Thursday, May 08, 2008

Spurgeon on presuppositional apologetics

John Frame offers this definition of the presuppositional approach to apologetics:

"It takes account of what Scripture says about our obligation to presuppose God's revelation in all our thinking about the unbeliever's suppression of the truth, and it understands that according to Scripture the goal of apologetics must be to convince people that God's revelation is not only true, but the very criterion of truth, the most fundamental certainty, the basis for all intelligible thought and meaningful living." (New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics, IVP, 2006, p. 578).
When reading Surgeon's Lectures to my students the other day, I came across this remarkable piece of pre-Van Til presuppositionalism:
"...the sceptic cries, 'What I want is facts.' These are our facts: let us not forget to use them. A sceptic challenges me with the remark, 'I cannot pin my faith to a book or a history; I want to see present facts.' My reply is, 'You cannot see them, because your eyes are blinded; but the facts are there none the less. Those of us who have eyes see marvellous things, though you do not.' If he ridicules my assertion, I am not at all astonished. I expect him to do so, and should have been very much surprised if he had not done so; but I demand respect to my own position as a witness to facts, and I turn upon the objector with the inquiry - 'What right have you to deny my evidence? If I were a blind man and were told by you that you possessed a faculty called sight, I should be unreasonable if I railed at you as a conceited enthusiast. All you have a right to say is - that you no nothing about it, but you are not authorised to call us liars or dupes. You may join with the revellers of old and declare that the spiritual man is mad, but that does not disprove his statements.' Brethren, to me the phenomena which are produced by the Spirit of God demonstrate the truth of the Christian religion as clearly as the destruction of Pharaoh at the Red Sea, or the fall of the manna in the wilderness, or water leaping from the smitten rock, could have proved to Israel the presence of God in the midst of her tribes." (Lectures to my students, C. H. Spurgeon, Banner of Truth Trust , 2008 reprint, p. 224-225).

1 comment:

Meshech said...

1:20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 1:21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn’t know God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe. 1:22 For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.