Presuppositionalist Stonewalling? – A Friendly Response

This post is my reply to a commenter on a previous short article on Presuppositonal Apologetics. It is too long to go under “comments” so I place it here.  I wish to thank the individual for their comment, although, of course, I will take issue with it.

First Assertion: How does the presuppositionalist himself know that his god is not giving him false revelations? By what standard does he measure the truth value of Biblical statements? Upon purely subjective inclinations?

Response: The presuppositonalist reply to your question is in the form of what Cornelius Van Til called the impossibility of the contrary.  Unless the Bible’s testimony is believed all claims of truth hang in mid-air.    The standard by which the Christian knows the truth is the Word of God as revealed in the Bible.  This Word is self-attesting, just as the Jesus whom it discloses is Self-attesting.  Please understand, whether one believes the Bible or not is not the point here.  The Bible does consistently claim to be the Word of the Creator and Jesus does consistently claim to be the Son of God.  Because the Bible is the Christian’s ultimate standard it cannot, of course, be judged by other subordinate standards.  If, like you, one rejects the Bible’s authority then another ultimate standard (which likewise cannot be judged by subordinate standards) must be in operation.  This other standard must then provide a view of reality which comports with what is actually the case.  At this point I would ask you what your ultimate authority is?

Moreover, any final authority must be able to explain its own rejection at the hands of humans.  The Bible, with its claim to be the Word of the Creator, actually does provide such a framework. Moreover, other books and truth claims, from whatever non-biblical school of thought, converge upon truth or diverge from it in correspondence with their agreement with or rejection of the biblical witness.

In short, if one agrees with the Scriptural view of God, man and the world one has at hand the answers to the Big Questions: why am I here?; what is life about?; why is there something rather than nothing?; is there any meaning to life?; where am I going?; even, why is there evil in the world and will it always be this way?.  One will also have the preconditions for our understanding of any fact (whether of reason, logic, science, beauty, number, etc.).  If one disagrees with the biblical picture all that is left are the unsupportable claims and assertions of autonomous reason.  Thus, any search for preconditions will end in an aporia of subjectivity.  Even when one alleges a particular state of affairs to be so, it will be found that the factuality of that statement will be in direct relation to the agreement with the biblical description of it.  Consequently, this is the only outlook which guarantees objectivity.

You ask about the “god” of the presuppositionalist.  That is the God of the Bible.  There is no other god.  Since the God of the Bible is the God of the presuppositionalist, the impossibility of the contrary pertains to Him alone.


Second Assertion: What makes the presupper so certain that the universe does not contain the principles of its order within itself? Why must logic, for example, emanate from the mind of an anthropomorphic deity rather than from the nature of the material universe?

Response: Taking your second question first, the answer is that it shouldn’t.  Why?  Because you have asked about a false deity.  I presume by an “anthropomorphic deity” you mean a god of man’s imagination?  That is not a correct description of the Christian Triune God.  You might think it is, but your question assumes I would agree with you. You imply that the material universe thinks.  What does it think about?  I doubt you have had many fruitful discussions with rocks or water.  Are the laws of logic material?  If not, can you explain how the material universe produces immaterial realities?  And if these immaterial realities govern rational thought, don’t they then govern how we should think and talk about matter?  By trying to trace the source of logic back to things like primeval gases (unless you have another non-biblical explanation for the universe), are you not attempting to ground rationality upon ultimate irrationality? (unless, of course, you think hydrogen has beliefs).   And if reality is ultimately irrational, whence logic, morality, and truth?

Does “the universe contain the principles of its [own] order?”  Are you asserting the universe is ultimately rational then?  You will help me here by trying to explain how this is possible from your point of view.  How does matter form immaterial laws of thought?

Third Assertion: Without an independent ability to verify reality, to trust one’s senses and reason independently of divine influence, the presupper might as well be living in a god-controlled version of the Matrix.

Response: Your statement assumes you possess this reliable independent ability.  So how do you “verify reality”?  How do you come to objective truth? How do you show those who differ from you they are wrong?   If your answer includes items such as logic and scientific inference you will first have to answer the questions I put to you above so I can know how your viewpoint establishes such things.  The Bible says we are created in God’s image and that God Himself designed us to relate to the world as He created it.  Thus, when we discover a fact we are, in Kepler’s famous phrase, “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”  This establishes the possibility of objectivity of individual thought.

