Presup Applied to False Faiths #datpresup

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In this episode, Eli breaks down the procedure of how to apply presuppositional apologetic methodology to competing faiths & religious claims. #presup #apologetics #vantil


Welcome back to another episode of Revealed Apologetics. I'm your host Eli Ayala and today we are going to take a look at the presuppositional apologetic method applied to false faiths or competing religious perspectives.
And so I'm really excited. I was able to prepare some notes and some slides. Unfortunately, when
I was preparing my notes, I put in all these nice transitions and all that kind of stuff, but the way it's formatted here on StreamYard, if I share my screen, if I share my screen like from my laptop, it's kind of weirdly formatted.
And so I can show you the slides with all the cool transitions and all the fancy stuff that I created, but I won't be able to see the comments because it'll be taking up my entire screen.
So I have to do it this other way where the slides will show on the screen and you have all of the things there right there on the slide so there's not like moving from one point to another.
But I have found that doing kind of this presentation style has been useful and helpful for people.
So I am a teacher by trade and so hopefully using my PowerPoints will help folks follow along.
I'm not sure how well you'll be able to see each of the slides if you're watching from your phone, but if you're watching from a larger screen, maybe an iPad, you might be able to see everything.
So yeah, I've been doing lots of stuff in the realm of presuppositional apologetics and I do cover other topics as those who follow the channel know.
But I have put some of those other theological topics on the back burner and really been trying to focus on teaching presuppositional apologetics in all of its various applications.
And so super excited to be doing that and so I have a lot more coming. I do have a video coming out soon along with a presentation there on atheism and how to learn techniques to expose the myth of neutrality.
So when there is this appearance of neutrality and following the evidence where it goes, I'm going to do a video where it talks about how can we get the discussion to the point where we can demonstrate that we are not neutral.
What are some of the questions we could ask? How do we navigate those kinds of conversations specifically with atheists, but it can be with anyone.
So I think that's going to be very useful for folks. I don't know exactly when I will be doing that.
Maybe soon. I don't want to have too many gaps between my live streams. But as you guys know,
I'm pretty busy so I try my best to put things out as often as I can.
So we'll see how long that will take for me to put that one out.
Also, just a couple of updates. I am flying up to New York next week.
I have a speaking engagement there. I'll be speaking at a church and a school. And so super, super excited about that.
Also, it's very close to where I grew up and so I'll be able to visit my family, my parents, see my brothers, which is super exciting.
And then in March, I don't know if I told people this, but in March, I think it's
March, I'll be flying over to Arizona again. I was invited again by Apologia Studios to make a part two of the
Apologetic series that I made for them a while back. So if you are a subscriber to Apologia Studios on their website and you have access to their classes and their lectures and things like that, you can see my part one and I'll be recording another part, which is basically my first series.
It was kind of like meta -apologetics, kind of dealing with apologetic methodology from a presuppositional perspective.
And then this next series, I'm going to be focusing more on a kind of presuppositional apologetics applied.
So I'm creating a series of lectures and notes on the topic of atheism, of course, how to apply presuppositionalism to atheism, how to apply presuppositionalism to Roman Catholicism, how to apply presuppositionalism to presuppositional
Eastern Orthodoxy, okay, I've been working on that as well, and how to apply presuppositionalism to the cults, which this one here will be relevant, this livestream will be relevant to that as well, but I'll be organizing more specifically, a more in -depth look on how to do that from a presuppositional perspective.
I also will be flying out, hopefully if everything goes well, out to Florida, I think, in May?
May, I think? May? Yeah, I think May. So I'll have a speak engagement there, and then
I've got something in Pennsylvania in the summer. So I've got a nice, decent, you know, traveling schedule.
It's not to the point where I'm always flying all over the country, but that's kind of the dream.
My favorite thing of doing ministry is, of course I love to do YouTube, but I love to actually go and speak to people face -to -face, and to teach, give courses, classes, workshops, those sorts of things, speaking at conferences,
I love those things. And so if you have an event coming up and you want me to be your speaker, you want me to do a thing on apologetics, that's totally a thing, you can go to the
Revealed Apologetics website, and right there on the homepage, there's a way to reach me and to schedule that. So if that's something that is interesting to you, you know, let's make something happen.
So other than that, lastly, we are already on our fourth week on PresupU, which is the online apologetics course that I teach, where folks sign up and we meet once a week for five weeks through a private
Zoom call, and we go into more depth with respect to the recorded lectures that I made.
We go into more depth into that content, and it's an awesome opportunity for me to see the people who support
Revealed Apologetics and have signed up for the course and are so willing to learn how to do apologetics from a presuppositional perspective.
So we're in week four, there's five weeks, so we're almost done, and it's been going really well. We've been meeting
Monday evenings, and that's it. So we met yesterday, and then I tried to fit in something today.
So here we are with our topic of today, how to apply presuppositional apologetics with false faiths and competing religious perspectives.
So there you go. We're going to get started in just a moment here. I just want to share this, such kind words from Trinity Radio with,
I think that's over there, with Braxton Hunter and Jonathan Pritchett. I believe this is
Braxton Hunter here. He says, the public ministry of Eli Ayala is a treasure to the arena of worldview discussions and analysis.
This is a work I can strongly endorse. Braxton Hunter, theology geek, tamer.
Thank you so much for those kind words, Braxton. It means a lot coming from you. Braxton is a good friend of mine.
