Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Can We Believe That God Exists?

I am in no way an apologetics guru, so at the encouragement of Bob Roberts I listened to a debate between the late Greg Bahnsen and atheist Gordon Stein on the existence of God. You can access the debate for yourself at Bob's blog.

He provides a great summary of Bahnsen's presuppositional approach, so I'll leave you to his analysis. From my perspective, what Bahnsen did most effectively was to show how Stein's presupposition that a debate itself over the truth or falsehood of an idea was possible and worthwhile demonstrated that Stein had already accepted Bahnsen's theistic worldview. In other words, Stein had no valid atheistic explanation for the laws of reason and logic that governed the debate and that he employed in it.

If you're interested in learning more about apologetics, Bob's post is a pretty good place to start, and Bahnsen's approach is powerful, even though I am still convinced that no one will ever come to believe in the God of the Bible apart from a direct redemptive action on the part of the Holy Spirit. For more discussion on that topic, tune in to this interview of Carl Trueman by Mark Dever. This part of the discussion begins 34:45 into the interview, and at 36:49 Trueman makes this excellent statement:
It's patently obvious that it doesn't matter how convincing an argument you offer to somebody. They're never going to believe on the basis of the argument you offer to them.
Be sure to listen for the full context, which continues through minute 39.

4 comments:

Andy Efting said...

I wish the audio was better. Good stuff, though.

Ben said...

Yeah, I know. But it's like 20 years old so I'm sure the MP3 was dubbed off a cassette.

Ryan Martin said...

I am so upset you beat me to the punch in blogging about the Trueman interview! The worst part is that I had it saved and was just sitting on it!

Oh well. You highlighted a different aspect in what was a pretty diverse interview.

Bob R. said...

Andy, sorry about the audio. I don't believe you will be able to find it in better quality though. Ben's assessment is correct.

Ben, first of all thanks for the nod. I appreciate and agree with your statement: "...even though I am still convinced that no one will ever come to believe in the God of the Bible apart from a direct redemptive action on the part of the Holy Spirit." I think that THIS presupposition is the foundation for presuppositional apologetics! :-)