Mr. White, Mr. Grey, and Mr. Black VII

“But how can anyone know anything about the ‘Beyond’?” asks Mr. Black.
“Well, of course,” replies Mr. Grey, “if you want absolute certainty, such as one gets in geometry, Christianity does not offer it. We offer you only ‘rational probability.’ ‘Christianity,’ as I said in effect a moment ago when I spoke of the death of Christ, ‘is founded on historical facts, which, by their very nature, cannot be demonstrated with geometric certainty. All judgments of historical particulars are at the mercy of the complexity of the time-space universe. . . . If the scientist cannot rise above rational probability in his empirical investigation, why should the Christian claim more?’ And what is true of the death of Christ,” adds Mr. Grey, “is, of course, also true of his resurrection. But this only shows that ‘the Christian is in possession of a worldview which is making a sincere effort to come to grips with actual history.’”[1]
By speaking thus, Mr. Grey again seeks for a neutral point of contact with Mr. Black. For Mr. Black, history is something that floats on an infinitely extended and bottomless ocean of Chance. Therefore he can say that anything may happen. Who knows but the death and resurrection of Jesus as the Son of God might issue from this womb of Chance? Such events would have an equal chance of happening with “snarks, boojums, splinth, and gobble-de-gook.” God himself may live in this realm of Chance. He is then “wholly other” than ourselves, and his revelation in history would then be wholly unique. The Arminian does not challenge this underlying philosophy of Chance as it controls the unbeliever’s conception of history. He is so anxious to have the unbeliever accept the possibility of God’s existence and the fact of the resurrection of Christ that, if necessary, he will exchange his own philosophy of the facts for that of the unbeliever. Anxious to be genuinely “empirical” like the unbeliever, he will throw all the facts of Christianity into the bottomless pit of Chance. Or, rather, he will throw all these facts at the unbeliever, and the unbeliever throws them over his back into the bottomless pit of Chance.
Of course, this is the last thing that such men as Wilbur Smith, Edward J. Carnell, and J. Oliver Buswell, Jr., want to do. But in failing to challenge the philosophy of Chance that underlies the unbeliever’s notion of “fact,” they are in effect accepting it.
This approach of Mr. Grey’s is unavoidable if one hold to an Arminian theology. The Arminian view of man’s free will implies that “possibility” is above God. But a “possibility” that is above God is the same thing as Chance. A God surrounded by Chance cannot speak with authority. He would be speaking into a vacuum. His voice could not be heard. If God were surrounded by Chance, then human beings would be too. They would live in a vacuum, unable to hear either their own voices or those of others. Thus the whole of history, including all of its facts, would be without meaning.
It is this that the Reformed Christian, Mr. White, would tell Mr. Black. In the very act of presenting the resurrection of Christ or in the very act of presenting any other fact of historic Christianity, Mr. White would be presenting it as authoritatively interpreted in the Bible. He would argue that unless Mr. Black is willing to set the facts of history in the framework of the meaning authoritatively ascribed to them in the Bible, he will make “gobble-de-gook” of history.
If history were what Mr. Black assumes that it is, then anything might happen, and then nobody would know what may happen. No one thing would then be more likely to happen than any other thing. David Hume, the great skeptic, has effectively argued that, if you allow any room for Chance in your thought, then you no longer have the right to speak of probabilities. Whirl would then be king. No hypothesis would then have any more relevance to facts than any other hypothesis. Did God raise Christ from the dead? Perchance he did. Did Jupiter do it? Perchance he did. What is Truth? Nobody knows. Such would be the picture of the universe if Mr. Black were right.
No comfort can be taken from the assurance of the Arminian that, since Christianity makes no higher claim than that of rational probability, “the system of Christianity can be refuted only by probability. Perhaps our loss is gain.” How could one ever argue that there is a greater probability for the truth of Christianity than for the truth of its opposite, if the very meaning of the word “probability” rests upon the idea of Chance? On this basis, nature and history would be no more than a series of pointer readings pointing into the blank.
In assuming his philosophy of Chance and thus virtually saying that nobody knows what is back of the common objects of daily observation, Mr. Black also virtually says that the Christian view of things is wrong.
If I assert that there is a black cat in the closet, and you assert that nobody knows what is in the closet, you have virtually told me that I am wrong in my hypothesis. So when I tell Mr. Black that God exists, and he responds very graciously by saying that perhaps I am right since nobody knows what is in the “Beyond,” he is virtually saying that I am wrong in my hypothesis. He is obviously thinking of such a god as could comfortably live in the realm of chance. But the God of Scripture cannot live in the realm of chance.
When confronted with the claims of God and his Christ, Mr. Black’s response is essentially this: Nobody knows — nevertheless your hypothesis is certainly wrong and mine is certainly right! Nobody knows whether God exists, but God certainly does not exist and Chance certainly does exist.
When Mr. Black thus virtually makes his universal negative assertion, saying in effect that God cannot possibly exist and that Christianity cannot possibly be true, he must surely be standing on something very solid. Is it on solid rock that he stands? No, he stands on water! He stands on his own “experience.” But this experience, by his own assumption, rests again on Chance. Thus standing on Chance, he swings the “logician’s postulate” and modestly asserts what cannot be in the “Beyond,” of which he said before that nothing can be said.
[2]