If you have not checked out Trinity Radio, the YouTube channel and the podcast, definitely not from a presuppositional perspective, but they've got some good content, especially when they do interactions or response videos to a lot of atheist videos out there on YouTube.
So super helpful, and so I highly recommend what they're doing over there at Trinity Radio. All right, well, let's see here.
I've got a couple more comments here. Yes, this is live. Yes, this is not a pre -recording. I am speaking in real time.
Okay, PriestUp and PriestUppers and Enslaved by Truth says you should cover the video on PriestUp from Catholic Channel.
I have those in Aquinas Fellowship video on presuppositionalism. Why don't you leave a link? I'll see if I could give it a listen.
So, all right, well, let's jump right in. And again, I have to say all of these things.
There we go.
I think I'm back on. If this content has been useful to you, please subscribe. If you haven't, share the video with folks that you might think it might be useful for.
Click the notification bell, all of the fancy things that YouTubers say. That is super, super helpful.
They don't just say that for no reason. It is actually super helpful when you do those things.
So all that being said, I do see some comments coming in here, and I'm going to address them before I get started.
But once I start going, I'm just going to start going. I can't take too many questions because I'll never get through my material.
And it's a work week, so I wake up at 4 .30 in the morning. And then
I get to work close to 6 o 'clock, and then I'm working from 6 to 8 when my students come.
So I do all my lesson plans, all of my work in the morning. So I've got to go to bed right after this, so I can't stay too long.
But there you go. Let's see here. We have Awa. Is that what it is?
Awa, I apologize if I mispronounce it. Do you have any recommendations for videos, books, debates that dismiss the idea that God is the author of evil under the
Calvinist view? That dismiss the idea that God is the author of evil? Are you asking for video recommendations of a
Calvinist defending the Calvinist view that God is not the author of evil in some negative kind of way?
Yes. If you search my channel and you search the name Guillaume Bignon, G -U -I -L -L -A -U -M -E,
Bignon, B -I -G -N -O -N. It's French. I've had Guillaume Bignon on.
He is a philosopher, analytic philosopher, brilliant guy. And we cover that very issue.
So if you look through the past videos, I'm sure you'll find something that hopefully you'll find useful.
There might be some other ones as well too without Guillaume. I don't remember who I had on. But yes.
Okay. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Yep. You check the channel.
I do have videos on Calvinism and the problem of evil. Absolutely. Absolutely. All right.
Well, I'm going to jump right in. Okay. So today, I hope you guys don't mind me blabbing at the beginning and updating folks on everything.
It's kind of my way of shooting the breeze too until we get some people who are watching. If I jump right in,
I got like two people watching and people come in late. But that's all good. So what we're going to be covering today is presuppositional reasoning with false faiths.
And this is a super important topic, and it is a highly misunderstood topic with respect to presuppositional apologetics.
One of the critiques that is offered by some has been that presuppositional apologetics, yeah, it seems to work.
It seems to work when you're talking with atheists. But what about other religious perspectives? And so that's why
I'm kind of covering this topic today just to kind of clarify what it looks like to apply a presuppositional approach to apologetics to competing religious perspectives or, as I call them, false faiths.
Now before we kind of jump into that question directly, I think it's important to highlight the emphasis that Cornelius Mantill placed on what he called the indirect method.
And the indirect method is super important because it is an essential feature to presuppositional reasoning, to transcendental argumentation, things like that.
So we're going to kind of define those categories first, and then we'll contextualize it within the context of the discussion on competing religious claims.
All right, so the Christian apologist and philosopher Cornelius Mantill urged that Christians should argue with unbelievers in an indirect fashion.
And that's an important phrase there, indirect fashion. And this involves, as you've heard me say in the past, it involves doing what we call an internal critique.
And this is going to – it's going to require us to be able to examine the fundamental assumptions of the opposing worldview.
Now, this is generic stuff here. We all know this if you are familiar with presuppositional apologetics.
But when someone asks the question, yeah, I can see how we can do this with the atheist, but what does this look like with a competing religious perspective?
It looks the same. You're still using the indirect method. You're still examining fundamental assumptions that are inherent within competing religious perspectives.
Wrapping a perspective in religious language doesn't change the overall presuppositional approach.
We are still using what we call the indirect approach, which is going to engage – it's going to allow us to engage in worldview analysis and internal critique.
Now, if I could define internal critiques just very, very simply, because the nature of the dispute between the believer and the unbeliever is that of competing worldviews… … the only appropriate way to critique a worldview is to do it internally.
It's not going to help very much if we launch criticisms from our worldview assumptions onto a worldview that rejects our assumptions.
We're kind of throwing rocks from afar, so to speak. So to do an adequate internal critique, what you're going to want to do is you're going to want to hypothetically grant the truth of the opposing side, hypothetically, for argument's sake, and then show on its own basis it can't stand.
And, of course, once the unbeliever recognizes the importance and necessity of the worldview nature of your dispute, we are going to invite him to do the same for the
Christian position. Not only are we going to offer an internal critique as best we can from the unbelieving perspective, we're going to invite the unbeliever to do the same for ours.
And what the unbeliever is going to have to do at that point, he's going to hypothetically grant the Christian position and try to show on its own position
Christianity doesn't stand. That's what they're going to attempt to do.
Now, my advice in surviving—and you have an unbeliever who's pretty smart and knows the right questions to ask—how do you survive the internal critique of your own worldview?
And the key to surviving an internal critique is something very simple. It's simple to say, but it can be difficult because theology and study is complicated and difficult sometimes, right?
