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The Futility of Non-Christian Thinking

The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God: An Outline


 From Basic Training for the Christian Mind: An On-Line Course


The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." Psalm 14:1
  1. Since all knowledge is grounded in God, thinking becomes futile when God is denied.


    1. Unbelievers suppress what they know to be true and are therefore cursed with futile thinking and believe lies. Romans 1:18-22.


    2. Unbelieving thought swings between rationalism and irrationalism, each constantly borrowing from the other.


    3. Unbelieving thought must borrow from Christian truth in order to criticize it.



  2. Unbelieving science cannot rationally justify its principles.


    1. How can one rationally demonstrate that the past tells us anything about the future without begging the question?


    2. How can one relate one's sense perceptions to the world out there?



  3. Unbelieving logic cannot be justified on its own terms.


    1. Why are logical laws universal and unchanging?


    2. Why are logical laws normative; that is, why are we obligated to believe the results of logical inferences?



  4. Unbelieving ethical systems don't work.


    1. Non-Christian ethics has no adequate grounds for authority.


    2. Non-Christian ethics does not have available adequate knowledge to utilize its principles.


    3. The non-Christian cannot live or even think on the basis of such a shaky foundation. Therefore, the non-Christian's ethics are often based on "borrowed capital" as a result.



  5. Post-modernism (PM) is the predominant mode of non-Christian thinking in our culture.


    1. According to PM:


      1. The world is without objective meaning or absolute truth.

      2. "I feel; therefore, I am."

      3. Language refers only to itself, not to any objective world out there.

      4. Religious convictions are nothing more than personal opinions. "If it works for you, then I'm happy for you."

      5. Talk of an objective world is really an attempt to gain or maintain power by manipulation.


    2. PM manifests futile thinking.


      1. PM fails the test of everyday life. No one can survive while consistently denying the connection between the subjective and the objective.

      2. PM contradicts itself.



  6. The transcendental argument for God's existence:


    Major premise: Only the existence of the Christian God makes genuine knowledge possible.
    Minor premise: Genuine knowledge is possible.
    Conclusion: The Christian God exists.




Every Thought Captive: A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth by Richard Pratt, P&R, 1979, 142 pp. A very readable introduction to the transcendental argument for the existence of God and for Christian apologetics from a presuppositional perspective.

"Is Non-Christian Thought Justifiable?", a debate between Christian philosopher Douglas Jones and atheist philosophers Keith Parsons and Michael Martin, WWW, ~15 pp. Jones argues that non-Christian thought is futile. Very interesting reading but somewhat philosophical in vocabulary and style.

"Futility in Non-Christian Ethics" by Sam Waldron, WWW, ~15 pp. Demonstrates that non-Christian ethical systems simply cannot justify their principles and by contrast that Christianity gives us a viable ethical system. He also discusses and critiques various options within Christian ethics.

"Non-Christian Hypocrisy" by Douglas Jones, Credenda/Agenda, vol. 6, no. 3, p.15. "I just can't stand it. Non-Christians are such hypocrites. They should learn to practice what they preach. How could anyone become a non-Christian? They don't even live what they claim to believe!" This is how Douglas Jones begins his provocative essay on the truth that non-Christians cannot consistently live out the implications of their system of truth.

"Interpretation as Violence" by Douglas Jones, Credenda/Agenda, vol. 10, no. 1, p.22. Discusses the latest literary theory spawned by postmodernism -- that the interpretation of a text is an assault on that text.