It requires what is static, and what is dynamic, and does change.
what is it that is fundamental
God is unconditionally nondependent. will be considered to be what is divine. It is either personal or impersonal.
God cannot be evaluated probabilistically.
Either God necessarily exists or does not exist.
do you have a reason to believe that something is fundamental and absolute? No? There is nothing that secures and
what is ultimate? the source of all possibilities. How are the laws of nature real? If they are real, why is the future different than the past.
If what is fundamental and fundamental is not a mind, you cannot identify what it is.
overarching reason why things are the way it is.
atheism is incoherent and insane.
the very rejection of the claim that God has revealed himself through revelation is unsustainable.
Have they demonstrated that the facts that they are acquainted with do not need to reference God?
Do you believe that it is necessary to reference God as the precondition of all facts ? Do you positively believer that it is necessary to reference God?
The advocacy follows from the independence of God. So when they say no, they say that facts are independent of God, until shown otherwise. That is a de facto denial of God.
Its a category error.
The only way that we come to know what is absolute is when it is  a mind, that creates a world, so that we can know there is a creator.  
If they don't accept that. So then, when you don't believe what is fundamental is personal. If God does not secure the laws of physics, then they can be completely different.
Predictive capabilities are meaningless.
Chance can fulfill predictions
all they care, is saying anything of why they dont have to believe in God. The preservation of human autonomy.
then you have no ground to object anything. because how do you establish that anything is impossible without referencing God.  why do you believe something without evidence?
do you have rationally evidential support
atheism is a dead corpse, a norman bates society.
everything that is temporal is indicative of what is eternal and absolute. 
if it's not God, then human rationality is destroyed. You cannot establish it in a deterministic world. It's basically a consequence of past events. Everything is shrouded in mystery. 
saying it's an emerging property of evolution is begging the question. it's incoherent. 

Falsify the Christian God
Can you falsify the Christian God? 
Do you have any truth claims that falsify the Christian God?
what is your objective statement that falsifies the Christian God?
Is God falsified in virtue of " I don't know? "

How are causal relations not in the necessity of God?

Is God the necessary precondition for all facts?
All the facts that you are acquainted with, do not need to be referenced to God?
In the same sense, as a gun on the side of a dead man indicates a relation of the gun to the dead body, so do facts in the world relate to God.
Creation requires a creator. 
When I look at the facts that I am acquainted with 
fundamental and absolute. either it is necessary or not. 
revelation of God and his self desclosure
certain things are regular. seeing is regular. seeing is the same as yesterday. a dog is the same as yesterday. If there are things that are regular, is the regularity real, or an illusion. intelligibility requires something that is regular 
if its a contingent state of affairs
whats fundamental could be impersonal. 
what is fundamental to reality is what imposes or secures that. 
any fact or collection of facts starts in the mind of God. 
or they are uncreated facts, which do not reference the mind of got, then they are just brute facts, then there is no explanation why they are the way they are. 
if the uniformity of nature is not something that emanates from God, then why does it exist at all? Is reality absolute in itself? Reality is an abstraction. It is the mental set of all particulars that exist. Within that abstract set, Laws, in order to exist, must be imposed. These continuities could just stop. 
Can a plurality of things be ultimate? Fundamental and ultimate are overlapping. Fundamental is singular. If they reject that it is singular but plural, then each of the members of the plurality exists independent of each other. 
A plurality ontologically cannot be ultimate. 

Zac king watch it. 
you cant interpret facts without a paradigm. We see everything through a lens. Either God is the background information or not. If not, then what is the background information? 
Gordon Stein , Greg Bahnsen youtube. 

God secures what is regular, what institutes, and secures what is regular. What is fundamental, is regular. Either it is a mind or not. 
Continuity and discontinuity. Christ is the same today, and yesterday. Without God, there can be no sequence at all. You cannot connect the dots. Unless what is fundamental to reality, is singular and fundamental, and a mind. incoherency and 
It seems philosophical, they experience, all the facts around us do not indicate God. They experience the lack of experience or positive affirmation of the existence of God. 
demonstrate: make an explanation more persuasive than another explanation
Christianity is true by the impossibility of the contrary
Axioms are fundamental. The Bible is the word of God, is true, the product of God's revelation. Knowledge truths can only come through scriptural propositions.
Argumentation presupposes knowledge, truth, logic, valid reasoning, etc.. Prove any precondition of intelligibility apart from the Christian God. Let’s start with logic. What are the laws of logic and where does logic come from? As Christians, we believe logic is a reflection of God's nature and God's thinking.

The Christian must from the very beginning presuppose the supernatural revelation of the Bible as the criterion of truth in order to know anything else because all human knowledge presupposes the existence of the Christian God.  

The only proof for the existence of God is that without God you could not prove anything.  Non-Christian worldviews are incoherent (inconsistent) in and of themselves and intelligible only because they borrow capital from the Christian worldview. The truth of the Bible is an axiom which as the presupposition cannot be proved or disproved. However it must be tested for logical consistency with other presuppositions or axioms within the worldview. The Christian worldview is analogous to an axiom or formal system. 

Presuppositionalism rests on a belief in the Bible as the source of truth because it is inspired by God. Meanwhile we believe in God because the Bible affirms it and the Bible is the source of truth. 

In Kant’s essay The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God (1763), he applies this method to argue for the existence of God. According to him:  
Logic, science, ethics and all human knowledge are not meaningful apart from a preconditioning belief in the existence of God.

As creatures made in God’s image man cannot help but know God. It is of this revelation to man through “nature” and through his own constitution that Paul speaks of in Romans.

Answering Objections to Presuppositionalism
All men are either in Adam, as their covenant head, or in Christ. There is no third place to be. As such, we reason, think, live, and act according to the principles entailed in our covenant status.

Christianity and Van Tillianism
Classical Trinitarian theism “is the foundation of everything else that we hold dear.” Why is the ontological Trinity the foundation for the correct interpretation of all facts? Because our triune God decreed all facts and created all facts and providentially controls all facts.

Van Til’s doctrine of God is important because of his argument that the ontological Trinity is “foundational to everything else as a principle of explanation.” All human knowledge “rests upon the ontological Trinity as its presupposition.” Van Til is talking not only about religious knowledge. He explains, “True scientific certainty, no less than true religious certainty, must be based upon the presupposition of the ontological trinity.” The ontological Trinity is the final reference point required for interpreting all phenomena. In short, classical Trinitarian theism “is the foundation of everything else that we hold dear.” Why is the ontological Trinity the foundation for the correct interpretation of all facts? Because our triune God decreed all facts and created all facts and providentially controls all facts.

