Why I can’t do presuppositionalism

20130322-192013.jpg

This guy discovered a lot of things – because he didn’t rely on what he already knew to be true, but investigated, continuously. All true already exists — we just have to investigate it, to discover it… in all sciences, even biblical studies.

Post By Joel L. Watts (10,153 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

Connect

7 thoughts on “Why I can’t do presuppositionalism

  1. Joel, I don’t think you understand presuppositionalism. It does not say that all knowledge can only be shown in advance. It says that certain foundational conditionals can not be argued for but only presupposed. Every investigation, including the discovery of X-rays, depends upon prior presuppositions. Though I don’t know much about physics, I assume at the very least that he was dependent upon some foundational presuppositions about the behaviors of waves and the like. I would argue that these discoveries don’t challenge presuppositionalism at all.

    • Jeremiah, PA requires all knowledge to stay within certain realms, therefore, they limit investigations. Expansion of knowledge, new discoveries, etc, is not allowed. It is not that PA allows for a starting point — all reason begins somewhere — but PA also includes a necessary limit.

  2. Any time you think you can dismiss a largely accepted tradition of thought with such a simple argument then you should know that you have misunderstood. Presuppositionsists also know that we discover new things all the time. They aren’t stupid. They may “limit” investigation when they say that, for example, you must presuppose the truth of Scripture to arrive at something truthful. That would limit, for example, knowledge which presupposes that is based on some discovery of science which is contradictory to Scripture. Most of them would not accept Darwinian notions of evolution, so investigations of new evidence would not be permitted to be grounded on that foundation but must be grounded on your reading of the text. You still should and will discover new bits of info, you just have to interpret them within your presupposed frameworks. They would argue that those that oppose them do the same thing but simply aren’t cognizant of their presuppositions.

    • you just have to interpret them within your presupposed frameworks

      And that limits investigation, that limits actual knowledge.

      And this:

      hat would limit, for example, knowledge which presupposes that is based on some discovery of science which is contradictory to Scripture

      Except scripture doesn’t talk about science. Because of this terrible presupposition, and an almost cultic adherence to a bad interpretation, YEC’ers aren’t able to fully investigate God’s world.

      And this:

      They may “limit” investigation when they say that, for example, you must presuppose the truth of Scripture to arrive at something truthful.

      Except, again, presuppositionalists have their own interpretation which is impossible for them to consider wrong. Their faith is nothing more than a house of cards.

      • “Except Scripture doesn’t talk about science.”

        This is the kind of presupposition that gets in the way of your discovery of knowledge, but unlike the presuppositionsists, you are unaware of it. A statement like this is dependent upon a bad Kantianism that separates matters of faith and the everyday matters of existence. The bible is not a science textbook (as many YECers presume), but it does say some things about science because both science and scripture are written about the same world: this is my presupposition.

        You cannot point to one groups bad presuppositions and then claim that the methodology is bad. Presuppositionalists, I would suggest, are often right on the methodology and often wrong on the presuppositions from which they proceed with their theology.

        To assume that we can do theology without presupposition is too modernist and Kantian for my blood. I would much prefer to just be honest about my presuppositions.

        BTW, this does not limit investigation based on other presuppositions. I am a fan of MacIntyre who thinks we can gain a “second language” competency based on other presuppositions.

        • Jeremiah, as one who studies Scripture with a bent to the historical, I can tell you, Scripture does not speak to science – the how. While it does speak to existence (which is what Creation is)…

          Presuppositionalists have no real methodology extending past a circle. This is not, in anyway, Scriptural or scientific. Instead, it is a house of cards mentality. You can call it Kant, or whatever, but the truth remains – PA starts with what they believe is the truth and limits any investigation past the stated truth. This is classica PA. If you have developed some other form, fine, but it is hardly PA.

Leave a Reply, Please!