Fred on Jason Lisle and Theology Determining Apologetic Method

Fred responded to my post here – https://choosinghats.org/2012/05/why-dr-jason-lisle-of-answers-in-genesis-does-not-understand-presuppositional-apologetics/

Chris writes,
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.


7 Comments

Fred

Wow. I’m impressed. You must not have anything going on there this afternoon that you can turn around such a long, withering complaint against me, complete with [sic]s, as well.

You write,
That is not only a rather unthinking way to engage with other Christians, it is a despicable way to do so.

Oh come on Chris, grow a spine, or a thicker skin or something. I’m not attacking you here.

You critiqued Lisle and claimed he is essentially ignorant of presuppositionalism and doesn’t understand it at all, and shouldn’t really be instructing anyone about it. I happen to have read his books, have heard him talk on numerous occasions, and know the guy personally, so you’re wrong with your conclusions. He does know a lot about presuppositional apologetics as does myself. I don’t know how I can go about “proving” that to you, unless of course I totally embrace your theological constructs, I guess.

At any rate, from the general tone of this blog (which I have benefited from, btw), I get the picture that you all seem to operate under this notion – albeit a mistaken one – that a person cannot “practice presuppositional methodology” consistently unless one’s particular theological ducks are in a row. K. Scott Oliphant’s silly idea of renaming “presuppositional” apologetics as “Reformed” apologetics, gets bantered about here.

Lisle was just telling his reader that it isn’t true that a non-Calvinist can not utilize presuppositionalism, which I happen to agree with him in general. In other words, the Covenant Reformed folks do not control the market on presuppositionalism.

As for myself, I graduated from TMS, I attend Grace Church where John MacArthur is pastor. I work at Grace to You, his radio ministry, where Phil Johnson of http://www.teampyro.blogspot.com is my boss, so to speak. I’ve even had dinner with James White a handful of times. So I hope you understand I ain’t some shoot from the hip, drive by troll. I’m just offering you a different, though challenging, perspective.

C.L. Bolt

My pointing out your implication that I am an arrogant YRR as well as the difficulties with that approach at the general level should not be confused with my feelings getting hurt. They aren’t, and even if they were, it would not be relevant to what I had to say. Nowhere in my post did I claim that Lisle, “doesn’t understand [presuppositionalism] at all, and shouldn’t really be instructing anyone about it.” I am happy for the work that he is doing. My apologies for not making that more clear. However, I am also concerned about where he sharply departs from the method as traditionally construed. For example, you have expressed your agreement with Lisle concerning an Arminian being able to use presuppositionalism. I agree. I have said as much in the past on this site. But the Arminian cannot do so consistently. I explain why in one of the first links I provide in the post in question. Your comment merely gainsaid what I wrote, and hence was not overly helpful. It also contained some inconsistencies as pointed out above, but I definitely do not just consider you a drive by troll.

RazorsKiss

Wow. I’m impressed. You must not have anything going on there this afternoon that you can turn around such a long, withering complaint against me, complete with [sic]s, as well.

When Chris has time, he is fairly thorough, yes. I’m puzzled at the response, however. Was there something in the post which you feel was inaccurate? I don’t see any answer to any of the actual points he raises, in the following text, so I’m confused as to the intent of this reply, as for myself – it was intended to *reply*, was it not?

You write,

That is not only a rather unthinking way to engage with other Christians, it is a despicable way to do so.

Oh come on Chris, grow a spine, or a thicker skin or something. I’m not attacking you here.

Well, engaging in well-poisoning without the benefit of knowing the person personally (which seems to be the appeal being made later, with regard to who you know, et al) is, quite frankly, rather despicable as a form of address, given your lack of personal interaction with Chris. I rather doubt that you know Chris well enough to have any notion of whether he is “YRR” – or that you have any way of so knowing. Since this statement was in reference to your characterization of him as “YRR” – which, quite honestly, is ridiculous, I might add – I think it’s rather germane. You were the one who dropped by, made your comments, and had them responded to – and has made everything about “knowing” and “who you know”. Amazingly, you are then making all sorts of comments about someone you don’t know at all. Go figure. If you don’t like being told that your comments were 1) Inaccurate 2) Ignorant 3) Inconsistent with Christian charity, then I would suggest you find somewhere more tolerant of fallacious reasoning – because this is not that place.