The distinction between this God and the creation is a crucial element in Van Til’s thought. This idea is fundamental to any truly Christian metaphysics. All non-Christian worldviews, according to Van Til, blur or deny the Creator-creature distinction. Even professing Christian views often fail to maintain this distinction as they should. Van Til argues, for example, that Roman Catholicism fails to teach the Creator-creature distinction, holding instead to the idea of “being in general.” He repeatedly finds fault with Thomas Aquinas on precisely this point, claiming that Aquinas borrowed the Aristotelian doctrine of the analogy of being. According to Van Til, Aquinas “reduces the Creator-creature distinction to something that is consistent with the idea of God and the cosmos as involved in a chain of being, with varying degrees of intensity.”

Among other things, understanding the Creator-creature distinction helps us understand the relationship between God’s knowledge and ours. Van Til’s explanation of God’s knowledge is fairly typical of classic Reformed theology. God is omniscient, and His knowledge of Himself and of all things is comprehensive. Man, on the other hand, even in his unfallen state, is a finite creature, so his knowledge is limited and partial. Man’s knowledge does not have to be comprehensive, however, in order to be true. In order for man’s knowledge of anything to be true, it must correspond to God’s knowledge. As Van Til explains, “Our ideas must correspond to God’s ideas.” Human knowledge, therefore, is “analogical.” Ultimately, man’s knowledge depends on divine knowledge. This means that “no fact in the world can be interpreted truly except it be seen as created by God.” This is what it means to say that all human knowledge “rests upon the ontological Trinity as its presupposition.”

What was the effect of the fall on man’s knowledge? According to Van Til, man’s mind has been corrupted, but “man’s constitution as a rational and moral being has not been destroyed.” The laws of logic, including the law of noncontradiction, being an expression of the nature of God, were not themselves destroyed, but “man’s ability to use them rightly was weakened.” In other words, “sin did not destroy any of the powers that God gave man at the beginning when he endowed him with his image.” If man had lost these natural powers, then he would no longer be responsible. Fallen human beings, therefore, “have good powers of perception, good powers of reasoning, etc.,” but Van Til insists that Christians must oppose those who say that fallen human reason “can and does function normally or near to normally even after the fall.”

This brings us to one of the most important elements of Van Til’s thought, which is his doctrine of the antithesis between believers and unbelievers. 

Since the fall, there are two classes of men: covenant keepers and covenant breakers. No one is neutral. Covenant breakers do not presuppose the ontological Trinity in their thinking, and thus they are blind with regard to the truth. The non-Christian sees all of reality through the lens of his own false worldview. Van Til uses the analogy of colored glasses to illustrate the point, saying, “The sinner has cemented colored glasses to his eyes, which he cannot remove.” These colored glasses distort the non-Christian’s view of everything he sees. This means he sees nothing correctly and therefore knows nothing correctly. This antithesis is seen most clearly in fallen man’s suppression of the knowledge of God. The wicked suppression of the knowledge of God affects man’s knowledge of everything.

Van Til emphasizes this point throughout his writings, saying that fallen man lacks true knowledge of anything. He is “blind with respect to the truth wherever the truth appears.” Also, no man “can have any true knowledge of anything except through the wisdom of Christ,” and it is anti-Christian to say otherwise. Fallen man “cannot, unless the scales be removed from his eyes, know anything truly about God or about anything else.” Because everything is created by God, “Not one single fact in this universe can be known truly by man without the existence of God.”

Van Til argues that even Calvin did not go far enough on this point. Calvin did not make it clear that “the natural man is as blind as a mole with respect to natural things as well as with respect to spiritual things.” Van Til explains: “Unless we maintain that the natural man does not know the flowers truly, we cannot logically maintain that he does not know God truly. All knowledge is interrelated.”

Last edited by Otangelo on Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:52 pm; edited 26 times in total

3Presuppositionalism Empty Re: Presuppositionalism Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:38 pm


Atheists cannot ground fundamentally anything, that is:  1. Existence itself: Being cannot come from non-being or non-existence. Nor can there be an infinite series of events in the past. 2. The meaning of life: There can be no fundamental meaning if there is no God which made us for a specific purpose and if our lives will cease to exist one day. 3. The value of human life: Without God, there can be no intrinsic, sanctity, or inherent value of human life, there can be no measure to distinguish why a cockroach is less valuable than man. 4. Moral values: Atheists also presuppose that objective moral values exist - like it is wrong to torture and kill babies for fun. But atheists cannot consistently claim that any moral values exist if there is no prescribing higher entity that establishes binding "ought to be's". 5. Knowing what is objectively ( ontologically) true in regards to reality: If there is no God, there is no reference point for us to know what is ultimately true and real. It can be anything. We can exist in a matrix, we can be the experiment of an alien life form outside the universe. 6. Sound reasoning: If our biological features, and more importantly our cognitive machinery evolved from some evolutionary forces of nature, how can we trust our brain and our thinking? the very thinking, belief, or trust in naturalism which are the products of blind or unguided forces of nature?? 7. Logic: Objective logic cannot be based on our subjective minds, a non-static universe, or immaterial abstractions outside of a mind. 8. Intelligibility: To be ultimate and singular means to be the source of all possibilities. How can we establish what is possible and impossible without referencing God? 9. Uniformity in nature: In order to understand our existence, we need to presuppose an orderly universe, governed by physical laws.  Atheists have to assume it without having an explanation why it is so.  An atheist has no answers to why the initial conditions, and why physical laws exist at all. They have to presuppose intelligibility of the created order without having a justification of that state of affairs.

This is why nobody can deny the existence of  the Christian God:

Necessary Universal Truths
Personal God, (Creator, First Cause)  and the Logical chain of the Law of Causality (Every Effect Must have a Cause)  

Independent and Dependent Causes and effects:

The eternal Mind,
the external Cause of the universe,
Logical Laws - Conceptual truths.
Knowledge,and Science
The universe
The Cause of Life,
The Humans, Personal Temporary beings
The Mind,
information science theory
Communication, Sender,   Message, Receiver, Decoder,  Information,

Before we open our mouths and speak (communicate) we must recognize the existence of Logic and its laws, that we must use in order to express ourselves in sentences

We need universal Truths necessary for our existence:

- God, (Personal Creator, First Cause),
- Logic and the logical chain of the Law of Causality (Every effect must have a cause)
Law of Identity
Law of Non-Contradiction

Independent and dependent causes and effects:

Necessary Independent: God the Eternal Mind, and the External Cause of the Universe,

Dependent Causes and effects confirming the existence of God:

- The laws of logic - Absolute conceptual truths
- Knowledge and science
- The universe
- Life
- People, temporary personal beings
- Minds, logic, truth, science, intentionality, language, information science theory...

