Questions on Presuppositionalism

Someone posted a few questions for presuppositionalist and I figure that I would take a shot at answering them.

1. From a historical standpoint, it seems pretty evident that the Van-Tillian method of doing apologetics was a novelty in the history of Reformed theology. I don’t know how one dispels the evidence that Calvin, Turretin, and most of the puritans held to the classical model.

Well, this is true. Presuppositionalism is a development based on a lot of ideas coming together. I think it is consistent with the Worldview reasoning that Christian is forced and always had to deal with. That kind of development isn’t new. Take the Trinity for example. Different trinitarian models have arisen from multiple streams(e.g. Social trinitarianism, Latin Trinitarianism, Relative Identity, etc.) I doubt the objector rejects the Trinity on those grounds. Calvinism and its affiliations with Determinism have developed in the light of Jonathan Edwards and later with John Martin Fischer. Apologetics on the other side has had developments as well. You think the argument from the “Constants and Quantities” is an antique?

2. I have never met a presuppositional apologist who did not modify, redefine, or reject the classical doctrine of divine simplicity and impassibility. Frame, Oliphant, and other presuppositionalists redefine these classical doctrines.

I know that Dr. James Anderson holds to a strong form of Divine Simplicity and classical theism. So, you just haven’t done much research of that matter. I think that Frame and Olipint have good intentions about the doctrines they present. I think that ultimately they are mistaken about God being temporal and such. The issue of Divine simplicity is more tricky. I think Oliphint is a supporter of it and Frame holds a modified perspective. I think that is an issue that needs more debate. I find the objection a bit ironic because I doubt that most classical and evidentialist hold to classical theism. Classical Apologist struggle with inerrancy let alone good theology. The apologetic they provided is so vast that it is compatible with Judaism, Islam, Catholic, Molinist, Calvinist, and various other religions. Nothing is actually Christian about their method. They don’t deal with Bahnsen’s points about the inability of man to be neutral on ultimate issues. Where does sola scriptura direct their epistemologies?

3. It seems that in the presuppositional method, you must commit a petitio principii fallacy in order to accept the Christian faith. I don’t think anyone should have to commit a logical fallacy in order to come to Christ.

This is hopelessly confused to the issues. You don’t need to hold to presuppositionalism to come to the Christian Faith. You can reject it and be a Christian(Sproul). The issue is where do our Christian ideas fit into our worldview. Second, the issue of circular reasoning has been dealt with before:

https://triablogue.blogspot.com/2018/09/classical-apologetics.html

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2017/07/26/circular-reasoning-and-circular-arguments/

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/07/04/parsing-revelational-epistemology/

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/02/27/a-little-presup-before-dinner/

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/04/03/presup-before-dessert/

Also, why is it that whenever a classical apologist argues with a presuppositionalist, the presuppositionalist always says “that’s a straw man?” As if we are incapable of understanding presuppositionalism?

That is because it usually is. But I believe you can comprehend presuppositionalism but have terrible reasons for rejecting it or it may be that you don’t comprehend it.

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This entry was posted in Apologetics, Dr. John Frame, Dr. K. Scott Oliphint, Presuppositionalism by TheSire. Bookmark the permalink.

About TheSire

I'm a Christian, Trinitarian, rational scientific anti-realist, Baptist, Van Tilian, Covenant theology, Inerrancy, Cartesian dualist, Classical theist, Protestant, Reformed, and a particularist. Here is a place where I take information from many different sources and place them in a useful format. My influences are Steve Hays, Dr. James Anderson, Dr. Greg Welty, Dr. Vern Poythress, Dr. John Frame, R. C. Dozier, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, Ronald W. Di Giacomo, R. C. Sproul, Dr. James White, Dr. Paul Helm, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Paul Manata, Turretinfan, Milton Friedman, James A. Gibson, and others. " You're one of the most intricate thinkers I know so if you believe something I would like to understand why and be challenged to think about it." Tyler Vela

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