In our last installment, we looked at “possibility”, Calvinism, the meaning of fact, neutrality, common ground, and the distinction between principle and practice. In this section, we will examine probability, chance, history, and a few other interesting notions.

“But how can anyone know anything about the ‘Beyond’?” asks Mr. Black.

“Well, of course,” replies Mr. Grey, “if you want absolute certainty, such as one gets in geometry, Christianity does not offer it. We offer you only ‘rational probability.’ ‘Christianity,’ as I said in effect a moment ago when I spoke of the death of Christ, ‘is founded on historical facts, which, by their very nature, cannot be demonstrated with geometric certainty. All judgments of historical particulars are at the mercy of the complexity of the time-space universe. . . . If the scientist cannot rise above rational probability in his empirical investigation, why should the Christian claim more?’ And what is true of the death of Christ,” adds Mr. Grey, “is, of course, also true of his resurrection. But this only shows that ‘the Christian is in possession of a worldview which is making a sincere effort to come to grips with actual history.’”

Mr. Grey, from the very outset, puts geometry above God’s revelation. Geometry, to Mr. Grey, is absolute, and as such, certain. Revelation, apparently, is not absolute, and is therefore uncertain. All Mr. Grey wants to discuss is ‘rational probability’. As such, rationalism, and mathematical laws are considered to be foundational. Unfortunately, by arguing in this fashion, Mr. Grey has given up the argument before he even begins. He does not even speak of who ordained the laws he is taking for granted. He does not even speak of the Creator of all we are examining! At the outset, he has given all the ground to the unbeliever, with no apparent concern for the consequences. Also, please reference this post for further thoughts on a similar topic. It responds to C. Michael Patton when he made a similar claim. I will note a few other issues in passing, as well.

Christianity, he says, is founded on historical facts; what are we to consider history to mean, in this context? Whose view of history are we to adopt, when discussing history? Further, what, precisely, do we mean when we say “founded on historical facts”? Confessionally, we say that Christianity is founded on God’s revelation. For instance: “The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture.”[3] We will return to this later, but it bears noting. Additionally, we must note that Mr. Grey claims that all judgment of historical particulars are “at the mercy of the complexity of the space-time universe.” Wouldn’t it be much more fitting to state that both the complexities of the space time universe, to include the human actions within it, are all according to the ordination of their Sovereign Creator? Further, he claims that a scientist cannot “rise above rational probability” in his empirical investigation; isn’t it the case, however, that one’s philosophy of science determines what one considers to be valid in the study of empirical science? There is a puzzling tendency in the scientific community toward the view that science is somehow divorced from philosophy. In reality, however, one’s epistemology and metaphysic is presupposed in one’s rational and physic investigations. I don’t see any escape from this conclusion, as scientific inquiry requires the use of the mind. If one deals with the mind, one is bound to be presupposing a certain set of preconditions for the intelligibility of that inquiry; not to mention that one’s view of the validity of any particular “route” of inquiry is bound to presuppose certain preconditions, as well. In the case of every “fact” under consideration, bound up with it is the meaning of that fact, as well.

