Facts & Reason

From Greg Bahnsen’s “Van Til’s Apologetic”:

If the “facts” (external events or states of affairs) are completely a matter of “chance”- random and unconnected, having no rationale, no preestablished order,
no intended pattern or preceding interpretation, no necessity- then they are indeed “brute” or untamed, no subject to reason. In that case, speaking of something (e.g., “the horse”) as an instance of a class wherein members are connected or part of a definable order, and speaking of its relations or properties (“is a gray mare”) in general terms that are applicable to other particular things, would be contrary to the isolated and brute character of chance facts. Brute facts would have to be mute – that is, not subject to predication or communication.

Here we see that you can not separate the facts from the interpretation of those same facts. For example if you say that the human beings came into existence by the a process of N number of random mutations, but cannot justify the predication of the those mutations since the presupposition is that they (“the mutations”) have no relationship between one mutation to another since they are all random, you have failed to demonstrate a rational conclusion to the premise that human beings came into being through evolution. Or to put it into more simplistic terms, you have assumed what you are trying to prove.

Growing in Grace

I’m a big Jonathan Edwards admirer and one of his most practical works for Christians is his Resolutions that he made a point of reading every week. ┬áIn Resolution #30 he states,

“Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before..”

So how does a 21st century grow in grace every week? There are some things that I have found to help with this. Here are a few suggestions:

Read Your Bible – I know this should not even need to be said, but the necessity to read the bible not once a week, but every day. Without this the whole deck of cards crumbles. Do not neglect so great a privledge.

Pray without Ceasing – This is another important means of grace that should never be neglected, but must be┬ádiligently┬ápursued.

Devotional Reading – One of the great awakenings (No pun intended) is that there is a plethora of orthodox Christian books made available for free. Just do some searching for some solid reformers on Google Books.

Social Media – Social Media? Yes, but a great deal of discretion should be exercised. I have found most uplifting to engage fellow Christians and typically what happens are posts of uplifting messages and links to great Christian teachers and documents.

Podcasts – Even if you do not own a smartphone or an IPod-type device, you can use your PC to listen to Christian sermons and podcasts via digital audio. With great resources such as Sermonaudio, you could listen to more sermons than Calvin preached.

Finally, I highly recommend reading Edwards resolutions at least once a week. You can also either add to them or modify them to have a more contemporary context if that helps.