Monday, October 16, 2006

How Do We Know What We Know? Part Two

Because we are trying to justify, or prove that there is a basis for knowledge by presupposing a starting point, this way of reasoning is called presuppositionalism. Presuppositionalism offers some great benefits:

• Your first principle is the basic commitment of your ‘heart’, the core of your thinking and therefore the greatest authority when reasoning.

• You do not have to prove your first principle and therefore it does not have to be settled or negotiated every time you enter into a discussion. You need only to demonstrate that it is more consistent in explaining truth than an opposing first principle.

• By making God’s Word the basis of your first principle you have established an authority outside yourself, in fact your authority is none other than the sovereign Creator of all things.

The Bible Is Self-Athenticating
Until now I have not included a single bible verse in this discussion. Before we may begin to form a biblical doctrine (bible teaching) we must establish that the bible is our authority. This means that there is no test by which we can prove the bible, the bible is the highest authority and the ultimate source of truth and knowledge. The Bible cannot be put to any test by which we would measure other literature. Science cannot test the bible for science is not a higher authority. The Holy Bible must be presupposed to be the test of all things. Therefore, the only acceptable validation of the Bible is the Bible itself - the Bible is self-athenticating.

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

What does the Bible say about knowledge, truth and itself? It is far from silent on these great issues.

“the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” Proverbs 1:7 What a marvelous first principle that makes!
“all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ” Col. 2:3

Taking these two verses together we are introduced to the key element of presuppositionalism. Truth and knowledge cannot exist outside of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is no basis for reasoning outside of an understanding that God is the source of truth and knowledge. This being true, our unsaved friends and neighbors are working and arguing from an extreme disadvantage. They must borrow from our worldview in order to establish anything to be true. Will my neighbor use logic to prove there is no God? Impossible! He must use logic that only exists in and because of God in order to use logic, therefore, as soon as he or she argues logically against the existence of God, God has been established by the use of God’s logic. Reality begins with and within Jesus Christ. “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

We may assume the worldview of our unsaved neighbors only long enough to show them that their worldview is lacking but we must argue from our biblical worldview for only it can make any sense of reality. What is morality without a biblical basis? Morals change with each government and convention. Ethics get defined in the context of the culture of the times. But if the Bible is the basis of morality we have a real and true authority to turn to. It is not changed by the whim and fancy of mortal and fallen people.

“The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:7,8

(Go To Part Three)

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