Sunday, July 31, 2011

What is Van Tillian Presuppositionalism?

Van Tillian Presuppositionalism is the Reformed and therefore Biblical apologetic school. This method proves that man cannot prove anything unless the Triune God of Scripture is presupposed; said otherwise, the Christian worldview must be presupposed (the Christian) or borrowed from (the non-Christian) in order to know anything. An Intelligible argument cannot be formulated from any assumption that denies the Triune God of Scripture. Cornelius Van Til in summarising his method stated that “The only proof for the existence of God is that without God you couldn't prove anything."
Van Tillian Presuppositionalism presupposes the existence of the Triune God of Scripture. There is no neutrality between the Christian and the Non-Christian, as the Christian accepts the truth of God, while the non-Christian suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1). God’s existence is ontologically necessary, and because man’s knowledge is dependent on God’s knowledge, our reasoning and logic must be in subjection to Scripture. The Christian interprets facts in light of the self-authenticating Scriptures; therefore, because Scripture has its foundation in the all-embracing plan of God, this God must be presupposed.
The Christian worldview is the only self-consistent worldview, as the atheist cannot account for the existence of anything without borrowing from the Christian worldview. Thus, the Triune God of Scripture is proven by “impossibility to the contrary”. Because the atheist denies the source of everything (God), they cannot account for the existence of anything; therefore, whenever the atheist uses logic, reasoning, morality etc., they are borrowing from the Christian worldview in doing so. Unless the existence of the Triune God of Scripture is presupposed, it is impossible to prove anything, as God is the necessary foundation for proof itself.
The Christian communicates to the Non-Christian the truths they supress; the non-Christian will either 1) continue supressing the truth of God in unrighteousness (Bahnsen compared this suppression to denying the existence of air while breathing it) or 2) by the Holy Spirit accept the truth of God that they formerly suppressed. In both outcomes, God remains sovereign: the non-Christian will continue to supress the truth of God, unless God appointed that specific time to effectually call them by His word and Spirit to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ, monergistically enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God.
(C), J. Williams, July 2011.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Norwegian terrorist is not a 'right- wing fundamentalist Christian'

After the tragic news of the twin terror attacks in Norway on July 22 2011, news outlets throughout the world described the perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik as a "right- wing fundamentalist Christian".

1) "Right Wing"

"Right- wing fundamentalist Christian" is loaded description. Firstly, to label him "right wing" without any further clarification is very misleading; such a view of the political spectrum is black and white, therefore inaccurate.

If we used those identical black and white standards used by the media to describe the right wing to likewise describe the left wing, I could just as easily argue "Robert Mugabe is left wing and extremist, Barrack Obama is left wing; therefore Barrack Obama and the entire left wing are extremists." The media's line of reasoning is therefore pure nonsesne.

The misleading journalism did not stop here. The media continued to point out Breivik's severe hatred for Muslims. And may I ask, are the moral beliefs or Islam (i.e. their views on homosexuality) right wing or left wing? If Breivik's views represent those of the entire right wing, then we must conclude that Muslims unequivocally hate themselves! Do not be fooled by the media; Breivik is not right wing, he is an extremist, just like Hitler on the extremist right, and Jong Il and Stalin on the extremist left.

2) "Fundamentalist Christian"

The second part of the phrase 'right wing fundamentalist Christian' is an even more inaccurate description. In fact, it is a blatantly dishonest attack on Christianity from the media, as the fundamentals of Breivik are certainly opposed to Christianity.

A 21st century intellectual said "I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian". That statement is from Christopher Hitchens: a man who vocally speaks out against religion, more accurately represented Christianity that the 'unbiased' media.

Breivik himself stated "If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian." Here, Breivik explicitly confesses that he does not have a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God"; therefore by even Hitchens definition, Breivik is "really not in any meaningful sense a Christian". As Breivik does not even understand what Christianity is, how can we expect him to successfully and honestly explain what the "cultural, social, identity and moral platform" is? It is certainly not terrorism.

Furthermore, Breivik denied being religious, confessed that he doubts God's existence, stated that he does not pray. These are not marks of a Christian.
A Christian will keep God's commandments - not ignore them, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (John 14:15 NASB); a man who doubts the existence of God cannot strive to keep that which he doubts to exist. He certainly does not obey God's command that He be prayed to (Phil. 4:6-7). The Christian does not doubt God, but believes and trusts in God in faith "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen". Is doubting the existence of God reconcilable with having assurance that a promise of God will come to pass by God? Breivik obviously does not have faith.

This brings up a third question: because his fundamentals are not Christian, where do his fundamentals come from? Breivik stated ‘As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. Europe has always been the cradle of science, and it must always continue to be that way. Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe".

"Science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings" shows that this man's authority is not God as revealed in Scripture, but is Science as interpreted by man. Holding the science of man as authoritative over the word of God is atheistic - not Christian! Scripture declares that "God created" (Gen 1:1); it is atheism, not Scripture that removes God from creation. Darwinism is athiestic, not Christian; Breivik's authority it atheistic, not theistic. As a self-confessed Darwinist, Breivik is a fundamentalist atheist: not a Christian. 
The terrorist said further "Efforts should be made to facilitate the de-construction of the Protestant Church whose members should convert back to Catholicism. The Protestant Church had an important role once, but its original goals have been accomplished and have contributed to reform the Catholic Church as well. Europe should have a united Church lead [sic] by a just and non-suicidal pope who is willing to fight for the security of his subjects, especially in regards to Islamic atrocities."

It is clearly evident that this man is not Protestant: he described "Protestantism as the Marxism of Christianity" and referred to sola fide as "everything we do not want". Further, he longed to fight crusades under a "Crusader Pope" looking to the Roman Catholic Crusades for inspiration. He believed that those who died would receive an indulgence, and enter heaven for their martyrdom... of course this eternal life will be with the God who probably does not exist and should not be prayed to or obeyed...

3) Final Remarks:

Breivik is neither right wing, nor a fundamental Christian. Politically he is an extremist, period. Religiously he discards creation for evolution, replaces Christian duty with autonomous aggression, rejects sola fide for indulgences and rejects the truth of God for a lie. He is an atheist - not a Christian: atheistic (evolution) not theistic (God as creator). Terrorism is an ungodly result of disobeying God, not the godly result of obeying God. Terrorism is atheistic to its core.

(C) J. Williams, 2011.