Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, January 22, 2010

Evidentialism, Presuppositionalism, and Irrationalism

[My response to a comment at God's Hammer. John Robbin's Not So Quick Quote. The original comment is first and following that is my response.]

Mike said:

Ok, I am still catching up with you all. Still reading through my Clark and Robbins. I am also catching up on R.C.'s errors. I was reviewing some of his writings and he has whole books dedicated to the conclusion that the reformers like Luther and Calvin were soley focused and devoted to faith alone, and that the Roman church rejected this and is therefore an apostate church. He sounds like he is fairly solid. I am not saying I agree with all his conclusions, and his views on God's providence certainly do not go far enough (thank you Gordon Clark). I have just read and watched so many sources from Sproul that seem to be denouncing the Catholic church.

Again…. I am asking the question not arguing the point, help me understand.

I like Robbins and he seems to be excellent so explain to me why every error is linked by to a vast Catholic concpiracy, to include R.C.'s views.

Mike, R.C. Sproul is not linked to a "vast Catholic conspiracy." I don't believe that is the argment that John Robbins had with him. R.C. Sproul is solid on many reformed points of theology. The point of contention is R.C. Sproul's approach to apologetics, which is modeled on evidentialism via the Roman Catholic church father, Thomas Aquinas. Gordon H. Clark's approach was presuppositionalism. Evidentialism begins with reason rather than with Scripture and with faith. Reason, being corrupted by the fall, can never lead to faith. Rather the eyes of the elect are opened through the preaching of the Gospel. So the beginning point is Scripture, not classical arguments for the existence of God.

The other issue is the dispute between Van Til and Clark. Both were presuppositionalists. So what was their point of contention? Van Til took the irrationalist route and denied that propositional truth in Scripture is rational. Van Til falsely accused Clark of "rationalism". By rationalism Van Til meant exalting reason above Scripture, which is not Clark's position at all. Rather Clark said that Scripture is revealed through rational form, i.e., logical and propositional truth statements which are completely rational and understandable and comprehensible.

Basically, Van Til's approach has more in common with neo-orthodoxy than with solid reformed theology. Sproul, on the other hand, is not a presuppositionalist but an evidentialist and thinks that reason can set the stage for accepting the existence of God and the special revelation of God in Scripture.

Presuppositionalism acknowledges that everyone has a presupposition and a predisposition. So the only way to break through the bondage of sin is through God's sovereign intervention and the appointed means of such an intervention is Holy Scripture and the preaching of the Gospel.

I don't totally disregard Sproul. I just reject his evidentialism. As with all theologians there is some adherence to the truth.

At least this is my take on the situation. Sean and the owners of the God's Hammer blog are sure to correct me where I've misunderstood.

Sincerely in Christ,


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.


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