The Bible does not teach our minds are “god-controlled.”   Your line about “a god-controlled version of the Matrix” is answered simply with; “unless reality is the way the Bible says it is, there is no possibility of providing an explanation for logic, science, morals etc.  All that will come forth are groundless assertions.”  I politely challenge you to try it!

Fourth Assertion: In my experience, presuppositionalist stonewalling is generally met with bewilderment and frustration from those who have any grasp of the general principles of epistemology. It’s a method of winning arguments without even making them, not a true effort to account for religious faith.

Response: And what are “the general principles of epistemology” and how can these principles be derived from mere matter?  I thought there was a great deal of disagreement among epitemologists on this.  Moreover, the Bible teaches an antithesis between believing and unbelieving worldviews, so I am not concerned with what non-Christians think about this approach.  If they can produce the necessary preconditions for understanding their unbelieving assertions let them do it.  They haven’t done it yet.  Neither will you so long as you willfully resist the revelation of God.  I am not stonewalling.  I am challenging your assertions.  You speak of an “effort to account for religious faith.”  Whatever you mean by “religious faith” you have struck the right chord at the last.  We must be able to account for the world and our beliefs about the world from our stated presuppositions.  I hold that the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible is the Creator and upholder of reality; that He has made man’s mind and has given us the ability to comprehend His creation and to explore it to His glory.  The biblical worldview teaches that reality can be known and appreciated.  But it also teaches that we are fallen and the world is cursed.  When people try to understand themselves and the world without reference to God’s Word their thinking is futile and their conclusions are gratuitous.  In other words, whatever they seek to replace the biblical outlook with does not “fit” and is doomed to advancing things like logic emanates from the material universe.

I do not want to appear rude, and I hope you will not misconstrue my tone as truculent.  I am just trying to respond from my perspective.  I myself used to ask similar questions as those you have put to me.  At the end of the day I have to tell you that you are running from the God you know is there in your heart of hearts.  Your efforts to find meaning and purpose in life aside from your Creator will be futile, while adding to your condemnation.  You might well have encountered people who call themselves Christians who were unloving and hypocritical.  Join the club!  But do not judge God by their hypocrisy.  Don’t avoid Jesus Christ and His words to you because some “Christians”  put you off.  Perhaps you don’t?  But I would be surprised if your animosity is not informed by such things.

In your “bio” you say you are seeking, among other things, “the ethical pursuit of happiness.”  That is commendable.  But upon what do you base your ethics?  And why shouldn’t someone seek happiness unethically?  I believe only the Bible has the answer.

I pray you will read about Jesus in the Gospels.  Think about His words and His claims and His deeds.  You can believe Him!

Kind regards,

Paul

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19 comments

  1. Just last night (in the middle of the night), I was trying to answer these epistemological questions in my head while lying in bed! Timely blog post. Great responses. Thank you for putting this in writing.

    Whereas I would like to get going soon with studying through Veritas SoT, I’m also considering brushing up on presuppositional apologetics by studying through Bahnsen’s course on critical thinking.

  2. Hi, Paul.

    I must admit I was not expecting a lengthy response, so I appreciate your effort. I expect that I will soon return the compliment and reply at more length on my own blog.

    However, just to choose a couple of pertinent points, and hopefully not exceed comment length limits, I would say:

    In short, if one agrees with the Scriptural view of God, man and the world one has at hand the answers to the Big Questions:

    Certainly one would have a version of such answers, but the very fact that we keep asking does, in my view at least, speak to the difficulty people have in accepting the answers offered by scriptures – one may say that this is reflective of human inadequacy, rather than scriptural inadequacy, but the claim is certainly open for dispute.

    One will also have the preconditions for our understanding of any fact (whether of reason, logic, science, beauty, number, etc.).

    “Preconditions for understanding” would appear to be simply the presence of something to be understood and someone to do the understanding. I see no reason to apply a Biblical framework around the world in order to somehow make it intelligible. There are many things in the world we experience that simply are not accounted for in scriptures, and so it seems to me that we must broaden our picture, make it more inclusive rather than limited to that which can be made to fit with ancient texts.

    If one disagrees with the biblical picture all that is left are the unsupportable claims and assertions of autonomous reason.

    But the thing is, such claims are not unsupportable. A consistent picture of the world can be built from a human perspective – our reason evolved in this universe, so it should not come as a surprise to us that we find the universe intelligible to our reason. Sure, I still can’t demonstrate that I’m not a brain in a vat, but taking a Biblical view wouldn’t help me with that either.

    you have asked about a false deity. I presume by an “anthropomorphic deity” you mean a god of man’s imagination?

