These are Presuppositional apologetics links around the World wide web during May 15th-21st 2013. What other links are there that you can share with us?
Posted in apologetics methodology, Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Sye Ten Bruggencate, Van Til, tagged How to Answer the Fool, presuppositional apologetics on May 17, 2013 | 1 Comment »
(NOTE: This is a Guest post by Ben R., a young man growing in the areas of apologetics and has written for Mike Robinson’s blog, THE LORD GOD EXISTS and elsewhere. He asked if he could write a guest post for us and we asked if he could write this guest review of Sye Ten Bruggencate’s new DVD produced with Crown Rights and American Vision.)
After watching Sye TenBruggencate’s DVD How to Answer the Fool I was very pleased about how simple and straight forward he was. He didn’t use a high degree of vocabulary. He has always spoken on a simple level where everybody could understand him. That is what I enjoy the most about Sye’s way of teaching. After listening to him repeatedly from his website I’ve taught myself how to be more direct and simple with others.
His DVD covers basically everything you need to know about defending your faith properly and biblically. He points out the dangers of using evidence to put God on trial, and how we need to stick to biblical authority when dealing with unbelievers. We simply need to believe the Bible when it says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and that everybody knows God exists (Proverbs 1:7, Romans 1:18-21).
I thought Sye did a wonderful job explaining this apologetic through conversations with other people, including proclaimed Christians. Along with partly giving lecture to a class. In my personal opinion around the last 20 minutes was the best demonstration of this apologetic. Sye simply kept asking for a foundation for truth when the people couldn’t present it. Most people would try just move on without addressing the epistemology or standard of truth but Sye stayed on the issue before any further discussion and of course nothing followed. He definitely uses scripture as well for his points.
Regardless if your new to the TAG or have been using it for awhile, this DVD is a great demonstration of how to defend your faith and teaching yourself how to speak on a simple level.
Posted in biblical counseling, Brian Croft, Christianity, Church, hospital visitation, Pastor, Pastoral Ministry, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, tagged Brian Croft, Visiting sick on May 15, 2013 | 7 Comments »
So why is it important for a Christian apologist to read a book on ministering to those who are ill? As a Christian apologist, our end goal is not just to give a defense of the faith but to glorify God. And part of glorifying God is to situate apologetics in the context of evangelism. To see the good news gets shared in an winsome, intelligent and godly fashion. We want to see people hear the gospel, to know it and to know it’s true so that they can experience the realities of eternal life and forgiveness of sin. With that note, I like this book’s quotation of Richard Baxter, that “Even the stoutest sinner will hear us on their death-bed, though they scorned us before” (41). Thus an apologist should not only merely be ready to give the hope that is within him or her, but be ready to do this in various situations. It’s not enough that a young man knows how to rehearse a philosophical treatment of the problem of evil–he must be able to minister correctly with God’s Word accurately and pastorally. It’s not enough to be Biblical in apologetics methodology (Presuppositional apologetics!) but also in counseling.
This is a very practical book for pastors and non-pastors on Christian visitation ministry towards the sick. Visiting the sick and caring for those who are ill is an important function of the church and as I pastor a congregation that is fairly young, I have not had much experience with regular visitation of the sick so I got this book to get me thinking about this not so much for it’s theological foundation but the practical wisdom. This work is helpful for the laity. The book begins by letting readers know that some of the pointers will be common sense that one should already know–but he rightly points out how it’s never a bad thing to be reminded of them. Some of the things I found helpful to think about is consider praying the gospel; in the instance of a visitation that didn’t go according to plan and you are not able to see the sick, you should leave a hand written note for the individual and their family. Hand written notes will also stick more strongly in terms of impression than just talking. Makes a good point not to overstay one’s welcome during visitation especially if the patient is under extreme pain; it’s always better to err on the side of staying too short than staying too long. I appreciated Croft sharing how he brings up the Gospel and spiritual matters during his visitation. My only complaint about this book is that it was too short–the biblical and theological foundation I found lacking in the sense that it was too brief and I would love to see more practical pointers and wise principle.
Posted in Apologetics, Christianity, Genesis, historical adam, Peter Enns, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, theological method, Theology, tagged Historical adam, Peter Enns on May 13, 2013 | 4 Comments »
A post over at Justin Taylor’s blog on The Loss of Historical Adam and the Death of Exegesis has generated a lot of comments and discussion, some of it being rather tense. I also had an exchange with a guy name Hank who was going around trolling against those who believe in the historical Adam. For those who are interested, the thread of that brief exchange (thus far) can be found here, and he began commenting after he said he read my essay critical of Peter Enns’ methodology. To spare the blow by blow details, my latest response follows below. What else could you add?
3.) “I’m just saying you seem like a young amateur in biblical studies–perhaps an MDiv–but certainly not someone who has written and exposed his ideas to learned and critical scrutiny.”
