Presuppers Contra Copan

Updated: 3/14/12 — 12:16 PM

Paul Copan’s recent TGC post  Questioning Presuppositionalism has drawn a number of responses:

I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this.

B”H

7 thoughts on “Presuppers Contra Copan

  1. James White added his 2 cents today too. As someone who started out an evidentialist, all I ever heard from those on that side was that presuppositionalism is too arbitrary and can only argue for Theism, at best, but can’t make a case for the Triune God of the Bible specifically. Now I’ve picked up Bahnsen and find that the evidentialists misrepresented him (not completely, I’ve still got some qualms, but anyway) – the back-and-forth on this topic is helpful for me as I wrestle with the strengths and weaknesses of each. That all is to say: maybe some sort of synthesis will come out of it all sometime?

  2. Steve & James: Duly noted.

    Tom: I’ve detailed some of my journey with presuppositional apologetics here. There was a time when I felt pretty much the same as Copan argues in his post.

    And I’d agree that the presuppers were misrepresented in what you heard. That’s really the argument against classical apologetics, or at least the classical arguments for the existence of God. They get you to a god but not necessarily the Christian God. At that point you have to start weighing probabilities and everyone isn’t working with just weights and measures if you know what I mean. Thanks for the link to White’s podcast. I’ll check it out.

  3. Nick,

    What do you think of Craig using the mythical Greek character Cerberus to describe the Trinity? Was that a bad idea?

  4. Nick: Wow, your “journey” hits pretty close to home for me too. I will say, though, that the “classical apologetics” approach was never something I dabbled in much (talk about abstract! at least to my mind). My evidentialism would more follow the pattern of John Warwick Montgomery, who avoids the “which god?” problem by going straight for the death and resurrection of Jesus as his linchpin argument. Of course, that has its limitations as well (such as the “probability” game you mention in your linked post).

    It is interesting to me in all of this how I have seen both evidentialists and presuppositionalists turn to the same texts (Romans 1&2; Acts 17; etc.) and say that they prove their respective approaches are Biblical and the other approaches unBiblical. I guess it comes down to hermeneutics there, which may just prove something in itself…

  5. EDH: I think all analogies fail and should be avoided but I think Craig’s view of the Trinity in general is a bad idea. He’s a social trinitarian so his analogy works for his understanding of the Trinity, but I think it’s a flawed understanding nonetheless.

    Tom: You’re right; it is interesting how both adherents use the same texts to bolster their methods. If I’m honest, I see both methods used in Scripture, so at the end of the day I don’t think anyone has exclusive rights to a “biblical” apologetic. My main thing about apologetics is that it’s simply giving a reason for the hope that is in us. Reasons differ so apologetic methods will as well.

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