More on presuppositionalism...


Mr. Miller,

I just looked at your site for the first time in a while and very much enjoyed it, even though we have different perspectives upon epistemology and apologetics. Have you ever read anything by Cornelius Van Til or John Frame? Have you had any exposure to presuppositionalism? Just curious.

yes...I have read some of VanTil's works (Defense of the Faith, Apologetics), everything by Frame I can get my hands on (Knowledge of God, apologetics, even unpublished class syllabi from the late '70), some of Poythress' works, early Dooye* various others...

By many of your links, I assume that you're coming from the classical position.

well, the form of the 'presentation' approximates 'approaches', but my own personal apologetic theory is a bit weird...I don't believe either classix/presups are broad enough theories to account for the vast majority of 'apologetic-looking' behavior...Both systems seems to put apologetic type arguments into a kerygmatic genre, and then they argue over 'preaching styles'--the Demanding God versus the Beseeching God false-dichotomy...

I think, rather, that a 'good works' model is a better way of understanding MOST (i.e. popular and statistical majority) apologetic discussions...events in which love is communicated by the gentleness of the answer, the 'relative dignity' communicated, the 'one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread' motif...under this interpretive rubric, apologetic systems become simply 'words fit to the situation'...

so, where there are obvious presup issues, I focus on those...where there is enough of the common-grace-based 'common ground' (even recognized by van Til in the area of language and concept overlap), I can focus on historical detail--CLOSER TO THE KERYGMA of CHRIST...

I am ALWAYS trying to get back to the Kerygma from the 'good works' (Col 1.10)...

anyway, I have gone into too much detail here...suffice it to say, I AM familiar with presuppers, but NOT entirely comfortable that I TRULY have understood it...I have followed the Sproul/Frame discussions...and studied 'comparative works' like Lewis' "Testing Christianity's Truth Claims"...

Although, I noticed something you wrote about a linguistic character to the universe. I also assume that you've read Kuhn and maybe even Feyerabend. Perhaps presuppositional apologetics would be right up your alley.

I have lately abandoned (with much of the rest of the philosophy of science community--see the afterword by Suppe in his "The Structure of Scientific Theories") the radical theory-laden or sociology-of-science perspectives...

I didn't read on in your personal story to see if you ever found an epistemology that was unshakable, but if not, then check out Van Til's book "A Christian Theory of Knowledge" or his book "A Survey of Christian Epistemology." The former is still in print and can be obtained from Great Christian Books. The Christian worldview has its own epistemology that can stand up to anything.

My piece on the Linguistic Wall will indicate my view of 'persuasion' in "empirical" contexts (its all ostensive) and my piece on self-refuting arguments is my on-going attempt to 'built up to' unassailable statements about God...

honestly, I am NOT convinced of the transcendental argument...it just seems too Anselmic to me so far...there is a very strong possibility that I don't understand it, so I cant be sure yet...but I am STILL investigating it...

Intuitively, it makes sense--I just cannot seem to make it 'tight' enough...still working on it...

In the bonds of His blood, glenn



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