But the way to survive the internal critique is simply to know your worldview.
Just know your worldview inside and out. Know your theology. What does the Bible say about all of the main areas of your worldview?
And be able to explain that and defend it from within your own perspective. And so once we recognize that the critique that is being launched towards the
Christian side, when we begin to recognize that the critique is not adequately engaging in internal critique, it's not actually representing the
Christian position correctly, then we could just point out, hey, man, that's an external critique. That's not my position.
Your critique is coming from a foundation which I as a Christian reject. And so hopefully that will allow the other person to recalibrate their criticism and maybe kind of ask a different question or bring up a different point.
But to keep the issue on worldviews I think is very important in this indirect approach of examining fundamental assumptions.
Now, we examine fundamental assumptions or worldviews with respect to really the foundation of every worldview.
And I say this all the time, and this is super important, is that when I speak to an unbeliever, I look for three things.
What is their theory of reality? You see those there on my slides there. What is the unbeliever's theory of knowledge?
And what is their ethical theory? These are the foundations upon which everything else they believe is built.
So we can talk about the surface -level disagreements or we can go straight to the foundation. And what we're going to want to do is with gentleness and respect, we're going to ask questions.
We're going to press and critique their specific theories of reality, knowledge, and ethics and press them for consistency.
Because if those foundations are not consistent, then everything that is built upon those foundations is going to come crumbling down.
And so I think this is a very important way to approach worldview discussion.
Let me see here. I've got an interesting question here. Oh, I don't understand that question.
All right. Sorry. Moving along. Okay. All right. So let's take a look here. So here's the perceived value of precept as many people see it.
Now, there are, of course, people who don't see any value in presuppositionalism. We have people who really hate presuppositionalism and don't like the method at all.
And, again, if I was not a presuppositionalist, I would still take issue with a lot of the criticisms of presuppositionalism.
I know people don't like when someone says, well, you just don't understand my view, and they'll get upset.
They'll be like, well, of course you would say we don't understand it, right? But I do find that a lot of the criticisms of presuppositionalism is based on misunderstanding, misunderstanding from people who should know better.
So I do really take issue with a lot of the criticisms, and I would take issue of those criticisms even if I myself were not a presuppositionalist but I understood presuppositionalism as I understand it now.
Okay. So yeah, you want to make sure if you're going to critique a view that you properly understand it.
I think that's important. Nevertheless, the perceived value of presuppositional apologetics, right, many people see the value of this method when applied to, say, something like materialistic atheism.
And you see they're kind of the one that we pick on, right? When we lay out the presuppositional method and we say, well, what does this look like in application?
Many times the presupper will pick on the materialistic atheist. You see this in the books as well.
Jason Lyle in his book The Ultimate Proof for Creation uses examples on how to apply the presuppositional method to atheism.
He's got some other views in there as well. So people kind of see that. They're like, okay, from a Christian perspective, if I'm trying to think of what's the best way to approach presuppositionalism, atheism seems to be kind of the easy token target to illustrate presuppositionalism's kind of main thrust.
So we can show, we can say this, but it has to be actually done, but we can show that given the presuppositions of the materialistic atheist, he can't make sense of his adherence to the laws of logic, abstract conceptual laws and things like that.
Nor can he make sense out of the principles and procedures of science, issues like induction and the uniformity of nature.
The atheist can't make sense or give a rational account of the fundamental principles of ethics.
Now, I can say all of these things, and materialistic atheists and atheists of all sorts have responses to everything that I just said.
The question is, are those responses adequate? Do they actually provide an explanation of those things in a meaningful and consistent way?
I would argue, which is not the topic of this video today, but I would argue they do not. And those who see the value of presuppositionalism often will admit, hey, presupp works great against atheistic perspectives.
And that's fine. I'm down with that. I think it does. When we think of theism, we often think of atheism as kind of its diametric opposite, and usually apologetics is often spoken about within the context of interacting with atheists.
But again, apologetics is broader than that. Apologetics can be applied to literally any other position that is not the
Christian position, or it can be applied to other Christian positions that perhaps you're disagreeing over some important theological issue, and you're arguing from Scripture in defense of one view over another.
That's a form of apologetics as well. This is important because apologetics can take an external emphasis and an internal emphasis.
If you go to Jude 1, we'll use—let's use the
ESV. I like the ESV. I don't know. What do you guys think of the ESV? I like the ESV. So here's what it says here.
In Jude 1, verse 3, Jude says,
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you appealing to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Check this out. This is what he says. He says in verse 4, For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people who pervert the grace of our
God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Okay?
So notice that Jude says that he finds it necessary, right, to tell his audience to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered, and then he says,
For certain people have crept in. So apologetics is also done within the context of dealing with problems within the church, okay?
I think that's super important to keep in mind. So apologetics is not simply kind of, you know, one side of the coin is, you know, apologetic method, and then we're dealing with the atheist, right?
There's internal aspects of apologetics where we're going to have to do it within the household of the church as well, okay?
So super duper important. Now, what about false faiths, okay? What about competing religious claims?
I did a video back in the day with a friend of mine, Chris Bolt, who used to have that website.
I don't know if it's still up there, called Choosing Hats, and Chris Bolt is a good friend of mine.
He is excellent in his knowledge of presuppositionalism, and I remember when I was first exploring these issues, and more specifically this question,
I remember asking him, Hey, you know, presupp works great against the atheists, right? Everyone's seen the
Gordon Stein and Greg Bonson debate, and we kind of see, like, yeah, you know, that was awesome. But how do we apply this to other religious perspectives?
