Archive for the Presup 101 Category

What better way

Posted in Objections to Presuppositonalism, Presup 101, Resequitur on July 12, 2010 by Justin

What better way to kick off a blog on Calvinistic Vantillian PresuppositionalismĀ  (Covenantal Apologetics) than to respond to an objector who (judging by his comment) has misunderstood it. Then again, aren’t we all learning šŸ˜‰

A.M. Mallet said

Dan, it is my opinion that presuppositional apologetics is the leaven that fuels the advancement of Calvinism’s carnal flavor. It’s premise is founded on the ability to dissuade the merits of other belief systems rather than relying on the scriptural evidences of God’s power and truth. The LORD did not instruct us to go out and argue against the merits and beliefs of other systems. He tells us instead ā€œSo shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.ā€ (Isa 55:11 AV). He tells us again ā€œFor the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.ā€ (1Co 1:18-21 AV)
I do not believe presuppositionalism has any ground in scripture. (source)

So this individual has not only made clear his distaste for Presuppositionalism, but also his distaste for Calvinism. Lets see If we can follow his line of argumentation:

Dan, it is my opinion that presuppositional apologetics is the leaven that fuels the advancement of Calvinism’s carnal flavor.

It is interesting that he begins his observation with a genetic fallacy. He doesn’t at all explain why Calvinism is “carnal”. One can only imagine what he means by it.Ā  He goes on to say :

“It’s premise is founded on the ability to dissuade the merits of other belief systems rather than relying on the scriptural evidences of God’s power and truth.”

As Christians, our presupposition should be The absolute authority of Scripture. We should not for one second be convinced to step over into supposed “neutral ground” as the unbeliever sees it. For that would be reasoning apart from scripture, and would undercut the very foundation for our apologetic, which is ultimately the Word of God. The reason we do not start with ourselves is because Scripture would not have us to. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 ESV. This fear is not one of terror only but a reverence to God. One that comes only by regeneration. It is only by the bowed knee to Jesus Christ “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)Ā  that one can know things as they truly are, and we accept them by faith in His Word. We should think God’s thoughts after Him, He is the One who knows things truly, and we do this by means of the Holy Scriptures, and by regeneration of The Holy Spirit. Since We believe God to be the Creator and SustainerĀ  of the Universe and everything under it (Acts 17:24; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16) it should follow that we would also acknowledge that all ground is God’s ground. So the common ground that we have with unbelievers is the “Imago Dei” that is, the Image of God. We should not reason neutrally, the unbeliever isn’t and we shouldn’t be. The unbeliever’s so called knowledge goes directly against the reality that God created and sustains the universe (as mentioned above). The unbeliever would have you to step into his worldview and reason autonomously. Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15 “but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;”. So when we approach an unbeliever or vice versa, we should regard in our heart of hearts Christ the Lord as holy. That is, take Him at His Word that He is God and He has spoken and reason from there as our starting ground.

So after a brief summary of the task of a Christian apologist (to clear any misconceptions)Ā  lets look again at what Mallet says :

“It’s premise is founded on the ability to dissuade the merits of other belief systems rather than relying on the scriptural evidences of God’s power and truth.”

It seems as though he is setting up some kind of false dichotomy for our position. If I understand him correctly he is positing that

a) If you go about proving other belief systems wrong,

b) it must therefore follow that you are not relying on the scriptural evidence of God’s power and Truth

Now after setting up some groundwork above about the Presup. apologist’s task, I can simply say here that the Presup. apologist is doing both. Lets look briefly at 2 Corinthians 10, as it speaks directly to Mallet’s objection:

4.For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
5.We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, ( 2 Cor 1o:4,5) ESV

The divine power that Paul is referring to is God’s truth revealed to us via the Scriptures and ultimately Christ. So through the Scriptures we know things truly as they are. What does that say about the unbeliever’s knowledge? It doesn’t say that the unbeliever can’t know anything, It says that the unbeliever can’t know anything intelligibly. Remember that we have to think our thoughts after God (via the Scriptures)Ā  as He is the only One who knows things as they truly are. We use Special Revelation (the Scriptures) to interpret General revelation (The universe, Earth, man, and nature). So we are able to destroy strongholds with this knowledge that God has revealed to us through the Scriptures. We demonstrate the unintelligibility of other worldviews (which are these demonic strongholds that flow from worldly wisdom ) by the impossibility of the contrary. As Christians we are to take every thought captive to bow the knee to Christ, the fount from whom all blessings flow including true knowledge and wisdom.Ā  So to answer Mallet, we can do both.

The LORD did not instruct us to go out and argue against the merits and beliefs of other systems.

Now after telling us this Mallet goes through a long list of Scriptures without explaining any of them to us. And as I’ve demonstrated above, The LORD did instruct us via His inspiration of the Apostle Paul to demonstrate the impossibility of other demonic strongholds and worldly presuppositions

– Resequitur