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Archive for the ‘presuppositionalism’ Category

Psalm2-TH1

The incredible blogger Jeff Downs has shared with us several weeks ago of a resource regarding a Biblical Worldview.  Reverend Christian McShaffrey of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) has preached a series titled “A Psalm 2 Worldview.”

The description of this series is given below:

A “worldview” is a philosophy of life which determines how a person sees the world. Everyone has a worldview, but most people simply “catch” their worldview and assume that it is correct.

As Christians, we simply cannot afford to be thoughtless when it comes to understanding the world around us and interpreting the events which occur in it. Rather, we need to allow the light of scripture to illuminate and interpret reality. It is only in this that we will find hope and peace in this world.

Pastor McShaffrey presented the basic principles of a Christian Worldview by explaining and applying Psalm Two during the Fall of 2013.

Here are the audios:

10/20/13  –  The Raging of the Heathen (Psalm 2:1-3)

10/27/13  –  The Disposition of God (Psalm 2:4-6)

11/03/13  –  The Inheritance of Christ (Psalm 2:7-9)

11/10/13  –  The Invitation to Nations (Psalm 2:10-12a)

11/17/13  –  The Blessedness of Christians (Psalm 2:12b)  

Enjoy!

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Here are some links on Presuppositional apologetics gathered between July 15th-21st, 2014!

1.) Biblical Apologetics: Practical and Workable

2.) Book Recommendation: Inerrancy and Worldview by Vern Poythress

3.) Atheist Peter Boghossian Loathes Christians: “Reprogram Them!”

4.) Proving God’s Existence: Would You Believe If He Showed Up at Your Door?

5.) 

6.) Is the mind an emergent property of the physical brain?

7.) Last installment of Presuppositional apologetics’ links

 

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Here are links on Presuppositional apologetics gathered from July 8th-14th, 2014.

1.) Clearing the Presuppositional Malaise

2.) Theological Memeology: Don’t Push ‘Religion’ on Me!

3.) VAN TIL CIRCLES AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

4.) The Biblical Basis for Presuppositional Apologetics

5.) Biblical Apologetics: Exegetical and Theological

6.) Militant Atheist Peter Boghossian Wants to Reprogram Christians into Atheists: Reeducation Camps is His Solution to Religion

7.) Book Recommendation: What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson

Last Week’s: Early July 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics Round Up

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James White

Found this on Youtube of Dr. James White’s Dividing Line on the topic of apologetics’ methodology.  Specifically Dr. White advances Reformed apologetics, also known as Presuppositional apologetics versus non-Presuppositional apologetics methodology.

It is three hours long:

Dr. White’s presentation is trying to show how theology matters–even in apologetics.  I appreciate his look at one of William Lane Craig’s debate and contrast that of Greg Bahnsen vs. Stein debate.

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GO TO PART 23

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Point:  Practitioners of Presuppositional apologetics will no doubt notice that an atheist’s argument often ends up destroying so many other necessary things in life and rationality in their attempt to dismiss the existence of God.  This needs to be pointed out and yet in past experience, the significance of this is missed.  The following analogy might help to get the point across of what is happening.  It’s like someone trying to burn down their house–to kill something that is supposedly minor, like a spider.

Picture: On the news there is this story:

A Kansas woman was arrested after police said she went to extremes trying to kill a spider.

Ginny M. Griffith, 34, told officers in Hutchinson she set a pile of towels on fire at about 1:30 a.m. Friday in hopes of catching the spider and burning it to death, the Hutchinson News reported.

While it’s not clear if she ever caught the arachnid, the fire department did have to intervene.

Crews managed to put out the blaze without injury. The building suffered only light smoke damage.

Griffith, however, has been charged with aggravated arson. The other side of the duplex she lives in was occupied at the time, police said.

POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

CHRISTIAN: Have you realized that in the last hour of our conversation, your atheism posed more problem than it solved?

OPPONENT: How?

CHRISTIAN: You ended up advocating self-refuting positions: laws of logic without law-like attributes, truth is all relative, ethical subjectivism while saying Christianity is morally wrong, etc.  That’s a problem.

OPPONENT: But I don’t see why that’s problematic.

