Dear Dr. White,
I would like to thank you, I have appreciated your ministry for many years. One of the focus’ of your ministry I especially appreciate as a Presbyterian, is the mutual embrace of the Van Tillian apologetic. It should send a message to all Calvinists, whether you’re a Presbyterian, Reformed Anglican, Reformed Methodist of the George Whitefield variety, Reformed Independent, or Reformed (or Calvinistic) Baptist, that the Van Tillian apologetic is for all Calvinists and Reformed folk across the many different denominations. The following is a transcription (put together by me) from a radio broadcast uploaded on youtube, March 15, 2011:
[Caller, also a presuppositionalist, asks a question about Dr. R.C. Sproul’s book “Classical Apologetics” and his assertion, concerning apologetics, that we cannot escape ourselves]
Dr. James White responds: “Well, I mean that is a fundamental epistemological assertion, that all of our knowledge, including our knowledge of God has to be based on mankind, and upon our own experience. Um…that is one of the huge differences, and that’s where from a Reformed perspective, I just don’t understand Dr. Sproul’s assertion of that. Uhhh…we cannot escape ourselves, but what are we? We are created in the image of God and the very connecting point, that we assert as presuppositionalists, is exactly that. That we are individuals created in the image of God, and that there is no morally neutral point or any other kind of neutral point, because God has created everything as it is. To have true knowledge of anything in creation, this comes from our radical belief, that God is the Creator of all things, that Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, and that all things have a purpose. If you start there, and that’s not just a Reformed idea, that just pretty much a Christian Theistic idea, I would think. Ah but if you start there, what does that do to that assertion that we cannot escape ourselves? We cannot escape our creatureliness. But does that mean, that creatureliness…[caller interupts] well but see I would say our limitedness as creatures makes us dependent on God’s revelation. That’s why we don’t start with ourselves. “
*Amen Dr. White, SOLI DEO GLORIA!
Please note, both me and Dr. White share our love for Reformed brother Dr. Sproul I have to agree with Dr. White that this is a “blind spot” for Dr. Sproul. I also recommend listening to the friendly “in house” Sproul/Bahnsen debate from years ago. With that said, I am always quick to recommend Dr. Sproul on just about any other subject, especially theology. In fact, Dr. Sproul is my favorite (21st Century) Reformed theologian.
Further reading on this discussion can be found at the blog “Choosing Hats“