Friday, August 24, 2018

Our God is Triune: Essays in Biblical Theology

While we began working on this book late in 2017, it is the product of years of biblical and theological inquiry and study. I am proud to introduce Our God is Triune; a refreshing consideration and defense of the biblical nature of God. I had the privilege of both editing and contributing to this volume. I spilled my ink equally between the Old and New Testament, considering the consistent and progressive nature of God taught therein.

This volume is unique in several respects. First, it deals heavily in the Old Testament. Typically, books on either the Trinity or Christology that deal with the Old Testament, do so quite poorly. In fact, I have never seen any other book which deals so thoroughly with the proto-trinitarian nature of God in the Old Testament. That I believe, is worth the price of the book alone. While academic in style, and lengthy (380 pp.), Our God is Triune is a substantial contribution that we are blessed to present.

You can find it at amazon and all major bookstores.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What is Apologetics? Pt. 2c

[Continued from Pt. 2b]

by Hiram R. Diaz III

§ I. Internal Critique

Having addressed the nature of apologetics,1 the supremacy of Scripture over all of human reasoning,2 and apologetics as a means of communicating Law and Gospel to the unbeliever,3 we now turn to the ways we can apply what we have learned. When dealing with any objection to the Christian faith, it is necessary for us to remember that any objection is an implicit knowledge claim. For instance, a person may state the following –
I doubt that the Bible is true because x.
x can stand in for anything – an idea, a physical reality, a philosophical conundrum, a personal pet-peeve, etc. Whatever x is, it is presupposed to be known to be the case, whereas the Bible is not known to be the case. So we must challenge x, showing it to be incoherent.

x will be either an indirect reference to an presupposed belief, or it will be an explicitly stated presupposed belief. For example –
[Indirect] A. I doubt that the Bible is true because it teaches that snakes talked, and simple observation teaches us snakes don’t and can’t talk. 
[Explicit] A.1 I doubt the Bible is true because it contradicts empirical observation, which is always true.
The belief in each of these assertions is the same: Empirical observation is always true. Let us pull the assertion apart to show its absurdity.

§ Ia. Reductio Ad Absurdum

Firstly, therefore, we must point out that the assertion “Empirical observation is always true” is false because empirical observations do not have logical values (e.g. true or false). Propositions are capable of being true or false, but empirical observation is neither. Secondly, however, we can ignore the categorically erroneous nature of the unbeliever’s assertion that “Empirical observation is always true” for the sake of argument. Once granted, for the sake of argument, we may point out that since empirical observation is spatio-temporally limited, and all human observers are likewise spatio-temporally finite, it follows that no human observation can non-fallaciously infer that “Empirical observation is always true.” Thus, the belief is demonstrably false on these two accounts.

This is a simple refutation that does not require extensive knowledge of the more involved philosophical debates concerning not only the relationship of sensation to knowledge. It also does require the Christian to refute the implied belief of the unbeliever regarding empirical observation, namely that it is infallible.

Nevertheless, we may go another step further in our internal critique of the unbeliever’s stated belief that “Empirical observation is always true,” for it does imply that empirical observation is infallible, i.e. without fault. We may, therefore, further infer from this unstated presupposition the absurdities that follow thereupon, for granting that E represents the proposition “Empirical observation is always true,” it follows inexorably that
If E, then all empirically based knowledge claims are necessarily true.
And if this is the case, then it follows that the scientific method is based upon a false presupposition, namely that ¬E. More to the point, if E is true, then ¬E is false. And if ¬E is false, then the scientific method is based upon a false assumption. And if the scientific method is based upon a false assumption, then it follows that conclusions drawn empirical observation, as delimited by the scientific method, are false as well. The assumption that E, in other words, leads to the conclusion that the conclusions drawn from empirical observation in science do not constitute truths but falsehoods.4