All Communications require:

The speaker intentionality who , sends a Message, sentences, the Recipient of the message
The process of Decoding, Sorting and Analyzing Information, Language (sentences, words, letters) takes place. Logical processing, establishing the Truth, storing information or conclusion.

Any language or mathematical expression or communication is impossible without the Laws of Logic:
Law of identity: A = A
The law of non-contradiction A is not B
The Law of Causality in Communication: Speaker, Sentence (Message) and Listener (receiver)

No one can deny the necessity of Logic, derived from the existence of God, the Eternal Mind, and none of us can communicate rationally using Logic while denying Logic.

Logic and its laws are absolute, conceptual truths and do not require the existence of the universe, but they are absolutely necessary before any universe can exist.

4Presuppositionalism Empty Re: Presuppositionalism Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:07 am


Bahnsen: Presuppositional apologetics

Does the fact that ultimate principles are strictly incapable of external verification leave us with a guessing game at the beginning of our thinking?

What is justifiably believed and true? A true proposition asserts a certain state of affairs to be the case when in fact that is the state of affairs.  Justification is conferred on certain types of reasons (or warrants) because of the relatively high degree of success they have in engendering true belief. Because God has clearly revealed Himself to all men by means of nature, man’s own constitution, and Scripture, men do not begin with a mere guess about reality.  Only if Christianity were untrue (which it is not) would this dire conclusion follow.

All men as creatures of God have the same true metaphysical information and moorings, as well as justification for them (i.e., revelation from God Himself). So their intellectual endeavors do not begin with a “leap,” but rather they begin either in submissive obedience or rebellious disobedience. That men suppress and mishandle the revelation of God, thereby denying to themselves in one stroke the true metaphysic (beginning with the God of creation) and valid epistemology (resting upon divine revelation), fails to alter the fact that intellectual endeavors do not begin from a blank position of neutrality and make their first move by means of a guess. All men begin with genuine knowledge—true belief about the state of affairs and justification for that belief—and then proceed to use or misuse it.

Atheists commonly do want the quest of God's existence to reduce to a question of intellect or reason alone, excluding the fact that it has essentially to do with moral volition. Atheists implicitly hold that truth is obtainable and testable no matter what ethical condition the thinker is in. Hence they maintain that all disputes must be rationally resolvable, and a rational case for a philosophic position relies upon a valid chain of discursive argumentation.   BUT: When it comes to the fundamental question of Christian faith, the matter reduces to one of submission or rebellion to the authority of the revealed God.

Starting with presuppositions that cannot be proven
Every system must have some unproven assumptions, a starting point not antecedently established, with which reasoning begins and according to which it proceeds to conclusions. The unbeliever, as much as the believer, has a final authority to which he appeals in order to defend his world-view that he embraces. , When one is giving reasons for his fundamental outlook on reality and knowledge he will appeal to some personal authority: his own mind, an esteemed scholar, a group of thinkers, the majority opinion, or God. , All argumentation between non-Christian and believer must inevitably become circular, beginning and ending with some personal authority.

Since this is the case the Christian should not be ashamed of his admittedly dogmatical apologetic, a system of interpretation which starts “from above,” from the authoritative Word of the self-contained, triune God who speaks in self-attesting Scripture. The necessity, clarity, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture are correlative to that revelation of God in nature and man’s constitution. . The beginning of an argument is a personal authority not previously argued for, and there can be no higher or more reliable source of truth and validation than God, The truth of Scripture, then, is not established by the apologist’s use of external tests; rather the Word of God is self-attesting. The Bible is accepted on God’s own authority.

If a man’s mind really could be free of interpretative principles so that he could treat all “facts” as though they had no pre-interpretation inherent in them, then his interpretative activity could never get started or make contact with the “facts.” He would have a blank mind working on blank impressions. Furthermore, the place where a man goes to secure or look for evidence indicates a certain prejudice toward the answer expected to a question on his part from the very outset. Also, what a man even considers “factual” will be determined by his outlook or philosophy (e.g., the materialist and Buddhist will disagree from the start of an argument). Moreover we note that the very formulation and styling of an argument require that a man have his final conclusion in sight even from the outset in order that the argument be structured to move to the proper end; the predetermination of conclusion significantly governs the formulation of premises. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn clearly exhibits the non-objective character of science when it comes to foundational questions. He says that the scientist views the world through a model or arranging-picture; he has a paradigm that defines the scope and methodology of the science using it. The world becomes a totally new place when the paradigm is altered; even sense data and its interpretation are governed, qualified, and determined by the model.

In 1931 Kurt Gödel pulled the rug out from under the supposed neutrality of logic in the same way that Kuhn later made scientific or factual neutrality look suspicious. Gödel developed a theorem that demonstrated the impossibility of formulating a consistency proof for any system of logical calculus (with its signs and rules of inference) within that system.[6] Hence different systems of logic are selected for reasons other than objective logical argument.

Against this background it should come as no surprise that the Christian and unbeliever do not and cannot approach their differences with argumentative or philosophic neutrality. Even though the Christian and the non-Christian have the facts of the objective world in common, they have radically divergent interpretations of them. For the Christian all facts are pre-interpreted by God, created by God, and revelatory of God; they must be handled in such a way that glory is brought to God. But the non-Christian views these facts as meaningfully interpreted only by his own mind, as uncreated and free from God’s control, as ambiguous and contingent; he uses them to bring glory to man. Hence the Christian and non-Christian have different interpretative schemes.

One views logic as rules of thought implanted in man’s mind by the Creator; the other sees logic as the self-sufficient, self-authenticating tool of autonomous man’s reason. One founds logic in God; the other founds it in itself. The Christian places God’s authority above considerations of logical possibility or his own human use of logic; the unbeliever places abstract possibility above God. Since the fall of man was ethical in character (not metaphysical), the unregenerate and regenerate share the facts of the world and the rules of thought, but their interpretation and use of them are far from neutral. The Christian obediently submits all thoughts to the word of Scripture, but the non-Christian autonomously treats “logic” and “fact” as the final reference point of all truth.

