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How to Uncover Basic Flaws and Hidden Lies in Attacks against the Christian Faith

12. What is the Christian's Presupposition?

As noted earlier, whatever Christians do, think or say needs to be grounded in the truth of the Bible. We shall love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). The first commandment is to have no other gods before Him (Deuteronomy 5:7). The Hebrew literally say “you shall have no other gods before my face” or in my presence; it doesn’t suggest we can have God first and whatever else second and third.

Peter puts the authority of Scripture higher even than any of his own empirical experiences as we have seen before and which is worth repeating (2 Peter 1:16-19). Note his use of the phrase more fully confirmed: And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed” than his own eyewitness account, more sure than anything to him. For Peter, the word of the prophecy (the Bible) is his ultimate authority. It is his presupposition. It is that by which he interprets everything else, including his personal experience.

For a Christian, the Bible is his ultimate authority, and because it is such, you cannot appeal to something else to prove it.

In presuppositional apologetics we present Christianity based on the word of God as the only worldview by which human knowledge is even possible, as opposed to evidential apologetics, which argues for a high probability of the truth of the Christian faith based on evidence discussed by unbelievers and believers in a neutral way using unaided human reason. When we look through the scripture, we will never find the Bible treating God’s word as probably true but as completely certain. Here are just a few examples of the many in the Bible:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
"... this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3).
For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict” (Luke 21:15).
"Peter proclaimed, Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him [Jesus] both Lord and Messiah" (Acts 2:36).
"But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ" (Acts 9:22).
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever” (Psalms 119:160).
The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalms 19:7).
As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is tried” (Psalms 18:30).
Your testimonies are fully confirmed; holiness befits Your house, O LORD, forevermore” (Psalms 93:5).
The works of His hands are truth and justice; all His precepts are sure” (Psalms 111:7).
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

As Christians we can’t appeal to a humanistic measure to try to figure out if what the Bible says is true or not. Trying to do so is always an unsuccessful endeavor. The Christian author C.S. Lewis writes: “A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers - including even his power to revolt. ... It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower.” (C.S. Lewis, A Mind Awake, p104) As Christians we really shouldn’t be joining unbelievers in their revolt against God by assuming another ultimate authority. We have to appeal to God as ultimate authority. Wait a minute though – isn’t this circular reasoning? Not at all. Think about it. If an unbeliever says: “Reason is my ultimate authority”, you should normally ask: “How do you prove that?” Now he would answer by either saying: “Reason proves it”, in which case it will be circular; or he would say: “X proves it”, where “X” could be anything (science, human agreement, common knowledge, and so on), in which case “reason” is no longer his ultimate authority but “X”. When we are talking about “ultimate authority”, in the nature of the case it must be self-verifying and self-authenticating. You cannot appeal to anything outside your ultimate authority to prove it.

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