The Futility of Unbelief

My wife and I are currently listening to a debate (live) between well known atheist Dan Barker and Christian apologist Dr. James White through www.aomin.org.

Dan Barker just finished his opening statement which more or less left us with the old argument that the account of Jesus was borrowed from mythology. This is not why I am writing this post.

After Barker’s opening statement, Dr. White got up to begin his opening statement. As Dr. White always does his homework, his opening statement was full of quotes from Barker’s books. One would think that Mr. Barker would be glad to have his works read and quoted, but this was not the case!

Before Dr. White could even finish his first quotation, Barker loudly objected to having his own book quoted! He kept saying, “I may have changed my mind”. There was a short spat regarding this and Dr. White (as well as my wife) pointed out that Barker is still selling the books that Dr. White was quoting from. The moderator did not uphold Barker’s objection.

If I were an atheist, I would be ashamed of Dan Barker and concerned about his confirmation of the truth of Christianity. His thinking and behavior show that he is clearly just a man who hates God and has no apologetic, which is exactly what the Bible says he is. (Romans 1.20b)

Update: To make matters worse, Barker just quoted from his own book with respect to naturalism and miracles.

Second Update: Dr. White has written about the event here – http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3514


Nothing is Absolute

I was checking in on some discussion boards I used to post regularly on and came across the following statement by an atheist in response to a discussion over the Bible:

Atheist: All interpretation of the bible is subjective. You don’t hold the final word on it. It’s all in your own mind and isn’t absolute. Nothing is.

If this gal had left off the last sentence, she probably wouldn’t have gotten my attention. After all, she was just sharing her own opinion about another gal’s interpretation of the Bible – nothing remarkable there. But that last sentence … “nothing is [absolute]” made my ears perk up as it does anytime I hear it.

The following was my response to her:

BK: Nothing is absolute? Does that include your assertion above?

Of course, I was referring to her assertion that “all interpretation of the Bible is subjective”. The point being that she was undercutting her very own ability to argue by making the claim that “nothing is absolute.”

Her response to me:

Atheist: But, I never claimed that my assertion was absolute. So, if mine is not, then neither is hers. It’s all her subjective opinion – nothing else.

Here she fails to see that the very making of an assertion implies that it is true, and not relatively true. For instance … “all men are mortal” implies that every man, in every case, is mortal. “God exists” implies that God exists, not just “for me”. That’s the nature of making unqualified assertions such as “nothing is absolute”; they imply that what is being stated is absolutely true.

Here’s my next response:

BK: So if your assertion is not absolute then it is relative, meaning its truth varies, meaning it is at least possible that some things are indeed absolute. Therefore, in this context it entails that it is possible that her opinion of scripture is not subjective after all – at least according to what you have asserted.

It was at this point that things got interesting. Here is her reply:

Atheist: No, my assertion that nothing is absolute could be absolute – because there is still that possibility – according to your way of thinking.

A true Christian would not believe that one person who posts here has the “absolute” interpretation of Scripture. If there was “one absolute interpretation” of the Christian bible, there wouldn’t be so many Christian sects that branched out because they interpreted the words differently.

Nothing is absolute, as I said.

I found it remarkable that this person would make such a bold statement as she did about what a “true Christian” would believe about the Bible. After all, where does she get her perception of what a “true Christian” would believe, if not from the Bible itself? And didn’t she just say earlier that all interpretation of the Bible was subjective?

Well … read my response:

BK: No, because then there would be something which was absolute! Think about it … if your assertion “nothing is absolute” were absolute, then your assertion would be incorrect. It would be absolutely wrong. My way of thinking is simply taking your comments to their logical conclusion.

More to the point – if nothing is absolute, then this includes any claims you make, including your claim that anyone’s view of scripture is subjective. My comment earlier did not remove the possibility that her claims are, in fact, subjective – it simply brought to light that it is possible they may not be, which is in direct contradiction to your assertion that they are.