The Christian takes God as an absolute, comprehensive, incorrigible authority, while the non-Christian absolutizes some aspect of his finite, temporal experience.

The non-Christian begins by assuming that God cannot clearly reveal himself in history or by means of human words, that He cannot demand every thought to be made subject to Christ; the Christian presupposes the very opposite. Self-consciousness and knowledge of facts and laws are impossible without God-consciousness according to the believer, but the unbeliever assumes the non-createdness of the facts as well as man’s mind and rejects the need to refer to God in any interpretative scheme. There is not one fact or law which is “neutral” to the Christian and non-Christian.

Scripture tells us that the non-Christian must always live in God’s world (i.e., upon Christian ground) and continually be confronted by God’s revelation within and without him. The non-Christian is not and cannot be consistent with his boasted autonomy and self-authority. It is the unbeliever’s inconsistency, wherein he knows the truth about God and depends upon it in his intellectual efforts (even while he denies it), that makes communication and argument with him by the Christian possible.

The Hopelessness of Autonomous Reasoning 
By epistemological autonomy is meant the ability to attain knowledge independent of God’s revelation and existence. The person who rejects the Word of God feels that he can find truth with his own powers of exploration, examination, and explanation. He thinks that personal knowledge of the world is attainable irrespective of God’s existence. For the self-styled autonomous man personal understanding need not make reference to the God-situation in order to justify or explain itself. It is assumed from the outset that the human mind is epistemologically self-sufficient. He purports to start simply with himself, his native abilities, the facts of experience, and the principles of logic in order to establish an interpretation of the world built up without reference to God or divine revelation. He takes it that his thinking is straightforwardly original and relies upon no a priori judgments as to fact. This epistemological stance needs to be unmasked.

Man must know something if he knows that he should reject revelational epistemology and dependence upon God—he thinks himself in a position to reject the absolute demand God makes upon his life and intellect. A person knows to reject an optical illusion only if he already knows the actual state of affairs; he can make a negative judgment only if he is also prepared to assert something positively. To reject revelational epistemology, then, is to commit yourself to defending the truth of autonomous epistemology.

Autonomous thinkers operate on the basis that the less a man knows the less certain he should be about his judgments; the inference is that outside of omniscience no man can find absolute truth. So what might the autonomous man substitute for infinite knowledge as grounds for claiming truthfulness in any of his predications? Is there any safeguard against delusion? Can even the simplest thing be known for sure?

Being dialectically strewn between haphazard guesses and the demand for omniscience, the autonomous man must push beyond “true belief” as his standard of “knowledge” and introduce the notion of justification as that which eliminates arbitrariness and provides a ground for asserting truthfulness in a belief. If someone has a good reason for his belief, then another person might have incentive to take that belief as true. However, different people are convinced by different kinds of reasons; what satisfies Jones may be completely inadequate according to Smith. A good case for a belief might persuade another to endorse it, but that does not come all the way up to “knowledge” (and relativism continues to threaten). At this point the autonomous man might be willing to lower his sights: after all, he says, no one can demand more than can be given.

It should be clear by this time that a self-styled autonomous thinker becomes an authority unto himself. Since the question of justifying conditions for a belief cannot be argued, the personal view of the autonomous man must simply be posited as the standard. Instead of advancing a good rational, scientific case for his position, the autonomous thinker must simply assume his own authority and assert his position. His mind is taken as the arbitrator and final point of reference; the justification-criteria, relevance-criteria, truth criteria, and verification-criteria are what they are simply because the autonomous man says so. An argument must begin somewhere, and so the autonomous man begins it with himself. The interesting thing here is that it is just such a dogmatic appeal to authority that often leads unbelievers to reject revelational-epistemology and its insistence on beginning with the Word of an absolute and authoritative God. Not tolerating an appeal to sheer authority, the autonomous thinker turns out also to make final appeal to sheer authority— his own!

When the Christian claims to justify his beliefs by reference to God’s authoritative revelation the autonomous man demands proof of God’s Word, in essence, demanding that God’s authority be subjected to the authority of the rational man. Obviously, if the Christian’s appeal to authority was illegitimate, so also is the autonomous man’s appeal to authority. He falls beneath his own criticism. Summing up the preceding considerations we note that the self-proclaimed autonomous thinker must make some claim to knowledge, yet he cannot specify what the nature and possibility of knowledge are. He fails to settle the issues of truth, verification, relevance, and justification. The pitfalls of relativism and skepticism and the requirement of omniscience are all too much for him. And finally, his only alternative, an appeal to authority, is illegitimate according to his own ground rules. We need hardly go beyond this point, for the farce of autonomy is apparent. The knower who claims to be epistemologically independent of God must lay claim to that-which-he-knows-not-what; he must be sure of having something he is not sure of. In the long run, the autonomous thinker must pit his own epistemological credentials against, and covet, those of God.

Chaos and Subjectivism in History 
There are further perplexities that the autonomous thinker faces. By rejecting the God of scriptural revelation there is no one great plan and direction for history, there is no exhaustive interpretation of reality as a whole, there is no explanation of what exists and for what happens in history. Hence the autonomous thinker seeks to find truth in an ultimately mysterious environment, an inexplicable time-space continuum. 

However, there are two problematic implicates that attach to this view implicit in autonomy. First, if the historical universe is ultimately mysterious then anything that appears to be understandable or true for the present is actually a delusion, a mirage along the way to final agnosticism and ignorance. This would render the autonomous man’s “knowledge” a comfortable deception. Secondly, in an ultimately uninterpreted universe the autonomous man would be generating original interpretations of the state of affairs. So under the guise of finding out about reality and exploring its characteristics the autonomous man would actually be legislating for reality; his interpretation would be projected upon the world. So then, by rejecting revelational epistemology the autonomous man renders his own knowledge illusory and subjective at best. His own reason determines what shall be possible and impossible even though it has no control over history and is itself circumscribed by the system of logic in which it functions. The facts discovered by the autonomous man will be fitted to the mold of the arbitrary mind and interpretative scheme of the autonomous man. Epistemological distortion becomes an inherent difficulty.

