Presuppositional Reply -- By: Jason Lisle

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 11:2 (Fall 2013)
Article: Presuppositional Reply
Author: Jason Lisle


Presuppositional Reply

Jason Lisle

I enjoyed reading Dr. Scott Olpihint’s response to my opening article. As I said in my first response, I believe that his approach to apologetics is very biblical. Since Oliphint did not address the issue of the age of the earth in his response, I cannot find much with which to disagree. I will simply suggest, as I did in my response to Oliphint’s first article, that the apologetic method that both he and I use only makes sense in light of the literal history of Genesis and that history includes a six–day creation. Only if we take the words of Genesis as written can we make sense of the apologetic method that we both endorse. And if we take the words of Genesis as written, then God really did create heaven and earth and everything within them in six days. So there is a strong link between what on the surface may seem like two unrelated issues.

In my closing article, I will deal primarily with Dr. Richard Howe’s response. Howe states, “When referring to ‘fact’, Lisle evidently means facts about the physical world, to say that our ‘interpretation’ of even physical facts is always relevant to . . . our worldview makes it impossible for Lisle to know the reality of any worldview

other than his own.”1 (89). But this just is not so. God has given human beings the ability to consider for the sake of hypothesis the competing worldview of the critic and to show how it fails to comport with knowledge. Our thinking is correct to the extent that it lines up with the biblical worldview. Therefore, the more biblical our worldview, the more we will be able to correctly understand and critique the worldview of the critic. An optometrist can correctly examine another person’s glasses and expose their defects only because he is wearing his own glasses and therefore sees things as they are.

Howe states, “What is missing from Lisle’s formulation is any direct access to reality” (89). But this is philosophically naïve. Only God has direct knowledge of reality. All of our knowledge is ultimately derivative. It is processed through the senses and mind that God has created for us. All of our knowledge of reality comes directly or indirectly from God’s revelation to us (Ps. 36:9). Indeed, all (not some) of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are deposited in Christ (Col. 2:3). We cannot begin to know anything apart from God (Prov. 1:7).

The weakness of Howe’s position is evident in his statement, “As a Classical (or Scholastic) Realist I would submit that ou...

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