I thought perhaps at this point I had made it clear what the issue was. But instead I received the following response:

Atheist: Just as I said … Nothing including all your inane verbiage there is absolute.

And so the game was over. No further desire to interact or address what I said – just a dismissal of my response and a labeling of it as “inane verbiage”.

Here was my final reply, which I have yet to receive a response to:

BK: Is it that you don’t understand what I am saying? Is that the problem?

“Nothing is absolute”. The term “nothing” is universal, meaning your assertion implies that even your assertion is not absolute.

1. If it is true that your assertion is absolute, then your assertion that nothing is absolute is false.
2. If it is not true that your assertion is absolute, then your assertion is of no consequence.

Either way, your assertion undermines itself, either in refuting itself or in making it inconsequential.

Now please understand that this is not a shot against Atheists or Atheism at all – it is a demonstration of a lack of critical thinking. This could have just as easily been a Christian as an Atheist. Unfortunately too many times it is.

BK


Sacrificing the Gospel on the Altar of Unbiblical Apologetics

Often so-called objections to the presuppositionalist methodology are downright frightening. Take the article “Always Ready to Give an Answer” written by Caleb Colley.

Under the section on presuppositionalism, Caleb writes the following:

“While the presuppositionalist is right that worldview is important, the presuppositional approach is in conflict with Paul’s prescription of the cosmological argument”

Um…I am sorry?

“the presuppositional approach is in conflict with Paul’s prescription of the cosmological argument”

Now I do not know about other people, but I am left wondering how people prior to Paul came to know that God exists without Paul being alive to present them with the cosmological argument. There are plenty of other questions that come to mind, like why Paul would prescribe a proof that does not prove the existence of God but rather some vague notion of a “First Cause” or “Unmoved Mover”, why Paul would prescribe a proof that is full of problems that keep it from reaching its conclusion anyway, and where Paul ever presents this proof to begin with.

Caleb writes that Paul prescribed this argument “in Romans 1:19-20” and then quotes the passage:

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Okay, let me read that again.

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Do you see anything there that is even remotely similar to the cosmological argument? Is there any talk of a First Cause or Unmoved Mover? The passage does show that the world was created and that things have been made, but this is far from an instance of the cosmological argument. Let us be honest, the passage says nothing at all about the cosmological argument. It is never named, never written out as a syllogism, and never alluded to. The cosmological argument is never even described in this passage, much less prescribed. Presuppositionalism cannot be in conflict with Paul’s prescription of the cosmological argument, because Paul never prescribes it. The author has apparently deceived himself into thinking that there is something in the text which is not actually there, holding fast to a syllogistic puzzle invented and used by Aristotelians, Roman Catholics, and Muslims along with other non-Christian groups. What the text does describe is a universal knowledge of God that is plain and clear because it is given by God, but this sounds like the claim of presuppositionalists!

Caleb writes, “God does not expect us to presuppose that His revelation is true”. Caleb cannot know what God does and does not expect of us if Caleb does not presuppose that the revelation of God is true. God never makes a statement in Scripture to the effect of Him not expecting us to presuppose that His revelation is true. The opposite is the case, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1.7) Any argument from Scripture that Caleb gives us concerning what God does and does not expect is going to require us to take God at His Word just like God always desires we do.

“He wants us to examine the evidence”

Again, Caleb cannot know what God wants and does not want without appealing to the Word of God. There are numerous problems with the underlying assumptions of this statement, but I will not be going into them here.

“People will be lost, not because they failed to make a presupposition, but because they failed to reason from the revealed order to the One who revealed it.”

People will not be lost because they failed to make a presupposition. Whoever said such a thing? I do not know what Caleb is arguing against here, but it is not presuppositionalism. If Caleb understood what he is writing about (and frankly, he does not), he would know that the presuppositionalist claim is in direct opposition to his misrepresentation. No one fails to make the presupposition that God exists. Further, no one is in a place to question the Word of God because there is no higher authority than God! This misrepresentation is bad, but not nearly as bad as what comes next.