An Irrational Universe
And the problems of autonomous thinking do not end here. Let us now turn our attention to the two most common and fundamental assumptions of independent thinkers: the law of non-contradiction and the uniformity of nature. If the autonomous man has no justification for holding to these two principles, then the very foundations of his science and philosophy will have crumbled. Without God there is no warrant to assume these principles. If the triune God, the world, and man are not what Scripture says that they are, we have no rationality or meaningful factuality to expect in our intellectual pursuits. What justification has the autonomous man for assuming the law of non-contradiction to be a reliable principle? The independent thinker is quick to respond that the critic himself must assume the law of non-contradiction in order to argue against him; of course, this is true since all discourse requires logical distinctions (or else every utterance would mean anything and everything else). But it does not follow from this fact that the function of logic is its own foundation! Furthermore, noting that the critic of the autonomous man must also assume the law of non-contradiction is a moot point; the critic may very well have a foundation for his use of logic within his worldview. 

Moreover, for the autonomous man to appeal to the law of non-contradiction in order to support his use of that law is to reason in a vicious circle; he proves his conclusion by appealing to his conclusion. This is illegitimate for him elsewhere, so it must be prohibited here also—or else we have a deplorable case of special pleading and inconsistency simply because the autonomous man wants to be arbitrarily granted the right to get his intellectual endeavor off the ground. At this point the autonomous thinker may make note of the fact that we all think according to the law of non-contradiction. Strictly speaking, this is only an indication that we are bound to think in certain patterns; this does not tell us anything about the truthfulness or appropriateness of those patterns! Perhaps we are locked into a distorted mind-set.

The autonomous man must be pressed to explain the necessity of the laws of logic. What is the source of this necessity? . The definitions of logic and specifications of its subject matter are varied indeed. It is hard to decide what kind of evidence the logician is supposed to have for his claims (e.g., “disjunctive syllogism is a valid form of argument”) when the various approaches to logic are speaking of categorically different types of objects, which in turn call for fundamentally distinct modes of cognition. Logic is not a philosophically neutral and unproblematic tool. For instance it makes unmistakable demands on one’s metaphysic. The laws of logic are abstract, nontemporal relations, and therefore seem to presuppose a non-sensory world—which will prove an uncomfortable assumption for the materialistic unbeliever.

Going even deeper we should note that the autonomous man, by rejecting God and thereby His sovereign control over history, has no assurance of order in the world or that the historical facts will fit a coherent pattern. How can he make any sense of distinctions in an utterly lawless and chance universe? Identity and distinction become blurred when all “order” is contingent. No system of truth could be possible in a chance universe. Therefore, connections and relations between particular states of affairs or between particular thoughts would be simply impossible. Hence no intelligible use of logic could develop. If fate lies behind all historical eventuation, the structure of the world and our mental functions as well as all occurrences, changes, and continuities would be irrational and never necessarily connected. The autonomous man is at a loss to generate rationality in an irrational world.

Since the autonomous thinkers mind always operates in terms of the law of non-contradiction it should follow that reality as a whole is rational to the core for the autonomous man. Yet by placing irrationality behind everything (i.e., denying that there is a determinate mind and purpose controlling everything) the autonomous thinker comes into direct contradiction with himself: he simultaneously affirms the rationality of all reality (it must be so since his mind must be able to think through the facts) and its ultimate irrationality (there is no sovereign God according to whose plan history proceeds).

Even if the formal principle of non-contradiction were granted, what would the autonomous man apply it to? According to his own position there could be no connection between the individual states of affairs brought about by irrational history. The particulars would be unrelated since there is no plan or interpretation preceding them. How could a fact be understood without a context? If the mind of the autonomous thinker relates all the facts together and builds up the contextual system, then he is only understanding what he has beforehand determined to understand anyway; the interpretation of a fact has been completely read into the world before the autonomous man goes to explore it. The problem of subjectivism is the constant thorn in the autonomous man’s epistemological flesh. If his interpretation is prefabricated, why bother to go to the world of facts in search of truth?

Facts can be connected only by means of the laws of inference when the facts are intelligible, which they are not if history is irrational. What does logic profit a person who rejects God? He is caught between subjective solipsism (the facts are related only by his active mind) and skepticism (the particulars are unrelated).

Uniformity of nature
The second principle vital to independent thinkers is the uniformity of nature. If they could not be assured that the future will be like the past, that subsequent events will sustain a causal relation to previous states of affairs, the basis for any science would be lost. Even descriptive history would be impossible (e.g.: Is my present thought about the French Revolution identical with previous thoughts? Is there continuity in my memory?). All the discoveries of science would be totally irrelevant for the future, and knowledge in any significant sense would be dissolved. 

Now how can the self-styled independent thinker justify his assumption of uniformity?
Initially, he would appeal to past uniformity; yet this fails to answer the question. What right have we to read the past into the future? Then the autonomous thinker might observe that we all assume this uniformity and even his critic relies on such a crucial axiom; however, this observation simply fails to justify the autonomous man’s axiom and only reiterates his uncritical dependence on it. Moreover, the critic may have good reason to assume uniformity, but this does not bolster the legitimacy of the autonomous man’s appeal to it. The universal uniformity of nature cannot be verified from the experience of the independent thinker in any final sense since that principle exceeds the bounds of his experience. And the principle of uniformity is not an a priori necessary truth (to deny uniformity is not self-contradictory). 

So the most fundamental premise of all autonomous science, the uniformity of nature, is neither empirically nor rationally justifiable! 

Years ago David Hume demonstrated that the scientist proceeds on a scientifically unfounded, yet critically essential, belief in the uniformity of nature. There is no reason beyond psychological habit for the naturalistic scientist to expect the future to resemble the past. Since history has no plan and coherence behind it and moves according to the whimsical force of an irrational fate (according to the autonomous man’s implicit outlook), we should not expect nature to be anything but totally discontinuous at any future time. By assuming that there is no God in control of history the naturalistic scientist cannot assume a regulated universe. At this juncture the autonomous man may attempt to defend uniformity by trying to build a causal bridge between past and future events. But what grounds could he have for believing that a causal principle operates in reality? If history has no coherence in itself, then no particular can be related to any other particular in any way whatsoever, much less causally. As the naturalist looks at the world he may note succession of events, but he does not observe any necessary connections; cause and effect are arbitrary categories he forces upon the facts.

The consistent naturalistic scientist entertains an irrational belief so that his “rational” endeavor can get started. In this prescientific realm of metaphysics and epistemology we must depend on either speculation or revelation, and only an authoritative revelation can deliver us from the subjective relativism of human opinion and unimportant logical tautologies.