It is not Chris’ responsibility to “grow thicker skin” because you chose to be needlessly and carelessly derogatory in your assessment. Unlike Chris, I’m well aware of what “YRR” is considered to be in the movement you belong to, so I know that it was intentionally inflammatory. First, Chris is a PhD candidate at SBTS – he’s not a “young rabble-rouser” of any sort. Second, he has an MDiv (from SBTS) and a BA in Philosophy, as well. He’s hardly “restless,” either, as he has been engaged in serious study, of serious subjects, at a serious school – while doing the work you see here at this blog – which is most definitely Reformed. I’ll give you the last R. Name-calling is hardly something I would welcome in regard to my friend Chris, nor is it something I intend to tolerate from fellow Christians. So, if you’d like to say it nicely, feel free – but say it nicely – and drop the passive-aggressive “nuance.” We’re not Jamin, not DeMar, and we’re not Mark Driscoll, either. Whatever issues you have with any of the above, check them at the door. Pugnaciousness might be welcome in some contexts, but dropping in making inflammatory statements while making practically no argument whatsoever is hardly one of those contexts.

You critiqued Lisle and claimed he is essentially ignorant of presuppositionalism and doesn’t understand it at all, and shouldn’t really be instructing anyone about it. I happen to have read his books, have heard him talk on numerous occasions, and know the guy personally, so you’re wrong with your conclusions. He does know a lot about presuppositional apologetics as does myself. I don’t know how I can go about “proving” that to you, unless of course I totally embrace your theological constructs, I guess.

As it has been one of the central thrusts of this blog from its inception – and that of all of the contributors here – yes, we do believe that the “popular level” of presup is sadly misinformed about what presup is – because it doesn’t read enough systematic theology. The level of understanding possessed by the church at large is even lower than that. This is not a direct critique of you – although I have read some of your material, incidentally – but of the popular conception of those who profess to be presuppositionalists, of which Lisle is an excellent example. The problem is not just dispensationalism – although this is a contributing factor – but of the lack of direct theological application of the method. This is applicable in both methodology as well as argumentation and even theory. There is a lack of direct theological application because the typical conception of the method (even by its popular proponents) is that it only deals with a narrow field of inquiry. This is directly contrary to that which Van Til developed, or that which we see prior to him in historical theology. I have a horde of posts on the topic, so feel free to browse.

At any rate, from the general tone of this blog (which I have benefited from, btw), I get the picture that you all seem to operate under this notion – albeit a mistaken one – that a person cannot “practice presuppositional methodology” consistently unless one’s particular theological ducks are in a row. K. Scott Oliphant’s silly idea of renaming “presuppositional” apologetics as “Reformed” apologetics, gets bantered about here.

This is indeed the case, that “theology determines apologetic methodology” – as Dr. White says often. If we fundamentally disagree on how the Bible must be read; which, as Covenantal and Dispensational theologians, respectively, we must; then it becomes clear that there are very clear differences in our apologetic. Whether we agree (in a general fashion) on soteriology is only a slice of the overall pie. I, for instance, am a confessionalist like James White – I subscribe to the 1689, and attend a church which does, as well. I’m hardly restless, I’m by no means as young as I’m used to be, with my 6 children. So, frankly, I’m hardly “YRR” material – and neither is Chris. We do, however, have a long-developed position that is seemingly being dismissed with no argumentation, by someone who claims to hold to the method we do – and doesn’t seem to be interested in using it to prove his point in this case. That your theology is very, very relevant to your apologetic. The more wrong you are, the less able you are to even attempt consistency. Are you presuppositional? Then argue as if you are – by 1) Making an argument at all and 2) By arguing presuppositionally. Otherwise, you’re doing nothing but proving our point.

