Swimming in the Glorious Deep Blue Sea

November 12, 2015

by Scott Oliphint

Over the past months, we have been looking at some specific, recent objections to a Covenantal (presuppositional) approach to apologetics. In this article, we reach the end of this series on “responses” to objections. There is one final objection to Covenantal apologetics that is offered and that needs to be addressed. In order to address it, it will be necessary to quote it at length. Under the title, “The Insufficiency of the Transcendental Argument,” there are two primary objections. The first objection is this:

Presuppositionalists do a good job in showing the need for some kind of transcendental move. However, their reasoning (or lack thereof) that the entire Christian theology is a necessary part of the transcendental condition leaves one unconvinced. For example, one can see how it is necessary to posit a theistic God to account for meaning, truth, and morals. However, there seems to be no logical necessity for positing Trinitarianism. Why would not some form of monotheism do the job? Even if a plurality of persons is shown to be necessary, why three persons? Would not two or four persons in the Godhead do? What about seven, which is a perfect number?

Because the objection is unclear in its notion of a “transcendental move” and its phrase “part of the transcendental condition,” It might be helpful first to explain what is typically meant, in a Covenantal approach to apologetics, by a transcendental approach. To put it as simply as possible, it refers to an argument that recognizes and utilizes the notion of the “impossibility of the contrary.” And what might that mean? Does it mean, as the objection above states, that “the entire Christian theology is a necessary part of the transcendental condition”?

…continue┬áreading on Reformation21.

 

Scott Oliphint

Dr. Oliphint (PhD, Westminster) is professor of apologetics and systematic theology at WTS.

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