Archive for November, 2010

The Nature of Facts

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 by Justin

Upon seeing objections  by unbelievers employed against the Christian faith, I found it necessary to get into the topic of “The Nature of a Fact”.

There are many different interpretations of what exactly constitutes a fact, especially in a post modern era which tells us that it is truly wise to be skeptical of everything, until it is proven by testable, repeatable observations.  There are a few problems with this interpretation of what constitutes a fact, namely that, according to this worldview:

1) We don’t know everything. What basis do we have to  experiment if we don’t even *know* the nature of reality? We have to assume that we do at the very start.

2) We have already admitted we don’t know anything. If we take this position to its logical end, we are to be skeptical of everything until further experimentation. This means we cannot be certain that the tools we are using for experimentation are going to lead us to the right conclusion,  we have to be skeptical of them, and forget trying to conduct mini-experiments to prove their effectiveness, because we have to be certain that the basis on which were predicate corresponds with reality!

So in and of itself, this interpretation of the nature of facts, falls flat upon its face, you are left with nothing but more skepticism. Unless you first assume everything is right in the first place, and the problem with this is, that you need justification for it.

The Christian however need not worry about this situation. We know the very nature of the universe, most of all the nature being that it is created. We know this via the Triune God of the bible, who reveals these things to us in the scriptures and in Christ. He even goes on to reveal to us that it is creation is for His glory!

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalms 19:1)

and

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

God has pre-interpreted all of the facts of the universe by ordaining whatsoever comes to pass, to the end of Glorifying Himself, in Christ Jesus, and for the good of the elect.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:11-12)

So it is in this context that we understand the facts. As Theologian, Pastor, and apologist Cornelius Van Til is known for saying “There are no such thing as brute facts”.

This leaves no room for neutrality. The non-christian would like for the Christian to be neutral in his apologetic, but it would be morally wrong to reason as such. For we are called to

regard Christ the Lord as holy, in your hearts, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; (1 Peter 3:15)

As Christians we are reason with unbelievers knowing that Jesus Christ is the God who ordained everything to point to His glory, and we are to interpret the world as such.