Secondly, it’s “Covenantal Apologetics” that Oliphint calls it – Van Til was who called it “Reformed Apologetics” – are you going to call his idea silly? General ignorance like this is why it’s difficult to take these claims of expertise in presuppositional apologetics seriously, if you must know. With claims like these, it starts to make us wonder whether you *do* read this blog, or have any particular knowledge of what Oliphint is actually saying, why he’s saying it, and what Van Til said before him, when in the same apologetic chair Oliphint currently occupies (quite adequately, I might add). I will further note that Van Til didn’t like the nomenclature of “presuppositionalism” – and there are reasons for this; as well as for Oliphint’s dislike of the term, and for our use of Covenantal apologetics in much of our own material. You will notice that I use them interchangeably – instead of knee-jerking, it might be helpful to do a bit more research into the subjects you’re holding forth on.

Lisle was just telling his reader that it isn’t true that a non-Calvinist can not utilize presuppositionalism, which I happen to agree with him in general. In other words, the Covenant Reformed folks do not control the market on presuppositionalism.

Lisle was wrong. Chris argued for why he was wrong, and you had nothing substantive to argue in reply to that. If you want to be considered to have given a response, then make an argument, instead of a series of assertions. He had an argument – attend to it, please.

As for myself, I graduated from TMS, I attend Grace Church where John MacArthur is pastor. I work at Grace to You, his radio ministry, where Phil Johnson of http://www.teampyro.blogspot.com is my boss, so to speak. I’ve even had dinner with James White a handful of times. So I hope you understand I ain’t some shoot from the hip, drive by troll. I’m just offering you a different, though challenging, perspective.

Great, I go to church and blog. While it might be personally satisfying to consider a list of one’s own “connections” to supposedly “prove” one’s knowledge of presuppositional apologetics – I don’t find any of the above relevant to the point in question – do you know what you’re talking about? If you can’t identify “Reformed Apologetics” as a Van Tillian term, or “Covenantal Apologetics” as Oliphint’s, it might be the case that you don’t. As those are one of very few substantive comments you’ve offered in reply to Chris’ systematic response to your initial comment (which was similarly unrelated to the subject, although quite auto/biographical) – and wrong, to boot, forgive me if I fail to see the relevance of the name-dropping.

Interestingly, while you say you “agree with regards to Arminianism” – you then proceed to tell us that you don’t agree regarding Arminianism, when you assert that Brown argued presuppositionally. As has already been related – while you keep using that word – I do not think it means what you think it means.

In any case, Fred – I’m well aware of who you are, incidentally, but thanks for making sure we know how well-connected you happen to be – whether or not you know a bunch of really important/famous people matters not a whit when it comes to what 1) Presup is 2) What you have argued in response to the original post and/or this reply post of Chris’ 3) Whether you are cognizant of the literature which teaches how to DO presup. You comments thus far have been WILDLY irrelevant, and thus, to quote Bahnsen, you are in danger of “making yourself ignorable”. Do you want to be taken seriously, Fred? Make an argument, and stop telling us who you know. I know people too. Whoopty doo. It doesn’t matter. Make an argument for your position, and against ours – make sure you can properly represent it, incidentally – and you’ll have something worth responding to in more detail. As it stands, you’ve effectively told us that we’re wrong, Oliphint does silly stuff, some (allegedly) crazy people do X, other people (who are cool cats) do Y, and you know (Z times #) .

Oh, and get a new schtick. YRR was out months ago. Call us Covenanters or something, and write a post about the dangers of Scottish invasion, theonomic tyranny, and how it’s imminent if those Covenantalists don’t change their ways. It’ll go over about as well, be about as accurate, and be just as sensationalistic. It’ll also poison the well. But then again maybe you could actually, you know, make an argument. That would be a breath of fresh air.

Fred

Golly. You boys are giving me the butt whuppin’ of a life time.

Just so I am clear: I dropped names because Chris opined in his post that he didn’t know who I was. I am just giving you a bit of background as to who I am and where I come from. The names are affiliations I have that I would think you would recognize. There was no intention on padding a resume here.

Do you want to be taken seriously, Fred? Make an argument, and stop telling us who you know. I know people too.

