- Hardcover: 290 pages
- Publisher: American Vision Press (April 25, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0915815559
- ISBN-13: 978-0915815555
- Package Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended Hardcover – April 25, 2010
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About the Author
Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen (1948-1995) was once described as the man atheists fear most. He was a distinguished scholar, author, and Christian apologist. He was an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and the author of Theonomy in Christian Ethics, No Other Standard: Theonomy and Its Critics, and co-author with Kenneth Gentry of House Divided: The Breakup of Dispensational Theology.
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First, this book has some history behind it that is important for understanding where this book fits within the Bahnsen corpus. Originally this was part of a work that Bahnsen was writing which would outline presuppositionalism and critique inconsistent presuppositionalists as well as other openly evidential apologetic approaches. The work was almost finished but due to other engagements was not finished and was lost for many years only being found a couple years ago sixteen years after Bahnsen's death. The third part of the book was never finished so this volume contains the first two parts in their entirety. Other Bahnsen books published on apologetics are mostly culled from various lectures (with the exception of Van Til's Apologetic). This work however was written directly by Bahnsen and is therefore very well written, engaging, and surprisingly understandable for the subject matter.
As mentioned above, the first portion of the book lays out the basics of presuppositional apologetics and shows how only a truly presuppositional system upholds the Lordship of Christ in the various philosophical divisions while other systems attempt to assume "neutrality" and in the process subvert the original task of showing Christianity to be the truth. Bahnsen spends a good 50 to 60 pages expositing Scripture and brings out what the Scriptures teach and their implications for the task of apologetics. Bahnsen shows how evidential approaches are objectionable on both an epistemological and ethical level. Due to the fact that evidential approaches do not presuppose God's revelation they therefore have no proper foundation for their epistemological task of setting out to prove God. On an ethical level, the evidentialist abandons the Lordship of Christ in the area of epistemology in an attempt to get the unbeliever to submit to the Lordship of Christ in epistemology. The evidentialist approach is seen to be both dishonoring to the Lordship of God and insufficient to "prove" the existence of God or the fact of Christianity. Bahnsen explains the internal conflicts within the unbelievers system of thought and shows how to expose these logical contradictions.
The second part of Bahnsen's book is devoted to a critique of other presuppositional approaches. Specifically, the methods of Clark, Carnell, and Schaeffer are critiqued. The primary insufficiency Bahnsen sees in these various approaches is that while retaining elements of presuppositional thought, they fail to be truly presuppositional in the fact that they insist on autonomy, testing, and verification. Their approaches, like the evidential approaches, leave Christianity as a possibility, the most likely possibility perhaps, but not the only possibility as Bahnsen labors to show throughout the book. This book is truly a great resource and has clarified presuppositionalism for me and answered a number of questions. Bahnsen gives the believer an apologetic tool box which doesn't succumb to the attraction of autonomous reason or complex philosophical arguments that are not grounded in the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Prov. 1:7).
The kindle version does not have any table of contents.
I usually read the table of contents to give me a first impression of the structure of the book.
So I guess it was a bit harder to understand at first because of that.
It was really missed but the much lower price compensate.