The more I read about presuppositional apologetics (PA) the more I like it as an apologetic method. I’ll confess that I find it superior to others. To start I think it’s more honest since it recognizes the gaping chasm that exists between believers and non-believers and it doesn’t pretend like there’s some sort of middle ground bridging the two sides. It really is true that when you try to start out in neutral that you’ve already conceded your position. Second, I appreciate that it does make use of evidence, it just doesn’t treat supposed evidences as unassailable proofs that no unbeliever could deny. All evidence has to be interpreted and our presuppositions are vital to our interpretation. Believers and unbelievers simply don’t see the same things when looking at the same evidence. I could list some other things that I like about it but I’ll leave it here for the time being. I will confess one more thing though: the more I read about PA the more I see just how vital the inerrancy of Scripture is—in fact I don’t think PA could exist without this foundation. When I look back to old debates and exchanges that I used to have I see that the presuppositional method was somewhat intuitive and I was using it at times without even knowing it. It’s probably not a coincidence that at that time I staunchly defended the inerrancy of Scripture as well. Maybe things will come full circle; who knows?
If you’re interested in reading about PA then I’d recommend the following books (I’m sure there are others but these are the ones I know; perhaps Jeff Downs could weigh in with some recommendations):
- Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings and Analysis — Greg Bahnsen
- Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended — Greg Bahnsen
- Pushing the Antithesis: The Apologetic Methodology of Greg L. Bahnsen — Gary Demar, ed.
- Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction — John Frame
- Five View on Apologetics — Stanley Gundry, ed.
- Revelation and Reason: New Essays in Reformed Apologetics — K. Scott Oliphint & Lane G. Tipton, eds.
You’ll notice a lack of reference to Van Til’s work directly (for the record I’ve yet to see anything of the Clarkian variety of PA that impresses me that it’s superior to Van Til’s approach); this is because Bahnsen’s book quotes Van Til extensively (he is, after all, offering an “analysis” of Van Til’s apologetic) and he’s quite difficult to understand. Thank God for Bahnsen’s analysis! But if you’re smarter than me (which is highly likely) then go to the source and read Van Til for yourself!