Is Fristianity Sufficient?

Michael Butler as quoted by Sean Choi contends, “If Fristianity is otherwise identical to Christianity, the only way for us to know [that its god is a quadrinity] would be for the Fristian god to reveal this to us.” Choi takes this proposition to be false and explains why.

That the Fristian God is a quadrinity is something we know to be true in virtue of stipulation… (Indeed, that is how Butler himself introduced the concept of Fristianity.) Butler is suggesting that there is mystery here when there is none. “Fristianity” has come to mean what it does precisely because in the course of offering a possible defeater to TAG, Fristianity was defined as a possible worldview that includes a quadrinitarian God. Voila! Thus, we do not need some mysterious revelation to teach us that the Fristian God, a God of a merely possible worldview Fristianity, is a quadrinity.

In Footnote 32 Choi adds, “If Butler intends by this actual revelation, then, of course, his objection is confused.” He explains, “No God of a merely possible worldview can be the author of any actual revelation – any more than a merely possible angel can dance on a head of an actual pin.” Choi’s explanation precludes appeal to any actual Fristian revelation. This point alone is sufficient to dismiss any alleged problems pertaining to the lack of actual revelation, but Choi’s comments about stipulation in the main body of the text are also in response to Butler’s concerns about revelation. Given that the point about actual revelation is relegated to a footnote and given that Choi writes more on the topic of revelation in the body of the text it is assumed that the remainder of Choi’s response to Butler’s claim pertains to the hypothetical revelation of the possible worldview of Fristianity. Even Butler admits that objecting to Fristianity upon the basis of its non-actuality will not do.

The Christian worldview is a revelatory worldview. We know about the Christian God and worldview because the Christian God has revealed Himself to us. The Christian worldview also provides the preconditions for the intelligible stipulation of the Fristian worldview. This much is granted even by most Fristianity proponents. Inasmuch as the Christian worldview is thus sufficient the Fristian worldview is not necessary. It must be admitted that the Fristian worldview by its very nature cannot be the necessary precondition for intelligible experience, but it is never offered as such. It is rather offered as a sufficient worldview in this regard. However according to Choi, that “the Fristian God is a quadrinity is something we know to be true in virtue of stipulation.” But then how can the Fristian god and worldview ever be known apart from some other worldview? Since the Fristian worldview can never be stipulated in terms of itself as this would entail a contradiction the Fristian worldview can never be known apart from the necessary preconditions of stipulation provided in some other worldview. The Fristian worldview as described here provides neither the necessary nor sufficient preconditions for intelligible experience since it is admittedly stipulated in terms of another worldview.

(Geisler, Norman L. and Chad V. Meister, eds. Reasons for Faith: Making a Case for the Christian Faith. Wheaton, IL.: Crossway Books, 2007. 242-247)


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