I posted the following comments tonight over at the evangelical outpost and Vox Day’s blog.
From the Vox Popoli thread entitled “A more efficient approach“:
Actually some argue that unbelievers (i.e. non-Christian theists) have no logical grounds whatever on which to stand.
They secretly borrow from the Christian theistic worldview in order to grasp any knowledge, yet they do so unwittingly. This is because their hearts are darkened by their wickedness. They suppress the revealed knowledge of God in unrighteousness and are without excuse for their failure to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The average illogical atheist seems to think it not strange at all that he and I (a Christian theist) can both count ten objects and agree that there are, in fact, ten objects there. He thinks it a matter of rational, material, empirical observation seemingly oblivious to the fact that a rational-material universe cannot account for empirical observations of any kind.
For example, there is no reason in a rational-material universe that communication or discussion would hold any relevance whatsoever since “logic” and “reasoning” would simply be things that happen in our brains. Since humans don’t share the same brains we would never expect the same things to be happening in two different brains in a rational-material universe.
Some synapses might fire but the resulting attempt to discuss what happened would be incoherent and meaningless were it not for the existence of the Christian God who allows men to function properly in the universe He created.
I blogged on this very subject just tonight.
Coram Deo | Homepage | 02.12.07 – 1:54 am | #
While I can create a logically consistent moral code based solely upon logic and reason, what I cannot do (and I submit that nobody else can either) is come up with a reason that anyone should follow it.
You cannot live up to your claim since man’s reasoning is an insufficient and defective ultimate authority unto which he may appeal.
And so we see that you fail the proposed philosophical test before it is even taken.
All of these arguments boil down to a question of ultimate authority. For the Christian the ultimate authority is the self-attesting Triune Creator God of the Holy Bible, and for the unbeliever it is something else, usually himself.
For the unbeliever the tool of reason (reasoning) would be transformed into the final judge for knowing anything (as though there could be some abstract thing that might be venerated as “Reason”), thus replacing the final authority or standard of God’s revelation. It’s worth noting that this line of reasoning – so called – is also a clear example of the logical fallacy of reification or hypostatization. The crux of this fallacy is treating as a concrete or specific entity a series of events or an abstraction.
Again I’m reminded of the rhetorical question of the Apostle Paul in his Mars Hill discourse in 1 Cor. 1:20-21; “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”.
The answer of course is there is none who can effectively gainsay the manifold wisdom of God Almighty.
Coram Deo | Homepage | 02.12.07 – 2:14 am | #
jefferson exhibits the same “problem with God” that many antagonistic unbelievers project.
They usually end up somewhere around the periphery of the supposed “Problem of Evil” pronouncing that the Christian God is immoral or unworthy of worship for some reason or another.
But again these aren’t evidences against the existence of God, they’re simply expressions of pre-existing unbelief.
What we see is more of the circular reasoning which is the hallmark of the unregenerate mind.
Coram Deo | Homepage | 02.12.07 – 2:23 am | #
From the evangelical outpost thread entitled “Jesus the Logician (Part 1 of 4):
Joe – I believe your work is important, but I fear that evangelicals as a group are woefully unequipped for the task at hand. We live in an age of deplorable apostasy within the professing church wherein many (most?) pastors have bowed their knees to the church growth Baal of Rick Warren and his ilk.
Between the purpose driven madness and the emergent church of ecumenical deceit which are running rampant across the barren, desolate landscape of modern Christianity there are very few “watchmen at the gate” who truly serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, as I blogged today, I believe it has been a repeated mistake of apologists to approach unbelievers as though their interpretation of certain areas of reality (e.g. “nature”) were quite intelligible in terms of their professed philosophy (regarding reality, knowledge, and ethics) and acceptable as far as it goes, simply needing to be supplemented with some propositions about the “supernatural”. The apologists focus should not be restricted to this “added” dimension, but rather should encompass the entire range of human knowledge. There should be no quarter given to the unbeliever on which he may stand since his reasoning is altogether defective, in fact it is sinful! This is because the unregenerate man has displaced God as the ultimate authority and elevated “Reason” upon the throne of his mind and heart.
The error of most Christian apologists is to seek a compromise with the natural man’s claim to intellectual autonomy. The apologist hopes for any kind of favorable mention or acknowledgement or superficial agreement from the autonomous mind-set. And in order to “win it over”, it offers to make common cause with its assumptions in a vain effort to show those autonomous perspectives actually support nonautonomous conclusions. The favor of the natural man is thus gained at the cost of reinforcing the unbeliever’s claim to ultimate authority and failing to intellectually challenge the alleged self-sufficiency of his reasoning.
For you see, the unbeliever’s reasoning is an affront and a challenge to the revealed truth of the Holy Bible and the created order. Sinful man suppresses the knowledge of God in unrighteousness and is without excuse before his Creator and Judge.