The “Self-Attestation” of Scripture (Part 1)

People (and I mean believers and unbelievers alike) are generally confused about the so-called “self-attestation” of Scripture. Let’s think about the concept of self-attestation outside of the context of Scripture.

To “attest” is to declare that something is the case. For example, “The sky appears to be blue.”

Now consider another example, “This sentence appears on a website.” The sentence declares something to be the case. But its declaration is about itself. The sentence makes the claim that it appears on a website. In this sense it is self-attesting.

Or consider one more example, “This sentence is true.” The …

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Seen Elsewhere – On Comments

A comment on this post I’d like to reply to.

Dave,
I rarely allow comments from adherents to unorthodox positions on one of my teaching posts – especially those comments with content covered by multiple entries in the FAQ, the site rules, or that have been answered elsewhere on the site. We have quite a different conception of the purpose for the comment section than most blogs do. Further, I prefer there be some apologetic benefit to engaging your comment – I saw none in that instance, as it seemed to be an assertion without argument that Reformed …

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According to Knowledge

It is often the case that personal ignorance is mistaken for Biblical mystery. It must be immediately stated that just because you haven’t learned something yet does not mean that it remains a mystery, or veiled. The term “revelation” refers to the disclosure of something formerly secret, or obscure. Often, the objector will assert that there is no fundamental difference between subjects such as women in ministry, election, or millenialism – or that the answer to any (or all) of these is simply mysterious – but this simply isn’t true. The Bible speaks with clarity on all that it speaks. …

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The FAQ Section: A Reminder

This is just a friendly reminder to new site commenters as well as visitors to our chat channel. As it says in the comment section, please make sure you have read through the FAQ section before making a comment, or asking a question in the chat channel. Obviously, we haven’t addressed every objection there is – but we do have at least a general context given there for most objections, and their general categories, which should inform our mutual discussion.

This section can be visited by clicking the “FAQ” tab up top – if there is a subject that you’d …

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“If the existence of God is so obvious, then why do we debate it?”

Atheists sometimes make the rhetorical point that if the existence of God were so obvious as many Christians hold it to be, then we would not have to hold debates about His existence. We don’t go around having debates about the existence of particular people, or certain types of animals, or various aspects of the world that are immediately present to our sensory experience, so why do we have them about something or someone who is supposed to so obviously exist? Is God just incapable of revealing Himself clearly enough that we might believe in Him the way we believe …

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Why Christians Are Stupid and Atheists Are Not

If you were to buy into atheist propaganda on the Internet you would have no choice but to conclude that Christians are some of the most ignorant, irrational, dishonest, deluded idiots on the planet. In short if you are a Christian, then you are stupid. You can substitute whatever other derogatory term you would like in the place of stupid. The point is that something is seriously wrong with the idiots who believe these nonsensical fairy tales, etc. etc. You have heard it all before. You get the point.

Of course I do not really need the atheists to tell …

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Propitiation, Wrath and Substitution

What is propitiation? That was one of the central elements of the Reformation of doctrine, and one of the most problematic issues in the modern Evangelical movement today. It has to do with many, many areas of theology, and we can’t possibly cover them exhaustively in a single blog post. But in a nutshell, what is it? In a nutshell, it is the “turning away of,” “appeasement” or “satisfaction for” the wrath of God due sinners. It is, therefore, intimately bound up to our notion of what the wrath of God actually is. It is bound up with sacrifice, atonement, …

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Islam: Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai on the Knowledge of Allah (2)

In my previous post on Islam I began to address the attempt that Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai (ASMHT) makes to argue for the necessity of his god Allah through natural theology (123). ASMHT offers a rational argument that takes the subject of knowledge as its most basic assumption and speaks of three objects of knowledge in the very first sentence of his argument for Allah which are human beings, god, and the world. In order for him to make a successful argument, ASMHT must connect the subject of knowledge with these objects of knowledge.

I asked …

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Islam: Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai on the Knowledge of Allah (1)

In Shi’ite Islam, Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai (hereafter ASMHT) attempts an argument for “The Necessity of God” through natural theology (123). There are many different understandings of what exactly natural theology is and what it actually accomplishes, but in this particular passage ASMHT attempts to prove the existence of the Muslim god Allah through a simple, straightforward natural theological proof (123). This attempt is made at the very beginning of a chapter on the knowledge of ASMHT’s god, so it is clear that the argument he presents is pre-dogmatic in nature and possesses even an apologetic function. Since …

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Perspicacity and Ignorance

If I assert that there is a black cat in the closet, and you assert that nobody knows what is in the closet, you have virtually told me that I am wrong in my hypothesis. So when I tell Mr. Black that God exists, and he responds very graciously by saying that perhaps I am right since nobody knows what is in the “Beyond,” he is virtually saying that I am wrong in my hypothesis. He is obviously thinking of such a god as could comfortably live in the realm of chance. But the God of Scripture cannot live in

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