    I know of no others, nor any reason to give more credence to claims of the Christian god over those of ancient Greek gods or Hindu gods or any of the many others rejected by monotheists.

    You imply that the material universe thinks. What does it think about?

    Not that it thinks, but that it behaves in an orderly and predictable fashion, at least above the quantum level. Thinking minds are not a necessary nor sufficient condition for order.

    That was just a brief dip into an initial response. I hope to do this more justice on my blog very soon.

    Cheers!

    1. Okay “Dormant” (that’s the only moniker I have),

      I think it will save time and confusion if I start by giving a bare-bones outline of the biblical worldview:

      1. The Triune God is Creator/Sustainer = The world is not an evolving impersonal purposeless fact, but was made by a social, relational Being.
      2. God upholds all things and guides it all toward a goal = the world is predictable, nature is uniform and suitable for life, complex, beautiful. Also, there are no “brute facts” since God has pre-interpreted everything. We are to think God’s thoughts after Him.
      3. Because there is an in-built telos or purpose to creation a linear view of history makes sense. History is meaningful and going somewhere.
      4. Man is made in God’s image = so, among other things, man looks at a sunset and goes “wow” and a cow looks at one and goes “moo.” Our reason, the correspondence between our minds and the outside world, the laws of logic and language, are gifts from God. Moreover, ALL people have inherent worth.
      5. Man is fallen = he wants above all things to be independent of God. But in his defection from God he has to devise explanations of himself and the world which do not (indeed cannot) comport with reality (e.g. life comes from non-life; mind comes from matter; the world is an illusion, etc.). This fallenness of humanity has corrupted his thinking and his ethics, resulting in “man’s inhumanity to man. It has also affected his physical makeup (aging, disease, death). It has also resulted in a cursed world.
      6. God has not given up on His creation, nor on us, the cause of the Fall. He loved us and sent His Son to die in our place – to carry our condemnation which He as God justly passes on us (“all we like sheep have gone astray,…[but God] has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”).
      7. This good news comes to us as a guarantee of salvation and redirection. We do nothing to deserve it, it is a gift to be received.
      8. The resurrection of Christ from the dead signals that death and evil and suffering will come to an end. They are not part of the way things will always be (contrary to evolutionism, Taoism, etc.). Even the earth will be restored and glorified by the One who created and redeemed it.
      9. God has mandated human beings to explore, analyze, and take oversight of his environment. He has also said He will keep things in perpetuity until He is ready to regenerate it at the return of Jesus Christ. This means there is a warrant and expectation for science and environmentalism. God (contra Dawkins) is the reason science is possible.
      10. Unsaved or non-Christian people can and do do many great feats, but this is in spite of their Christ denying worldview. They are using God’s good gifts (like logic, language, number, predictability and order, memory, beauty, music), without giving Him either glory or thanks. Since they “prefer darkness rather than light” (Jesus) they are morally culpable all the time they continue in their way of life without acknowledging their sin against Him.

      As soon as I can I shall provide a few clarifications and counters in my reply to your comment below. These will include gently challenging you to account for your assertions on your worldview. But perhaps you would outline where you are coming from in a similar fashion to the above so I know what I am arguing with!

      Paul

      1. A brief outline would go as follows:

        Naturalistic pantheism is the view that nature – matter and energy, natural forces – are all that exist, and all that are responsible for the order, regularity and also variety that we find in the universe.

        Hence, humans are natural beings, kin to other animals, to plants, to minerals, all of us made of the same stuff as the universe itself. When we die, our bodies will revert to the matter and energy from which they were formed, matter and energy that will one day go on to form other bodies.

        A naturalistic pantheist believes that the proper attitude to adopt towards the natural universe is one of respect and reverence, treating it not as a means to an end, but as an end in itself – this attitude extends to all natural beings.

        Concepts such as logic and mathematics arise from human interaction with the world. We live in a world of discrete objects, a world of cause and effect. Logic is an abstraction of the order we find in the world. We can imagine a possible world where all things are fluid, ever-changing, melding and separating in no predictable pattern. The logic of the ancient Greeks would never have developed in such a world.

        If we have a mandate to explore and study the universe, it comes from our existence as evolved, natural beings within this universe. We first had to learn in order to survive, now we learn in order to increase our understanding and therefore our respect for the cosmos.

        That’s pretty much it as far as my basic beliefs are concerned. I hope that helps.

  3. Hi, again

    Just a few more thoughts to share before a more detailed coverage.

