Young Earth Presuppositionalism

Young Earth Presuppositionalism

Presuppositionalism is an apologetic method developed by reformed theologians and philosophers which consists of showing that all worldviews except Christianity (and by that they really mean Calvinism) are self-contradictory.

It is contrasted with evidentialism which accepts the reliability of logic and our sense perceptions as a common ground with the unbeliever and tries from there to provide evidence for the truth of the Christian faith.

There was recently a discussion about presuppositionalism involving young-earth creationists.

This discussion makes it clear that there are different degrees of fundamentalism.

Dr. Richard Howe is an evidential philosopher and he took Ken Ham to task for calling creationists taking into account data from the external world “compromisers”.
He rightly pointed out that before Galileo, almost everyone thought that the sun once literally stood still as described in the book of Joshua. Only after heliocentrism had been accepted was the current interpretation considered as valid.

Dr. Jason Lisle does not agree and believe that the text of Genesis is clear and that we are not allowed to depart from the most obvious meaning,. He wrote a book “The ultimate proof of creation” arguing that the Genesis account must be true because there is NO OTHER alternative.

Towards the end of the video there was an interesting discussion about the viability of proving the truth of the Protestant Canon using a presupositional approach.

Dr. Howe asked wittily: “Would the laws of logic still be valid if the third book of John were not included?”

In a way typical of Calvinist fundamentalists, Dr. Lisle answered that if we reject the slightest verse of the Bible, we would no longer have any grounds for believing anything else in the Bible and consequently would no longer have any way to ground rationality and knowledge because this wholly hangs on the truth of Scripture.

I think that these folks give Christianity a very bad name and are creating insurmountable obstacles for intellectual people. Actually, I am sure that Ken Ham and his minions have brought much more people away from God than Dawkins and his minions could ever hope for.

Finally, we would happen if presuppositional young earth creationist were to have full power in a state? I consider it very likely that they would not content themselves with “teaching the controversy” but would also banish all other views.

Creation or Evolution?


George Murphy did a nice job showing that this is a false dichotomy and that we have good theological grounds for thinking that God used the nature He created for bringing about living things.

I would add that God can also act without breaking the laws of physics thanks to quantum randomness coupled with chaos theory.

And I will also say something very blasphemous: I am not sure that genetic Darwinism (natural selection acting on the genes) is the true story.

I believe that factors such as genetic drift, self-organization, strong emergence as well as cultural evolution (for higher animals) might very well turn out to have plaid a much more important role than what is currently thought.

I think that for many people, the main issue posed by evolution is the problem of evil: why did God allow nature to create all lifeforms if it goes hand in hand with such an intense pain?

While I believe it is challenging for every Christian, I fail to see why accepting an evolutionary account creates greater difficulties than those spawned by the alternatives.

Old earth creationists believe that God miraculously intervened in order to introduce every new species over million of years and that he let countless lifeforms die out through competition or natural catastrophes. This clearly does nothing to alleviate the problems of evolutionary pain.

Young earth creationists think that God cursed the whole universe just because two persons ate the wrong fruit. To my mind this is morally far worse than the two first options.



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