By speaking thus, Mr. Grey again seeks for a neutral point of contact with Mr. Black. For Mr. Black, history is something that floats on an infinitely extended and bottomless ocean of Chance. Therefore he can say that anything may happen. Who knows but the death and resurrection of Jesus as the Son of God might issue from this womb of Chance? Such events would have an equal chance of happening with “snarks, boojums, splinth, and gobble-de-gook.” God himself may live in this realm of Chance. He is then “wholly other” than ourselves, and his revelation in history would then be wholly unique.

As Van Til notes, Mr. Grey is here seeking common ground – a “neutral point of contact” with Mr. Black. By doing this, however, he has given the entire discussion directly to Mr. Black, and adopted his presupposed basis for both historical and scientific inquiry. The presupposed basis, of course, is what Van Til calls the “rational/irrational dialectic.” This, however, we will have to expand on, as it is not something we often discuss. This dialectic is descriptive of unbelieving presuppositions. The unbeliever is both a rationalist and irrationalist, and this is often the case in simultaneity. It is bound up with the authority of the expert, the primacy of reason and chance, and the autonomy of man. As Van Til notes,

It is of the greatest import to note that the natural man need not in the least object to the kind of authority that is involved in the idea of irrationalism. And that chiefly for two reasons. In the first place, the irrationalism of our day is the direct lineal descendant of the rationalism of previous days. The idea of pure chance has been inherent in every form of non-Christian thought in the past. It is the only logical alternative to the position of Christianity,according to which the plan of God is back of all. Both Plato and Aristotle were compelled to make room for it in their maturest thought. The pure “non-being” of the earliest rationalism of Greece was but the suppressed “otherness” of the final philosophy of Plato, So too the idea of pure factuality or pure chance as ultimate is but the idea of “otherness” made explicit. Given the non-Christian assumption with respect to man’s autonomy, the idea of chance has equal rights with the idea of logic.[4]

This follows a discussion of the unbeliever’s place for authority, their need for it, and how it fits into their schema. To sum up, the “popular” atheist (the sort that we typically deal with, and that you, the reader deal with most frequently) deny their necessity for any sort of authority. However, this is not the position of the great thinkers they claim to admire. On the contrary, their insistence is that they themselves cannot have comprehensive knowledge, so therefore there is a need for an expert authority – “in all respects the lesser minds are bound to submit to the authority of greater minds.”[5] This is consistent with their assumption of human autonomy. It is the authority of a supposed expert in reason. However, the assumption that authority can stand above reason is anathema. He discusses the necessity for authority in the sheer existence of the multiplicity of facts – the pressure that time puts on men, who have a limited amount, and a limited capacity, as finite creatures. He discusses the assumption of chance being the ultimate ground of all factuality. As such, the “popular” atheist’s idea of “pure reason” is “out of date”. When he reaches the discussion of the authority of irrationalism, it is in the context of post-Kantian philosophy. This sort of expert authority, as discussed above, is not inconsistent with that philosophy. He points out that “pure chance” has been an integral component of even classical philosophy in it’s most mature forms. What this amounts to, in essence, is a purported “challenger” to the Christian doctrine of God’s Sovereignty. The popularist conception of rationalism is nothing more than out-dated philosophy torn, by sheer ignorance, creakily out of it’s grave. In populist atheism, we have dead thoughts walking. The modern, scholastic conception of rationalism is more in the line of an uneasy truce. The intellectual barbarians, after all, must be kept out of the secularist empire.

