Some people think Fristianity is a “Silver Bullet” objection to Covenantal Apologetics. Are they correct?
Peripatetic 9 – Fristianity Style Counters
27 responses to “Peripatetic 9 – Fristianity Style Counters”
RK I agree that Fristianity as a conceivable worldview isn’t possible because it isn’t actual or stipulated as actual.
But what about the other worldview postulated by Byron called the Boise Bible
In that worldview it seemed as though he was suggesting that could be actual. In other words a real prophet comes speaks a Quadrinity that is very similar to CT but has a Four Person Godhead and this prophet writes down this revelation. Also claiming this is the True God since beginning and everyone knows him.
I hope RK doesn’t mind my replying to you here, but I would say it doesn’t make a difference whether or not a worldview is stipulated as being inactual or actual. The very fact that it’s stipulated, period, speaks of the conjectural nature of the worldview. Granted, this doesn’t touch on the particular facts the worldview may entail, but it doesn’t need to.
I’m curious though, where does Byron offer this worldview?
In his early stages of Fristianity it was originally Boise Bible prophet but morphed to its current version. It is early in the Van Til List but don’t have time track it down.
There is a difference though if its actual or stipulated because if you have two worldviews that can account for Knowledge how do you decide between the two. His “where are you standing”is now answered I am standing on my Boise Bible so that critique is what he is trying to get around. So that’s why I asked how you would respond to the Boise bible. How would you respond?
If the Boise Bible worldview is stipulated upon the Christian worldview by its very nature and conception, then we cannot pretend that it is a standalone worldview and ignore the stipulation, at least not without stepping off of Christianity. If we’re standing on Christianity, there is no need to treat BB as “actual” even if it presents itself as being “actual.” This is partly why I was curious where this view comes from, because I want to see whether this is a belief people actually hold, or if it is in fact merely a hypothetical worldview stipulated upon Christian Theism, not that it would make a huge difference either way.
The difficulty of “deciding between the two” is not a difficulty Christians are faced with. I don’t think I’m way off in saying that. Holding that there are “two [contrary, or otherwise not equivalent] worldviews that account for knowledge” is not something a Christian can do, because our use of “account” carries the ideas of both “consistency” and “sufficiency.” Were I attempting to demonstrate this to the unbeliever, I’d draw out the consistencies via typical internal critique. Without letting go of my own ground. Does that make sense?
“If we’re standing on Christianity, there is no need to treat BB as “actual” even if it presents itself as being “actual.””
“Were I attempting to demonstrate this to the unbeliever, I’d draw out the (in?)consistencies via typical internal critique. Without letting go of my own ground.”
What are the internal inconsistencies of Fristianity/BB? I’ve still not seen anyone accomplish this reductio…
This may be a case of my sounding more confident in writing than I would were I to read it aloud, as I feel at this point I’ve bitten off a bit more than I can chew. But I’ll give it my best shot.
The reason I don’t consider any non-Christianity worldview to be “actual” is that I’m standing on Christianity, which entails – if it doesn’t state outright – that only Christianity is true. (I don’t think I’m mistaken in saying this, but while we don’t reason from evidence to God, neither do we reason from the apparent non-contradiction of a worldview to God.) Therefore it is the only actual, and therefore only possible, worldview. Incidentally, I don’t find “conceivable” to entail “possible.” It makes little difference whether it is either a Christian offering this worldview as merely a hypothetical or a non-Christian offering his own worldview, since it was formulated (like FSM) to mirror Christianity in particular, and so is predicated rather blatantly upon Christianity.
The inconsistencies I would attempt to draw out, now that I think about it, would have mainly to do with its origin. Since it attempts to mirror Christianity, it would be nigh impossible to draw out a contradiction from within without reference to its origin (as that would be similar to finding inconsistency within Christianity itself). I can’t recall who, but someone a while ago likened it to Islam, in that it recognizes the Christian Scriptures as vital, and yet the Quran contradicts them in places. That comparison fails at a certain point because Fristianity may not teach as a matter of doctrine that the Christian Scriptures are a source of Fristian doctrine, and so perhaps it’s not quite an internal critique. Fristianity/BB holds to a Quadrinity, while simultaneously attempting to mirror the Christian Scriptures which teach a triune God. I suppose I would have to point, once again, to the hypothetical nature of Fristianity’s conception and origin.