Caleb preaches another gospel:

“People will be lost…because they failed to reason from the revealed order to the One who revealed it.”

No Caleb, people are lost because people are sinners. People do not become lost, people are lost. People will not “be lost” on judgment day “because they failed to reason from the revealed order to the One who revealed it” either, but rather because they are unrepentant sinners. In answer to the lost person’s question, “How might I be saved?” Caleb must answer, “[R]eason from the revealed order to the One who revealed it”. Caleb writes that “People will be lost” if they fail to do so. The gospel of Caleb, which is no gospel, is not good news at all. Rather, his gospel calls for a works righteousness of the intellect. To be consistent Caleb must believe that the reason he is saved while others are not is because he has reasoned better than they have. Presenting the actual Gospel contained in Scripture is not an option Caleb is able to take, for he claims that “God does not expect us to presuppose that His revelation is true”.

The remainder of what Caleb writes is in harmony with his anathematized gospel. (Galatians 1.8) He writes, “A presuppositionalist once told me that the unbeliever has a ‘heart problem’”. It appears that, though it is biblical, Caleb is skeptical of the claim that the unbeliever as a heart problem. Not only does Caleb put the phrase in quotes, he finishes his sentence, “A presuppositionalist once told me that the unbeliever has a ‘heart problem’, rather than intellectual difficulty, that keeps him from obeying Christ” (emphasis mine). Now I would posit that the unbeliever has both a heart problem and intellectual difficulties because both are taught throughout Scripture, but I believe that Caleb is trying to say something much different than I am when I use these phrases. When Caleb writes that “the unbeliever…[has]…intellectual difficulty” I see no reason to read this as meaning anything other than what he has already proposed, that “People will be lost…because they failed to reason…”. He is setting “intellectual difficulties” in opposition to a problem of the heart.

“This presuppositionalist explained that the unbeliever was unable to develop faith rationally because, having a ‘sinful nature,’ he was unwilling to presuppose that Christianity is valid.”

Caleb might actually go beyond the Thomist conception of man here, denying not just the fallen nature of reason, but quite possibly the sinful nature of man, as Caleb puts the term in quotation marks! More of Caleb’s unbiblical anthropology becomes apparent when he writes, “I admitted that some are prejudiced against Christianity”. Some unbelievers are prejudiced against Christianity? Try all. One is either for Christ or against Him.

“I admitted that some are prejudiced against Christianity, but then asked whether it was at least possible that an unbeliever wants to obey Christ, but has an intellectual objection to the existence of God, such as the problem of evil.”

Notice again the unbiblical anthropology which proposes the possibility that there are unbelievers running about who want to
obey Christ but cannot. He then assumes that the Problem of Evil is an intellectual objection to the existence of God without showing the inconsistency in stating that God exists as well as evil. The Bible clearly shows that this is the case and I have been unable to find any inconsistency with it. Where then is the intellectual objection?

Caleb has shown us the kind of horrible errors unbiblical approaches to apologetics will lead us toward when more consistently practiced.

Colley, Caleb. “Ready Always to Give an Answer”. Apologetics Press : Scripturally Speaking. http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240172. Accessed September 25, 2009.


Confused About Presup

If one “googles” “presup”, he or she will find the video below at the top of the list. This gentleman argues that presuppositionalists undermine their own position in their insistence that reason and sense experience must “find their ground” in God. His argument consists of assuming that his particular version of atheism is true without giving us any reason for doing so.

The author of the video says that, “Presuppositionalists like to tell us that there can be no neutral ground between a Christian and an atheist in a discussion. This move tries to obscure the fact that we are all born in a state of implicit atheism…Implicit atheism is the neutral ground presuppositionalists will tell you does not exist.” We must recognize that the Bible teaches that we all know God (Romans 1.18ff). We deduce from this that we are born knowing God. If God exists then it is the case that we are born knowing God. To state without argument that we are born atheists logically entails the proposition that God does not exist and that atheism is true. It is extremely difficult to miss the assumption of atheism without argument. In using this argument against Christianity the author of the video begs the question. The atheist is not neutral at all, he is assuming atheism. There is no neutral ground between us.

There are many truth claims we have no choice but to accept upon pain of irrationality. One such truth claim is that God exists. The individual in the video is correct that we must accept a “certain set of truth claims in order to become Christians”, but one need not be a Christian in order to know that God exists.

He says that after “becoming…Christian, some people like to invoke radical skepticism to undermine reason and knowledge, the things that enabled them to accept their religion in the first place”. He provides an analogy of “delusional vandals setting fire to their own home” and imagining “they are immune from the flames”. Here he misses the point, which is that the reason and knowledge that were means to these people becoming Christians are not undermined by radical skepticism if Christianity is true, but are undermined if it is false. He understands that the “presuppositionalist claims that Christianity dispels radical skepticism” but errs in asserting that the presuppositionalist “was able to use precisely this untrustworthy, non-Christian, reason and sense experience in order to accept Christianity in the first place”. If Christianity is true then reason and sense experience are neither non-Christian nor untrustworthy. Non-Christians are able to come to know things precisely because Christianity is true. That is, they have intelligible experience only because they are inconsistent. The non-Christian operates on “borrowed capital” as Van Til put it, taking from the Christian worldview what he or she needs in order to make sense of things.

While it is fatally flawed, the best argument the young man in the video puts forth is, “At best the presup apologetic paints acceptance of Christianity as a kind of wishful thinking, accepting a claim because of the perceived negative ramification of not accepting it”. There are at least two problems here. One is that we accept Christianity based on the authority of God. We know that God exists and Christianity is true because God has told us so. The other is that if we reject this, we have no place where we might stand and argue that presup is wishful thinking. If the senses and reason are undercut by a rejection of the truth of Christianity, then we cannot intelligibly make statements like the person in this video. The argument that Christianity is just wishful thinking presupposes that Christianity is true.

Notice too that the author of this video does not give us anything like an answer to the position of radical skepticism. If he accepts it, and I would argue that he must, then he has no place to be making the arguments that he does in the video. We do not dispense with intellect or reason or senses or any other parts of intelligible experience. We do not “embrace…Cartesian skepticism” either. Cartesian skepticism does not even come close to the radical skepticism an unbeliever would be forced to “accept” if he or she were consistent. We do not adhere to fideism, assuming our position to be the case without argument. Our argument is that people like the gentleman in the video reject Christianity at the expense of rationality itself, falling prey to the self-defeating skepticism which inhabits and inhibits philosophy from Thales to Dewey. We have an argument, where is his?


Providence and Presuppositions

One of the easiest areas to spot the truth of the claim that presuppositions determine the way people view evidence is in the discussion of the providence of God.

Last night a friend of mine told me that his wife left her job.

Tonight he told me that his wife had been given a new job out of nowhere!

The new job is by far preferable to the old. For this we thank God. Upon sharing about this with unbelievers, my friend stated that he was “…getting hit up by atheists on why his wife got the job, and that it wasn’t providence at all…”.

As believers we see the hand of God at work in our life in incredible ways, especially when we reflect on what God has done in the past. When we take this to unbelievers we can usually expect to be greeted with skepticism and explanations and ridicule.

I am not suggesting that we need to stop talking about how God is at work in our lives. We absolutely should. It really only makes sense from within the Christian worldview though…

…just like anything else.


An atheist who gets it…

Well, some of it anyway. I do wish more Christians understood what is set forth in this video.

Greg Bahnsen opened in his debate with Gordon Stein as follows –

It is necessary at the outset of our debate to define our terms; that is always the case. And in particular here, I should make it clear what I mean when I use the term “God”.

I want to specify that I’m arguing particularly in favor of Christian theism, and for it as a unit or system of thought and not for anything like theism in general, and there are reasons for that. The various conceptions of deity found in world religions are in most cases logically incompatible, leaving no unambiguous sense to general theism – whatever that might be.

I have not found the non-Christian religions to be philosophically defensible, each of them being internally incoherent or undermining human reason and experience.

Since I am by the grace of God a Christian, I cannot, from the heart, adequately defend those religious faiths with which I disagree. My commitment is to the Triune God and the Christian world view based on God’s revelation in the Old and New Testaments. So, first I am defending Christian theism.

For the full transcript – http://www.bellevuechristian.org/faculty/dribera/htdocs/PDFs/Apol_Bahnsen_Stein_Debate_Transcript.pdf


Pragmatism vs Justification

I have been following the discussion on Induction between Chris and Mitch with great interest. Even though they are about to wrap things up, I wanted to comment on part of Mitch’s most recent response.

Mitch writes: It might not be a justification of induction in Bolt’s opinion, but such is the nature of pragmatism. It needs not be a justification, it simply is a warrant for its continued use. There is no error here as Reichenbach is not attempting to contest that induction is justified or unjustified in that statement, simply that we have a reason to continue to use it.

I am not quite sure what Mitch is saying here when he states on the one hand that “it needs not be a justification” and on the other hand states that “it simply is a warrant for its continued use.” Perhaps Mitch means something less formal by use of the word “warrant” than I am used to in discussions of this nature.

It seems to me that the statement “it needs not be a justification” implies no justification is present. Therefore, perhaps the word “warrant” simply means “reason” in the weaker sense, as in something that provides a motivation, rather than a logical basis. If Mitch means something more formal by the term, then I don’t find consistency with the implication that no justification is present.

Now, if Mitch means “warrant” as a motivation, then it seems to follow that it is entirely reasonable to hold a particular position on the basis of pragmatism alone (i.e. without the need for a logical justification). If this is truly the case, then I wonder how Mitch would respond to those who might claim to hold the position that the Christian God exists as a pragmatic belief? Is there “warrant” for believing in God if it allows the believer to accomplish a particular goal? Does the believer “have a reason to continue” their belief, if it gives them the ability to meet a particular end? At what point is it acceptable to give up the search for justification and appeal to pragmatism?

BK


Theologians All

A rather humorous exchange between Dr. James White and Dan Barker is posted below. Atheism is just as “religious” as any other system we might typically label a “religion”. There is no such thing as a person who does not believe in God, but there is such a thing as a person who claims to not believe in God. Such a claim requires a great deal of bad theology.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTR6y_HkINM&hl=en&fs=1&]


A Brief Critique of “The Inconsistency of Theism”

Andrew Moroz desires to convince his readers of the inconsistency of theism through an article entitled “The Inconsistency of Theism” which may be found here – http://www.atheists.org/The_Inconsistency_of_Theism

Moroz notes that while there are many conceptions of God, his “focus will be on the Christian God”. Unfortunately he immediately presents John Hick’s description of [John Hick’s] god, which is not a description of the God of Christian Scripture. Since the Christian worldview is the only true worldview, and since it is the only intelligible way to view the world; it is unassailable. The only way to attempt an attack on the Christian worldview is to posit some sort of absurdity that either is or follows from a non-Christian tenet disguised as a Christian tenet. Hence, we end up with (for example) gods that have nothing to do with the God of the Bible. This straw man approach is common amongst unbelievers due to the consistency of Christianity. We are promised in this article that “several important incongruities within the concept of a god will be revealed”, yet the God of Scripture is never touched upon.

The article opens with a citation of the supposed percentage of Atheists and non-believers in the world. We are never told what “Atheist” actually means here (and trust me, the meaning changes depending upon what corner an atheist has been backed into) nor are we told what the non-believers lack faith in. As it stands, even if we were told more specific details concerning these percentages they would have little bearing upon the contention that theism is inconsistent.

After raising these rather irrelevant observations Moroz writes, “The Atheist position is perhaps founded on a principle of truth — a wish to believe only on evidence rather than on faith”. He also cites Russell as stating that “it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true” and quotes a famous passage from Hume showing his dedication to the idea that “the only legitimate propositions are those of matters of fact and those of the relations of ideas”. If “belief” and “faith” are synonymous then the statement from Moroz makes little sense. Setting this aside, I take it that he means something like Atheists wish to believe things only if evidenced. It is doubtful that Moroz would know that this is true of all Atheists. Even if he were able to show us that this is true of all Atheists, we might ask why they should do such a thing. Moroz probably means something more like, “Atheists should wish to believe things only if they are evidenced”. Unfortunately, he presents no evidence for such a statement. If it is the case that there is no evidence for the proposition in question then the proposed standard for belief fails its own test. The quote from Russell leaves us wondering why it is undesirable to believe propositions like the kinds he mentions (those with no ground for the supposition of truth), what constitutes “ground”, and what the grounds are for believing the very assertion he makes. Finally, what is paraphrased from Hume appears to be neither “matter of fact” nor “relationship of idea” and hence is not to be considered a “legitimate proposition” by the very standard set forth in the statement. Moroz has thus refuted himself from the start.

The concluding paragraph of the article does not fair much better than the beginning of the article. Moroz writes, “[I]t seems to me that one is puerile to base final knowledge on anything except philosophy – the only human endeavor that seeks to avoid assumptions”. I am left wondering why this seems childish to him, why his assertions at the beginning of the article did not meet this standard, and why he cannot see that he simply assumes philosophy (as using philosophy to justify the use of philosophy assumes philosophy) and thus sets forth another statement that fails its own test.

Moroz is therefore attempting to write an article from a position that cannot be consistently held. He is right to approach the “debate” about the existence and nature of God from an epistemological standpoint, but wrong in the epistemology he espouses. His is a self-defeating endeavor. He has not shown the inconsistency of theism at all, but rather the inconsistency of his own position. The reason for this is that anti-theism presupposes theism.

Moroz, Andrew. “The Inconsistency of Theism”. http://www.atheists.org/The_Inconsistency_of_Theism. Accessed 9/23/09.


Eight Steps to Popularizing Presuppositional Apologetics

A presuppositional apologetic is a method of defending the Christian faith. Presuppositional apologetics are based on a recognition of the need to be committed to God and Scripture even when chatting with unbelievers who raise supposed intellectual objections to the faith. The result is that God and His Word are presupposed while arguments and evidence are presented. Other methods of apologetics start with presenting arguments and evidence before concluding that God exists or that Christianity is true. Presuppositional apologetics start with the existence of God and truth of Christianity before presenting arguments and evidence. Do not misunderstand; presuppostional apologetics do not do away with arguments and evidence, they just do not use them in the same way as other methods.

Presuppositional apologetics are quickly gaining popularity. This may be linked to some denominations returning to a belief in the inerrancy (and hence the importance) of Scripture. It may be linked as well to the so-called “New Calvinism” that is sweeping through the generation of young people born in the 70’s and 80’s. Presuppositionalism places great emphasis upon the Word of God and certain Calvinistic tenets like Total Depravity and the sovereignty of God so that it is interlinked with them. If the Word of God is taken as a sure thing and if Calvinism is “the gateway to Reformed theology” then we should not be surprised that this apologetic method will follow on the tail end of the two movements mentioned. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of work to be done if presuppositional apologetics are to grow as we might desire.

Currently, presuppositional apologetics are almost completely inaccessible. There are also few books to be had on the subject and these are rarely ever available in bookstores. Due to the emphasis on epistemology presuppositional apologetics are seen as rather difficult to all but those who have taken several courses in philosophy. There are massive terms and difficult arguments involved. Ivory tower intellectualism is typically not appealing to laypeople who find themselves supporting their families in busy and stressful work environments every day. We should not be concerned with stopping this method from doing its job so well in higher academic thought; there is certainly a place for this. However, we should be concerned about how seemingly impractical this method is currently. In response to this observation, I present eight suggestions for your consideration.

1.Presup must be presented in a more evidentialist format.

Ever seen those “[Insert topic here.] For Dummies” books? Surely there are people buying them or they would not continue to fill almost any bookstore one enters. People like “how-to” books. Most evidentialist literature is written somewhat like how-to books. There is clarity, organization, and step-by-step instruction. People need arguments spelled out rather than presented subtly amidst discussions of the history of philosophy. One book I highly recommend that is along the lines of what I have in mind here is Pushing the Antithesis by Greg Bahnsen (Gary DeMar). We need more books of this nature.

2.Presup must use a greater variety of simpler arguments not directly pertaining to epistemology.

The unbeliever cannot find intelligibility in anything if he or she is consistent. Human dignity and free will are just two areas that I have seen explored with great results in terms of presenting presup arguments that are not completely epistemological. We should seek to tap into many more arguments of this nature. There is more room for putting arguments of this kind that do not directly pertain to logic or induction into simpler terms. We do not need to dumb down our method, but we do not need to remove it so far from human experience that no one cares either.

3.Presup must have its terms unpacked for clarity and comprehension by the layperson.

Terms are nice for those in the know to quickly summarize a deeper point but they can easily turn others away. I do not doubt that many beginning presuppers get into the middle of debates and find some mantra they have been repeating getting challenged by their opponent with no response being able to be made by them. The great task of breaking our terms down into common language and explaining what they mean for the apologetic encounter is almost completely before us and not behind.

4.Presup must stop being used almost exclusively against materialistic atheism.

It is cool to point out that logic does not smell like dung or taste like chicken, but for those who want to subscribe to some weird two-worlds doctrine there is not much of an argument there. You can also find this argument in many non-presup books. Let us be honest, atheists are fun to debate and usually make themselves ready for any opportunity to debate with us, but atheism is hardly the position of most unbelievers we encounter each and every day. We need more literature, more debates, and more arguments pertaining to other versions of unbelieving thought. The method is made to appear weak and incapable of dealing with other views when it is focused so much upon atheism and is so rarely placed against other positions.

5.Presup must be taught exclusively to greater extent by “new blood” not necessarily connected to narrower Reformed movements.

Many of the finer groups who adhere to the presup method have seen it lead them into many other areas of related thought that they often find entailed by presup. I do not have a problem with this, but it does draw the discussion quickly away from presup as an apologetic. Further, there are not many very well known apologists who are also strong proponents of presup. There are also not many obscure individuals or groups promoting the method. We need people willing to learn and to teach presup.

6.Presup must be taught in churches.

If the Word of God is being taught, so is presup. We should bring this out of the texts we preach and teach when they pertain to such subjects as anthropology, epistemology, creation, Lordship, Christology, etc. Our people are hungry for a certainty in the things of God, and Sunday School or small groups is another great avenue for teaching how to defend the faith biblically rather than according to worldly standards. We need to take the opportunities God gives us.

7.Presup must be used to critique evidentialist methods.

If people do not think that their method is broken, then they will not see any reason to fix it, much less replace it. This one is not going to win a lot of friends, but we must cast secular “science”, opinions of liberal theologians, mysticism, spiritualism, Aristotelian and Roman Catholic philosophy out of our churches yesterday. Aside from being offensive to God, traditional arguments do not work anyway! Our people need something more sure than this, and they have it, they just need to be shown that this is the case.

8.Presup must be taught from the Bible.

If presup is truly the biblical method of defending the faith, then there is absolutely no excuse for the absence of Scripture from so many presentations of it. There are loads of passages in Scripture which directly bear upon our apologetic that require exegesis and application in a more explicitly apologetic way. We read, memorize, study, and overlook relevant passages all the time! There is a massive amount of extremely careful work to be done in this regard.