In the second place, modern irrationalism has not in the least encroached upon the domain of the intellect as the natural man thinks of it. Irrationalism has merely taken possession of that which the intellect, by its own admission, cannot in any case control. Irrationalism has a secret treaty with rationalism by which the former cedes to the latter so much of its territory as the latter can at any given time find the forces to control. Kant’s realm of the noumenal has, as it were, agreed to yield so much of its area to the phenomenal, as the intellect by its newest weapons can manage to keep in control. Moreover, by the same treaty irrationalism has promised to keep out of its own territory any form of authority that might be objectionable to the autonomous intellect. The very idea of pure factuality or chance is the best guarantee that no true authority, such as that of God as the Creator and Judge of men, will ever confront man. If we compare the realm of the phenomenal as it has been ordered by the autonomous intellect to a clearing in a large forest, we may compare the realm of the noumenal to that part of the same forest which has not yet been laid under cultivation by the intellect. The realm of mystery is on this basis simply the realm of that which is not yet known.[6]

This is a rather perceptive comment on the relationship of rationalism to irrationalism. As we have said, it is tied to authority. Irrationalism cedes to rationalism what it can manage to “control”. Rationalism, after all, cannot “control” that which it does not know. On the flip side, irrational “hedges in” rationalism and encircles it with a moat – it clears away all the snarks and boojums in the hinterlands of understanding – things which rationalism would find unconscionable. “Pure chance” is the clearing which gives the castle of “pure reason” a clear field of fire, and provides it with it’s hedges and moat. Of course, we know that the “clearing” which has been done is only be the common grace of God – yet, the arrogance of man takes this to be it’s own victory, and the credit with it. To the realm of pure chance is given the credit for the “beauties of the forest” out of which this clearing has been carved; and the impetus to continue to clear it. We know, however, that both the forest and the clearing are God’s.

And the service of irrationalism to rationalism may be compared to that of some bold huntsman in the woods who keeps all lions and tigers away from the clearing. This bold huntsman covers the whole of the infinitely extended forest, ever keeping away all danger from the clearing. This irrationalistic Robin Hood is so much of a rationalist that he virtually makes a universal statement about what can happen in all future time. In the secret treaty spoken of he has assumed the intellect of the autonomous man that the God of Christianity cannot possibly exist and that no man therefore need fear the coming of a judgment. If the whole course of history is, at least in part, controlled by chance, then there is no danger that the autonomous man will ever meet with the claims of authority as the Protestant believes in it. For the notion of authority is but the expression of the idea that God by his counsel controls all things that happen in the course of history.[7]

We see this Huntsman in the secular insistence on random chance in cosmology and biological evolution. It is this Huntsman’s toil, in his many guises, upon which reason’s castle is founded; our racial order and promise, resting on the shoulders of chaos’ champion. Yet, when we ask how order arises from disorder, and ask to be shown the way of it, we are given to understand that the Huntsman carved it out. How can this be, however? The Huntsman is the blind operation of pure chaos; rationalism cannot arise from this source. The unbeliever is insistent upon the metaphysical necessity of pure irrationalistic chance; yet just as insistent on human autonomy in his rationalistic epistemology. By the first, he does, in fact, make a positive claim for the necessity of chance to undergird all things whatsoever. He is making the universal statement concerning the existence of God by denying the nature of God and His creation. By the second, he sets for himself the ideal of comprehensive knowledge – and one which he knows he can never attain to. The unbeliever knows he cannot attain comprehensive knowledge. Thus, he defaults to the authority of the expert, in the hope that there can be a collective comprehension. However, in a truly chaotic metaphysic, this is not to be, nor can it be. You see, what we know exists by pure chance; there is no guarantor of interpretive comprehension or relationship in the first place. Without essential order, there is no essential relationship between unity and diversity – and thus the rationalistic dreams of man come to a crashing halt. Neither the facts in view, their relationship, or the knowledge of them have any foundation at all, in a world of pure chance. A realm of pure reason based on pure chance is a pure impossibility.