Not too long ago there was a conversation on the site where someone attempted to offer a mirror-type objection like this, but the only thing he changed was God’s name to “Steve.” The only appropriate response I could come up with was to tell him to stop calling God names 🙂
This may be a little more response than you were looking for. It’s a little more than I thought I would give, partly because this is really my first attempt to articulate my position on this. Hopefully this has been more helpful than not.
I know we’re both thoroughly familiar with VanTil’s method, but so as to bring this to the forefront of the discussion for all parties (and *not* to be patronizing to you), his Pr 26:4-5 “two-step apologetic method” is applied by  demonstrating the coherence of the Christian worldview in a particular instance, and  reducing a token (i.e. atheism, Islam, Mormonism, etc.) of the typical anti-Christian worldview to absurdity, often via retortion.
The Fristianity objection is calculated to consider the assertion of the Trinity as the resolution of the “one-and-many problem,” in consideration of the strong modal claim in Greg Bahnsen’s formulation of a transcendental argument (i.e. “God is the *necessary* precondition for X” where X is some moral, metaphysical or epistemic given.).
So step  with respect to Fristianity would require presenting reasons why a trinitarian worldview is coherent – with particular reference to distinguishing it from quadrinitarianism (i.e. the aforementioned reasons must be available to the trinitarian in a way which is not available to the quadrinitarian). I haven’t seen anyone do this and I can’t think of any way to do it myself (or I would just present that for consideration).
Step  would mean running a reductio on quadrinitarianism. Contrary to your assertions, it does exist (as a postulate), it can be known and is known (it’s content is historical Christian orthodoxy + a mysterious fourth member of the classical Trinity, jocularly dubbed “Fred”), and its referent is the postulate outlined above. It’s not absurd. Your reductio is merely criticizing a postulate for being a postulate – which is no criticism at all. Like Step  above, I haven’t seen anyone present a reductio and I can’t think of any way to do it myself.
Which is a significant reason why I “attenuate” my VanTilianism and have dropped Bahnsen’s strong modal claims from my apologetic. 😉
Let me see if I can clear away a bit of clutter here, particularly regarding this whole “where are you standing” issue which tends to re-emerge in this discussion.
If I present a particular argument, say an Islamic argument against the Trinity, for discussion with my fellow apologists then I am “standing on” Islam *for the sake of argument*. I’m not converting to Islam.
So also with the Fristianity objection.
Maybe you respond to my presentation of the Islamic argument by saying, “Christianity is the only possibly true worldview, that is a non-Christian argument, therefore that argument can’t possibly be true.” I could agree with you in principle, but I’ll still point out, “Bro, that’s a lame argument.”
So also with the Fristianity objection. I’m “standing on” Fristianity *for the sake of argument*.
Actual just basically means In reality not stipulated but revelation in reality being produced
Fristianity comes in many different versions. It seems to me only actual fristianity remains a question. Such as the Boise Bible, that worldview has of course never been spelled out which is a problem. RK seems to be saying without an actual revelation to critique there is nothing there. Of course that’s the sticking point since some suggest it doesn’t absolutely refute it though.
Putting some flesh on the Boise Bible it would seem to be saying something like the Quadrinity with a modern day Boise prophet. Answering most objections with CT type answers and accounting for Knowledge with CT like foundations. But just being a different God with X numbers in the Godhead
Hey Peter, sorry it took so long to reply.
I think that still brings us back to the fact that it was stipulated. We can’t stipulate something in this particular context, and then ignore the fact of its stipulation, because otherwise we’re granting it more credence than it deserves. At the moment, I don’t think I can internally critique a worldview that only exists as a thought experiment. We critique worldviews, after all, not thought experiments. To allow that such a flimsy foundation for a worldview could be valid doesn’t effectively preclude contradictory truths.
For a worldview to be true, it must also be the only possible worldview. It must argue from the impossibility of the contrary. Until Fristianity has robust attestation (or at least as robust as Christianity, which it mimics), I don’t see how it is to be regarded seriously.
All this of course, with an implicit “but I may be incorrect.”
By the by – I’m logging off for the night. No more comments are coming through today – not because I “can’t handle the truth” – but because I have other things to do in my limited time at home. Ben, I appreciate the conversation, and it did a good job of highlighting for our readers some things I don’t think I’d put in print on the site before, but that I had shared in the chat channel and the podcast we’re commenting on. I think you are wrong, obviously, but your questions let me do a rather thorough job in highlighting the issues in a great bit of detail. Thanks again.
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