CHRISTIAN: I’ve explained throughout our conversation how it destroys your foundation for life and even for this very debate!  I suppose an analogy might be appropriate.  There’s this story I heard the other day…<Insert analogy>.

OPPONENT: That’s funny.

CHRISTIAN: Certainly she has problem with the spider.  But do you think in the end she has created more problem than she solved in trying to get rid of the Spider?

OPPONENT: Of course!

CHRISTIAN: That’s the same thing you are doing!

 

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Here are links on the subject of Presuppositional apologetics gathered from the World Wide Web between July 1st-7th, 2014.  Which ones did you enjoyed?

1.) Mars Hill: A case for friendship evangelism or antithesis?

2.) Word Faith worldview: An Inexhaustive Internal Critique

3.) Theological Memeology: Infinite Punishment for Finite Crimes

4.) Keep A Record Of God’s Providence In Your Life

5.) The motivation of Frame

6.) Life is but a dream–Great point about the paradox of atheistic materialism being similiar to Idealism and a fading dream!

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Reformation Montana 2014

There’s a conference that sounds very interesting: Reformation Montana.  It was earlier in Mid-June.  The audio recordings of the conference is now available online and they have a good line up of speakers!

Click on the sessions below to hear audio from each speaker.

 Thursday
 
2:00-2:50              Chris Rosebrough 
3:00-350               Justin Peters
4:15-5:00              Sye Ten Bruggencate
6:45-7:45              Justin Peters
8:10-9:00              Chris Rosebrough   

Friday
 
9:00-10:50            Voddie Baucham  
1015-1045            Q&A with Sye Ten Bruggencate
11:00-12:00           Phil Johnson  
2:00-2:50              Voddie Baucham   
3:15-3:50              Q&A with Chris Rosebrough
4:15-5:15              Phil Johnson     
7:00-7:50              Voddie Baucham  
8:10-8:45              Panel Discussion (with all Speakers)  

Saturday

9:00-10:00           Phil Johnson 
10:15-11:15           JD Hall   
1130-12:30           Voddie Baucham  

(SOURCE)

 

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camden buceyIf you listen to Reformed Forum Podcast you will be familiar with the name Camden Bucey who is the President of Reformed Forum and currently a Pastor at Hope OPC.  He also has an Master of Divinity and a doctorate in Systematic Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Dr. Bucey has taught a series on Presuppositional apologetics last year.  The audio recording of those messages has been made available on the church website and are reproduced below.  Click on them to download the MP3s.

1.) Introduction to Defending the Faith

2.) Worldviews and Philosophy According to Christ

3.) WHO AND WHAT IS GOD?

4.) Revelation

5.) Who and What is Man?

6.) The Antithesis

7.) Common Grace

8.) Presuppositions

9.) Apologetic Method

10.) Strategies and Tactics

11.) Proof and Evidences

12.) Review and Examples

Enjoy!

Thanks to Jeff Downs for pointing these out to us!

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John Frame's Selected Shorter Writings Volume 1

For those who want to get this book at a discounted price go over to WTS Bookstore online by clicking HERE.

This is a collection of various essays and articles written by John Frame over the years that hasn’t been published, with some being articles on his website and others being shared for the first time.  For anyone who is a fan of Frame this is a great supplement to the many works that Frame has written over the years.  Ideally those who have a little exposure to John Frame’s writings (say a book or two or some journal articles by him) will benefit the most from this book.  John Frame can write very lengthy books so I appreciate the format of shorter essays in this book.  In particular I found the first chapter that serves as a great introduction and summary of his perspectivalism.  This essay is very important in light of how some within the Reformed camp have misunderstood his position as relativism.  If some of his opponents have known about this essay it might have deterred some of the unhelpful criticisms of John Frame out there (or then again it might not).

I also found the various articles in part one of the book that focus on theological method to be a wonderful feast for the mind—in fact it’s probably the best part of the book.  Specifically I enjoyed his discussion about contrast and exegesis, with his call for preachers and theologians to properly extract what exactly the Scripture is saying and then correctly noting what the contrast of the idea is; this is important when we say that the Bible prohibit or refute something and people often err in saying what the Bible is against when in actuality the Scripture didn’t prohibit or contradict it.

In part two of the book on theological meditation I appreciated his review of N.T Wright’s bibliology in which Frame showed how Wright overstretched his rhetoric when he claimed in the subtitle of a recent book that he has gone beyond the “Bible Wars” by offering another alternative.  In reality Wright didn’t really offer anything new and it turns out instead that at times he is unhelpful because he isn’t clear or too ready with the cliché.  At times Wright turns out to be still quite conservative in his view of the Bible despite how he rags on conservatives.  Frame also did a good job of showing Wright’s complaint to move beyond the concept of infallibility is inconsistent with his job of being a Bible historian is still dedicated to defending the historicity of the Bible.

Surprisingly the shortest part of the book was the section on apologetics.  Here I have to level a criticism of Frame’s review of Greg Bahnsen’s Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended.  After going through carefully what Frame has to say, I thought the essay really was not a review of the book but more of a celebration and recollection of Greg Bahnsen the apologist.  Frame criticized Bahnsen for being unfair to Gordon Clark, Carnell and Schaeffer but Frame doesn’t really demonstrate that Bahnsen really was unfair in his critique of these men.  It was more of a comment made in passing rather than actual documentation it was so.

The last section was more personal and had several assorted pieces that reveal more of John Frame the man.  If you are a big fan of Frame you would love this section and Frame is pretty funny.  I recommend this work to those who want to understand more of Frame’s contribution to theology and apologetics and those who want to get every work by Frame.  These two types of readers will benefit most from this book.

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by P&R Publishing and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

 

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Celebrating Francis Schaeffer 30 years Anniversary

A British Christian organization called Christian Heritage over at Cambridge has featured an event back in May 15th, 2014 celebrating the life of Francis Schaeffer on the 30th Anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s death.

Here’s a description of the event from the event page:

The 15th May was the 30th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s death. To many he was unquestionably one of the twentieth century’s most outstanding evangelical leaders. His influence throughout the church was vast. Had he not ‘buried’ himself in a small mountain village in Switzerland to start a little-known work called L’Abri Fellowship, committed to prayer rather than ‘advertising’, perhaps more would know his name. Was he a prophet? Did his extraordinary authority arise from a quite unique biblical analysis of our culture? Were his warnings and pleas not exactly what were needed?  But was he – for that very reason – not also an uncomfortable prophet? Did his critiques of Evangelicalism not cut too close to the bone? Join us to find out more.

Here are the talks:

Thursday 15 May, 5.45 – 9.00pm

5.45 – 7pm: The Real Schaeffer byAndrew Fellows who is the Director of the English L’Abri Fellowship and Ranald Macaulay, Schaeffer’s son-in-law and founder of Christian Heritage

7.30 – 9pm: Schaeffer’s ‘True Truth’ byDr Os Guinness who is aprolific author and social critic

 

(HT)

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These are Presuppositional apologetics links gathered between June 22nd-30th, 2014.

1.)Peter Boghossian and the Angry New Atheists Refuted part I

2.) The Noetic Effects of Sin and Our Apologetic Response

3.) Expositional (Presuppositional Apologetics) -Shane Kastler

4.) Why I’m Not an Evidentialist: a Response to J Warner Wallace

5.) Treading Through the Tenets: Of Metaphysics and Marriage

6.) The Sufficiency of Scripture: Is God’s Word Enough, Part 6

7.)  Review by James Anderson

8.) Van Tillian apologetics links: Third Week of June 2014 Round up

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Are you looking for some memes when you teach to use in illustrating the method of Presuppositional apologetics?  Or just looking for something funny and you are into Reformed apologetics?

Over our facebook page we have an album dedicated to Presuppositional apologetics.  Check it out by clicking HERE.

And while you’re on facebook be sure to like it to keep up with our blog and have daily John Frame quotes on your newsfeed.

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Christianity and the Role of Philosophy by K. Scott Oliphint

(NOTE: For videos and my reviews of other booklets in this series click HERE)

Like other books in this series (Christian Answers to Hard Questions) I look to this book as a resource for discipleship to introduce to a believer concerning the Christian worldview and apologetics.  This particular work is foundational to the other work since it touches on the relationship between Christianity and philosophy.  The author Scott Oliphint is more than capable to address this topic, having written on this topic and teaching it for several decades at Westminster Theological Seminary.  I appreciated that the author is coming from a Van Tillian approach towards apologetics.

The book begins with a brief discussion of what are the three broad categories of philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology and ethics).  Readers familiar with philosophy wouldn’t find anything new in the introduction of the book but Oliphint later gave a good compact summary of a distinctively Christian view of these three branch of philosophy with the metaphysical question of what is the ultimate nature of reality being the Triune God, the epistemological question of how do we know is because God has revealed it and the ethical question of what is right and wrong being based upon what God says is right and wrong.

Oliphint gave a good analogy of the GPS as God’s revelation that tells where we are at, where we should be going, etc, and how without the “view from above” of where one is at we are lost.  This analogy is a helpful guide for later discussions in the book and makes his point easier to grasp.

I appreciated the book laying out the four possible ways people have seen the relationship of Christianity with philosophy.  Of course one’s view of the relationship between the two discipline will be shaped by one’s definition of the respective discipline which will set (or we can even say, “rig”) the answer already at the get go; yet Oliphint manages to push the discussion forward by asking the question of what is the foundation for theology and philosophy.  Oliphint then articulate the Reformed position and the reason for why Christians are obligated to believe theology govern philosophy if one holds to a high view of Scripture.  He concluded the book by sharing and expounding on Francis Turretin’s four good uses of philosophy by theology followed by four errors in the use of philosophy by theology.

In the end I would say this is a good book ideal for discipleship and also for a believer who have no idea what philosophy is to read on his own as a place to start.  It might be too basic for some though.  Like other books in the series there are “Before We Move On” questions for interactive conversations or personal reflection.

You can purchase the booklet at a discounted price from Westminster Bookstore by clicking HERE.

 

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GO TO PART 22

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Point: What do you do in a conversation when someone raise the objection that they find it repulsive that Christians believe Christianity is the Only Way?  What do you do when people don’t like how narrow it sounds when Jesus said ““I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6)?

Picture: Space does not permit me to deal with all the presuppositions behind the various form of objections against the exclusivity of Christianity but I do want to tackle one major undercurrent which asssumes that such an exclusiveness of Christianity is mean-spirited and not nice.  Think of the following scenario that puts the objection in perspective: A high rise apartment caught fire one night and a man living in one of the upper floor is stuck in his bedroom with no way out.  Fire is all around him and certain doom appears to be his fate.  But one courageous firefighter went up on a latter to rescue him.  No one would say the firefighter is mean to have provided only one way for the man to be rescued because there was no way out beforehand.  Furthermore the firefighter has put his life on the line to make sure there is at least one way out of the inferno.  As an analogy to spiritual truths, Jesus came on earth with the mission of saving sinners.  He didn’t just risked His life but GAVE HIS LIFE in order to save us by dying on the cross for our sins.

POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

OPPONENT: I can’t believe in Christianity because of the fact that Christianity proclaim that there is only one way to heaven.

CHRISTIAN: I see.  Are you aware that this isn’t just mere Christian opinion but the teaching of the Bible itself?

OPPONENT: Yes.

CHRISTIAN: I just wanted you to be aware and realize that it’s not just Christians thinking they are right, just because they happen to believe in Christianity.  Have you heard of John 14:6 before?

OPPONENT: Not sure.

CHRISTIAN: It says “Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

OPPONENT: Uh, okay…there you go…

CHRISTIAN: I brought that up so that you hear it from God’s Word itself.  Now…

OPPONENT: That is so mean!  Why only one way?  Why not many ways to God and heaven?

CHRISTIAN: I think we need to have a little perspective here.  Allow me to give the following illustration [Insert analogy].  Now then, imagine you are the person who is stuck in the room with the fire at this very moment.  Would you complain to the firefighter who reaches up to you in a latter that he’s only provided one way?

OPPONENT: Of course not.

CHRISTIAN: That’s what I figured.

 

GO TO PART 24

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John Frame’s teaching has been important in my life, shaping my apologetics and theology especially with his observation of the inter-connection of various perspectives/disciplines/doctrines.  I think he’ definitely contributed in theology and apologetics by developing the ideas of Cornelius Van Til forward.

Ten days ago his Systematic Theology book has been nominated as the book of the Year by World Magazine.  I thought it was appropriate to share with you the full length video below from the President’s Forum Interview with the President of Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando concerning Frame’s Systematic Theology and his life time contribution:

Enjoy!

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