To the extent that attempts are made in order to distinguish between the “evidentialist” and “classical” schools of apologetics, in an effort to salvage the “classical” method, these distinctions nevertheless fail to dodge the criticisms leveled at evidentialism by Van Tilian presuppositionalists. It shouldn’t strike us as very coincidental that the problem presuppositionalists have with the classical/evidentialist methods primarily concerns the presuppositions of these methods. Furthermore, that practitioners of either the classical or evidentialist methods borrow aspects from presuppositionalism (which I would argue is inevitable as long as the practitioner is at least to some extent devoted to sola scriptura…Read more
Christianity is a naturally offensive truth. Not that it offends, but it exposes the offense that is part of the human condition and dares to hold humans responsible. The sinful nature of man, such as it is, detests any effort of the person who would dare to point at that nature and speak about it for what it is. The rebellious man has knowledge of his Creator because it is in the Creator’s image that he has been created. What the Creator of everything calls “truth” involves every single minute, meticulous detail of reality as we know it. Indeed it …Read more
Back in the third century of the church, as I’m sure some of our readers are aware, there was a bishop named Athanasius – his tenacious defense of the doctrine of the Trinity, in opposition to the swiftly growing heresy of Arianism gave rise to the statement “Athanasius contra mundum” – Athanasius against the world. In a sense, this wasn’t quite true – there were other defenders of the Trinity around, but none so prolific, and none who were targeted nearly so heavily as Athanasius, who was ejected from his church five times, and was only vindicated after his death. …Read more
Another difficulty with religious language (and hence, Christianity) that non-religious people have concerns itself with “falsifiability,” or the aspect of any claim which states it must, in principle at least, be capable of subjecting to certain scientific criteria by which it can conceivably be proven false, in order to be considered meaningful. Like Verificationism, Falsificationism assumes an empiricist worldview, and so is subject immediately to some of the criticisms of Verificationism, including for instance, the seeming arbitrariness of the foundational principles undergirding it. Falsificationism was articulated as a way to circumvent the problems inherent in Verificationism. While Karl Popper …Read more
One of the many problems atheists have with Christianity involves the issue of Verificationism. They may say, “I can’t believe Christianity because it can’t be verified,” and some might include, “…scientifically.” Some may even say, “It’s not true unless it can be verified.” Greg Bahnsen has a chapter in Always Ready entitled, “The Problem of Religious Language,” wherein he deals with both Verificationism and Falsificationism. The summary of the problem is that any religious utterance cannot be considered “meaningful” unless it can be checked against real-world data. Any talk of God, for instance, must correspond to something observable in the …Read more
As we spoke about in the last post, there seems to be a strangely persistent notion that emphasizing an actual distinction between the thought of God and man is a mistake. I’d like to add that there is a similar notion, despite lip-service to the concept, that emphasizing the transcendence of God in any sense is likewise considered to be a mistake of some kind. In my experience, this often stems from the fact that men are simply uncomfortable with God being absolutely other – and as such, not to be confused with anything they would be familiar with. While …Read more
Why do we expect the future to be like the past?
“Because in the past, the future has always been like the past.”
This response begs the question. It assumes the very point to be proven. In the past the future has always been like the past, yes, but why do we expect that in the future the future will be like the past?
“We don’t know for certain that the future will be like the past.”
This response misrepresents the question. It assumes the question is asking about certainty with respect to the future. But the question …Read more
There seems to be a strangely persistent notion that the insistence on an actual distinction between the thought of God and man is a mistake of some sort. That emphasizing that “My thoughts are higher than your thoughts” is somehow a bad thing, when it comes to not only the scope of those thoughts, but the nature of those thoughts. If God is, indeed, infinite, timeless, immutable and omniscient, along with all of the rest of who and what He is, it seems to be readily apparent that there is something, well… distinct… about the very nature of God’s thinking. …Read more
Here’s a history of the exchange with atheist Pat Mefford regarding, most notably, the Liar Paradox:
Valuable points were made in the comments by David Byron and B.C. Askins. I will limit my response to addressing Pat’s most recent post http://servileconformist.typepad.com/servile-conformist/2012/12/more-thoughts-on-chris-bolt.html.
My previous reply to Pat on Titus 1.12-13a was not merely “a brief comment” but a refutation of the point Pat has most recently attempted to proffer regarding our exchange. Pat reiterates his earlier claims in his most recent post. He notes, “All we have is the text.” Of …Read more