And, you know, before, when I was still green and a rookie in these areas, right, I thought he was going to give me some profound answer, some profound response, and he said,
Yeah, it's the same. Like, applying presuppositionalism to competing religious perspectives is the same as when you're applying it to an atheistic perspective.
Now, of course, there's going to be different content involved, right? A religion is going to be different than, say, you know, your atheist neighbor, right?
But the thrust of our argumentation is going to be pretty much the same, right?
So how to apply presupp to false faith. Simply put, we apply the presuppositional approach in the same way we would with the atheist or any other view.
We engage in internally examining competing worldviews, and then transcendentally arguing for the
Christian worldview, okay? Now, this video is not about going through the transcendental argument.
I have videos for that. But just as a general principle as to how we apply this to a different perspective, it's going to be the internal critique and the transcendental argument for the
Christian worldview. So we have critique, and then we have a positive presentation as to why Christianity is true.
And that's basically the same thing we're going to do with the atheist, right? Going to internally critique the materialistic atheist, and then we're going to offer a transcendental argument for the truth of the
Christian worldview, and show that given the presuppositions of the Christian worldview, the Christian worldview does provide the adequate ingredients for intelligibility, knowledge, science, and all of those other things that are preconditions for intelligible experience, all right?
And so the simple answer, if you want to shut the video off now, this is how we apply presub to false faiths, right?
But of course, there's more to be said, okay? So let's continue on. So you want to keep in mind here, okay, that when we're applying presuppositional apologetics and we're defending the
Christian worldview against religious claims, claims that include a belief in a deity or deities, not just any deity will do, okay?
The god of Christian theism, right, is unique, okay? We are going to argue for Christian theism.
And I get this question all the time when I use a transcendental argument. People will often tell me, well, couldn't another religion use a transcendental argument, right?
And the interesting thing is when someone says this, when they ask this, they almost— let me see.
I'm reading some of the comments here. Oh, very good. Nice. Good, good, good. They almost ask this question as though it's a critique.
Oh, you used the transcendental argument. Other religions can use that argument too. Yeah. Yes.
Anybody can use a transcendental argument. That's not the issue. That's not a criticism of the transcendental argument as we're using it from within the context of a presuppositional approach.
The question is, and I've said this multiple times in many videos, the question is not who can use the argument.
The question is who can pay the bills on the argument. Anyone could say their god is the necessary precondition for knowledge or intelligibility or science or whatever or ethics.
The question is when you get into the nuts and bolts of the worldview itself, can they make good on that claim?
And I'm going to jump out on a limb and say they cannot, and Christianity can. Our god is unique.
The Christian worldview is unique. It is sufficient to answer these pressing questions.
And so I want to encourage Christians, do not shy away from laying out your worldview for our god.
As Deuteronomy 3221 says, our god, OK, is not like the other gods.
Deuteronomy 3221 says for their rock is not our rock. And that is true. Isn't that true?
The prophets, the prophets in the Old Testament often critiqued the lifeless idols of the pagans who are under the sovereignty of those who created them.
That's not our god. Right. Religious language and appeals doesn't change the applicability of the indirect method of disproving opposing worldviews.
OK, so draping the discussion with religious language doesn't change the situation.
You want to keep that in mind. OK, so but this is important. The Christian god is unique for their rock is not our rock.
God is unique. We need to stand on the god of Scripture and stand on the Scripture. And we are going to try to defend a fully robust Christian worldview, along with its theological trappings and things like that.
I think that's super, super important. OK. All right. Let's move along.
So when Van Til taught his presuppositional method, OK, he placed great emphasis on the importance of defending a concrete conception of God.
Right. He would often call using language of philosophical idealism and things like that.
Now, Van Til was not an idealist, but he often used the language of idealism because of the nature of the folks that he was interacting with at that time.
But the conception of the Christian god is going to be concrete. This is we're going to be following Van Til here.
I think Van Til is spot on. This is the kind of God that we need to be defending.
OK, so when we say that Van Til's method is a concrete the defense of a concrete
God, what he's saying is we are not arguing for a generic theism.
We are not arguing for a generic theism or, as Doug Wilson once said, a fuzzy benevolence in the sky.
OK, a fuzzy benevolence in the sky. Thank you. Thank you. See best.
Eli reference should be Deuteronomy 32, 31, not 21. Thank you. That's a typo on my part.
I'll go back and fix that later. I appreciate that. OK, hey, that means you're listening. That's good. Good for you.
I appreciate it. Test all things. Right. I appreciate that. Thank you. Let's see here.
OK, I got to be not distracted from the comments. I'm never going to finish. We're going to finish. So. All right.
So we are not arguing for a generic theism. We are not arguing for God. And this is important.
We're not arguing for God as an abstract hypothesis. God is not a hypothesis, as often people say, the
God hypothesis. We're not arguing for God as a hypothesis. We're not arguing for God whose attributes are undetermined or under determined.
What we are arguing from a worldview perspective, from a presuppositional perspective, we are arguing for specific and full biblical
Christianity enslaved by truth. Don't worry. Question dumping is not bad at all.
I usually take the questions. What I will do is I will go back to the comments and I will look at them and I will try my best to maybe respond to the comments or even write an article.
If your question is, you know, something that I'm like, hey, maybe I can write something, you know, I'll do it. So don't hesitate.
