When Possibility is Impossible: Answering a Rawlsian Ruse with Radical Retortion
In 1971 John Rawls wrote his famous A Theory of Justice in which he presented what is known as ‘The Original Position.’ The OP is a hypothetical state of affairs in which an individual operates from behind a ‘Veil of Ignorance’ in order to establish principles of justice for society apart from considerations of ethnicity, class, gender, and the like. This thought experiment stems from the radical autonomy present in Immanuel Kant’s work.
Enough about Rawls. Cornelius Van Til was a Christian apologist who likewise drew from Kant’s work, taking the transcendental method developed by Kant (and many others before …
Mr. White, Mr. Grey, and Mr. Black VII
“But how can anyone know anything about the ‘Beyond’?” asks Mr. Black.
“Well, of course,” replies Mr. Grey, “if you want absolute certainty, such as one gets in geometry, Christianity does not offer it. We offer you only ‘rational probability.’ ‘Christianity,’ as I said in effect a moment ago when I spoke of the death of Christ, ‘is founded on historical facts, which, by their very nature, cannot be demonstrated with geometric certainty. All judgments of historical particulars are at the mercy of the complexity of the time-space universe. . . . If the scientist cannot rise above rational probability
Mr. White, Mr. Grey, and Mr. Black V
These posts contain lengthy quotations from Defense of the Faith, by Cornelius Van Til – this post will deal with pages 319-323. In the previous post, Van Til dealt with the unbeliever’s state before God, his self-deception, suppression of the truth, and the proper apologetic methodology to use with the unbeliever. Beginning here, he begins to answer the charge that a covenantal apologetic is “circular reasoning”, or has no “point of contact” with the unbeliever.
The one main question to which we are addressing ourselves in this series of articles is whether Christians holding to the Reformed Faith should
Point of Contact – Possibility
Bahnsen and Bare Possibility
Historically, when David Hume and Immanuel Kant exposed the invalidity of the theistic proofs, apologists generally balked at returning to revelation as the basis for their certainty of God’s existence. They elected, rather, to maintain status in the the blinded eyes of the “worldly wise” by attempting to prove Christianity’s credibility by means of arguments that hopefully pointed toward the probability of God’s existence and Scripture’s truth. They settled for a mere presumption (plus pragmatic assurance) in favor of a few salvaged items (i.e., “fundamentals”) from the Christian system. Refusing to presuppose the sovereign God revealed in the Bible