    If they can produce the necessary preconditions for understanding their unbelieving assertions let them do it.

    Again, necessary preconditions for understanding are something to be understood and someone to do the understanding – in other words, to observe and grasp how the observation fits in with other observations made.

    They haven’t done it yet. Neither will you so long as you willfully resist the revelation of God.

    The problems of epistemology, and the principles to which I referred, centre around the question of precisely how we know what we know. I can see how presuppositional apologetics assumes that the way out of this dilemma has been found, but what it does is to assert that there is no way that humans can trust their senses and reason without Biblical grounding – whilst at no stage does it demonstrate that this is so. As I remarked above, there are many things we experience that just aren’t covered by any alleged Biblical revelation. Where do things like fossils and gravity and quantum mechanics fit into your worldview?

    I am not stonewalling. I am challenging your assertions.

    As I am yours. The stonewalling in question is the presuppositionalists’ general refusal to consider the possibility that they are mistaken – a refusal to adopt the proper attitude of humility in the face of the problems of establishing how we can know what we claim to know.

    Are the laws of logic material? If not, can you explain how the material universe produces immaterial realities?

    You seem to be implying that such things must be consciously or deliberately produced, rather than being simple characteristics of material things. One of Sye Tenbruggencate’s tricks is to ask visitors to his blog where the number 3 exists in nature – not three things, but the number itself. The answer takes a bit of unpacking, but is very simple at its core. Once I have established the logical construct of identity, from the observation that I am me and that other objects in the world are themselves, the possibility of there being more than one of any given object presents itself naturally through observation. The number three is thus an abstraction of the existence of three discrete entities – it most certainly does depend upon the existence of material reality, even if it’s not a material object as such. If there were no material objects, what could there ever be three of?

  4. The first part of my response is up on my blog, Waking the Dragon. You can find it here. There will be a second post to follow, addressing some more specific points. It’s a larger task than I had anticipated!

  5. It seems that the basis for your worldview is a revelation.

    How would you disprove another non-Christian theists worldview which is also based on revelation ?

    Having successfully debated Sye Tenbruggencate on that very point (and my view is validated by Dr Glenn Peoples, albeit with reluctance) on Premier Christian Radios Unbelievable programme I’m interested to read your explanation.

  6. Paul,

    You are right to say the basis for my worldview is revelation. I hold that the Protestant Bible (66 Books) is the Word of God and is thus of the utmost importance for constructing a worldview.

    To my knowledge (and please correct me if I am wrong) religions such as Daoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. do not claim a worldview based on revelation – at least not a Divine revelation from a transcendent Being. Therefore they may be discounted from this question.

    The Hebrew Scriptures are, of course, a part of the Christian Bible and so form an important part of my revelatory epistemology.

    Islam claims the Quran is the Word of Allah, though not in the same way as Christians claim the Bible to be the Word of Yahweh/Jehovah. The Quran is a transcription of some eternal ‘word’ separate from Allah. I would reject the Quran’s claim as true Divine revelation because, briefly:

    a. It contains clearly contradictory statements (admitted by Muslims), which are dealt with by the expedient of having the latter (Medina) visions supersede the earlier ones.
    b. The Quran appears to reflect the ignorance of its author by saying the Trinity consists of the Father, the Virgin and their Child (a view held by the Collyridians with whom Muhammad probably had contact). See other examples like his claim that Miriam the daughter of Amran was Jesus’ mother.
    c. The Islamic view of God as Unitarian makes him incomplete until he creates. He just ‘sits around’ talking to himself and cannot express his attributes without creating, thus making his self-fulfillment contingent on what he makes.
    4. The fact that some stories from the Quran which are claimed as coming from Allah are known from sources which were written before the prophet’s birth.
    5. Islam’s insistence that the Jews and Christians radically altered their mss. is not supported by any evidence.
    6. As J.N.D. Anderson pointed out, Muhammad would have a vision at very convenient times and about just the issue he was having some trouble with.

    There are other claims to revelation (e.g. from the Mormons and the J.W.’s), but since they claim to believe, without contradiction, the Bible, they can be tested against it.

    If there are other claims to revelation I would try to examine their claims in light of the sort of worldview they portray. What would the world be like if such and such a worldview is true?

    As you no doubt have read, I hold that only the Biblical Worldview can make sense of our knowledge and experience.

    That, briefly, is my reply.

    Regards,

    Paul H.

  7. OK, so for the sake of the argument – let’s say that I’m a North European non-codified solitary Pagan whose worldview is validated by revelation of the God/Goddess dualhead.