The rejection of God's revelation constitutes the core of autonomous thinking. If man proceeds autonomously, then the only thing that can be discovered in the world is his own interpretative and ordering activity; Hence he ends up accepting his own interpretation, based on his own thinking as the ultimate instantiator of truth,  and authority.  The conclusions a scientist arrives at will always be within the bounds of and actually directed by the metaphysical moorings. 

Autonomous man must constantly appeal to his personal authority ( being the ultimate legislator of what is true, or not true, possible, or not possible ) while rejecting all appeals to external authority, must generate knowledge in an ultimately unknowable universe ( while not having a justification/foundation to presuppose that the universe is knowable, uniform, stable, and governed by physical laws ), must seek and find truth, but cannot justify his own dependence on the principles of non-contradiction and natural uniformity must be ultimately skeptical and omniscient at the same time. 

By clutching after God’s epistemological prerogatives the allegedly autonomous thinker ascribes to himself the right to assign interpretation to the flow of experience, the flux of reality. All facts are taken as random and uninterpreted until rationalized, organized, related, and explained by the autonomous thinker.

Everything reduces to a fortuitous compilation of time, matter, and chance. The mind of the autonomous thinker is taken as ultimate in epistemological matters. A clear revelation of God in every fact, and the need to assume the exhaustive knowledge and control of God in every reasoning endeavor are both denied. The world is then interpreted in terms, not of God’s Word, but the speculations of the autonomous man. What results is absurdity and despair.

Knowing himself not to be omniscient and therefore impotent to provide a complete rational system of interpretation for the world, the self-proclaimed autonomous man ultimately posits a set of mutually exclusive limiting concepts. His scientific efforts require nature to be viewed as uniform and the cosmic process to be inevitably predictable (given enough data); hence he is a metaphysical determinist. Even man’s behavior must be a predictable part of the cosmic machinery. If his own mind is to be the ultimate interpreter of reality, the final epistemic authority, then the autonomous man must be a rationalist. And since he cannot escape feeling that some kinds of behavior are disturbing, wrong, and ought not to be done, he is an ethical absolutist; without ethical norms communal stability would be impossible.  However, this same autonomous man has a driving need for personal dignity and freedom, so he cannot view the world as uniformly and completely determined after all. There must be metaphysical indeterminism, thus guaranteeing the freedom of his own volitions.

Man’s mind cannot be absolute; it is finite and subject to error. It is swallowed up by the unknown, the anomalous, the radically new, the unforeseeable future, the movement of fate. Epistemological irrationalism must be admitted and welcomed. Since he is the “free man,” the autonomous thinker cannot be bound by authoritatively imposed moral strictures. Each man must spontaneously choose the “good” for himself, and such choice differs from man to man (based on his own conscience, needs, training, environment, etc.). The autonomous man has the prerogative to choose a different “good,” a different moral axiom from that of others; he is a moral relativist.

We must recognize the inner contradiction, the dialectical tension, that is the inevitable result of autonomous thinking: determinism/indeterminism, rationalism/irrationalism, absolutism/relativism. By refusing to “think God’s thoughts after Him” on the creaturely level, by making himself (rather than the Creator) the ultimate interpreter and arbitrator of truth, by not acknowledging himself and the world around him to be created, dependent, and revelatory of God, the autonomous man must end up pitting nature against freedom, science against personal dignity. In the end, these contrary demands that his autonomous thinking imposes will leave his intellectual endeavors embarrassingly divided or despairingly shattered. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain which build it.” Only upon the solid rock of Christ’s authoritative Word can one build a life and intellectual endeavor that can stand strong.

Naturalism vs Theism: Two opposing views
The unbeliever holds just the opposite. Even their respective methodologies are divergent: one begins with the Creator and approaches the world thinking God’s thoughts after Him, while the other attempts to interpret experience by imposing abstract, formal, unifying principles on concrete, contingent, diverse facts. For the non-Christian, the laws of logic are self-sufficient and ultimate, but the Christian sees them as dependent upon the mind of God. The skeptic and believer disagree, at base, over the very philosophy of factuality and logic—not just this or that fact. What is involved is two world-and-life views; hence in principle, there is the complete antithesis. So what use is there in reasoning together? 

The non-Christian is something of an intellectual schizophrenic: he professes to believe one thing, but in his “heart of hearts” believes something else. Being created as God’s image and being surrounded by a world and history that clearly reveal God, the unbeliever cannot avoid depending upon God and His revelation in order to reason at all. Two kinds of belief work side by side in the non-Christian: that which is outwardly professed (and that which he attempts to live by), and that which he genuinely believes but refuses to acknowledge. An earlier article explained how a person can genuinely know something and yet deny knowing it; this is the case for the “unbeliever.” He lives in a constant tension between what he is (and cannot avoid knowing) and what he tries to be (and makes claim to know). Because the non-Christian is not consistent with his claims to autonomy (thanks to God’s restraining common grace), because he is a creature made in God’s image, and because he does not live in a vacuum but an atmosphere that surrounds him with a clear revelation of God, the Christian is able to reason with him. The believer appeals to, and is understood based upon, the image of God and suppressed beliefs in the non-Christian. The Christian and non-Christian do have certain ultimate beliefs in common; both are made in God’s image and have the metaphysical situation in common, living in the same world created by God. It is this commonality which makes apologetics worthwhile, while it is the disparity between their kinds of belief (acknowledged, unacknowledged) that makes apologetics necessary.

The non-Christian has ethically responded to his knowledge of God and God’s world in an improper and rebellious manner. Hence he thinks that his knowledge of the world came independent of any reliance on a divine revelation. He proceeds to reason and interpret independently of God, not realizing that the formal activity of scientific investigation and use of logic take place only in terms of his suppressed knowledge of God. The unbeliever could not reason at all unless he schizophrenically believed other than his outward profession of autonomy would indicate. Since he constantly makes use of his suppressed knowledge of God, the non-Christian can understand the arguments of the Christian apologist since they enunciate, elaborate, and presuppose those beliefs. Being epistemologically schizophrenic, the unbeliever can gain knowledge in spite of his outwardly espoused position and he can apprehend the Christian polemic.

