Posts Tagged ‘circular’

Arguments from Authority

Posted: January 15, 2015 in General Presup Issues

As presuppositionalists, we’re often accused of being … wait for it…

…wait for it some more because it’s an exhausting and played out argument…

“Circular” in our reasoning!

But of course we’re not.

Our theology is self-authenticating!  That doesn’t mean we commit logical fallacies nor are we irrational. As Christians, we make an ultimate appeal to authority, and that’s simply not “circular”.

Consider this excellent illustration:

Suppose we’re in a court room and the defendant swears he’s dead.

The prosecutor brings in an expert witness – a Doctor.

“Doctor, am I dead?” he asks.

“No, of course not. You’re alive!” says the Doctor.

“How about you, doc? Are YOU dead?”

“Of course not! I’m alive!” says the doctor.

Now imagine the defense attorney objecting.

“I OBJECT! The doctor’s authority does not logically extend to self-referential statements! He might have the authority to say if other people are dead, but he can’t say so about himself!”

Such an objection would be overruled. If the doctor really is an authority on who is alive and who is dead, then his statements about himself are as equally valid as his statements about others.  It’s the same way with God.  If God really is an authority on all things, then He’s also an authority on His own status as an authority!

Unbelievers may not like that we have a God who is powerful enough to authorize Himself, but that’s simply the nature of the Christian system.  I wouldn’t like it much either if I were trying to suppress truth with lies.