In loving memory of Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen [September 17, — December 11, ] Who was “always ready” to defend the faith, and always ready to meet his. Always Ready Bahnsen, Greg L. $$ Product Description. This book is a compilation of several of Dr. Bahnsen’s published works on Christian. Always Ready. (Directions for Defending the Faith). Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen Texarkana, AR: Covenant Media Foundation, pp., paperback, $
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Booth is an apologetics textbook composed of the works of the late Greg Bahnsen — a notable advocate of presuppositional apologetics. The first section, previously published as a syllabus, provides a step-by-step explanation of key issues in Christian apologetics and establishes the biblical support for the presuppositional method. The second section of this volume offers further practical advice on how to approach an apologetic situation and provides specific answers to particular apologetic questions… x.
The Christian should not be ashamed of this fact. Bahnsen continues to lay out the foundations of the presuppositional apologetic, citing Van Til and Calvin not a few times. The foregoing considerations not only establish that there is no neutral ground between the believers and unbelievers, but also that there is ever present common ground between the believer and the unbeliever. All men have in common the world created by God, controlled by God, and constantly revealing God.
In this case, any area of life or any fact can be used as a point of contact. The denial of neutrality secures, rather than destroys, commonality.
So Bahnsen seeks to put aside the idea that there is no commonality between believer and unbeliever, and spells out where he sees the differences are. He discusses the idea of autonomy:. The non-Christian thinks that his thinking process is normal. He thinks that his mind is the final court of appeal in all matters of knowledge. He takes himself to be the reference point for all interpretation of the facts.
That is, he is epistemologically become a law unto himself: In short, Bahnsen says the scriptural approach is to show the unbeliever that his view is actually impossible, while showing that Christianity is the only view that, if presupposed, allows for rationality and intelligibility of the world: Such is the Scriptural perspective and method.
Apologists are prohibited from using a non-presuppositional method in defending the faith under the excuse that thereby truth might abound. In various forms, the fundamental argument advanced by the Christian apologist is that the Christian worldview is true because of the impossibility of the contrary. To put it another way: However, section two provides a rich resource of practical answers to the most bahnaen attacks on Christianity.
It is also less controversial. So Bahnsen moves away from theory in the first half to practice in the second half: And when all is said and done, it is not the theory of apologetics which defends the faith and stops the mouth of critics.
Book Review: Always Ready by Greg Bahnsen | Apologetics
Only the practice of apologetics can do that. This review, however, will not expand any further on the content in the second half. Directions for Defending the Faith is one of the main texts one will turn to when studying presuppositional apologetics. Straight-forward and to the point, Always Ready is an easier introduction to presuppositionalism than Van Til. Covenant Media Press, For a contemporary example, that may be a little more humble in its approach, try The Reason for God by Tim Keller.
Always Ready is absolutely a great start and very informative book. If you wish to more delving into this type of apologetic and want to read Bahnsen’s Life magnum opus then read Van Til’s Apologetic: Brian, do you think that Bahnsen’s approach can be harmonized with an evidentialist approach?
I’m of the opinion that both tactics can be utilized, but I have yet to come up with a consistent approach because Bahnsen seems to be so at odds with evidentialist apologetics. I am not sure how Bahnsen would answer that. But one thing that comes to mind for me is that there is a difference between an evidentialist approach and the use of evidences.
I think Bahnsen would alwaya the use of evidences. But it seems to me that he would reject any approach that doesn’t presuppose Reafy and instead uses evidences to “get there. I disagree with Bahnsen where he says that this is the prescribed Biblical approach and the only legitimate approach. Boa and Bowman’s Faith Has Its Reasons has an integrative model at the end in which they argue that contributions from the different methodologies can be effectively used together.
Thanks for the review.
Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith by Greg L. Bahnsen
I’d only hope that you were slightly more critical. The most desired form of criticism from you came in the comment right before mine:. I wish you would have integrated this line of criticism into your review, and show where you depart and where you agree.
