Paper Writing: A Prayer Request
In November, i’ll be presenting a paper at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (in New Orleans). Here’s the proposal I submitted to the commitee:
Perhaps the single most common argument against a presuppositional apologetic methodology is the charge of fideism. One doesn’t have to look far in the relevent literature to find Van Tillian methodology dismissed or said to hold to a position that undermines the task of Christian apologetics. Though the term “fideism” is being rehabilatated in some circles, it is still widely understood as a dogmatic proclaimation of one’s view irrespective of rational argumentation. Nothing, it is believed, seems to demonstrate the fideism of the presuppositional method as well as their rejection of linear argumentation. Van Tillians are said to embrace, as a fundemental rule of their approach, circular reasoning.
The aim of this essay is twofold. First, I will show that the charge of fideism against Van Tillian presuppositionalism is both imprecise and inaccurate. This will be done by showing that while some definitions of faith and reason are incompatible, others are not. Second, we will examine the charge of presuppositionalism’s alleged embrace of begging the question. This will be done by distinguishing between vicious and virtuous circularity, arguing that presuppositionalists embrace the latter, but eschew the former as strongly as their critics.
So, other than teaching, this is what I’ll be focusing on for the next several months. Please keep me in prayer that the Lord would open up time to get this done and a provide me with clarity of thought to accurately address the topic.