Terminology Tuesday: Presuppositionalism

Presuppositionalism: A variety of classical evangelical apologetics often associated with Cornelius Van Til. Presuppositionalists assert that any system of belief is built on certain foundational presuppositions (unprovable assertions that must be believed to make experience meaningful). As a result, the best means of Christian apologetics is not to prove certain specific assertions such as the existence of God, the historicity of the resurrection or the authority of the Bible. Instead the presuppositionalist Christian apologist explores the foundational presuppositions of competing belief systems with the goal of showing that human experience makes sense (or has meaning) most clearly when viewed in the light of the foundational teachings of the Christian faith.1

1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 95.

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Brian Auten is the founder emeritus of Apologetics315. He is also director of Reasonable Faith Belfast. Brian holds a Masters degree in Christian Apologetics and has interviewed over 150 Christian apologists. His background is in missions, media direction, graphic design, and administration. Brian started Apologetics315 in 2007 to be an apologetics hub to equip Christians to defend the faith.

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