Also a Philosophy professor at my university wrote two essays on Presuppositionalism bwhnsen Bahnsen.
They’re academic papers but I think you would enjoy it. Primer On Presuppositionalism http: Bahnsen on Self-Deception http: There are a number of concerns I have with Bahnsen’s approach, but I was really trying as a personal goal to remain neutral and try my best to properly portray Bahnsen’s perspective in a way that is fair and accurate. I felt that trying to do that would just add to the noise.
My disagreements at this point would not be reeady enough to critique it to my satisfaction; that is, this is an ongoing debate and I am not knowledgable enough to feel I fully understand the view first. Not that I am anti-presuppositionalism — I am open to it and willing to be persuaded.
But right now my biggest “blocks” are that I don’t think it is prescribed as “the” scriptural approach — and I don’t think it is the only God-honoring approach. It depends on the audience really. You could not be effective using Bahmsen on, let’s say, a catholic.
Another method would have to be used. This approach is for the nonbelievers. Reaady said “Indeed I do not decry evidence. In fact the presuppositionalist is more of an evidentialist than the evidentialist.
We say that all evidence is evidence of God, even one’s very ability to reason about evidence. The problem is giving swine the pearls. Presupps allow people to understand and evaluate their worldview that is hostile to God instead of evaluate evidence for the existence God. Where I see the problem with an evidentialist apologetic style is that you are forcing your audience to place themselves in the judges seat and place God on trial! That is certainly not a Biblical form of apologetic by any stretch of the imagination.
Remember that we are the ones on trial as criminals and presupps keeps God in that Judge’s seat. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock…The trial may even end in God’s acquittal.
But the important thing is that man is on the bench and God in the Dock. Bahnsen said bqhnsen the apologist treats the starting point of knowledge as something other then reverence for God, then unconditional submission to the unsurpassed greatness of God’s wisdom at the end of his argumentation does not really make sense.
There would always be something greater then God’s wisdom-namely, the supposed wisdom of one’s intellectual starting point. The word of God would necessarily logically, if not personally remain subordinate to the autonomous,final standard. The Presuppositional apologetic approach is the only approach that makes sense of Proverbs Telling an Atheist to “try Jesus” is not Biblical, asking nonbelievers to evaluate God instead of evaluate self isn’t either.
Presuppositional apologetics is extremely Biblical. After writing all of this Bahnwen just realized who The Apologetic Front is now, he is no stranger to any of this. Love your work TAF. What I said still stands even if it were for an different audience. Bahnsen did his doctoral dissertation on self-deception. He summarized his view on the subject in the following essay:. Definitely not bahnssen subject that is commonly addressed in philosophy nor in theology.
Nor is it something most Christians would think of as relevent to apologetics or evangelism. But it’s raedy important subject. I see that Joel Garver has posted a link to his critique of Bahnsen’s position. I’ll have to check it out. What’s even more fascinating is how apologist can conceive of a God who is all powerful yet always need human reason for defending. Please, by all means, ask God for answers. If asked, then I am merely giving an explanation for my faith as instructed.
If you can you have faith without a brain then I would agree. All your doing is using your brain to conceive ideas that you call faith to perceive the unknown.
Always Ready : Directions for Defending the Faith
What is fascinating is how apologist can’t see this. Do you know for certain we use our brains to conceive ideas that we call faith to perceive the unknown? If so, how are you certain of this? Now, does the readyy of logic exist outside of the human mind? If not, how are you certain of that? If so, how do you account for alwys universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, aoways what basis do you proceed with the assumption that they will not change, and how is it possible to know anything for certain according to YOUR worldview?
I am not the one here trying to prove certainty, you are, and so it is up to you prove it, and so will you never find rest in proving what can not be proven without a mind to testify for it. But as for me I can rest assured knowing fully that before I was born none of this was of any importance to me, and so I let it be.
I will try it again, I wrote a response bahnswn might of forgotten to hit post so it didn’t go through…grrr.