To return to our passage, history is something which is “just there”. The facts are “simply” what happens to be the case, by some chance interaction of matter over time. In such a history, anything might take place. After all, we have seen strange things, haven’t we? There are always freaks, or mutants, or any number of oddities we chance to meet. Who is to say that this resurrection may not be yet another? After all, even unlikely things happen on occasion. If we are to accept the unbeliever’s conception of metaphysics, God is equally under the mantle of chance, and bound to it’s whims. God, additionally, would have to be under the same strictures in the case of knowledge. The unbelieving assumptions concerning the world and the intellect preclude God in any meaningful fashion.

The Arminian does not challenge this underlying philosophy of Chance as it controls the unbeliever’s conception of history. He is so anxious to have the unbeliever accept the possibility of God’s existence and the fact of the resurrection of Christ that, if necessary, he will exchange his own philosophy of the facts for that of the unbeliever. Anxious to be genuinely “empirical” like the unbeliever, he will throw all the facts of Christianity into the bottomless pit of Chance. Or, rather, he will throw all these facts at the unbeliever, and the unbeliever throws them over his back into the bottomless pit of Chance.

The Arminian, instead of challenging the unbeliever’s conception of possibility, grants it to them, and shares it. It does not challenge the unbelieving presupposition of chance’s ultimacy, but shares it; it does not, therefore, challenge the unbeliever’s notion of possibility, but shares it. It does not challenge the unbelieving presupposition of intellectual autonomy, but shares it; it does not, therefore, challenge the unbeliever’s notion of rationalism, but shares it. He himself presupposes chance as ultimate; he presupposes man as autonomous in will and intellect. His wish to be seen as “empirical” undermines his wish to be Biblical. His wish to have them accept him as scholarly destroys his own intelligibility. When he presents the unbeliever with facts as “brute” facts, or facts based entirely on chance, and understood by reason alone, he practically begs the unbeliever to do precisely what he himself has done with them; throw away all possible meaning for those facts. They are just as possible as anything else, and only an arbitrary determination of “probability” is what their supposed “likelihood” depends on. As such, the Arminian’s naivete turns around to bite him. While he is acceding to the unbelieving demands, the unbeliever does no such thing in return. He has no intention of being neutral in his regard of the facts, and acts accordingly.

Of course, this is the last thing that such men as Wilbur Smith, Edward J. Carnell, and J. Oliver Buswell, Jr., want to do. But in failing to challenge the philosophy of Chance that underlies the unbeliever’s notion of “fact,” they are in effect, accepting it.

When the Arminian argues as he does, he is feeding everything he says into the ravenous maw of chaos; or, as Van Til says, the unbeliever will take them, and chuck them over his shoulder as quickly as he can, without a thought, into the endless dark. He does this, because he has not been presented with the Biblical opposition to this horrible nothingness. Our younger readers may remember “The Nothing”, from The Neverending Story. Unlike the movie, picture “The Nothing” as the tempestuous chaos necessitated by the “pure chance” foundation in the unbelieving worldview. It is the absence of order, the destroyer of possibility, probability, meaning, and fact. It is, at base, pure nihilism. The unbeliever is feeding this disordered monster, thinking that it is an ally; The Huntsman which clears the forest for the castle of rationalism. It is, of course, nothing of the sort. The Arminian is abetting him in it, slipping it tidbits, unaware; and only makes it stronger, while it eats away at his own worldview. These things should not, must not be. The God of Scripture is the God of order; the Sovereign Lord of all His creation, decreed from eternity. Feeding the nihilistic beast of random chance is no work of His.