If you have a question, type it in there. I won't get to it tonight, but I definitely will try my best to get to it. So I appreciate you sending in the questions.
All right. All right. Well, so far, if you are following me, give me a thumbs up or a smiley face or something to let me know that you are following along.
OK, hopefully I'm not talking too quickly. I've been talking a lot today, so I kind of feel like a robot right now.
Just I'm just I'm just flying through. So hopefully you are able to follow along.
All right. So let's continue. So we are defending a concrete conception of God. We are defending a fully a fully orbed, as some people often use that phrase, a fully orbed
Christianity. All right. Very, very important. So let's move along here.
Now, apologetics is theologically grounded. This is something that Van Til made a great he placed great energy in highlighting the the importance of apologetics being theologically grounded.
Right. Apologetics is not separate from theology. Our apologetic indeed flows and grows out of the soil of theology that is itself biblically grounded.
OK. And so Van Til's emphasis on theology and apologetics is quite intentional.
OK. It was quite intentional that Van Til began his apologetic syllabi and especially his book, The Defense of the
Faith, which is his most popular book, with a detailed statement of Christian theology.
And it is intentional because the presuppositional method is not amenable to any other religion.
It is not just Christian theology that Van Til placed a great emphasis on in his books, but a very specifically reformed
Christianity. Van Til, at least, and there's some great debate going on now as to whether presuppositionalism is only consistent with a reformed understanding of things.
Van Til definitely thought so. And while I am exploring this more and more, and I have personally a lot to learn with the ins and outs and how this method is applied,
I tend to agree with Van Til on this point. I think presuppositionalism flows out of a consistent, reformed theological perspective, a reformed doctrine of God, a doctrine of man, a doctrine of sin, all of those things.
They are very much connected to how we do apologetics. All right. So that's an important emphasis there by Van Til.
I like that picture of Van Til. That's when he was a young buck. He was young and looking dapper there with the combed back hair.
People looked so much different back then, didn't they? I always notice that looking at old pictures.
All right. Let's continue. So someone might ask, well, aren't all religions the same?
This is a common misunderstanding. While there might be surface level similarities, there are fundamental differences between competing religious perspectives.
And although there's a sense of unity between world religions to certain respect, Christianity stands unique from all of them.
OK, it's unique with respect to its doctrine of God as triune. It's unique with respect to its central gospel message.
It's unique with respect to the nature of the revelation that the God of Christianity provides, both in general and special revelation, the nature of Scripture as a divine word from God.
This is unique. You don't see this a lot in many other religions. Now, other religions definitely have their sacred books, to be sure.
Right. You have the Vedas, you have, you know, the Quran, you know, the Book of Mormon, you got all sorts of religious books.
But I would argue that the Bible is unique. None of the sacred books that we can kind of go through claim what the
Bible claims for itself. OK, the Bible claims for itself. It identifies itself as a verbal, written revelation from a personal
God. Believe it or not, that is not the same,
OK, as what other religious books are claiming. There are authoritative books in other religions that these books play a central role within the religious perspective.
But they're not making the same claim that the Bible is making. I think it's important to recognize that one of the reasons as Christians that we believe the
Bible is the word of God, one of the reasons is that it makes the claim. It would make no sense to say the
Bible is the word of God if it did not at least minimally make the claim to be the word of God.
The written word of God is the words of God. Even Jesus said, have you not read?
Right. Have you not read what God said? Let me get the passage there.
I think it's worthwhile reading. I'll give you a moment here. All right.
That's Matthew 22, 31. Matthew 22, 31.
We're going to do the ESV. Let's be consistent here. OK. All right. And as for the resurrection of the dead,
I think he's speaking to the I don't know the context here. I'd have to look at the context. I think he's speaking to the Sadducees. I might be wrong.
Don't check the context. But he says, as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what
God said to you? OK, that's important because Jesus is equating.
OK, he is equating the written word with the spoken word of God.
And so the Bible is unique in what it claims to be. It is a verbal, written revelation from a personal
God, not an abstract concept, not an impersonal God, nothing along those lines. OK, very different than what a lot of other religious perspectives are putting out there.
Now, what does an internal analysis of the metaphysical and epistemological presuppositions of these different religions uncover?
Well, they uncover a number of things. Metaphysically, they either uncover the fact that there is no God. For example, you take something like Buddhism.
Buddhism does not necessitate a belief in a God. There are Buddhists who do believe in God, but there's nothing essential about Buddhism that warrants a deity of any sort.
OK, metaphysically, they can lead to the idea that there is no personal God. OK, God is impersonal.
He's an impersonal force, so to speak. You know, some of these religions have ideas like that. There is no God who is omniscient and sovereign in the way that the
Bible puts forth. OK, what about epistemologically? OK, they are not, these other religious books are not like the
Bible, which claims to be a personal communication, an infallible revelation from the only living, completely sovereign, and all -knowing creator.
Now, I'm going to put this guy on the spot here. Tim Moore, OK, most blessed.
Big words. That's true. These are big words. And I want to simplify them for you.
OK, now you might know what these are, but there might be someone else listening and be like, bro, these are big words, man, all right?
Metaphysics deals with the study of the nature of reality. So I like to summarize metaphysics in this question.
What is real? Metaphysics asks, what is real? And however you answer that question, you're going to be putting forth your metaphysics.
Epistemology is one's theory of knowledge. It asks this question. How do we know what we know? Not how do we know
God exists, but like, how do we know anything? Right.
That's an epistemological question. OK, now, we also will find when we examine these other religious perspectives that ethically, these other books give no reason to submit to them as true or normative.
They offer no ethical or epistemological authority. And what they say basically reduces to non -authoritative opinion.
Now, they do offer metaphysical commitments and epistemology and ethics. They do offer that. But there's nothing inherent within the books themselves that make them authoritative.
They do not give a warrant as to why we ought, why we should, why we are morally obligated to hold to the metaphysical, epistemological and ethical standards that they provide.
Whereas in Scripture, not only does the Scripture provide for us a metaphysic, a theory of reality, an epistemology, a theory of knowledge, and an ethic, a theory as to how we ought to live our lives.
OK, it also, if the Bible is what it claims to be, comes with the authority of God. And so it makes sense within the
Christian worldview that one ought to hold to these things. All right. And again, this is what makes the
Bible unique. All right. Now, what about religions that do have an authoritative text?
OK, religions do have authority. There are religions out there that have authoritative text. You know, I got the
Book of Mormon, the Doctrine of Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. You have the Quran. Of course, we have the Bible. You know, you have, you know, the
Torah and the Tanakh. If you're if you're a Jew who holds to what we would call the Old Testament.
OK, but what about like books like the Book of Mormon or the Quran? I would say that the religions that don't suffer from what
I just described previously, what you will find is that in many cases they are nothing more than poor imitations of Christianity.
All right. I mean this respectfully, but Mormonism is a poor imitation of Christianity. There is no evidential support nor presuppositional consistency within the
Book of Mormon and Mormon theology. OK, this is definitely not what the apostles taught. There is no evidence of continuity between what
Mormonism teaches and what the early Christians taught in the scriptures. OK, these other religious perspectives have a quasi
Christian philosophical outlook. They are operating on what we would call borrowed capital. Now, again,
I could make this claim, but you're going to have to demonstrate that throughout the course of the interaction within these people, within discussions with these people.
We can basically treat these perspectives like Christian heresies that borrow or defer to portions of the
Bible. Isn't that right? And so we respond to them using the scripture of ours that they affirm.
This is important. How are we going to deal with the Mormon? How are we going to deal with the Muslim? Well, both perspectives affirm various portions of our authoritative text.
And so at that point, we're going to want to find common ground between the positions.
OK, so if we were to give an illustration, we can take, for example, Islam. Now, again, I'm not an expert in Islam, but I am familiar with some of its basic tenets.
And I think some of these illustrations will help us see at least how we might approach a Muslim, for example, within the context of a presuppositional procedure.
All right. So let's take a look here. So we'll use Islam as a test sample for what
I'm trying to get at here. Islam believes in a personal God. OK, they hold to the doctrine of Tawheed, which emphasizes the oneness of God.
OK, and Islam is a unitarian religious perspective. It has a divine revelation.
I would not say that the Quran is the same as what Christians believe about the
Bible. There is a difference with respect to what they mean when they say that the Quran is the word of God. But nonetheless, they do have an authoritative divine revelation from their perspective.
All right. So let's take a look here. For example, if we were to apply a presuppositional procedure to Islam, what are we going to look for?
OK, now, this is important. You'll see there that I have on my first option there, my first point, that we're going to want to find common ground with the
Muslim or the Mormon or whoever. And this is important because this is often confused.
Presuppositionalists will often say that neutrality is a myth. There are no brute facts that we appeal to and then work our way up autonomously to various and sundry conclusions.
There's no neutrality. But you want to be very careful here. There is a difference, and Van Til made this difference definitely, between what we call neutral ground, which doesn't exist, and common ground, which does exist.
OK, those who are familiar with Van Til's work, this will be related to what I think it's even a title of one of the chapters in his book,
Christian Apologetics. It's touching on the on the issue of what we would call the point of contact.
What is the point of contact between the believer and unbeliever? And I think here the point of contact is going to be those areas within Islam that are granted.
In other words, they grant for us as Christians. OK, for example, the common ground,
I think, is going to be that Muslims affirm the teachings of getting distracted again.
Let me see. Yeah, that's true.
Truth defenders. Yeah. So we have Moses, David and Jesus. The Muslims affirm, you know, what
Moses and David and Jesus did. OK. And so what we're going to do is we're going to take those that common ground and we're going to try to expose the inconsistencies with the previous revelation that has been given to us.
OK, so if Islam affirms Moses, then to Moses we will go.
OK, that is the common ground. Now, we're not understanding scripture in a neutral fashion or understanding scripture within the context of the
Christian worldview. But if they grant Moses, David and Jesus, then that's where we're going to go and we're going to demonstrate the inconsistency.
I think a good place to go for Moses to kind of, you know, to go and see what
Moses tells us as to how we are to test new revelation or a prophet or anything along those lines is
Deuteronomy, chapter 13, verses one through five. Deuteronomy, chapter 13, verses one through five.
And this is what it says. This is what Moses says, since Moses wrote Deuteronomy. And yes, there's gonna be a question there.
Do you believe in Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch? Yes, I do. I do believe in, you know, the conservative view of Mosaic authorship.
But nevertheless, here is Deuteronomy 13, verses one through five. If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder and the sign or wonder what he tells you comes to pass.
And if he says, let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them. You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams.
For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.
But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your
God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery to make you leave the way in which the
Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. That is
Deuteronomy 13, one through five. So Moses teaches us that we are to test the prophets.
OK, and if the Muslims agree with Moses, then they should agree that we should test the teachings of the
Prophet Muhammad. Right. Super important point. OK, so here's a critique in a nutshell of Islam.
This is the presuppositional procedure applied to Islam because the internal critique Islam teaches to test its claims against previous revelation.
When we test its claims against previous revelation, we find contradictions.
Yes, we do. OK, now here's the interesting thing. What will we be told when we appeal to our scriptures and we point out contradictions?
A, the Muslim might have a response and explanation to what we think is a contradiction. So we can show try to show that it's not a contradiction.
That's fine. That's part of responding and going back and forth. That's perfectly fine. Or we'll be told that our texts have been corrupted.
And that's why our texts seem to be teaching what it's teaching. But in fact, it's in contradiction to what the what those scriptures were supposed to teach, which, of course, what the scriptures were supposed to teach is precisely what
Islam is teaching. Right. So we have the interesting situation where we are told to test the teachings of the prophet by previous revelation.
But then when we go to that previous revelation, we're told that it's corrupted. And if this is the case, then the interesting question arises.
How are we to obey the teachings of Islam that tell us to test its claims? Or if our scripture is corrupted, we are unable to test the claims.
You see that you see the problem there. OK, I think that's an important point to to bring out. That is an internal critique because we are hypothetically granting the truth of the
Islamic position. And then we're showing that on its own terms, we cannot even do the very thing it commands us to do to validate the teachings of Mohammed and the teachings of Islam.
OK, so that is an example of a presuppositional procedure against a religion who has an authoritative book which grants to a certain extent some of our scripture.
OK, so very, very important. All right. Let's take a look here.
So we can we could also offer a theological critique, which is another form of internal critique. You could critique some basic teachings or interpretations of scripture and those sorts of things.
And you could take like a theological concept in Islam. And examine it for internal consistency.
So, for example, you take Surah 42, 11, which says the originator of heavens and earth.
He made for you mates from your own selves and mates of the cattle, by which means he multiplies you. Nothing is like him and he is the all hearing and the all seeing.
Here you have a reflection of the Islamic teaching of Tanzi, which refers to Allah's transcendence and incomparability.
Allah cannot be likened to anything else. And I think Truth Defender is right here.
He says Allah is not really knowable because nothing in creation is like him. So he can never truly be known.
All his descriptions mean something other than how we know them. Yeah, that's that's that's true.
Yep. And if he is so unlike anything, how can we even meaningfully speak of him?
OK, how can there how can there be something in human language that captures accuracies with respect to what
Allah is like? And of course, the Quran itself is human language telling us a whole bunch of things about Allah.
OK, so I think there's an inconsistency there. There's a logical tension in there that you'll want to press. Hypothetically grant the position and then critique.
OK, now, again, Muslims are going to have responses to this. And I think you should be respectful and hear them out and engage in meaningful discussion.
But as a general procedure, right, if we're just taking a look at from a presuppositional perspective, how might we engage with someone like a
Muslim or something along those lines? I think this would be the the procedure that we could follow.
OK, this is what we would call the internal critique. All right. Another way that we can another important thing we can point to is this concept of atonement.
Islam teaches that God is holy and just towards sin. But unlike the theology of the
Bible. And there you see this kind of Islam teaches to be in continuity with what has come before.
I think with respect to the atonement, Islam is not in continuity with what came before, especially the
Old Testament and the sacrificial system. You see that continuity within the New Testament. You don't see that continuity in the same way and in a meaningful way in the
Quran and the teachings of Islam. So Islam teaches that God is holy and just towards sin. But unlike the theology of the
Bible, there can be salvation where guilt remains unremitted, unatoned for by the shedding of blood.
OK, this is interesting. People say, well, why does God have to sacrifice his son?
Why does someone have to be sacrificed? What is the why are the wages of sin death? Now, this is very important because it highlights and within the
Christian position, the holiness and justice of God. The reason why death is required is because God is so holy and perfect that his law must be satisfied.
God would not be just if it was not satisfied. And so even when God bestows grace and mercy on sinners, his law does not go unsatisfied.
His law is satisfied, and that's why there is a sacrifice. And of course, God provides the sacrifice himself by sending
Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, who became incarnated and dwelt among us, lived a perfect life without sin and was our sacrifice and our substitute on the cross.
Islam's conception of faith and works doesn't adequately address the problem of sin. They have an inadequate and discontinuous conception of atonement.
You know, a person's previous bad works are not changed by later good ones, but continue on one's record in the very sight of Allah, who apparently cannot tolerate sin but must punish it.
OK, how do we make sense out of that without an adequate? Oh, sorry. Without an adequate conception of atonement.
All right. So these are a couple of pressure points that you can explore. Again, Muslims will have answers and that's that's fair.
We want to hear what they what they have to say. We want to interact. And if they bring up good points, that's a good opportunity to say, hey, you know, it's a great point.
Let me think about that and continue the discussion. But as an overall general principle, this is how
I would encourage people to apply a presuppositional procedure with respect to what we'd call the indirect method or the internal critique.
All right. All right. Well, all of that is a mouthful. That's my last slide. I hope that wasn't too fast.
OK, and we've been going for 51 minutes. Maybe I'll take a few questions and then we'll wrap it up as I feel like I'm losing my voice.
It's not good. One second. Should have brought a cup of water with me.
Let's see here. I'll try to answer some questions.
We'll see. Let's see here.
EO or copying reformed apologetics. So you had a guy on one time that said
EO can't use precept argument because of the essence energy distinction. I'd love to hear that worked out more.
I think maybe you're talking about when I had lean tipton. Yeah. Yeah, you do.
We do see an influx of Eastern Orthodox using presuppositional apologetics.
What I found helpful there, there's a really helpful article that explains kind of the little bit of what's going on there within an
Eastern Orthodox perspective. I think it was Joshua Shooping, who was a former Eastern Orthodox.
I don't know if he's a priest or something like that, and he wrote an article on his website. Let me see if I could find it here.
Reformed. It's got the best name for a website. It's called the Reformed Ninja, the
Reformed Ninja. And he wrote an article. We get it here.
Yeah. So it's called Eastern Orthodox ecclesiological presuppositionalism.
That's a mouthful. And he talks about I mean, I might as well read some of it here.
I think this is interesting. So he says here, some Eastern Orthodox apologists have sought to adapt a form of presuppositionalism in their defense of the
Eastern Orthodox Church or the EOC. Eastern Orthodox presuppositionalism is an ecclesiological epistemology.
That's wrapped up in the idea of the church, right? The ecclesiological epistemology. And even narrower, narrower still, it is a sectarian epistemology or an anti -Catholic epistemology.
In other words, according to EOP, Eastern Orthodox presuppositionalism, I presume, the epistemological ground or cause of knowledge is said to be rooted in Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology, where the
Eastern Orthodox presuppositionalism holds that the Eastern Orthodox Church is a precondition of intelligibility and knowledge.
In contrast, Reformed presuppositionalism is rooted in the Verbum Dei, with its epistemological ground seen to be
God's word and its epistemological consequence being unto and causative of ecclesiology.
Put more simply, the Reformed position is that we can know the church because of the transcendentally fundamental nature of God's word, not vice versa.
The Eastern Orthodox presuppositionalist position is that we know God's word because of the church, thus causing the scriptures and epistemology to submit to the church.
I'm going to continue on here and then I'll stop reading here, but this is interesting. Now, if the church becomes a precondition for knowledge, then the church becomes a viciously circular precondition for its own self -knowledge, and hence self -attesting, self -justifying, and finally, irreformable, which is just what we see in the
Eastern Orthodox Church. In other words, Eastern Orthodox presuppositional epistemology ceases to be bridal, ceases to be receptively and responsibly confirmatory of the bridegroom's word, but rather determinative.
But does this epistemological attitude or posture find support in the canonical structure of the
Eastern Orthodox Church? It would seem so, for as the universally accepted and unchallenged Council of Jerusalem in 1672 declared in Decree 2, wherefore the witness also of the
Catholic Church is, we believe, not of inferior authority to that of the divine scriptures, for one and the same
Holy Spirit being the author of both, it is quite the same to be taught by the scriptures and by the Catholic Church. Moreover, when any man speaks from himself, he is liable to err and to deceive and to be deceived.
But the Catholic Church, as never having spoken or speaking from herself but from the Spirit of God, who being her teacher, she is ever unfailingly rich, it is impossible for her to in any wise err or to at all deceive or be deceived, but like the divine scripture, is infallible and has perpetual authority.
Now, I'm going to stop reading there, but let me actually copy this. And if those who are interested in this stuff,
OK, let me see here. Paste, you want to read that article? I think it's coming from an
Eastern Orthodox person who wrote a book on presuppositional apologetics from an Eastern Orthodox position. And I think he edited it.
He put out a new edition and kind of retracted his old position. So, super interesting. It's a big topic.
I highly recommend folks check out that article. You can kind of get an idea of where the
Eastern Orthodox is coming from when he uses a presuppositional approach, this idea of ecclesiastical epistemology.
So you'll hear this a lot within discussions in Eastern Orthodoxy that, like, you don't even know what the scriptures are.
You don't even know what the canon of scripture is without the Church. And so for the Eastern Orthodox, the Church plays this very important epistemic justificatory principle for justifying what books are in the
Bible. And hence, the Bible also provides the ingredients to a further outgrowing of a worldview that they would hold to and defend from the perspective of the
Eastern Orthodox position. OK, hope that makes sense. All right. Well, unfortunately, that's it.
My throat is hurting. I can't go anymore. But I will be putting out another video soon that is going to talk more about atheism.
But with respect to this issue of neutrality, the myth of neutrality, I know that's kind of a common talking point within presuppositional circles, but it's a vitally important point when
I teach apologetics and I teach about this issue of neutrality.
It's somewhere I like to spend time in because it's one of the reasons why people have difficulty in apologetic conversations because they cater to the assumptions of neutrality of the unbeliever.
And so we're going to talk a little bit about how to expose the reality that, in fact, there is no neutrality between believer and unbeliever.
So stay tuned for that. I'm not sure exactly when I'll put that out, but I'll let you guys know in advance. And I very much appreciate all of you guys for spending some time with me, spending an hour with me.
And I hope that this information has been useful and beneficial for folks.
Remember to keep Christ at the center. Let's not get bogged down all the time in this kind of, you know, sophisticated philosophical theological terminology.
Which is important, but let us keep the gospel front and center and learn to.
And I tell my students all this all the time, learn to contextualize. OK, everything that I'm saying here, big words and all.
Once you understand what they mean and how we apply them, learn to contextualize those concepts into your everyday conversations.
That can be a little challenging, but with practice it can be done. All right, well, that's it for this episode, folks.
Guys, thank you so much. I really appreciate all of you until next time. Take care. God bless. Bye bye.