PMW 2020-057 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is the third installment of four articles on worldview apologetics. As we continue, we must consider:
The Christian System and Presuppositions
What is the Christian’s starting point? What is his most basic presupposition upon which he builds his entire world and-life view? Where do we begin our argument?
Christian thought holds as its logically primitive, fundamental, all-pervasive and necessary starting point or presupposition, the being of God who has revealed himself in Scripture. Thus, our presupposition is God and his word. The Scripture, being his own infallible word (2 Tim. 3:16), reveals to us the nature of the God in whom we trust.
God is self-sufficient, needing nothing outside of himself at all (Exo. 4:11; John 5:26). All else in the universe is utterly dependent upon him (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). God is the all-powerful Creator of the entire universe (Gen. 1:1; Exo. 20:11; Neh. 9:6). God is personal, thus giving meaning to the vast universe (Acts 17:28). And God has clearly and authoritatively revealed himself in Scripture (2 Pet. 1:20-21), so we may build upon his word as Truth (Psa. 119:160; John 17:17).
The entire Christian system of thought is founded solidly upon this God; the all-ordering God of Scripture (Psa. 33:9; Isa. 46:10). We presuppose God for what he is. If God exists and demands our belief in Scripture, we cannot challenge or test him in any area (Deut. 6:16; Matt. 4:7). We recognize the independence of God and the utter dependence of man and the universe. Thus we do not have to exhaustively know everything to be sure. God knows all things and has revealed to us in his word the truth of uniformity (Gen. 8:22; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3) and all other truths we need to build upon.
Van Til Conference on Eschatology (3 mp3 lectures)
Three formal lectures on various aspects of postmillennialsm.
An excellent introduction to postmillennialism from a distinctly Reformed perspective. Includes discussion of the leading objections to the postmillennial hope
as well as an application of Van Til’s apologetic method to the postmillennial argument.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
The Non-Christian System and Presuppositions
Against this presupposed system, what does the non-Christian presuppose as ultimate truth? What does the secularist have to offer as its ultimate authority?
The non-Christian must ultimately explain the universe not on the basis of the all-organizing, self-sufficient, all-wise, personal God as his starting point. Rather but by nebulous, chaotic, impersonal chance. He asserts that the universe was produced by a combination of impersonal chance plus an enormous span of time. Thus the ultimate starting point and the all-conditioning environment of the universe is time plus chance. Consequently, rational science is rooted in the irrationality of chance. The scientist cannot speak of design or purpose in the universe because there is no designer or purpose. There can be no goal or purpose in a random system.
On this view science must by the very nature of its non-Christian commitment assume facts to be bits of irrationalism strewn about awaiting rationalization by man. Thus modem science is schizophrenic. On the one hand, everything has its source in random, ungoverned chance. On the other hand, evolution assumes all is not random, but uniform: that all is ungoverned, yet, nevertheless, is moving in an upward direction from disorder to order, from simplicity to complexity.
In this regard Christian apologist Cornelius Van Til has noted: “On his own assumption his own rationality is a product of chance. The rationality and purpose that he may be searching for are still bound by products of chance.” To prove a rational universe by chance man must believe the rational is the product of, and is dependent upon, the irrational.
Not only is all of reality founded on chance, but this leaves man to be the final criterion of truth, Man—sinful, fallible, finite man—becomes ultimate in the non-Christian system.
Great post, Dr. Gentry. I agree completely with the view that the secular scientist is inconsistent. The scientific method they present as the way to knowledge is dependent on the existence of the God of the Bible. Without Colossians 1:17 the scientific method is not even possible, for as soon as they complete step one of an experiment they could never go on to step two. Rather, they would have to continue proving step one over and over again because the result isn’t ever sure if evolution is reality. This is also clearly described in Romans 1 that all men intuitively know the Creator but continuously suppress the knowledge of him because of their sin nature. Thank you for these studies.