This approach of Mr. Grey’s is unavoidable if one hold to an Arminian theology. The Arminian view of man’s free will implies that “possibility” is above God. But a “possibility” that is above God is the same thing as Chance. A God surrounded by Chance cannot speak with authority. He would be speaking into a vacuum. His voice could not be heard. If God were surrounded by Chance, then human beings would be too. They would live in a vacuum, unable to hear either their own voices or those of others. Thus the whole of history, including all of its facts, would be without meaning.

Do you see how this is so? Recall, Mr. Black has already noted that Mr. Grey considers “possibility is independent of the will of God.” As we noted, Mr. Grey’s adoption of a foreign “possibility” gave the unbeliever the “excuse” that Scripture forbids him. Even worse, we see, it makes God into an idol. A God who is, like us, “in the world” in such a sense of immanence is not the God of whom Scripture speaks. Are we to speak of eternals or immutables outside of God, let alone outside of His control? To the avid student of Scripture, such can never be the case! Our Arminian brothers are deeply deceived on this point. Their false understanding of the nature of God puts them onto the sandy shore along with unbeliever – and along with the unbeliever, any house they build on that foundation will surely fall. Even worse, they have truly given themselves over, not to a foundation merely of sand, but of darkness and chaos, which eats every meaning, every fact, and every relationship away, if held to consistently. Thankfully, as we were reminded by Van Til earlier, the Arminian is better than his principles. He does not consistently give himself and others into the hands of chaos; but slipping tidbits to the ravening wolf is no less a folly if done unintentionally. It is by God’s mercy that they are restrained; and that we might share His wisdom with them, and with the unbeliever. Do not forget – what we have, and what we know is a gift, and not of ourselves.

It is this that the Reformed Christian, Mr. White, would tell Mr. Black. In the very act of presenting the resurrection of Christ or in the very act of presenting any other fact of historic Christianity, Mr. White would be presenting it as authoritatively interpreted in the Bible. He would argue that unless Mr. Black is willing to set the facts of history in the framework of the meaning authoritatively ascribed to them in the Bible, he will make “gobble-de-gook” of history.

This is where we are called to set things in antithesis; to argue the impossibility of the contrary. When we set these two worldviews against each other, we must do so comprehensively. We must do so with the facts being clearly presented for what they are in the unbeliever’s system. Understand; your particular Mr. Black’s peculiar position may be more or less consistent with what Mr. Black here presents. This is of no consequence. This is an illustration of how these conversations tend to proceed, and with a typical example of an unbeliever.

So, here he lays out the method; for those of you who are 1) Unbelievers, and think that it hasn’t been laid out or 2) Believers who haven’t seen it expressed in simple terms – this is where it’s at, so pay close, close attention here. First – note that in this, he is setting out *the entirety* of interpretation, in any sense, at once. *Any* (and every) fact must be presented as authoritatively interpreted in Scripture. This is what we presuppose – this authoritative interpretation. This is not done piecemeal, but comprehensively. Then, we have the argument – unless Mr. Black is willing to set the facts of history in the framework of the meaning authoritatively ascribed to them in the Bible, he will make “gobble-de-gook” of history. This is the transcendental argument; the only proof is that without it, you can’t prove anything. In this case, he is using it in regard to the meaning of facts. Unless you take them to mean what Scripture says they mean, they are, in fact, meaningless. They are arbitrary, unconnected. Why? Van Til explains:

If history were what Mr. Black assumes that it is, then anything might happen, and then nobody would know what may happen. No one thing would then be more likely to happen than any other thing. David Hume, the great skeptic, has effectively argued that, if you allow any room for Chance in your thought, then you no longer have the right to speak of probabilities. Whirl would then be king. No hypothesis would then have any more relevance to facts than any other hypothesis. Did God raise Christ from the dead? Perchance he did. Did Jupiter do it? Perchance he did. What is Truth? Nobody knows. Such would be the picture of the universe if Mr. Black were right.

