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  1. APOLOGETICS ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  2. PRESUPPOSITION • Cornelius Van Til: For Van Til, God is the necessary presupposition for any intelligible human thought. All facts are revelatory facts; indeed, there are no “brute facts.” Instead, the Christian begins with the “self-contained God” and the “self-authenticating Scripture” and seeks to conform his views of ultimate reality to that which God has revealed. Man is to think (analogically) God’s thoughts after him. • “A truly Protestant method of reasoning involves a stress upon the fact of Christian theism as a unit. When Protestants speak of the resurrection of Christ they speak of the resurrection of him who is the Son of God, the eternal Word through whom the world was made. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  3. PRESUPPOSITION • The truth of theism is involved in this claim that Christians make with respect to the domain of history. And what is true of the resurrection of Christ is true with respect to all the propositions about historical fact that are made in Scripture. • No proposition about historical fact is presented for what it really is till it is presented as a part of the system of Christian theism that is contained in Scripture. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  4. PRESUPPOSITION • To say this is involved in the consideration that all facts of the created universe are what they are by virtue of the plan of God with respect to them. • Any fact in any realm confronted by man is what it is as revelational through and through of the God and of the Christ of Christian theism. . . . • Without the presupposition of the truth of Christian theism no fact can be distinguished from any other fact.” C. Van Til, Apologetics, 73. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  5. PRESUPPOSITION • Greg Bahnsen: In keeping with his commitment to Van Tillian Presuppositionalism, Bahnsen nonetheless sounded his own emphasis. • Agreeing with Van Til concerning the starting point, Bahnsen emphasized the bankruptcy of any supposedly neutral starting point. • He criticized endlessly the “myth of neutrality.” “Sometimes the demand for neutrality arises in the realm of apologetics (defense of the faith). We are told by some apologists that they would lose all hearing with the unbelieving world if they were to approach the question of Scripture’s truthfulness with a preconceived answer to the question. Cont. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  6. PRESUPPOSITION • We must be willing, according to this outlook, to approach the debate with unbelievers with a common attitude of neutrality- a ‘nobody knows as yet’ attitude. • We must assume as little as possible at the outset, we are told; and this means that we cannot assume any Christian premises of teachings of the Bible. . . . .. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  7. PRESUPPOSITION • Whatever some people may say with respect to the demand for neutrality in the Christian’s thought- the demand that believers not be set apart from other men by their adherence to God’s truth- the fact is that Scripture sharply differs with this demand. • Contrary to neutrality’s demand, God’s word demands unreserved allegiance to God and His Truth in all our thought and scholarly endeavors.” G. Bahnsen, Always Ready, 3-4. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  8. PRESUPPOSITION • John Frame: Another follower of Van Til, though less rigidly so, Frame is committed to presuppositional apologetics. • He is critical of the term “presuppositional” since it is so often, incorrectly, represented as opposed to the use of evidences. Nevertheless he is willing to use it since it is so well-fixed in the literature. • Frame is not convinced that Van Til’s absolutely certain argument for God, his transcendental argument, is the only legitimate approach. • Furthermore, Frame is more comfortable with the notion of probability than was Van Til. “An argument, therefore, is absolutely certain in the objective sense insofar as it is a clear communication of God’s revelation. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  9. PRESUPPOSITION • Now Van Til tended to describe as ‘absolutely certain’ those arguments (and only those) which were presuppositional or transcendental in thrust and negative inform. . . . • Now is there any room for arguments which claim only a probability of being true? Van Til thought that if we claim anything less than absolute certainty, we are ‘virtually admitting that God’s revelation to man is not clear.’ . . . • Van Til’s point is strong in the area of evidence. As we noted earlier, the evidence for Christian theism is absolutely compelling; it may not be described as merely probable. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  10. PRESUPPOSITION • As for subjective certainty, again we should note that God has provided the means for it in the large clearer areas of scriptural truth, but it sometimes escapes us in those or other areas. Our lack of certainty, then, does sometimes lead us, in all honesty, to say ‘probably.’” J. Frame, Apologetics to the Glory of God, 80-81. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  11. THEISTIC PROOFS Moral Universal Consent Ontological Cosmological Teleological A REFORMED APPROACH PROOFS ARE CONFIRMATORY AUTHORITY OF THE WORD ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  12. STARTING POINT • The Old Testament Witness indicates that it is the knowledge of the Lord that is the only sufficient starting point. True knowledge is knowledge that begins with God and his self-attesting revelation. Even the creation itself bears unequivocal witness. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  13. STARTING POINT • Psalm 8, the majesty of God is displayed in nature, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth” • Psalm 19, No one is able to avoid the clear witness of God to himself in creation, “The heavens declare the glory of God” • Psalm 33:6, “In your light, we see light” • Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path” • Psalm 119:130, “The unfolding of your words gives light” ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  14. STARTING POINT • Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” • Proverbs 5:1,2, “Pay attention to my wisdom” • Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  15. STARTING POINT • The New Testament Witness reminds us that Jesus alone has authority and wisdom to speak truth. We are able to replicate truth in so far as we embrace the truth that God has given, acknowledging the clarity of his revelation in nature and the priority of his truth in Scripture. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  16. STARTING POINT • Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters” • Matthew 8:29, Jesus “taught as one who had authority” • Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with me is against me” • John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” • John 14:6, Jesus is “the Truth” ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  17. STARTING POINT • II Corinthians 10:5, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to tear down strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” • Colossians 2:3, “in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  18. STARTING POINT • Ephesians 4:22,23, “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds.” See also Colossians 3:10 • II Timothy 2:25, “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will give them a change of heart leading them to a knowledge of the truth” • II Peter 1:5, “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge” ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  19. SELF-ATTESTING WORD • The Word is more certain than eyewitness testimony, II Peter 1:16-19 • The Word is sufficient/authoritative, even more convincing than the most compelling evidence, Luke 16:31 • The Word does not need the witness of any human to verify its truthfulness, John 5:34-36 ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  20. SELF-ATTESTING WORD • Christ, on the road to Emmaus, rebukes his disciples for their unbelief in Scripture, not for a failure to be convinced by the evidence, Luke 24:24-27 • The creature is to accept the Word of the Creator- and not to question it, Romans 9:20 ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  21. COVENANT KEEPERS Relationship GOD Creation ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  22. COVENANT-BREAKERS Barrier GOD Creation ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  23. COVENANT-BREAKERS • The Covenant Breaker knows that God has made all things, Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:11, Psalm 104:24, so there is no disputing the fact that all of creation bears evidence of its derivative character. All facts are revelatory facts. • Colossians 1:16, “in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and invisible,” • Romans 11:36, “of Him, and through Him, and unto Him are all things” ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  24. COVENANT-BREAKERS • Romans 1:19a, “Since what may be known about God is plain to them.” • Romans 1:19b, “because God has made it plain to them.” • Romans 1:20a, “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen” • Romans 1:20b, “being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” • Covenant Breakers reject what is plainly visible. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  25. COVENANT-KEEPING • “The principles which apply to the Christian’s walk (inclusive of his thought) are the same which applied to his previous reception of Christ. The Christian scholar, having been rooted in Christ by renouncing the authority of secular wisdom for the Lordship of Christ, must carry out his scholarly endeavors by continuing to be rooted in Christ in the same fashion.” G. Bahnsen, Always Ready, 17. ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3

  26. APOLOGETICS ST 28 Apologetics Pt. 3