Tag Archive | Philosophy

Is Belief in the Bible based on Circular Reasoning?

Theolatte on the charge that Christians engage in circular reasoning when appealing to the Bible:

Whether we admit it or not, we all build our view of the world on an assumption, a big picture about what’s really real, that we cannot prove. That’s okay. It’s unavoidable. The main question is which starting point, which assumption, what presupposition, is the right one? Which one is true?

Read more: http://www.theolatte.com/2017/09/is-belief-in-the-bible-circular-reasoning/

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The Assumption That Time Or Chance Is Ultimate

Snake Eyes, Harkess Rocks - geograph.org.uk - 1500955“So hopeless and senseless a picture must be drawn of the natural man’s methodology based as it is upon the assumption that time or chance is ultimate. On his assumption his own rationality is a product of chance. On his assumption even the laws of logic which he employs are products of chance. The rationality and purpose that he may be searching for are still bound to be products of chance. So then the Christian apologist, whose position requires him to hold that Christian theism is really true and as such must be taken as the presupposition which alone makes the acquisition of knowledge in any field intelligible, must join his “friend” in his hopeless gyrations so as to point out to him that his efforts are always in vain.”

(Source: Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith (P&R, 1972), p. 102.)

Source: https://www.monergism.com/blog/doing-math-dice-and-atheism%E2%80%99s-destruction-knowledge

Image: Mark Anderson (click image to see original file)

The Final Reference-Point Required

Cornelius Van Til:

Fingerprint-magnabrushThe issue between believers and non-believers in Christian theism cannot be settled by a direct appeal to “facts” or “laws” whose nature and significance is already agreed upon by both parties to the debate. The question is rather as to what is the final reference-point required to make the “facts” and “laws” intelligible. The question is as to what the “facts” and “laws” really are. Are they what the non-Christian methodology assumes that they are? Are they what the Christian theistic methodology presupposes they are?” (Source)

Source: https://www.monergism.com/blog/doing-math-dice-and-atheism%E2%80%99s-destruction-knowledge

A Conclusion Follows From What Comes Before It

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures:

Study-to-shew-thyself“Every verse beginning with the word “For” requires us to trace the connection: usually it has the force of “because,” supplying proof of a preceding statement. Likewise the expression “For this cause” and words like “wherefore and therefore” call for close attention, so that we may have before us the promise from which the conclusion is drawn. The widespread misunderstanding of 2 Corinthians 5:17, supplies an example of what happens when there is carelessness at this point. Nine times out of ten its opening “Therefore” is not quoted, and through failure to understand its meaning an entirely wrong sense is given to “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” That prefatory “therefore” indicates that this verse is not to he considered as a thing apart, complete in itself, but rather as closely connected with something foregoing. On turning back to the previous verse we find it too begins with the word “wherefore,” which at once shows that this passage is a didactic or doctrinal one, and neither a biographical one which delineates the experience of the soul nor a hortatory one calling unto the performance of some duty.”

HT and Source: https://reformedontheweb.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/how-to-tell-when-biblical-authors-are-drawing-conclusions-to-their-previous-arguments/

Logic, Definitions, Equality, and Discrimination

The poor questioner doesn’t grasp the point the speaker is making:

Only Reformed Christianity Can Challenge Plato or Dewey

Van Til:


1427667_31525848-praying hands-stdIt is the Bible alone that speaks of such a God. And the Bible speaks of his absolute authority. This God always speaks with authority. This God of the Bible, who speaks authoritatively through his Word, is the presupposition of the intelligibility of human experience. He is recognized in the Reformed Faith as the final reference point for all human predication. In this respect the Reformed Faith really stands squarely opposed to all forms of non-Christian thinking. Non-Christian thinking takes man as the final reference point in predication. It places man where the Reformed Faith recognizes God.

The two positions are therefore basically opposed to each other on all scores. The question is not simply as to which one is in accord with fact and logic. The question is rather in terms of which presupposition fact and logic have meaning at all. On which position is there any intelligible application of logic to fact at all? The question therefore concerns the philosophy of fact and the philosophy of logic. Any argument between them that does not go back to the question of presuppositions begs the question. The Christian position seeks to make human experience intelligible in terms of the presupposition of God; the non-Christian position seeks to make human experience intelligible in terms of man who is conceived of as ultimate. On this basic matter we have seen how the Roman Catholic tries to straddle the fence by trying to interpret part of human experience in terms of man and part in terms of God. And the Fundamentalistic position makes a similar attempt with the same fatal results. There is therefore no orthodox position except the Reformed Faith that is really able to challenge Dewey or Plato.

Read more: http://www.the-highway.com/articleFeb04.html

“There is no such thing as objective truth”

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During the two years RC Sproul Jr. taught university freshman English it became clear that many of his students had succumbed to the sickness of postmodernism. But Sproul was ready with a cure for their disease. In a 2006 speech he recounted how he administered the cure to one student:

“[A] student in the back blurted out, ‘There’s no such thing as objective truth.’ Just like that.

“And I said to him ‘you get an F in this class for this semester’ and then I went back to the conversation we were having. And, of course, in the corner of my eye I could see his blood pressure rising, and his face getting redder and redder. And he’s holding his hand up.

“‘Yes what is it?’

“What do you think he said? ‘That’s not fair!’

“I strung him along a little longer. I said, ‘I’m sorry. You must have misunderstood me. I’m not giving you the F because anybody stupid enough to say there’s no such thing as objective truth obviously deserves an F. That’s not my thinking at all! You misunderstood. No, I’m just giving you the F because I want to.’ And then I went back to the rest of the class.

“He got madder. By now some of the students had figured it out. Some of them hadn’t, including that one. And he said, ‘I’ll tell the administration!’

“Finally I had pity on him and I said, ‘What are you going to tell them? Are you going to tell them I have failed to measure up to some external, objective, transcendent standard of what’s right and wrong? Because you told me there is no such thing!’

“‘Oh… okay. Well… I guess there is.’

“‘Welcome back to the human race,’ and then we went on with our business.”

SOURCE: Speech entitled: “The Weapons of our Warfare: Beauty”

HT: http://reformedperspective.ca/