The Christian apologist must realize that the non-Christian self-deceivingly knows that the metaphysical situation and his own person are exactly as Scripture describes. Yet the non-Christian will attempt to argue on terms not consistent with what he knows to be true. He will play at autonomy and expect the Christian to do so also. The Christian must then point out that the non-Christian could not reason at all in terms of his propounded beliefs. The Christian knows that only one metaphysic is suitable for rational scientific epistemology and that the non-Christian has no foundation for any argumentation unless he admits to his suppressed belief in God. Hence the Christian apologist confronts two kinds of belief in the non-Christian; he argues against the professed beliefs by showing them impossible, and he appeals to the suppressed beliefs. The Christian cannot appeal to commonly interpreted facts on the conscious level and use a neutral methodology to move the non-Christian over to the Christian position, for the Christian and non-Christian do not have conscious interpretations in common since the unbeliever views everything as independent of God. A neutral methodology, moreover, has already been shown to be impossible; the Christian must either reason as a believer or must disobediently behave and think as an unbeliever. The unbeliever must be urged to become a self-conscious believer or else be forced to see the farce of his epistemological position; the non-Christian must be challenged to give an account of anything he knows of his espoused autonomous outlook.

Attacking the Unbeliever’s Inconsistency 
So when the Christian apologist approaches the unbeliever it must be “all or nothing” as far as what the non-Christian can properly understand on his own basis. If the world were self-explanatory and could be interpreted in terms of principles inherent in the world, then a non-Christian would gladly wield the law of parsimony and point out that Christians multiply entities (for instance, God) beyond need and justification. But the fact of the matter is that nothing could be understood on the basis of autonomous principles. Therefore, the Christian must use a dogmatic (not neutral) apologetic, incisively challenging the non-Christian on every point of knowledge and interpretation. God either rules as sovereign in interpretation over all areas or none. Our message must be that 

Christianity alone has the true and only adequate interpretation of nature and history as well as the God-situation. 

Summing up, the Christian should reason with the non-Christian because the unbeliever is not autonomous as he professes to be. He is not able to account for any knowledge that God has permitted him to gain. Being epistemologically schizophrenic, the unbeliever knows that the God of the Bible exists but refuses to admit it. This inconsistency renders him susceptible to the Christian polemic at all times. In this polemic the Christian should challenge the unbeliever on the entire field of knowledge rather than trying to establish pseudo-agreements in the interpretation of some facts that hopefully can lead up, by neutral methodology, to full Christian faith. The common ground between believer and skeptic is metaphysical. The Christian summons the unbeliever to epistemological consistency by challenging his theoretical autonomy and appealing to the image of God in which he exists. The Christian does not feel that there are two systems of truth just because the believer and skeptic have different professed presuppositions. If there were two separate systems of truth, we would be led either (1) not to reason at all, or (2) to present something less than Christianity and accommodate the presuppositions of the non-Christian. The first fails to see that the non-Christian can have knowledge based only on Christian premises and that the non-Christian’s problem is that he ethically refuses to face up to this fact. The second fails to see that there would be no way to bridge the gap between the mutually exclusive systems, and there would be no possibility of conversion without an irrational leap.

Thus the Christian does an internal critique of the non-Christian’s system and brings to bear every evidence of Scripture’s truth. Realizing the necessity of regeneration and illumination by the Holy Spirit, the believer will refrain from compromises. When the case has been boldly made that the unbeliever must repent and admit to his suppressed knowledge of God if he is to have theoretical grounding for any knowledge whatsoever, then the Holy Spirit either opens his eyes at present or will do so at a coming day. In this present life God’s common grace restrains the apostate from utter intellectual self-destruction. While not positing neutral ground between the Christian and non-Christian interpretative systems, common grace nevertheless prevents the non-Christian from being consistent with his futile boast of autonomy. But in that coming day the unbeliever will cease to be schizophrenic and will fully become what he continually strived to be, but as yet could not be—completely independent of God. This will be hell.

If the non-Christian’s autonomy is to be challenged, the apologist must show him that he cannot interpret any area of experience on his autonomous terms without thereby making it unintelligible. To argue with him otherwise is to grant him more than he honestly deserves. 

When a Christian replies to the attacks of his non-Christian opponent he must not be unfaithful to his Lord but must obediently presuppose Scripture’s truth and rely on the Holy Spirit for conversion.

5Presuppositionalism Empty Re: Presuppositionalism Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:42 pm


Summary of Presuppositional Apologetic Method by Greg Bahnsen (from Always Ready)

what is needed is not piece-meal replies, probabilities, or isolated evidence but rather an attack upon the underlying presuppositions of the unbeliever’s system of thought.

5. The unbeliever’s way of thinking is characterized as follows:
a. By nature the unbeliever is the image of God Gen 1:26 and, therefore inescapably religious; his heart testifies continually, as does also the clear revelation of God around him, to God’s existence and character Rom, 1:19, 20, [1:32].
b. But the unbeliever exchanges the truth for a lie Rom 1:25. He is a fool who refuses to begin his thinking with reverence for the Lord Pr 1:7; he will not build upon Christ’s self-evidencing words Mt 7:26, 27 and suppresses the unavoidable revelation of God in nature Rom 1:18.
c. Because he delights not in understanding but chooses to serve the creature rather than the Creator Rom 1:25, the unbeliever is self-confidently committed to his own ways of thought Pr 12:15; being convinced that he could not be fundamentally wrong, he flaunts perverse thinking and challenges the self-attesting word of God Pr 13:16; 1 Cor 2:14.
d. Consequently, the unbeliever’s thinking results in ignorance; in his darkened futile mind  Eph 4:17, 18 he actually hates knowledge Pr 1:22 and can gain only a “knowledge” falsely so-called 1 Tim 6:20 (NASB).
e. To the extent that he actually knows anything, it is due to his unacknowledged dependence upon the suppressed truth about God within him Rom 1:18, 21. This renders the unbeliever intellectually schizophrenic: by his espoused way of thinking he actually  “opposes himself” and shows a need for a radical “change of mind” (repentance) unto a  genuine knowledge of the truth 2 Tim 2:25 (NASB).
f. The unbeliever’s ignorance is culpable because he is without excuse for his rebellion against God’s revelation; hence he is “without an apologetic” for his thoughts. Rom 1:20
g. His unbelief does not stem from a lack of factual evidence but from his refusal to submit to the authoritative word of God from the beginning of his thinking. Lk 16:31

