An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 29 – Problem of induction.

By C.L. Bolt

By induction we refer to singular and general predictive inferences. When humans think, they do not limit themselves to thinking only about what is immediately apparent to them. In fact, we often go beyond what is currently present to our senses, memories, and reasoning and make inferences; we infer things from what we have experienced in the past or are currently experiencing. For example, if we ate bread on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and found that it nourished us, then we would at least expect that bread will nourish us on Thursday as well. We may …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 28 – Unity and diversity.

By C.L. Bolt

The Bible teaches the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity very briefly stated is that there is one God who is three persons and each person is fully God. Although the Bible never uses the term “Trinity” each of the parts of the doctrine are clearly set down for us in Scripture and have been summed up as already mentioned with the label “Trinity” being applied to them. God is ultimately one (there is one God). God is ultimately three (God is three persons). Neither the one-ness nor the three-ness of God is ontologically …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 27 – Logic and the external world.

By C.L. Bolt

We have discussed a number of skeptical arguments illustrating the impossibility of the contrary. One of the more popular arguments for the impossibility of the contrary in presuppositional apologetics is based upon concerns in the philosophy of logic. Traditionally the topic of logic comes up almost immediately, often because the Christian finds it particularly rhetorically powerful to ask the non-Christian difficult questions about a perhaps mysterious topic that calls into question the very foundation of the non-Christian’s entire thought and presentation. However, the philosophy of logic is a difficult area and its discussions can become complex quickly …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 26 – Omniscience and unrelated objects.

By C.L. Bolt

There appears to be no universal consent on any fact of existence. Facts do not speak for themselves but they must be interpreted. If this were not the case then everyone would agree, but we have noted already that they do not.

Individuals have made mistakes before concerning the interpretation of facts. Why not again? How does someone know that she is not making a mistake even now? There are things that people feel extremely certain of, then a new fact comes along and overturns everything that is believed so strongly. What is to guarantee that there …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 25 – Subject dissolved.

By C.L. Bolt

We have spent a fair amount of time and space concerning ourselves with the subject of knowledge. We have shown that the subject cannot really be labeled the subject of knowledge at all when the Christian worldview is rejected and we attempt to erect an epistemology starting with the self. We mentioned that the problem of skepticism might be construed in terms of the problem of connection, and this is no less true with respect to the subject as we have already seen. However, we have not considered that this problem will go so deep as to …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 24 – Memory, senses, reason, and beliefs.

By C.L. Bolt

Earlier we only very briefly alluded to the question of why we should take our senses to be reliable if they are merely the product of matter in motion through time. It is sometimes argued that we know our memory, senses, and reason are reliable for producing mostly true beliefs about the world since we are survivors in the evolutionary scheme. This explanation assumes that our beliefs affect our behavior in some way. A popular and perhaps common sense view of the relationship between beliefs and behavior is that beliefs affect our behavior by their presence and …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 23 – Subject determined or free.

By C.L. Bolt

Causality and freedom create problems for the subject as well. Suppose we hold that all physical changes are to be explained through physical causes and that we as humans are purely physical. Whenever a physical change takes place it does so due to prior physical causes operating in accordance with the laws of physics. Any physical changes made with respect to our bodies are no exception to this rule including changes described in terms of mental states. Our mental states and our actions are bound to the physical causal chain so that freedom has no place in …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 22 – Severing the senses.

By C.L. Bolt

The senses are often thought of as a way to escape the self. Perhaps the subject can transcend the self in some sense through sense experience. Unfortunately, all that one has through such experience is experience itself which is internal and says little if anything about the external world. Of course we would like to think that our senses are a reliable guide to the truth about the external world, but we might call this into question.

We all know how fallible the senses are. They are easily affected by emotions, health, alcohol, distance, etc. The …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 21 – Conceptual map and the external world.

By C.L. Bolt

In part 20 we learned that there is a disconnect between the subject and object or at any rate that there is no reason for the subject to think that there exists any connection at all between self and the objects of knowledge. The external world, in other words, cannot even be known when we begin an epistemology with ourselves.

We are assuming here for the sake of argument that the subject has decided to start with self in attempting to think about and know the world. We are assuming as well that the subject has gathered …

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An Informal Introduction to Covenantal Apologetics: Part 20 – Skepticism as a problem of connection.

By C.L. Bolt

One way to think of skepticism is as a problem of connection. There are assumptions all throughout our thinking that some things are related to others. What is meant by this will become more clear as we move on, but for now we can think of three main “points” being connected to one another in the Christian worldview. God is one point and can be thought of at the top of a triangle. The subject of knowledge is the bottom left hand point of the triangle. The subjects of knowledge are the knowers; they are …

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