Another Cup Of Coffee -- By: Greg Bahnsen

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 27:3 (Summer 2014)
Article: Another Cup Of Coffee
Author: Greg Bahnsen


Another Cup Of Coffee

Greg Bahnsen

According to Cornelius Van Til, apologetics aims to defend the Christian faith by answering the variety of challenges leveled against it by unbelievers, thereby vindicating the Christian philosophy of life (worldview) over against all non-Christian philosophies of life (worldviews).

There are a large number of ways in which Christian truth- claims come under attack. They are challenged as to their meaningfulness. The possibility of miracles, revelation, and incarnation are questioned. Doubt is cast upon the deity of Christ or the existence of God. The historical or scientific accuracy of the Bible is attacked. Scriptural teaching is rejected for not being logically coherent. Conscious life following physical death, everlasting damnation, and a future resurrection are not readily accepted. The way of salvation is found disgusting or unnecessary. The nature of God and the way of salvation are falsified by heretical schools of thought. Competing religious systems are set over against Christianity. The ethics of Scripture is criticized. The psychological or political adequacy of Christianity is looked down upon.

These and many, many other lines of attack are directed against biblical Christianity. It is the job of apologetics to refute them and demonstrate the truth of the Christian proclamation and worldview—to “cast down reasonings and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God” (2Co 10:5).

Therefore, apologetics involves intellectual reasoning and argumentation. The loathing of such things in many quarters of the modern Christian community is unhealthy. Reasoning is not an unspiritual activity, and argument does not mean personal contentiousness.

There is a use of the mind and scholarly procedures which is indeed proud and ungodly—”walking in the vanity of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart” (Eph 4:17-18). Nevertheless, Paul just as clearly affirms “you did not so learn Jesus” (Eph 4:20). Christians have been renewed in the spirit of their minds (Eph 4:23; cf. Col 3:10) and granted repentance “unto the knowledge of the truth” (1Co 2:25). “We have the mind of Christ” (1Co 2:16), in light of which we seek to develop a philosophy that is not patterned after worldly thinking and human traditions, but rather after Christ, “in whom all the treasures of wisdom and kn...

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