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2. Presuppostional Apologetics is Consistent with the Biblical System of Truth
The presuppositional method differs from many other approaches in its insistence on seeing Christianity as a unified system of truth, rather than seeking to present Christianity true by proving its parts. As Van Til says, “It is impossible and useless to seek to vindicate Christianity as a historical religion by a discussion of facts only.” Van Til goes on to make the point that even if we present the resurrection of Christ in a winsome and factual manner, the unbeliever could very well concede that something unusual must have happened. But for them, this does not prove the Deity of Christ, their need for His atonement, or show how this has any bearing on people who live two thousand years later.

Christianity is best presented as a system of truth, because its parts are related to one another. Because of the brevity of this post we can’t go into it all here, but, I will touch on the doctrines of God, man, and salvation. Van Til says, “The whole question with which we deal in apologetics is one of the relation between God and man.”

The Doctrine of God. The Bible presents God as absolute personality. He is the creator, owner, and ruler of all He has made. He is the ground of all reality; He gets to interpret His creation and assign meaning to it. His sovereignty rules over all He has made (Ps 47:7-8). Nothing comes to pass apart from His will (Eph 1:11). God is immutable (Mal 3:6; James 1:17), self existent, self sufficient and owes His existence to nothing but Himself. God has life in Himself (Jn 5:26) and is never dependent on man. He brings about all things for His own glory (Rom 11:36).

The true God is an absolute personality, although certainly a different kind of personality (Trinity; God is one in essence and is in three persons) than man is, because man is a derivative person. The Scripture refers to God with the pronoun – Him. The Word teaches that, God loves (Jn 3:16), hates (Prv 6:16), is jealous (Duet 6:15), leads (Rom 8:14) and speaks (Acts 10:19). God is an absolute person. He Himself is the standard that governs how he acts. He is not subject to laws outside of Himself; His nature is the standard.

The Doctrine of Man. The two most significant things we need to know about man are 1) man is a creature of God and 2) man is a sinner. The importance of the Creator – creature cannot be minimized. If man is not the creature of God, then sin and judgment become difficult to understand. But, being he is the creature of God, he is completely responsible to Him. As a created being, he must take a submissive posture before his Creator and obey all that He says.

Man, as the creature of God, has rebelled against the authority of God. Understanding the Creator – creature distinction, is a key factor in understanding sin. Man, as the creature of God, has willfully rejected God’s authority and essentially enthroned himself in God’s place. The Scripture teaches that man’s condition is not that man was just injured by the fall, but the true picture is that man is spiritually dead in “trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). He has been blinded by the God of this world (2 Cor 4:4) and unless he is born again, he cannot even see the kingdom of heaven (Jn 3:3). His thoughts are only evil continually (Gen 6:5) and he cannot please God (Rom 8:8). Two words accurately summarize the condition of man after the fall: totally depraved.

The Doctrine of Salvation. Man stands in desperate need of an amazing act of God’s grace. When we rightly understand who God is, and then come to right beliefs about man’s helpless condition, we are ready to understand Christian salvation. God in Christ has entered into the world, to save His people from their sins (Matt 1:21). The triune God has entered into a covenant to save a people for His own glory. The father has elected, the Son has accomplished their redemption and the Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to the elect through their faith. The means of man’s salvation is through the proclamation of the gospel message (James 1:18). God has determined to save His people through the foolishness of preaching the cross (1 Cor 1:18).

If man is to be saved, God must act. God’s work of salvation can never fail, all whom He calls will come to faith in Christ (Jn 6:37). Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:10) and we can never bring people into the kingdom by simply presenting enough evidence. Man’s problem is much deeper, he needs a new heart. He needs a heart that will allow him to stop suppressing the truth and receive God’s gracious salvation.

If we understand the system of Bible doctrine correctly, we will understand that man is way beyond the ability to make a good choice. He doesn’t need the right kind of evidence, he needs life.

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