Let me boil it down to specifics:

Chris’s original post was titled “Why Dr. Jason Lisle of AIG (he’s no longer with them, btw) does not understand presuppositional apologetics.” Okay. That’s a rather bold claim. When I read the entirety of Dr. Lisle’s original response to that reader, however, it seems rather clear he does. Moreover, I happen to know the guy a bit, have heard him speak, read his books (something Chris admits he didn’t). I came away from those encounters certain the guy understands presuppositionalism. Yet Chris is insistent he doesn’t.

Chris then nit-picks between the word “denominations” and “theological positions.” Because Dr. Lisle spoke of “denominations” he’s to be faulted for not offering a clearer answer, or at least an answer to Chris’s liking. But denominations often reflect theological positions, so I see no problem with this distinction. For instance, I don’t know any Presbyterian Arminians. Maybe there are some, but I’ve missed them.

Chris then complains about the use of “non-heretical.” We can flesh out all the particulars as to what defines heresy, but to give the basics, I don’t count Sovereign Grace folks as “heretical.” Maybe mushy in some areas, and I certainly don’t care for their charismaticism; but heretical? I could say similar things about Missionary Baptists and Free-will Baptists for that matter.

Chris continues his pillorying of Dr. Lisle by saying he is ignoring the reader’s question about theologies rather than denominations. He keeps repeating “Calvinism, preterism, and dispensationalism” as if these words are either related or antithetical, or something. But again, Lisle’s use of “denominations” is apt in this discussion because the men he mentions, Bahnsen and Van til were OPC, and as far as I know most OPC are Calvinists, preterists (or at least Bahnsen was) and none are Dispensational.

I can only conclude by Chris’s repetition of these three terms that he thinks there IS some philosophical connection between them. IOW, if one isn’t a Calvinist, or a preterist, and heaven forbid, a Dispensationalist, that person cannot be a pure presuppositionalist. I draw that conclusion because Chris goes on to say if presuppositional apologetics are divorced from these theological considerations it ceases to be presuppositional apologetics. AND THEN GET THIS. He says it isn’t necessarily the best solution to go to scripture to resolve “this difficult.” Instead, we need to consider what all these historical theologians said about it in the past, many of which weren’t even presuppositionalists. William Lane Craig couldn’t have said it better.

And after Chris makes all these stunning pronouncements against the sophistry of Jason Lisle and AiG, he concludes that it all flies in the face of true, biblical, presuppositional covenantal apologetics. And then admits to NOT EVEN HAVE READ LISLE BOOK! What the heck?!

So spend the afternoon writing up a detailed post as to why a Calvinistic Dispensational oriented guy like me can’t really use presuppositionalism. You may want to throw in there many NCT guys I know. Explain to me why the covenant of works and grace are even relevant to using TAG in an argument with an atheist. Do I have to be a confessional keeping Baptist or Paedobaptist in order to really, really practice presuppositionalism? What about being a strict Sabbatarian? I’ll check back tomorrow morning.

C.L. Bolt

The title is intentionally provocative, and the post explains what I mean when I say that Dr. Lisle does not understand presuppositionalism. He divorces it from theology. That’s a big no-no in presuppositionalism. The most significant representatives of presuppositionalism agree(d) with me on that. Everyone else I have spoken with from the TMS community agrees with me on that. It is not specifically a YRR claim, and it is nothing new in terms of presuppositionalism. So you are out on a limb here.

The initial question to Dr. Lisle was, “Do you think there is a theological or philosophical link between Presuppositionalism, Calvinism, and Preterism?” The reason I complained that Lisle went off and spoke of denominations instead of theological positions is because the reader was not asking about denominations, he was asking about theological positions. There is not really any other way for me to make my point here than to reiterate what I already emphatically stated. The reason I kept repeating the terms I did was because the reader did so. That was what the question was about, it is black and white, and there is no getting around it. If you want to continue to claim that talking about denominations is sufficient to answer a question about specific theological positions then so be it, but the reader very specifically asked about particular theological positions in his question and even followed with, “Do they have to be all part of the same ‘package’ to be consistent? Or you think they can be separated and still be consistent within each one?” But if you insist that Lisle is saying something like, “Methodists can be consistent presuppositionalists” then we can move the argument over there. Just realize that the reason I would say Methodists cannot be consistent presuppositionalists is because Methodists are generally Arminian. So we are back to talking about theological positions. Why not just be up front about it? The reader was.

