Van Til and starting with the self

I’m posting this here because the blogger I’m responding to has a character limit on his blog comments. The original post can be found here, and my initial comment can be found here. Here is my response.

“Yes, Van Til distinguishes between “mystery” of modernism and the “mystery” of Christianity.”

Then perhaps you should have made the separation clear in your conclusion. It didn’t seem to be clear – it seemed to be confusing “mystery in general”, and/or conflating them.

“Yes, to Van Til, the “mystery of modernism” is irrational, while the “mystery of Christianity” is rational.


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Some thoughts on the upcoming debate

In my preparations for the debate on Sunday, and in dealing with the quite providential example Paul Copan gave us last week of the importance of the subject, I felt it might be valuable to give a few impressions I’ve had along the way. My opening statement has been written for a week or so now – prior to Dr. Copan’s comments, in fact – and my first thought after reading it was this. I wouldn’t change anything I had to say. First, because Dr. Copan’s comments weren’t anything we hadn’t seen before. Second, because I’m giving a positive presentation …

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Questioning Copan

The Gospel Coalition is running a series on apologetics, and today’s entry was by Paul Copan, entitled “Questioning Presuppositionalism”. What struck me, while reading his take on the subject, was how superficial and inaccurate it was. He introduces Van Til, and then says that Gordon Clark supposedly “generally followed” his methodology, along with Bahnsen and Frame, and then called it “variegated”. Well, given that he’s simply wrong concerning Clark, and that Frame consciously departed from Van Til as well, I’d supposed that’s an assumption guaranteed to result in a certain conclusion, wouldn’t you? It is not the case that …

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We’ve Got Mail: The Glory of God and Grounding Objections

Pat Mefford writes:

Recently, I’ve been fascinated by this concept of doing things for the glory of God. It’s an interesting answer to the question, “Why does the Creator bother to create?” but glory is an extrinsic property, one that God cannot ground by himself (one needs an ontologically separate thing to properly glorify that which deserves glory). How does the Presuppositionalist account for a property that God cannot ground but yet, seems dependent on?

While the question is interesting, the assumptions inherent in the question interest me more. First is the odd idea that seems to express that God …

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Theology Determines Apologetic: Van Til

“All Protestants will agree with one another that the doctrines of Protestantism must be defended as over against Romanism. But not all agree that there is a distinctly Protestant method of defending Christianity as a whole. Some hold that Protestants should first join the Romanists in order with them to defend the doctrines that they have in common. All Christians, we are told, believe in God. All believe that God has created the world. All Christians hold that God controls the world by His providence. All believe in the deity of Christ. These and other doctrines may therefore be defended

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Van Til’s Argument Part II

In our last post, we dealt with the claims made over at The Gospel Coalition Blog that Van Til did not make an argument while setting forth his methodology. “Roberto G” made that claim, and we dealt with that sufficiently for the time being. Now, we will deal with Doug Perry’s assertion that Van Til’s “legacy” has “given us the school [of] circular reasoning held by most presuppositionalists”. His sentence is rather garbled, and none too clear, but it seems to be saying that transcendental argumentation is circular, as far as I can tell. Now, even if this isn’t precisely …

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Van Til’s Argument Part I

In the comment section of Justin Taylor’s post, we have already seen perhaps the most common claims made by opponents of the covenantal apologetic. By “Roberto G”, we have the claim that Van Til didn’t make an argument; and by Doug Perry, we have the claim that the argument is circular. To head off any claims that I misunderstand what they have to say, let me quote the two gentlemen in question on the specified topics, and then I’ll deal with their comments as a whole in later posts, as I’ve decided to make this a short series, to …

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New: FAQ section

As some of you may have noticed already, there’s a new button on our top navbar. This will take you to our new “frequently asked questions” page. We also address “common objections”, as well. As it says, we’re still working on it, so please forgive any changes you may see over the next few months. As it also says, if you’d like to submit any questions you find yourself commonly asked, or commonly ask presuppositionalists, avail yourself of the contact form. A new subject line should be added shortly 🙂…

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But you use your senses to read the Bible!

A common objection fundamentalist Atheists will sometimes make after a presuppositionalist has shown that skeptical arguments from within the Atheist’s worldview sever the senses is usually stated O: “But you use your senses to read the Bible!” Let’s take a closer look at this objection and bring some clarity to why it fails.

Worldview A: “The Atheist Worldview.”
Worldview C: “The Christian Worldview.”
Conclusion X: “The senses fall to skeptical arguments.”
Objection O: “But you use your senses to read the Bible!”

The objection usually comes about when the Christian has taken on A for the sake of argument and …

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