Response: Let’s say I’m a young amateur. To think this is a refutation is simply to commit an ad hominem fallacy and doesn’t prove your assertion that I’m just recycling others’ criticisms, that my arguments are wrong, etc. Let’s say hypothethically you are older and more knowledgeable than I with your condescending tone towards me. As the older and knowledgeable man, I would appreciate it if you not make a false appeal to authority but teach a younger man such as myself of how one interact with others fairly and reasonably: Please LOGICALLY DEMONSTRATE how my critique was wrong rather than merely asserting it and straw-man it. Ironically this whole time you have only been making assertions, and not offer critical scrutiny and interactions. Show an amateur like me how someone in the major leagues like you behave and engage in reasonable and charitable interactions, intead of acting like a juvenile Enns’ fan boy.
Truth be told, I have been following Enns for a few years now and I don’t know what the big deal with him is since Enns problem is more philosophically basic than how to weigh ANE evidences–if you recall in the essay that you said you read, I argue that the precommitments behind his bibliology would make rational discourse unintelligible and meaningless such as the very ones you expect others to engage in. Can you resolve this dilemma of Enns’ methodological precommitments?
4.) “That is not ad hominem, but from what I see a reasonable conclusion.”
Response: You might want to brush up on logic. You are committing a logical fallacy of ad hominem since you fail to address anything substantial in our exchange but simply shift the topic to something concerning the other person.
5.) ” I do see, though, that you are versed in the rhetoric of apologists: never answer questions only ask them.”
Response: It’s flat out incorrect for you to say this since I have answered your questions. Read it again. If you disagree, can you point out which one of your questions that I have not answered ? There was a question that I asked of you for further explanation so that I can answer it which ironically, you did not answer. Just looking at our exchange I find it ironic (yet once again) that the very thing you said about me is actually true about yourself in our exchange. It is you who never answer questions or inquiry. If I can remind you of what my inquiries you leave unanswered:
(a) Can you be more specific of what it is in my post that is merely “repeating the reactions of others”?
(b) Can you (1) show something I said (2)that has been stated by someone else before (links and book citation would be nice)?
(c) I’m curious to see how Enns deal with the methodological problems driving his position. Or how you would answer for that matter.
(d)What constitute for you a “serious background” in Biblical studies?
(e) I think it’s legitimate also as well to ask whether your credentials is up to par with the standard you are putting me through concerning “SERIOUS Background” in the mentioned areas of study.
One last thing: I finally looked at other comments on here and seeing your comments to others I just wanted to point out that you have the rhethoric of an Enns’ troll.
Posted in bible difficulties, bible interpretation, Biblical Creationism, Christianity, Genesis, old testament scholarship, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Theology, William Barrick, tagged Adam, Genesis, Ol on May 13, 2013 | 14 Comments »
Central Seminary recently asked Old Testament professor Dr. William Barrick to speak for their MacDonald Lecture series on the topic of Biblical creationism and Biblical authority.
These are hot topics today during a time where people attack the subject of Biblical creation, the historicity of Adam and the hermeneutics of Genesis.
Listen to them, follow along with the PDF document, enjoy it and be equipped!
UPDATE: To have this save on your device as a podcast, click HERE.
One of the best Christian introductory work to Islam that I read and much more academically rigorous than most. For those familiar with the author James White, he is a Christian apologist who has debated and written on many issues over the past decades. Since the mid-2000s, James White started focusing a lot on Islam, beginning with his debut debate with the foremost Islamic apologist Shabir Ally in 2006 at BIOLA university. White was led to specialize in Islam largely because of his love for the persecuted Church today, many of whom live in Islamic land. The thing that stood out to me in this work is White’s familiarity with Arabic and careful interaction with the primary sources. It’s not just the Qur’an but he is able to engage in “Hadith Science.” He does all this while also balancing his work with an awareness of the need of his readers to have explained to them definitions and concepts in Islamic theology. In my estimation, the best part of the book were chapters 4, 8, 9 and 11. I have been hesitant in the past when I hear Christian apologist say that the Qur’an and the early Islamic community has a misunderstanding of the Trinity (to include Mary in place of the Holy Spirit) but James White has done a masterful job of showing from early Islamic sources that this was what they believed in chapter four of the book. In chapter eight James White shows how the Qur’an and the early Muslim community did not believe that the Bible was corrupted textually but instead they presupposes otherwise. If you only have one work on Islam in your bookshelf, I would say this would be it. I have this on my shelf with all the highlights and notes for future references.
Posted in apologetics illustrations, christian apologetics, Christianity, counterfeit currency, false teaching, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, tagged Secret Service on May 8, 2013 | 4 Comments »
Point: It has become somewhat of a cliche sermon illustration about how the United States Secret Service train their agents and the public to spot counterfeits bills by exculsively studying the details of real currencies as opposed to counterfeits ones. This illustration is often given to make the point that as believers if we only just focus on knowing the truth thoroughly this will make it unnecessary to study or be familiar with falsehood out there. While I do think it is important for Christians to know God’s truth adequately, this does not mean that there is no place for addressing specific falsehood by critically studying it and warning others about them. I’m convinced that as a pastor, one must connect the dot between God’s truth with godly application and practice since people often need the extra help of knowing what the application looks like. Similarly teaching on the area of worldview and theological discernment sometimes require identifying, alerting and refuting specific false views our culture, friends, families and opponents are espousing. It’s important to show what is true while at the same time show examples of falsehood that believers ought to watch out for since Scripture itself does this (ex: Matthew 23, 1 Timothy 4, Jude, etc). And contrary to the popular illustration, the Secret Service does give attention to the details of what counterfeit looks like (but always in light of what is real).