The Requirements of the Apologist:
1. The apologist must have the proper attitude; he must not be arrogant or quarrelsome 2 Tim  2:23–25, but with humility Js 3:13 and respect he must argue in a gentle and peaceable manner 1 Pet 3:15b.
2. The apologist must have the proper starting point Jn 14:6; he must take God’s word as his self-evidencing presupposition Mt 7:29, thinking God’s thoughts after Him Ps 36:9 (rather than attempting to be neutral), and viewing God’s word as more sure than even his personal experience of the facts 2 Pet 1:16–19.
3. The apologist must have the proper method; working on the unbeliever’s unacknowledged presuppositions Rom 1:18 and being firmly grounded in his own Col 2:3, 6, 7, the apologist must aim to cast down every high imagination exalted against the knowledge of God by aiming to bring every thought (his own, as well as his opponents) captive to the obedience of Christ 2 Cor 10:4, 5.4. The apologist must have the proper goal: securing the unbeliever’s unconditional surrender 2  Cor 10:5 without compromising one’s own fidelity 1 Pet 3:15a.
a. The word of the cross must be used to expose the utter pseudo-wisdom of the world as destructive foolishness. 1 Cor 1:18–20
b. Christ must be set apart as Lord in one’s heart, thus acknowledging no higher authority than God’s word and refusing to suspend intellectual commitment to its truth. 1 Pet 3:15a

The Procedure for Defending the Faith 1 Cor 1:20: [The two fold apologetic procedure of Pr 26:4, 5 is firstly 1, 2, 4 and 5 (Pr 26:4, see 5a), and secondly 3 (Pr 26:5, see 3a)]
 1. Realizing that the unbeliever is holding back the truth in unrighteousness Rom 1:18, the apologist should reject the foolish presuppositions implicit in critical questions and attempt to educate his opponent 2 Tim 2:23–25. 
2. This involves presenting the facts within the context of the Biblical philosophy of fact: 
a. God is the sovereign determiner of possibility and impossibility. Acts 26:8 
b. A proper reception and understanding of the facts requires submission to the Lordship of Christ. Acts 26:9–15 
c. Thus the facts will be significant to the unbeliever only if he has a presuppositional change of mind from darkness to light. Acts 26:19–20 
d. Scripture has the authority to declare what has happened in history and to interpret it correctly. Acts 26:22–23, 27 
3. The unbeliever’s espoused presuppositions should be forcefully attacked, asking whether knowledge is possible, given them: 
a. In order to show that God has made foolish the wisdom of the world 1 Cor 1:20 the believer can place himself on the unbeliever’s position and answer him according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceits; that is, demonstrate the outcome of unbelieving thought with its assumptions Pr 26:5. 
b. The unbeliever’s claims should be reduced to impotence and impossibility by an internal critique of his system; that is, demonstrate the ignorance of unbelief by arguing from the impossibility of anything contrary to Christianity. 1 Cor 1:20; Pr 26:5; Mt 7:26–27 
4. The apologist should appeal to the unbeliever as the image of God Gen 1:26 who has God’s clear and inescapable revelation, thus giving him an ineradicable knowledge of God Rom 1:18–21; this knowledge can be exposed by indicating unwitting expressions or by pointing to the “borrowed capital” (unadmitted presuppositions) which can be found in the unbeliever’s position [Acts 17:28, 29 and Rom 1:18]. 
5. The apologist should declare the self-evidencing and authoritative truth of God Jn 5:37, 39; Is 8:20; Jn 17:17 as the precondition of intelligibility Col 2:3 and man’s only way of salvation (from all the effects of sin, including ignorance and intellectual vanity) Jn 14:6: a. Lest the apologist become like the unbeliever, he should not answer him according to his folly but according to God’s word. Pr 26:4 b. The unbeliever can be invited to put himself on the Christian position in order to see that it provides the necessary grounds for intelligible experience and factual knowledge— thereby concluding that it alone is reasonable to hold and the very foundation for proving anything whatsoever. Col 2:3 
c. The apologist can also explain that Scripture accounts for the unbeliever’s state of mind (hostility) Col 1:21 and the failure of men to acknowledge the necessary truth of God’s revelation Rom 1:18; Ps 14:1; moreover, Scripture provides the only escape from the effects of this hostility and failure (futility and damnation) Eph 4:17–24; 1 Cor 3:18–20; Mt 7:24–29.

6Presuppositionalism Empty Re: Presuppositionalism Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:34 am


God as the beholder of absolute knowledge and truth has revealed himself to us, through scriptures and the created order. I believe because I acknowledge HIS authority and truthfulness. I have confidence and faith that God is who he said to be. The atheist, however, even in his limitedness, must start with the presupposition that his cognitive abilities, the orderly universe, and his senses are simply a given, they just are, he requires no further or deeper explanation for them to be at all, they are a brute fact, and upon these, he thinks he is on the high ground to conclude that the God claim is unwarranted. But by doing so, he has to make reference to what God has revealed to us and deny it. That's why the Bible says that atheists suppress the truth. They deny what they know is true, but are unwilling to acknowledge it. So they are atheists toward the God that revealed Himself in the Bible. But when hard-pressed to present an alternative, they in most cases show that they never developed a rational alternative, a worldview that explains our existence without a creator. In special, in a better manner. Then, nor rarely, they resort to the agnostic position. They say: We replace God with honesty by saying "we don't know" and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that... The fact that we don't currently know does not mean we will never know because we have science. So science warrants them the materialism of the gaps position. They are confident that science one day will discover naturalistic explanations. But they do so, even after they actually did already an intellectual journey, where they have seen that naturalism does not withstand scrutiny. They know that the universe had a beginning, therefore requires a cause. Movement and change a prime mover. Contingent beings depend on a necessary cause. The universe operates based on physical laws. Laws require a lawmaker, and otherwise, there would be nothing securing these laws to remain stable and permit an intelligible universe. These phsyical laws are based on simple, but beautiful mathematics, which requires a mathematician. The universe is finely tuned and requires a fine-tuner. Life has only been observed to come from life. DNA stores Genetic information. Information storage mechanisms are always invented by intelligence. Information requires an Informer. Genetic Information is encoded through the genetic code, and decoded and translated through complex machinery, the ribosome. Codes require a coder, translation requires a translator, and machines require a machine-maker. Cells are factories in a literal sense, and require a factory-maker. Consciousness and thinking, using language and logic have never been demonstrated to emerge from matter, chemicals, or molecules, and cannot, therefore emerge from a large number of neurons. Logic comes from logic, Consciousness comes from consciousness,  Objective moral values come from a moral giver. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Sponsored content

Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum