Fred responded to my post here – https://choosinghats.org/2012/05/why-dr-jason-lisle-of-answers-in-genesis-does-not-understand-presuppositional-apologetics/
I agree that any Christian denomination (or even theological position, which is what the question was actually about, not what Lisle goes on to talk about in addressing denominations) can use the presuppositional approach, but the question, and Lisle’s response, are about whether this may be done consistently. Lisle ecumenically affirms. I strongly disagree.
I always have to chuckle at the arrogance of YRR apologists who insist their “brand” of presuppositionalism is the “only consistent” way to do apologetics. Typically, that means, one has to embrace covenant theology, and in the case of Demar and his ilk, a preterist to boot. That’s baloney. I know you like to think of yourself as the orthodox defender of pure presuppositionalism, but as a thoroughly non-CTer and one who thinks preterism is borderline heretical, I am a staunch Calvinist and a presuppositionalists who has always been consistent. I’m sure I’ll have a bunch of your commenters attempt to tell me otherwise, but oh well.
I would agree with you with regards to Arminianism. What scripture teaches on the nature of God, the nature of man, and God’s regenerating work, is foundational for how we engage the unbeliever. I know Lisle, and have spoke with him briefly about this issue. (And fact, I’ll pass along this article to him via email). Though you may think his answer is to soft, he is basically correct. This is how the prophets and apostles defended the faith. Any Christian who takes the Bible seriously as God’s revelation will see this. In fact, I’ve heard Dr. Michael Brown argue presuppositionally with hostile callers, and we all know where he stands.
“I always have to chuckle at the arrogance of YRR apologists who insist their ‘brand’ of presuppositionalism is the ‘only consistent’ way to do apologetics.”
Fred assumes that I know what “YRR” is and apparently counts me as being amongst their fold. Some of my friends can testify to the fact that I did not even know the origin of the word “YRR” until about a month ago, and I am still not knowledgeable about what it entails. From what little I do know, it seems that the term is used by some to label others they disagree with on this or that issue in order to rather mockingly dismiss anything they have to say. That is not only a rather unthinking way to engage with other Christians, it is a despicable way to do so.
Fred believes it is arrogant to trumpet a particular ‘brand’ of presuppositionalism as the ‘only consistent’ way to do apologetics. I do not know Fred, but before now my understanding would have been that he considers the text of Scripture to be clear on a whole host of theological and apologetic topics. Apparently I was mistaken. Fred takes the text of Scripture to be indeterminate with respect to apologetic method. I can find no other way to make sense of his statement. For him there can be no such thing as a biblical apologetic. Even if he backpedaled to claim that there are multiple apologetic methods consistent with Scripture he would still have to concede that there are others which are not, and the same objection he raises against “the arrogance of YRR apologists” would continue to apply to his own position.
Fred embraces presuppositional pluralism. His comment about the arrogance of those who think that methodological consistency does not and cannot apply across mutually exclusive positions is perfectly analogous to the guilt trip religious pluralists love to spring on their opponents. Let me be clear that I am not saying that Fred is a religious pluralist. I don’t even know Fred. But what I can say is that his charge of arrogance applies equally as well to anyone who adheres to a position for even allegedly exhibiting consistency over against positions which do not. In his haste to accuse others of being arrogant when they claim that there really is a link between Scripture and consistent apologetic method he has allowed postmodern piety to win the day. His dogmatic complaints thus end in self-refutation.
Fred looks to be rather ignorant of presuppositional apologetics. The supposed claim of “YRR apologists” is one that has been shared by many others throughout history. Fred’s apparent ignorance of what the older presuppositionalists said and why they said it is the very thing I expressed concern over in the post Fred is commenting on. He acts as though the “YRR” crowd is the first to make the claim that he attributes to them. Or perhaps he thinks Cornelius Van Til was YRR. Or perhaps his complaint applies to more than just “YRR apologists.” But then why inject that term into the discussion at all? Perhaps, again, to justify the overly dismissive attitude Fred takes with respect to the claims in question. He is poisoning the well.
“Typically, that means, one has to embrace covenant theology, and in the case of Demar and his ilk, a preterist to boot. That’s baloney.”
Fred’s concern is a misplaced one since I did not make either of these claims in the post he was commenting on.
“I know you like to think of yourself as the orthodox defender of pure presuppositionalism,”
Can Fred read minds? How does he know what I think about myself? Where did he get this from what I wrote in my post? Dare I say that I sense a tinge of arrogance in what Fred has to say in his comment?
“but as a thoroughly non-CTer and one who thinks preterism is borderline heretical, I am a staunch Calvinist and a presuppositionalists [sic] who has always been consistent.”
That’s nice, but who is it that Fred is arguing against? Did I ever say that those who adhere to something other than covenant theology and/or preterism cannot be consistent in using presuppositional apologetics? No. Not only did I make no such claim in the post Fred is commenting on, but to my knowledge I have never made that claim in anything I have written.
Not only that, but Fred’s statement that, “I know you like to think of yourself as the orthodox defender of pure presuppositionalism, but as a thoroughly non-CTer and one who thinks preterism is borderline heretical, I am a staunch Calvinist and a presuppositionalists [sic] who has always been consistent” assumes that Fred knows what I hold regarding covenant theology and preterism. To my knowledge, he does not. Fred is being presumptuous, and that may indicate more than the mere tinge of aforementioned arrogance. (As an aside, I do not know what Fred means by “borderline heretical” unless it is just another way of saying “orthodox,” but I could care less about Fred’s vendetta against Gary Demar and/or preterism.)
“I would agree with you with regards to Arminianism. What scripture teaches on the nature of God, the nature of man, and God’s regenerating work, is foundational for how we engage the unbeliever.”
Amazingly, Fred changes his tune mid-comment. If I listen to Fred’s complaints in the first part of his comment then I should start dismissing him as an arrogant YRR right here. But I am generally not inclined to dismiss someone’s words without argument as Fred did from the beginning of his comment. Rather, I will note again how horribly inconsistent it is for Fred to acknowledge his “chuckle” at allegedly arrogant people for doing the very thing he admits that he does a few lines later. Not only does he not actually provide any reason or argument for accepting the things that he says (sometimes contrary to what I wrote in my post), but he thoroughly undermines his own assertions.
“I know Lisle, and have spoke [sic] with him briefly about this issue. (And fact, I’ll pass along this article to him via email). Though you may think his answer is to [sic] soft, he is basically correct.”
Note, again, that Fred merely assumes and asserts the opposite of what I argued for via my previous post and links. I wrote an entire post about why Lisle is not only not “basically correct,” but fundamentally mistaken. I provided a list of links to older posts that explain why. Fred’s response is, “he is basically correct.” Ipse dixit. Is this supposed to be persuasive? I am thankful for Fred sending the post along to Dr. Lisle, and I hope that he will give it more thought than what Fred apparently has. Lisle denies what every significant representative of the presuppositional method of apologetics has historically affirmed. Even Fred stands opposed to Lisle in claiming that there is a theological link between, say, Calvinism and presuppositionalism.
“This is how the prophets and apostles defended the faith. Any Christian who takes the Bible seriously as God’s revelation will see this.”
I agree, and made that fact evident my previous post.
“In fact, I’ve heard Dr. Michael Brown argue presuppositionally with hostile callers, and we all know where he stands.”
I’ve heard the self-proclaimed Pelagian Jesse Morrell use presuppositional arguments too, but that does not mean he does so consistently. That was the point of my previous post. It was not to say that someone must be a preterist to be a presuppositionalist. If someone wants to make that argument, then so be it. That was not my argument. Rather, I was pointing out the error in Lisle’s reply to one of his readers. He divorces crucial theological and philosophical positions from apologetic methodology and ecumenically explains away the history of presuppositional apologetics through sociological considerations.
Fred seems to be an intelligent and well-meaning man, but his comment on my post appears to have stemmed more from his seeing “preterism” and having a Dispyconniption than it did from having critically thought about what I wrote.