June 17, 2015

Apologetic Method

Atheism, Apologetic Method, debunking atheists, Greg Bahnsen, Always ready, religion

Summary On Apologetic Method

Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen

from the book
Always Ready
Directions For Defending The Faith


The Nature of the Apologetic Situation:
1. The controversy between the believer and "unbeliever" [*I would think a more accurate term would be "idolatrous denier"] is in principle an antithesis between two complete systems of thought involving ultimate commitments and assumptions.
Col 2:3, 8
2. Even laws of thought and method, along with factual evidence, will be accepted and evaluated in light of one's governing presup­positions. Lk 16:31
3. All chains of argumentation, especially over matters of ultimate per­sonal importance, trace back to and depend upon starting points which are taken to be self-evidencing; thus circularity in debate will be unavoidable. However, not all circles are intelligible or valid.
4.  Thus appeals to logic, fact, and personality may be necessary, but they are not apologetically adequate; what is needed is not piece­meal replies, probabilities, or isolated evidences but rather an at­tack upon the underlying presuppositions of the "unbeliever's" sys­tem of thought.
1 Cor 1:20
5. The "unbeliever's" way of thinking is characterized as follows:
a.   By nature the "unbeliever" is the image of God
Gen 1:26 and, therefore, inescapably religious; his heart testifies continually, as does also the clear revelation of God around him, to God's existence and character. Rom 1:19, 20, 32
b.  But the "unbeliever" exchanges the truth for a lie Rom 1:25. He is a fool who refuses to begin his thinking with reverence for the Lord Pr 1:7 ; he will not build upon Christ's self-evidencing words Mt 7:26, 27 and sup­presses the unavoidable revelation of God in nature.
c. Because he delights not in understanding but chooses to serve the creature rather than the Creator
Rom 1:25, the "unbeliever" is self-confidently committed to his own ways of thought Pr 12:15; being con­vinced that he could not be fundamentally wrong, he flaunts perverse thinking and challenges the self-attesting word of God. Pr 13:16; 1 Cor 2:14
d. Consequently, the "unbeliever's" thinking results in ignorance; in his darkened futile mind Eph 4:17, 18 he actually hates knowledge Pr 1:22 and can gain only a "knowledge" falsely so-called. 1 Tim 6:20
e. To the extent that he actually knows anything, it is due to his unacknowledged dependence upon the suppressed truth about God within him. This renders the "unbeliever" intellectually schizophrenic: by his espoused way of thinking he actually "op­poses himself" and shows a need for a radical "change of mind" (repentance) unto a genuine knowledge of the truth. 2 Tim 2:25
f.   The "unbeliever's" ignorance is culpable because he is without excuse for his rebellion against God's revelation; hence he is "without an apologetic" for his thoughts.
g. His "unbelief" does not stem from a lack of factual evidence but from his refusal to submit to the authoritative word of God from the beginning of his thinking.
Lk 16:31