The following illustrates the truth that resources the Secret Service provide for banks and the public in identifying counterfeit currency at times does take into account what counterfeits looks like.
Illustration: Note this old video by the Treasury Department in conjunction with the United States Secret Service:
You will notice that there is a comparison between counterfeit bills with real ones, counterfeit money making devices with actual ones.
This was not only true then, but it’s also true today. The Secret Service devotes a portion of their website to the public education of knowing your money. If you look at the pages here, here and here, you will note images of details between real money–and counterfeit ones.
One can imagine that training for Secret Service agents who are professionals will be more indepth concerning details of real currency–and the latest developments and trends in false counterfeits.
Posted in Apologetics, biblical counseling, Christianity, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Van Til, tagged biblical counseling, Van Tillian apologetics on April 22, 2013 | 3 Comments »
The following are lists of ways apologetics in general and Presuppositional apologetics in particular has helped me in becoming a better Biblical counselor (not that I’ve arrived, but I push forward…).
1.) Apologetics in general has made me think more clearly and logically. This has helped me become more clear and nuance in how I counsel others.
2.) Apologetics in general has made me listen to others more carefully and ask questions to clarify what they mean and why they think what they think and do what they do.
3.) Apologetics in general has led me to see an additional tool in my counseling: sometimes in addressing troubling statements a counselee make, I write several of the important ones down and then assigned them to think it through what might be problematic and unbiblical with their statements. Then when we meet we see what they come up with on their own, praising God what they themselves identify while also gently pointing out things they might have missed or need further elaboration on. This exercise is often logically rigorous and I find the application of apologetics to be a helpful training for this.
4.) Presuppositional apologetics in particular has made me more conscious that people often do things because of their worldview. Hence, in counseling I’m now more conscious of identifying unbiblical presuppositions that people embrace that might be driving their problems.
5.) Presuppositional apologetics in particular has made me more conscious about the issue of authority and Van Tillian’s emphasis on Scripture reinforces the importance of using Scripture to skillfully apply it to my life and the life of others concerning our problems. It makes me resolve to study the Scripture and see it’s implication in addressing practical issues.
6.) Per point 5, Presuppositional apologetics in particular has also been helpful for me to realize that often sins and destructive behaviors that is irrational according to Christian thought would seem “rational” if its the outworking that follows from their own worldview. Hence, it’s important to see that the issue of their idolatry (the root of the problem) be addressed (be it the desire for pleasure at any cost, pride, etc), since it is driving everything.
7.) Presuppositional apologetics in particular reminds of the Nouetic effect of sin and that appealing to what is rational and reasonable is not enough if one’s will is already set. This leads me to see the importance of prayer, using the Law of God to appeal to the conscience and drawing out the Gospel so as to affect an individual’s affection.
8.) Presuppositional apologetics in particular with their emphasis on the effect of sin upon our all faculty has also humbled me greatly and guard me against self-righteousness when I counsel others. I realize I am a sinner in need of Grace: that as the counselor, I can make mistake and therefore I need to ask a lot of questions so that I know what’s really is going on rather than assume; it has also made me realize my own sin and need to apply the same medicine I’m giving; it has also made me realize that if I am wrong with how I counsel, I must also confess it to my counselee.
9.) Presuppositional apologetics made me realize that at the root of all our problems we need Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
10.) Presuppositional apologetics makes me realize that at the core of many problems, such as sexual sins, drugs, etc, it is an issue of worship. The truth of God makes me want to worship God even more for His greatness. Presuppositional apologetics and John Frame’s Perspectivalism makes me worship God to see the beauty of God’s truth as a coherent whole, complementing and having implications for other spheres. The inter-relationship of apologetics and Biblical counseling is beautiful. We need to have doxological apologetics.
Posted in Christianity, Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Sye Ten Bruggencate, Van Til, tagged American Vision, presuppositional apologetics, Van Tillian apologetics on April 13, 2013 | 4 Comments »
There’s much internet buzz with Sye Ten Bruggencate with anew DVD coming out recording him going out to college campuses applying Presuppositional apologetics. Sye has definitely been immersed with much materials from Greg Bahnsen and Cornelius Van Til. I’m looking forward to seeing it. I am thankful for what God is doing through Sye. We need to keep praying for our apologists, those involved with the work in academia and those who take it to the streets and applying it.
Here’s a lecture he gave for a conference in which he teaches on Presuppositional apologetics: