Podcast Discussion on Apologetic Methodology

I had an enjoyable discussion this afternoon with Adam Tucker and Devin Pellew on the subject of apologetic methodology. We discussed a number of topics related to the distinctions between Classic Apologetics and Presuppositionalism.

There were some good exchanges that took place, many of them worthy of independent comment in a blog article or two, which will be forthcoming.

It’s a little theologically geeky, but worth the time listening. Maybe play it at 1.5X speed so we sound really, really smart.

A Dialog on Apologetic Methodologies

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12 thoughts on “Podcast Discussion on Apologetic Methodology

  1. Please do. I thought my interaction was just “meh,” but that was the first time we had ever discussed any of those things. You get in a conversation and your mind starts racing all over the place about things I want to address, but then other subjects are brought up that I want to address and I forget those previous items. Arrggghh. Overall, though, it was a good.

  2. That was incredibly disappointing.

    Fred didn’t understand at all where the evidentialist was coming from. Obviously he wasn’t making a straw man; he was instead showing Fred’s need for evidence and argument. Likewise, when Fred says he’d argue with a Muslim about how nonsensical their book is, that’s an argument from evidence. Fred made some very strange comments about why Adam would separate what basis of truth from how we know truth, and how it’s the Spirit’s job to change hearts. But the first is obvious (that is, the two are different questions), and the second is an issue of monergism, which is not exclusive to presuppositionalism.

    I came looking for a good articulation and defense of presuppositionalism, but got instead what sounded like a very green presentation from someone who hasn’t through it through.

    I remain unclear even on what presuppositionalists have against evidentialism. Someone told me this was a great conversation, but…I think it’s one of the least informative I’d ever heard or read.

    For others looking to get into the meat of things, I’d suggest skipping to the last 45 minutes.

  3. Mike F complains,
    Fred didn’t understand at all where the evidentialist was coming from.

    Really? Please provide some examples of where I did not understand where he was coming from.

    Continuing,
    Obviously he wasn’t making a straw man; he was instead showing Fred’s need for evidence and argument.

    And I was answering him. Please, do tell me, how exactly would YOU answer the same question from a strictly biblical position that doesn’t appeal to phony Aristotelian “first principles?”

    Continuing,
    Fred made some very strange comments about why Adam would separate what basis of truth from how we know truth, and how it’s the Spirit’s job to change hearts.

    Please explain those very strange comments. Can you provide examples. Rather than just asserting.

    I came looking for a good articulation and defense of presuppositionalism, but got instead what sounded like a very green presentation from someone who hasn’t through it through.

    Hmmm. Been studying the subject for years. Have numerous articles written on it, including posted exchanges with Adam from a few years ago. I’m kind of curious what the heck you were expecting.

    Fred

  4. >Mike F complains,

    Fred gets snarky,

    >Please provide some examples of where I did not understand where he was coming from.

    I just did. Where you accused him of making a straw man. And where you answered how you would respond to a Muslim who says the Quran is the truth. You went and gave evidence, whereas his point is exactly that — you DON’T simply sit there and say “The Bible says it, so it’s true.” You give arguments for why the Quran is false.

    >Please, do tell me, how exactly would YOU answer the same question from a strictly biblical position that doesn’t appeal to phony Aristotelian “first principles?”

    Fred misses the point yet again. It’s not MY job to argue without evidentialism, since it’s not my position. You needed to explain why it’s consistent with your I-don’t-appeal-to-evidence apologetic.

    >Been studying the subject for years. Have numerous articles written on it, including posted exchanges with Adam from a few years ago. I’m kind of curious what the heck you were expecting.

    Not sure the relevance of this. Credentials? At any rate, I expected an articulate explanation of where presuppositionalism are fundamentally and practically different. What is the difference in underlying theology, and what is the difference in apologetic practice.

    But you seemed to miss the point whenever Adam tried to show you that you do, in fact, depend on evidentialism. He wasn’t interested in how you’d answer a Muslim about the Quran. He was interested in a practical and consistent application of presuppositionalism. You seemed to contradict yourself by putting forth an ideal that you then abandoned in your application.

  5. Beginning shortly before the 1:40 mark, you keep going back and forth between leaving it to God and not trying to convince Muslims, and arguing with them and showing them through evidence that the Quran isn’t true and the Bible is.

    That’s the inconsistency. And when you answer with what your argument is, you keep missing the point that both Adam and the moderator are getting at, which is the question of how you show someone the Bible is true. Through presupposition? Or through evidence? “I don’t try to argue, I leave that to God” combined with “I show them it’s inconsistent with the Bible” is a contradiction. And what you’re missing is that he’s not asking about the particular arguments you would use. He’s pointing out that you do, in fact, use an argument, rather than relying on presupposition.

  6. Mike argues,
    I just did. Where you accused him of making a straw man. And where you answered how you would respond to a Muslim who says the Quran is the truth. You went and gave evidence, whereas his point is exactly that — you DON’T simply sit there and say “The Bible says it, so it’s true.” You give arguments for why the Quran is false.

    A couple of things.

    First, you cite the wrong example. I did not accuse him of a strawman when we were discussing Islam. I accused him of a strawman when he kept raising all these alleged contradictory descriptions of God in the OT. He asked me “Do you think Jesus is flour and water?” “How do you answer that!?” It was honestly a screwy question in my opinion.

    In regards to the question about Islam, I provided an answer that is based upon the whole of Scripture. That being, the Muslim claims the Quran is additional revelation that is added to the OT and NT. In all of the conversations I have had with Muslims, and there have been many over the years, that is exactly what they claim. I tell them the Quran cannot be additional revelation because it contradicts much of what the Bible has already revealed.

    Then, I am not opposed to giving evidence, as I stated in the conversation. Evidence has to be interpreted and as Christians we do so through the authority of Scripture informing us about that evidence. I am still at a loss how you all conclude that is inconsistent, or whatever.

    You needed to explain why it’s consistent with your I-don’t-appeal-to-evidence apologetic.

    Did you listen closely to the discussion? I never stated what you are insisting I believe.

    Not sure the relevance of this. Credentials?

    Look it. YOU suggested I was a green beginner. I was introduced to presuppositionalism in 1992 as a new seminary student. I have a shelf of books on the subject. What credentials do you want?

    I expected an articulate explanation of where presuppositionalism are fundamentally and practically different. What is the difference in underlying theology, and what is the difference in apologetic practice.

    And you seriously think you could not distinguish our differences? Really?

    But you seemed to miss the point whenever Adam tried to show you that you do, in fact, depend on evidentialism. He wasn’t interested in how you’d answer a Muslim about the Quran. He was interested in a practical and consistent application of presuppositionalism. You seemed to contradict yourself by putting forth an ideal that you then abandoned in your application.

    No. You guys have a serious misconception of what it is presuppositionalists believe and I am guessing I didn’t fit your narrative and you think I am inconsistent. I can’t help it if you have presuppositions coming into a discussion about what it is I believe and affirm.

    And then from your last comment,
    And when you answer with what your argument is, you keep missing the point that both Adam and the moderator are getting at, which is the question of how you show someone the Bible is true. Through presupposition? Or through evidence? “I don’t try to argue, I leave that to God” combined with “I show them it’s inconsistent with the Bible” is a contradiction. And what you’re missing is that he’s not asking about the particular arguments you would use. He’s pointing out that you do, in fact, use an argument, rather than relying on presupposition.

    You are manufacturing a contradiction that does not exist and you are insisting I take a particular track when in point of fact I don’t. Here is what I wrote under this post, https://hipandthigh.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/csi-apologetics/

    “By way of introduction, I will say that I am not opposed to utilizing evidence based arguments when I engage unbelievers with the Gospel. While I heartily agree that any so-called “evidence” for the existence of God or the integrity of Scripture is open to interpretation by the presuppositions the unbeliever brings to bear upon that “evidence,” a discussion involving evidence can be used to reveal the folly of those presuppositions and the faulty, inconsistent worldview from where they originate.

    A good example of what I mean can be found in the debate James White had with atheist Dan Barker back in 2009. During his presentation, Dr. White played a video of an animation showing the F1 ATPase structure in the mitochondria. He did not present the video as “neutral facts” that can be used to reason with an unbeliever about the reality of God’s existence. He presented it as a fact that is incompatible with Dan Barker’s materialistic atheist worldview. In short, the presentation of this video exposes the folly of the atheistic interpretation of the world.

    Additionally, just so as to be clear, I don’t depend upon evidence to be the persuading element in an evangelical encounter. Nor do I further believe the Holy Spirit “uses” evidence to clear intellectual obstacles as classic apologists claim in their dialogs with me. That is because a sinner’s refusal to believe has nothing to do with his intellect being cleared, but has everything to do with his heart. He has a moral problem, not an evidence/intellect problem.”

  7. Pingback: Late February 2015 Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links | The Domain for Truth

  8. Pingback: Sinners and Their Knowledge of God – A Rejoinder | hipandthigh

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