Rationality and Presuppositionalism
Van Tillian apologetics has often been charged as fideist. Fideism is the position which maintains that Christian belief is either irrational or a-rational (non-rational) and can only be “known” on blind faith. As in the case of many objection to presuppositionalism, this objection fails to do justice to the words of Van Til and his disciples. Hear these words from leading Van Tillian interpreter, the late Greg Bahnsen:
God wishes for us to be rational: to exercise and improve our reasoning ability in understanding, propounding and defending the truths of Scripture…The kind of rationality or reasoning that we will employ in defending the Christian faith involves not only study of formal logic (patterns or abstract forms of inference), but also attention to informal fallacies in ordinary language, the use of inductive reasoning, the handling of empirical evidence in history, science, linguistics, etc., and especially reflection upon the demands of an adequate worldview in terms of which all such thinking makes sense.
–Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith (Nacodoches: Covenant Media Press, 1996), 134-135. Emphasis in original.
No fideism there!
For more see:
- Van Til and Evidence
- Presuppositionalism and Circularity…Again?
- Clearing Up Common Misunderstandings of Van Tillian (Presuppositional) Apologetics