I don’t know what the relevance of Sovereign Grace is. Remember that I wrote, “I do not find it at all encouraging that Lisle considers Arminian theology either ‘legitimate’ or ‘non-heretical.’ Now, granted, there is a lot to be discussed concerning the term “heresy,” there are plenty who would apply it to true Arminianism. But even setting that aside, to claim that Arminianism is a “legitimate” theology is a sure error. Yet Lisle saddles himself with such a claim. He does so, again, for ecumenical reasons.

You misrepresent what I stated when you claim that presuppositionalism divorced from Calvinism, preterism, and Dispensationalism ceases to be presuppositionalism. Am I really so unclear that you do not understand what I am saying? My claim throughout this entire ordeal has been the very simple one repeated over and over again in the initial post, in the links I placed within that post, in the subsequent post addressing you, and in the presuppositional literature. It is the very same claim that is made by the Apostles, by Van Til, Bahnsen, WTS, TMS, James White, etc. The claim is that theology determines apologetic. And indeed, what I actually wrote was, “When presuppositional apologetics are divorced from theological considerations they fail to be presuppositional apologetics.” This is nothing new. This is nothing shocking. Unless you’re just totally ignorant of presuppositionalism, but you claim that you are not. So I am baffled by your continued attempt to defend what Lisle clearly has gotten wrong.

Frankly, Fred, as I look over the remainder of your comment I am making a decision to just cut off my response here. I have already mentioned that you are way out on a limb. You are also not listening. You keep introducing irrelevancies. You’ve implied that I’m an arrogant YRR apologist, you compare me to WLC, you say that I am making “stunning pronouncements against the sophistry of Jason Lisle and AiG,” you ask me to explain why a Calvinist Dispensationalist cannot use presuppositionalism, you yammer on and on about “covenant theology,” something I have never said a word about either in these posts or in the 700+ other posts on this site. None of these claims is relevant to the point I was making. You seem to see what you want to see, and I don’t have time to sift through the irrelevancies or spell everything out again right now. Maybe that is my fault for posting while I am busy elsewhere. I don’t mean to be rude, but I have better things to do. You may want to reread what I wrote in my posts. Perhaps your judgment is clouded by your relationship with Dr. Lisle. I don’t know. I assure you that I don’t mean ill against him, or you, for that matter. I am just pointing out that he is terribly mistaken on this point, and I have met very, very few presuppositionalists from any theological camp who are in disagreement with me.

Theological considerations cannot be divorced from presuppositionalism. The particular theological positions necessary to presuppositionalism is another matter, but Arminianism is neither necessary nor consistent with presuppositionalism, as shown in the link I provide in the original post.

I can’t get any more clear than that. Hope this helps. Enjoy your day. Look forward to your input in the future.

Fred

Chris writes,
The initial question to Dr. Lisle was, “Do you think there is a theological or philosophical link between Presuppositionalism, Calvinism, and Preterism?” …. The claim is that theology determines apologetic. And indeed, what I actually wrote was, “When presuppositional apologetics are divorced from theological considerations they fail to be presuppositional apologetics.”

I would agree with you that theology determines apologetics, so I am hardly out on a limb. I would even say Dr. Lisle would agree too, and perhaps he needs to tighten that response up a bit, but my complaint with you is that you way overreach with your criticism by lumping presuppositionalism with Covenant Theology and preterism. One does not have to be a preterist, or a confessional keeping Covenant Theologian, or even a full-five point Calvinist in order to utilize the methodology of presuppositionalism. You say I’m yammer on and on about Covenant Theology, but you certainly imply a necessary connection when you write about true, biblical, presuppositional covenantal apologetics. Am I reading too much into the word “covenantal?”

You can have the last word and I’ll bow out.

C.L. Bolt

Either you have a terrible struggle with reading comprehension, or we are talking past one another, probably owing to my lack of clarity. I am going to go with the latter.

Theology determines apologetic. Excellent.

You are reading too much into “covenantal” as I am using that term, yes.

Thanks again for the exchange.


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