Do you see where this hits? Typically, there will be some form of demand made by the unbeliever; however, we are asking the unbeliever another question that logically precedes his. What right does he have to make the demand in the first place? By his own lights, “chance” is the underlying bedrock of his metaphysic. If this is the case, on what basis does the unbeliever suppose “likely” rests upon? Per Hume: “Since therefore an entire indifference is essential to chance, no one chance can possibly be superior to another, otherwise than as it is composed of a superior number of equal chances. … A perfect and total indifference is essential to chance, and one total indifference can never in itself be either superior or inferior to another.”[8]

No comfort can be taken from the assurance of the Arminian that, since Christianity makes no higher claim than that of rational probability, “the system of Christianity can be refuted only by probability. Perhaps our loss is gain.” How could one ever argue that there is a greater probability for the truth of Christianity than for the truth of its opposite, if the very meaning of the word “probability” rests upon the idea of Chance? On this basis, nature and history would be no more than a series of pointer readings pointing into the blank.

In other words, this is cold comfort, if the comfort being given is that no one can ever refute (or prove) anything at all. It’s all nonsense, and no sense can be made out of it.

In assuming his philosophy of Chance and thus virtually saying that nobody knows what is back of the common objects of daily observation, Mr. Black also virtually says that the Christian view of things is wrong.

If nobody knows what is what, this is directly contrary to Christianity, which says God knows what is what, even if we don’t. It contradicts Christianity. This is what is meant by saying ~CT is antithetical to CT. It will contradict necessarily.

If I assert that there is a black cat in the closet, and you assert that nobody knows what is in the closet, you have virtually told me that I am wrong in my hypothesis. So when I tell Mr. Black that God exists, and he responds very graciously by saying that perhaps I am right since nobody knows what is in the “Beyond,” he is virtually saying that I am wrong in my hypothesis. He is obviously thinking of such a god as could comfortably live in the realm of chance. But the God of Scripture cannot live in the realm of chance.

This is just a different way of putting the last. If nobody knows what is what, then this contradicts CT, which says “God knows what is what”. His “gracious” answer of “maybe you’re right” is, in reality, a contradiction of what you said – because it is based on chance, which says “nobody knows if you’re right.” This is reminiscent of Bahnsen’s “crackers in the pantry” statement, in reply to Stein.

When confronted with the claims of God and his Christ, Mr. Black’s response is essentially this: Nobody knows — nevertheless your hypothesis is certainly wrong and mine is certainly right! Nobody knows whether God exists, but God certainly does not exist and Chance certainly does exist.

Since nobody knows, it is not the case that God knows, as you have stated. See how that works? He does, however, seem to know that chance exists 😉 Go figure, right?

When Mr. Black thus virtually makes his universal negative assertion, saying in effect that God cannot possibly exist and that Christianity cannot possibly be true, he must surely be standing on something very solid. Is it on solid rock that he stands? No, he stands on water! He stands on his own “experience.” But this experience, by his own assumption, rests again on Chance. Thus standing on Chance, he swings the “logician’s postulate” and modestly asserts what cannot be in the “Beyond,” of which he said before that nothing can be said.

This really doesn’t need any commentary. Next time, we’ll continue this discussion between our friends White, Grey, and Black.

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  1. [1]Author’s footnote 33: E.J. Carnell, An Introduction to Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1952), 113
  2. [2]Van Til, Defense of the Faith, (4th Ed), 326-328
  3. [3]LBCF, 1689, I.6
  4. [4]Van Til, DotF, 146
  5. [5]DotF, (4th Ed), 145
  6. [6]DotF, 146-147
  7. [7]DotF, 147
  8. [8]A Treatise of Human Nature Book I, Part III: Section XI

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Van Til's Argument Part I

[…] of God. This, I must say, is an amazing claim from someone who claims to have read Van Til. In this post, you can find a section that quotes Van Til, in his exchange between “Mr. White”, […]


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