November 24, 2020

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

Classical Apologetics: Stated and Rejected

I wish to name here some of the reasons I am a presuppositionalist rather than a classical apologist. I recently had a discussion with someone about it and I think it would be good to write some of these out. 

1. Distinctively Christian:

An issue with most contrary forms of apologetics is that nothing, particularly about them, is Christian. Given most or all their arguments they never get you to the Christian God. I suppose the argument that gets them to think Christianity is true is the resurrection. But even given you believe Jesus rose from the dead, you could hold that it was merely a strange case of magic or something. 

2. Sola Scriptura:

What distinctive role does the Divine Revelation play in this Epistemology? Even Dr. Frame wondered this when writing his response to Dr. William Lane Craig:

William Craig tries hard in his epistemology to achieve a balance between the testimony of the Holy Spirit and the role of reason and evidences. In my view, however, an important element of biblical epistemology is almost entirely missing from his account. That is the role of the Word of God.

The Word of God is relegated for secondary issues of theological discussions but it plays no higher role of significance than that. 

3. Transcendentals:

We use this phrase to talk about the preconditions of intelligibility. These things are the things necessary for rationality to be obtained in any worldview whatsoever. Furthermore, they lead to questions regarding the ultimate nature of reality. They give content to the ideas of logic, mathematics, possibility, necessity, etc. So, without presupposing such an account of these things, rationality would be impossible. If we possess a Christian worldview, then whatever the Christian worldview presents as the basis of these things would have to be presupposed for any rational enterprise to occur. I suppose that Christians think God is the solution and share relevance to these issues regarding the nature of reality, laws of logic, Modality, etc. Given that these things are dependent upon him(aseity) it seems to lead us to the necessity of presupposing God in conversations. If we don’t, then we simply aren’t being Christian in our thinking.

4. Neutrality:

I suppose the reason why Classical apologist isn’t being Christian in their thinking is that they wish to get to some neutral set of supposition and then argue from the world to the existence of God. The only issue is that no neutral sets of beliefs exist. In some way or another, every worldview presupposes its ultimate commitments. 

5. Infinite Alternatives:

One argument against presuppositionalism is that one would have to refute an infinite amount of alternatives. You may be wondering why one of my reasons for accepting presuppositionalism is one of its major objections. That is because it shows an issue with classical apologetics aswell. They have an underdetermination of worldviews. Given they think that an infinite amount of worldviews possibly exist and they have no mechanism to refute or limit any. They can never establish their worldview as true. They may state their worldview is most probably true, but according to whom? According to which notions of modality? This is them falling back into neutrality again.

6. Inerrancy:

It seems that in these times the most of the other apologetic groups don’t think it is necessary to hold to inerrancy and often abandon it in discussions. It leaves the opponent to Christianity with no content filled theology. An empty shell of religion is left. A Christless Christianity.