Posts Tagged ‘defense of the faith’

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


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


Thanks to Jeff Downs for pointing these out to us!

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marine gas mask

Point: Defense of the faith ultimately comes down to the issue of worldview.  One way of looking at worldview is to see it as a web of beliefs that are the least negotiable and remain foundational for other beliefs; that is, it’s one’s ultimate commitment and still some see it as the inter-relationship of one’s view of metaphysics/physics, epistemology and ethics.  Basically it’s one view of everything.  For the purpose of this illustration, think of one’s worldview as a METANARRATIVE, that is, THE one story that all other stories and everything that exists get their meaning, significance and intelligibility from.  An important part of discussing worldview apologetics is the issue of authority and often today when one reject God’s authority as revealed in His Word, they end up subscribing to a view that man is the measure of all thing; that is, to use the popular handle, they subscribe to “humanism” in believing that man is the source and standard setter of truth, values, meaning and morality.  Any man-centered worldview is folly if the God of the Bible exists.  How can we illustrate the folly of a man-centered meta-narrative?

Picture/Illustration: Several years ago I was able to participate in a short war film by a director I knew.  I was an extra.  As a Marine, I was happy to play the role (though my character was not a Marine).  I even got to fire a weapon that I really liked!  We slept the night with all these other guys, woke up early the next morning to get ready with our costumes and make up (I put on my own cammie paint).  Filming took a very long time for just one scene of the movie.  I had 2 short lines if I remember correctly.  We were in a fighting hole, some tanks advanced upon us and the main character and I was suppose to get out of it.  I was suppose to be one of the soldiers that got killed.  A stunt coordinator kept on having me fall again and again.  It was painful and after a while I couldn’t fall the way he wanted me to fall.  If I didn’t know any better I would have thought that the guy was out for the fall of many and rise of our main star!

red carpet

Some time later the short was completed and it was screened in Hollywood Blvd.  I was excited.  This was my debut as an extra!  When I watch the film for the first time I was in for a surprise:  I couldn’t see myself anywhere in the movie!  I watched it several more time before I finally found a blur of uniform that I can point to and say that was me but nothing that others could verify.  Later I did find my face–I was the soldier killed which the camera zoomed in my face for not even a second!  It went so fast that only with the help of a freezed screen could I identify myself!


CHRISTIAN: For you, what is your ultimate authority?  Or alternatively, what is your basis for truth, value or morality?

<You might have to asks some more questions to get to the bottom of what the NON CHRISTIAN’s Worldview/Metanarrative is >

OPPONENT: Basically, I think it’s we as humans who decide.  It’s all up to each individual’s choice of the matter.

CHRISTIAN: So you believe that values and morality and the explanation of them boils down to subjectivity?


<Refute Subjectivism/Relativism>

CHRISTIAN: Now, I have just stepped into your worldview to show it’s utter folly and inconsistencies.  May I also illustrate with a story why this is also folly when one consider the meta-narrative of the Christian Worldview?

<Insert Illusration>

CHRISTIAN: Which brings up a question that I wish for you to ponder:  What would you say if an extra such as myself were to go up to the star and the director and say that it’s not fair, my role is too small?  Or how about if I complain that the film should revolve around me and what I want to do?

OPPONENT: (Laughs).  That would not be your place; you are just an extra.

CHRISTIAN: Exactly!   You know if I watched the film thinking it’s about me, it would obviously color the way I see things: I would not be able to enjoy the film, the director’s crafting of the movie and the actor’s ability and the storyline.  You know, when I finally watched the movie without the primary goal of looking for my extra role I realized that the story of the film had a good story line.  I enjoyed it!  Then after seeing the big picture of the narrative, I become thankful that I was able to play a small part in telling this story of the brave service members who risked and lost their lives during war.  In the same way, you and I ought to know that we are extras who need to see the bigger picture of God’s Script and understand it’s not about us but instead the main character in God’s drama is Jesus Christ.  Then we would see the folly of trying to impose ourselves to interfere with God the Father and Christ; instead we will live out our roles in light of the Metanarrative of Jesus Christ and what God our “Director” wants.  To demand humanism is to commit the sin of ranked arrogance and not knowing you are but an extra!  We need to repent of our sins of thinking we are more important than we are, trust in the Christ of the metanarative of CREATION-FALL-REDEMPTION who came to save sinner by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!


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Sye Ten Bruggencate

It seems with each passing day there are more and more resources on Presuppositional apologetics made available online.  In God’s providence, it’s as if its a treasure hunt sometime to stumble upon them.

Open Air Preacher Sye Ten Bruggencate, who’s new documentary no doubt has been used by the LORD to share with many the method of Presuppositional apologetics.  He has recently given several teachings at Westminster Presbyterian Church during a conference earlier this month between June 4-6th 2013.

Here are the MP3s:

  1. The Greatness of God
  2. Apologetics – You’re Doing It Wrong
  3. Biblical Apologetics
  4. Taking it to the Streets
  5. Objections Answered

I appreciate Brother Sye making Cornelius Van Til’s apologetics practical and applying it in evangelism.

You can access the original page for this conference and download the messages by other speakers by clicking HERE.

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The Reformed Pastor and Modern Thought Van Til

In 1971 a book by Cornelius Van Til was published titled The Reformed Pastor and Modern Thought.  It’s not as well known as his other works such as Defense of the Faith, Christian Apologetics and Why I believe.  I first heard of it being quoted and referenced by Greg Bahnsen in his huge work Van Til’s Apologetics and years later stumbled upon this work at a used book store which I bought for five bucks.

Now thanks to Presupp101, this work is available for free online as a PDF if you click HERE.

The preface describes the book well:

“This little volume is designed to aid the Reformed pastor in his work of helping high school and college students face the challenge to their faith presented in their classes on science, philosophy, and religion.

To be able to help his young people the Reformed pastor must himself have some acquaintance with modern science, modern philosophy, and modern religion. But, more than that, he must see clearly for himself that unless science, philosophy, and religion frankly build upon the authority of Christ, speaking his Word in Scripture, they can offer no coherent interpretation of life. Modern thought has repeatedly, in attempting to explain reality, shown its own incoherence.


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