    How would you convince me that my worldview is invalid ?

    Dr Glenn Peoples took the view that the Van Tillian Presuppositional Apologetic could get the unbeleiver to a generic God but not to the specific Christian God so I’m interested to see how you do it.

    Quote

    “Van Til made no secret of the fact that he thought he had an argument, not merely against naturalism, but actually an argument for biblical Christianity: A Trinitarian faith. Van Til’s position, when fully elucidated, is extraordinarily ambitious. It amounts to the claim that unless Christianity as taught in the Bible is presupposed, no valid inference can be drawn about anything, since only this system of belief could account for moral truths, for the possibility of induction, for making sense of our existence in the least or for rational thought. When this is realised, the instinct of most – including nearly all philosophers with an interest in defending Christianity, is to recoil in intellectual horror.

    Put another way, Van Til believed that he had a silver bullet. He didn’t have to (so he thought) tackle non-Christian worldviews one at a time and show that they lacked the necessary basis for intelligibility. He thought that the argument just outlined did show that. How, exactly, did he argue that his transcendental argument achieved this? Here’s where things get frustrating. He never really explained exactly how his argument showed this. He might be right that Christianity provides a metaphysical basis of intelligibility, of induction, of science, morality and so forth. It may even be the case (in fact I think it is the case) that naturalism falters in these areas. He offers more complex arguments that Christianity provides the solution to the problem of the one and the many (and I won’t go into the details of that here) via its doctrine of the nature of God as a Trinity.

    But nowhere in any of his writings – or in the writings of Greg Bahnsen for that matter, will you ever find an argument for the claim that only Christianity could ever supply these things. I see absolutely no reason why Judaism or Islam, although I think they are wrong, would not provide a perfectly adequate basis for, say, science and morality. Or take a version of Christianity that differed in a bunch of ways: instead of the Ten Commandments they had eleven. Instead of a saviour who was curicifed and rose three days later they believed in a saviour who was hung, and rose 5 days later. Instead of a Trinity, they taught that there were four persons in the godhead. Now, as Christians we’d say that they were wrong on those points, but there’s no obvious reason to think that a religion like that would lack a basis of morality or intelligibility.

    What’s frustrating about Van Tillian apologetics is that the one claim that is most indefensible (namely their claim that only Trinitarian Christianity can account for all these things) is probably the most common claim you’ll encounter when studying it. Van Til and his followers have given us a powerful apologetic. But it was not the apologetic they thought it was.”

    http://www.premiercommunity.org.uk/xn/detail/2060181:Comment:696413

    1. As I wrote above,

      “If there are other claims to revelation I would try to examine their claims in light of the sort of worldview they portray. What would the world be like if such and such a worldview is true?”

      What would this imaginary pagan worldview look like?

      (G. Peoples’ opinion of Van Til is his opinion. Since there is no revelation from a four person godhead – and one would have to have an integrated doctrine of such not just a “what if” – his point is moot).

      I’m not a debate-junkie, and I will not get bogged down in a pointless intellectual argument. If you wish to do more than fill my combox with questions and pastes which will help neither of us you have come to the wrong place (that may not be the case).

      You have started out with two issues: the pagan, and Peoples’ issue with Van Til. Choose one and we’ll see how things develop.

      Regards

      P.

  8. Hi Paul – thanks for your response.

    Firstly, how did you not know Elizabeth Sladen had died ? 🙂

    Secondly, I don’t think the question is a pintless debate.

    The key to PA is that it exclusively validates Christianity.

    It’s claiming that it also invalidates all other wordlviews.

    Now, to me, that’s quite some pedestal to be standing upon.

    Critics, like me, are simply pointing that out.

    That said, and this is the important bit, if you’re just going to stand on your pedestal admiring the view then that’s ok with me, but if you’re going to stand on that pedestal and make judgements and try to influence public policy then people like me are going to come along and give your pedestal a jolly good kick.

  9. Paul,

    I’m a Brit but I live in Texas, and we don’t get Dr Who except through Netflix. I learned about Liz Sladen’s death from your nice memorial post.

    PA doesn’t validate Christianity per se, but rather is the apologetic use of [Biblical] Christianity – if that makes sense. It is Christian Theology directed to an apologetic use.

    It does claim that all non-biblical worldviews are false….to the degree that they disagree with the Scriptures.

    I wouldn’t call the claim a pedestal (though you are entitled to whatever metaphor you see fit). That conjures up images of arrogance and that itself would be contrary to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    If I were spouting it indiscriminately at anyone within hearing distance it would sound arrogant. But if, as a committed Christian, I RESPOND to attacks against my faith using PA I don’t think I could be charged with arrogance, and hence, not with seeing myself as on some pedestal. Of course, I might BE an arrogant person, and that is another thing. In fact some apologists for Christianity come across that way to me. That is a poor testimony but it does not invalidate the Christian Worldview.

    On your last and “important bit.” I sympathize with you if you have crossed paths with those who “try to influence public policy” and I think that from your perspective they deserve a bit of a clobbering. I don’t think the Bible teaches any such thing (I think it teaches against trying to influence public policy formally, but that’s another topic).

    Do I make judgments? Yes! I do so as a Christian. You do so as an Atheist. That cannot be avoided.

    So PA applies to the defense of the Christian Faith and also to the development of the Biblical Worldview. It’s starting point is that “I am a Christian. I should reason like a Christian. If I don’t reason from Scripture, I undermine my own profession and the testimony of Scriptures like Romans 1:18-22 and John 3:19-21.”

    I am okay to discuss this, but I will not be diverted by an exchange where I am asking the same question over and over again and keep receiving non-answers which duck all the main points. I hope you see my meaning.

    I do not have all the answers, but I am sure the answers will only come via the Biblical Worldview (BW).

    Have a good one.

    Regards,

    P.

  10. Thanks Paul.

    “PA doesn’t validate Christianity per se, but rather is the apologetic use of [Biblical] Christianity – if that makes sense. It is Christian Theology directed to an apologetic use.”

    No, so could you expand on that ?

    “It does claim that all non-biblical worldviews are false….to the degree that they disagree with the Scriptures.”

    Yep, got that.

    “If I were spouting it indiscriminately at anyone within hearing distance it would sound arrogant. But if, as a committed Christian, I RESPOND to attacks against my faith using PA I don’t think I could be charged with arrogance, and hence, not with seeing myself as on some pedestal.”

    Now that is interesting. My reading of that is that you are not the typical PA advocate, you’re using it defensively rather than persuasively as a conversion tool.

    Dustin Seegars over at Faith in the Triad regularly engages in Street Preaching at UNCG and he is a dyed in the wool PA advocate.

    “That is a poor testimony but it does not invalidate the Christian Worldview.”

    Indeed it doesn’t, but equally it doesn’t validate it either.

    “On your last and “important bit.” I sympathize with you if you have crossed paths with those who “try to influence public policy” and I think that from your perspective they deserve a bit of a clobbering. I don’t think the Bible teaches any such thing (I think it teaches against trying to influence public policy formally, but that’s another topic).”

    Are you sure you were once a Brit ? 🙂

    We could get into the whole discussion of how the “Church”, and by that I mean Christians as group, seeks to influence how people live their lives but that should be left for another day.

    It’s been a pleasure exchanging post with you.

    1. Speaking of kicking pedestals; making judgments and influencing public policy (especially in Democracies where voting is either compulsory or encouraged) haven’t been goals exclusively pursued by Christians. This has been fair game to a broad range of players (often in the minority) interested in social activism.

  11. Paul,

    Let me expand a little more on the first thing I said: “PA doesn’t validate Christianity per se, but rather is the apologetic use of [Biblical] Christianity – if that makes sense. It is Christian Theology directed to an apologetic use.”

    What I mean is that the Bible has definite and important things to say about what are often called “The Big Questions” and about God, man and the world. These teachings can be systematized and expounded as a worldview: a set of “control beliefs” or basic commitments about life and reality through which we all look (whether we realize it or not). Often, especially in our pluralist age, a person’s basic commitments are not only un-analyzed, but rather composite things which don’t hold together too well upon inspection.

    When I teach Systematic Theology I stress that there are different avenues it can take. So, for instance, if I am counseling a believer, I will bring Scriptural doctrines to bear on that person’s situation and thinking to help them to know which way is north so to speak. Hopefully, they will take God’s advice. When an unbeliever challenges my faith I orientate my theology as a worldview to defend my belief and to examine theirs.

    I trust that my understanding of the Biblical Worldview overlaps the actual teaching of the Bible to a large extent, though I realize I shall never get it 100% right in this life. Still, that is the goal.

    I hope this helps.

    Btw, I spent about 6 months living in MK in the early eighties. The Train Station always reminded me of something out of Joe 90!

    Regards,

    P.

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