A critical comparison of different Apologetic methodology – Van Tillian Presuppositionalism, R.C Sproul’s Classical approach and Soren Kierkegaard’s view of Truth as Subjectivity

Before google{Below is the abstract and Introduction of an essay I wrote as part of the Transforming Contemporary Apologetics course at LST. Full essay is available on request, including feedback with shortcomings in my analysis}

Abstract

This essay is a response to the chosen topic below:

Choose one of the following debates and critically compare the approaches of three different apologists: existence of God, faith and science, pluralism, the problem of evil, the Bible and inspiration. You should choose authors from different historical periods and possibly representing different schools of apologetics. Of these authors, at least one should be a contemporary. The comparison should also include the differences in approaches to the transformation theme.

With a conversation between an Atheist and Christian in the foreground (Stephen Fry and Bear Grylls), I argue that to make a sufficient appeal to the existence of God as an explanation for the cause of the Universe one must have an adequate epistemological grounding which the Classical method of apologetics (as espoused by R.C Sproul cannot provide). Van Tillian Presuppositalism is then held up as an effective alternative especially given the context of Postmodernity.

Introduction

This essay deals with the issue of the existence of God in the today’s context and the appropriate Apologetic method for engaging Atheism in this present age. The argumentation methods for Christian Theism will be discussed arguing that the best Apologetic that should be applied is that of Cornelius Van Til’s Presuppositionalism. This method will be compared to the Classical approach of R.C Sproul, whom although belongs in the same reformed tradition, rejects Van Tillian apologetics mainly on the grounds of circular reasoning and Fideistic Subjectivism.
The writings of the Christian philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard will be brought to bear particularly on the issue of the subjective aspect of Christianity and its proper place in the debate about the existence of God, especially in an age where Postmodern theory (as represented by Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida) is pervasive.
Competent Christian Apologetics has always been aroused whenever Christendom has felt the intellectual stimulus of a new philosophical challenge and there is none more currently challenging than the new Atheism of the four horsemen. The challenge that the prominence of these men poses must also be seen as an issue that not only affects the credibility of the Christian message but of society as a whole.

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