An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 13 – Sufficiency of the Christian worldview.

By C.L. Bolt

It has been emphasized that there are ultimately only two worldviews though there are of course disagreements within the non-Christian worldview resulting in various manifestations of the non-Christian position. Here we focus briefly upon the Christian worldview and will in the following part of this introduction explain how it relates to transcendental argumentation and in particular the nature of a transcendental view.

The Christian believes that God has revealed Himself in His creation. We are created in the image of God, and Scripture is His special revelation to us. God has gifted us with the faculties of reason, memory, senses, etc. such that we can come to adequately understand and know ourselves, His creation, and ultimately Him. Every fact of existence finds its meaning and place in the all-encompassing plan of God. We are created in line with this plan as well. We are, as it were, at home in the world.

The presupposition of the Christian worldview is a sufficient condition for human intelligibility. It is to be taken as a whole due to the authoritative nature of the God who reveals it. We accept Christianity by faith. We do not have faith in nothing, but rather in the self-revealing, self-attesting, self-authenticating triune God of Christian Scripture. We do not begin to accept Christianity bit-by-bit or piece-by-piece, for such would assume some of the faulty and false principles we have spelled out in the previous parts of this introduction. There are other problems with such an approach that will become evident later on in our introduction.

One of the many things taught by Scripture is the futility of non-Christian thought. We have seen some of this teaching already. The fool says in his heart that there is no God. All of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ Jesus. Philosophy that is not according to Christ is a vain, deceptive philosophy. Even without such specific references to the failure of unbelieving thought, the general implication of Scripture with respect to an unbelieving worldview is that it is faulty and false – this is the case even if we are not able to point out why this is the case upon that worldview’s own terms – the testimony of Scripture is that it is not rational to hold an unbelieving view of the world. Something is fundamentally wrong with an unbelieving conception of things. Hence Scripture plainly teaches what we would call the impossibility of the contrary.

If we assume that the Christian worldview is in some sense mistaken concerning this point then we forfeit our ability to say that it is a sufficient condition for intelligibility. An inconsistent worldview is not sufficient for intelligible human experience. If Christianity is a sufficient precondition for intelligibility then it is likewise a necessary precondition for intelligibility. Hence demonstrating that Christianity is sufficient in this respect demonstrates also that it is necessary. The Christian might set something forth like what I have at the beginning of this discussion, contending that everything is in place for a consistent position that renders experience intelligible. Of course, non-Christians may very well not be persuaded by this account, but this hardly means that you have not proven your case. Those denying that Christianity is either sufficient or necessary carry the burden of proof as well. Remember that there is no neutrality even in claims concerning the burden of proof and possibility.

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taco

“If Christianity is a sufficient precondition for intelligibility then it is likewise a necessary precondition for intelligibility.”

The reason that this is the case is because of Christianity’s claims of it’s self?

Or is it if Sufficient(CT) then Necessary(CT) because of a logical implication of the proposition itself?

Or something entirely different that I am missing?

ZaoThanatoo

“One of the many things taught by Scripture is the futility of Christian thought.”

There appears to be an error here…

C.L. Bolt

“The reason that this is the case is because of Christianity’s claims of it’s self?”

Right.

“There appears to be an error here…”

Fixed, thanks, happy 51st bday. 🙂

ZaoThanatoo

You wait til I’m 51. By then I’ll have transcended transcendental arguments and I’ll prove God’s existence telepathically…

Juxtaposed

“If Christianity is a sufficient precondition for intelligibility then it is likewise a necessary precondition for intelligibility.”

I would just comment that this isn’t an if/then relationship. It claims both. However, one isn’t drawn from the other. The bible claims to meet the conditions for intelligability and it also claims to be the only explanation.

Juxtaposed

I have one other question. In what sense is the word intelligability being used? In terms of philosophy or communication?

In philosophy, intelligibility is what can be comprehended by the human mind. The intelligible method is thought thinking itself, or the human mind reflecting. Plato referred to the intelligible realm of mathematics, forms, first principles, logical deduction, and the dialectical method. The intelligible realm of thought thinking about thought does not necessarily require any visual images, sensual impressions, and material causes for the contents of mind. Descartes referred to this method of thought thinking about itself, without the possible illusions of the senses. Kant made similar claims about a priori knowledge. A priori knowledge is claimed to be independent of the content of experience.

In communication:
In phonetics, Intelligibility is a measure of how comprehendible speech is, or the degree to which speech can be understood. Intelligibility is affected by spoken clarity, explicitness, lucidity, comprehensibility, perspicuity, and precision.

C.L. Bolt

“I would just comment that this isn’t an if/then relationship. It claims both. However, one isn’t drawn from the other.”

It is both claimed and “drawn”.

“In what sense is the word intelligability being used? In terms of philosophy or communication?”

Think of it in terms of philosophy, though this certainly has consequences for communication as well.

Also you may want to ditch the wikis –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligibility_%28philosophy%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligibility_%28communication%29

– for something a bit better like the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online).

JUXTAPOSED

I would use that resource if it had an entry for intelligibility.

That’s the whole dilemma with using wikis. They have entries on everything though they may not be correct. On the other hand, research has shown they don’t do a terrible job of introducing topics (though, perhaps fall apart when reviewed for technical accuracy by field experts).

Introduction to Covenantal (Presuppositional) Apologetics by Chris Bolt « The Domain for Truth

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