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jdlashley
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Joined: 2012/1/5
Posts: 35
South Carolina

 Presuppositional Apologetics

I have posted here before in regards to apologetics, and honestly did it in a desparaging way. At the time my exposure, utilization, and understanding of the same was pertaining to the evidentialist strain. I have recently been reading and learning about presuppositional apologetics. In particular, the late Greg Bahnsen along with a Canadian brother, Sye ten Bruggencate. I must say, It has really piqued my interest given the application and biblical philosophy behind the same. I am interested in others thoughts on this.


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James D. Lashley

 2012/12/4 22:00Profile
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 Re: Presuppositional Apologetics

from wikipedia:

Presuppositionalism is a school of Christian apologetics that believes the Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and attempts to expose flaws in other worldviews. It claims that apart from presuppositions, one could not make sense of any human experience, and there can be no set of neutral assumptions from which to reason with a non-Christian.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presuppositional_apologetics

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though there is a benifit in apologetics in the end the Scriptures command us to simply live the Gospel and preach the Gospel. Usually I see apologetics rising when the influence of Christianity is going away in a culture. When revival and simple preaching of the Gospel, praying, and other supernatural things are occurring apologetics are simply not needed in this way.

Teaching is a gift and calling in the church and is used to equip the saints but to just learn how to "debunk" wrong worldviews is simply not commanded in scripture, we are to preach what is right and not know and emphasis what is wrong.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/12/4 22:09Profile
jdlashley
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Joined: 2012/1/5
Posts: 35
South Carolina

 Re:

This has been somewhat my approach. I have seen apologists cite 1 Peter 3:15 (But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:)as the scripture they appeal to regarding apologetics. Does this mean we need to learn these apologetic methods or could the the simple answer be given as "Jesus Christ" followed by a presentation of the gospel? Something I have noticed, in the past when I would be discussing the faith with an unbeliever and utilizing apologetics. It would not matter what proofs I gave, they would continue to argue or follow one objection after another. However, they become strangely quiet when I shift the discussion and use the law to show them that they are guilty before God and unless they repent and accept Christ as their Savior they are headed for eternal punishment. Each time this happens it blows me away. Here I have been debating, going back and forth with this unbeliever who stone wall's me at every corner. But, when I just give them the simple gospel they are speechless. It just goes to show the power is in the message and not in the one giving the message.


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James D. Lashley

 2012/12/4 22:42Profile
twayneb
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 Re:

Quote:
though there is a benifit in apologetics in the end the Scriptures command us to simply live the Gospel and preach the Gospel. Usually I see apologetics rising when the influence of Christianity is going away in a culture. When revival and simple preaching of the Gospel, praying, and other supernatural things are occurring apologetics are simply not needed in this way.

Teaching is a gift and calling in the church and is used to equip the saints but to just learn how to "debunk" wrong worldviews is simply not commanded in scripture, we are to preach what is right and not know and emphasis what is wrong.



I think this is it. Paul said to the Corinthians that he did not come with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of power.

Apology is not a bad thing. Teaching is VERY important. But the purpose, power, and result of the teaching is very telling. I have seen "apologists" that are on a veritable witch-hunt for anyone who does not adhere to their brand of orthodoxy. And then I have seen teachers who have a fantastic grasp of scripture, and at the same time are able to equip the body in such a way that the body grows in the grace and knowledge of Christ, draws hear to Him, and goes forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to change the world.

I think that any believer will, and should, presuppose the truth. How can you defend that which you do not presuppose to be true? Yet the best defense is the manifestation of the truth in demonstration of power that accompanies the proclamation of the that truth. God confirmed His word with signs following. Paul once threw down a challenge. He said, "When I get there, we will see who is teaching the truth because we will test the manifestation of the power of the Spirit that should be evident in the teacher."


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Travis

 2012/12/5 12:31Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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 Re:

Very good points, twayneb.

While I don't mind listening to apologists who try to "defend the faith," the notion of "defending the faith" is odd. The faith doesn't necessarily NEED "defending." It is the "substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen."

I will say this: There is a danger when believers who often almost gloat in their "ignorance" (as "unlearned men") attempt to "defend" or "proclaim" the faith through natural means. I once attended a session where a man was proclaiming the "truth" of the Word of God in regard to science. Yet, his presentation was riddled with half-truths, straw man arguments and even outright nonsense. He was relying upon "science" and "nature" for his defense of the faith...but lacked even rudimentary understanding of science and nature. As a result, some young people walked away puzzled.

Yes, I believe in the Biblical account of Creation. However, there is a danger in presenting it to the children of this world while using the very devices that they use unless we truly have mastered those devices. It is almost as silly as employing a translator for a mission trip who doesn't really fluently speak the language of those that we are going to minister to.

If we feel a need to "enter the fray" of the supposed wise men of this world with arguments, education and natural experiences, then we will simply debate. They will laugh at those who do not have an argument that makes sense to their sense of logic or education. Yet, if we present the Gospel as it is -- allowing God to do His own work (naturally or supernaturally) -- then we won't hinder through fleshly ways the spiritual work that God wants to do.

Unfortunately, those who claim to rely upon the "supernatural power of the Spirit" are often some of those who also try to argue positions based upon natural means. Moreover, they are often lacking the very power that they claim to rely upon. Consequently, the Gospel isn't proclaimed as it should be...and might even be hindered by the very "willing" vessels who boast such things.


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Christopher

 2012/12/5 16:11Profile
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 Re:

jd,

I recently got into Bahnsen and it has been AMAZING. He is so biblical in his approach. I have listened to all his debates on youtube, the free mp3s floating around the internet, and purchased his debate with Sproul from cmfnow. Also, I'm reading his book "Presuppositional Apologetics" is truly edifying, akin to reading an epistle almost as he constantly writes out verse after verse and expounds in the most Godward manner.

What I like best about this approach is that it harmonizes theology with apologetics. Evidentialists attempt to meet unbelievers in a neutral ground to analyze the facts and persuade them of Christianity's truth. Once that's done, then the Bible is introduced as God's word and evangelism/discipleship takes place. The problem is the Lordship of Jesus is kind of placed at the mercy of the unbeliever until they reason that Christianity is sound and the best solution to the issues (creation, sin, evil, etc.). Then, the Bible takes precedence and is unquestioned in its truth.

Presupps on the other hand reconcile the effects of the fall on the unbeliever's ability to reason and therefore present an apologetic that is true to the scriptures from the onset and doesn't attempt to be neutral. Jesus is unequivocally declared as Lord from start to end.

There's a lot to like in it; I am constantly nodding in agreement and saying amen. Historically, the development of this thought is truly significant and in my own life the impact thus far appears to be the same. Like there's only been a handful of teachings that have really shaped my spirituality and Christian worldview in terms of genuine significance: Ravenhill’s holiness and revival themes, Paul Washer on the gospel, and this. Of course other things have been extremely worthwhile and influential, indispensable even, but these were major contours of new thought that resonated especially with my spirit. Whether it was due to the timing I received them, the content, or a factor of both, these three hit me at the right times. And really, I'm still riding the wave of presuppositionalism, so I'm thankful.


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Paul

 2012/12/5 17:18Profile





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