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Reading 16 Verbs for 21st C. Apologetics. Thanks for the ref Al.
Some good things in the article, but I must point out that Jensen is just plain wrong on Presuppositional Apologetics. He states:
“The presuppositionalist apologist begins with assumption that there is absolutely no
natural knowledge of God available to the non-elect. However, this is a poor reading of
the passages, such as Romans 1, that speak of the noetic effects of sin.”
To quote Van Til:
“POSSESSING YET SUPPRESSING THE TRUTH
Accordingly Calvin argues that though mankind generally does not have the knowledge that comes from being “taught of God,” men do have a knowledge that is created within them and inherited from Adam. It is the knowledge which they have as the image bearers of God. Men generally seek to suppress this knowledge of God. They would gladly live where the searchlight of God’s revelation does not constantly expose them to themselves. But there is no such place. The searchlight never ceases to shine. It shines particularly within them. There is no hiding from it. The knowledge of God is infixed in their being. . . .
Men in general are, therefore, truth suppressors.”
(Excerpted from “The Reformed Pastor and Modern Thought” as quoted in “Van Til’s Apologetic” p 453.
Honesty is important to us as Christians. I have to hope that Jensen is simply ignorant of the basics of presuppositional apologetics. That in itself is serious enough for someone teaching on the subject. Sadly, I have seen some of the biggest names in reformed world, who do know better, deliberately resort to straw man arguments – that is misrepresenting a position they disagree with in such a way as it becomes easy to dismiss. I truly hope that isn’t what is happening here, and I will assume so, unless there is good evidence to the contrary.
Grace and peace to you.
Perhaps he was thinking of ‘presuppositional only’ apologists in point #8. He does, however, offer what i think is a presuppositional approach in #10.
Kim. I agree with you that the straw man attack is very lame. I also have a pretty keen dislike for the false dichotomist who is intellectually dishonest.
I’m currently listening to John Frame’s lectures on apologetics. He was a student of Van Til. I’m enjoying his lecturing style and am finding it all very informative. He doesn’t agree with Van Til on everything and thinks the Van Til v. Clarke arguments of last century were pretty silly.
I’m all new to this though and have been convicted by some of the helpful things you’ve said to take it all a bit more seriously.
Wowza! Google reader is so good. I just put a search in for Van Til (because I was trying to find a blog I had read about him yesturday) and I got amazing search results. One link led to a biographer’s interview that looks interesting.
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