Epistemology

Inherited Sin and COVID-19 Epistemology

"I tend to listen to people, who, from the beginning, acknowledge the uncertainty and live in the humility of 'this is what we think we know to the best of our knowledge, but our the data are flawed, and it will change as we improve our understanding—we are trying our best.' It’s hard to get a good tweet to go viral with that though (although some manage to do so!). But at this point, we are all tired of data that doesn’t fit with the opinions we already hold." - By Faith We Understan

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Truth, Post-Truth, and “Truth by Consensus”

"Functionally, truth by consensus has stepped up to fill the void left when we, in annoyance, bade objective truth to find quarters somewhere else. How did we get here? To orient ourselves in the current climate of moral reasoning, we need a quick refresher on philosophical developments, starting with the Enlightenment." - Ref21

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The problem of living inside echo chambers

"When a person gets all their news and political arguments from Facebook and all their Facebook friends share their political views, they’re in an epistemic bubble. They hear arguments and evidence only from their side of the political spectrum. ...An echo chamber leads its members to distrust everybody on the outside of that chamber. And that means that an insider’s trust for other insiders can grow unchecked." - The Conversation

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The Christian’s foundation for all knowledge

"To say that God’s Word is the foundation for all knowledge is to claim that Scripture must be the underlying basis or principle through which facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education are ultimately interpreted. This is the basis for 'thinking Christianly.'” - Acton

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The Primacy of Revelation, Part 2

Read Part 1.

The Importance of a Prolegomena, and the Importance of Having a Christian Philosophy

There are all kinds of philosophies which the Christian should avoid. The Apostle warns,

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Col. 2:8)

The reference here is probably generic, referring to the various ideas floating around in Asia Minor in the day: eclecticism, syncretism, idolatry, superstition, and neo-platonic moralism. In the midst of it all there was and is a true Christian philosophy. In fact, anyone who is a lover of real sophia (wisdom), is going to love the philosophy of Jesus Christ, the Logos of God, the one who discloses God par excellence. Mature Christians become such, in part, by thinking biblically.

In one of his earlier books Francis Schaeffer made this pertinent remark about the reticence of Christians to think with their theology:

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The Interconnectedness of Philosophy, Theology, & Worldview

A worldview is the perspective through which one views the world. By definition, a biblical worldview is derived exegetically from the pages of the Bible. Philosophy and theology have long been perceived as rivals in worldview, but if we define those terms lexically and through a Scriptural lens, then we find no friction between the two disciplines. In fact, the two are complementary.

Philosophy as a discipline is recognized as “the systematic and critical study of fundamental questions that arise both in everyday life and through the practice of other disciplines.”* Philosophy the discipline is often confused with philosophy as a worldview. The discipline is informed by the worldview (or the perspective by which the philosopher is viewing philosophy), but the discipline is distinct from worldview.

For example, many of the early Greek philosophers set out to find answers to life’s great questions using only naturalistic evidences. To their credit, they were in part motivated by a desire to move away from superstition and unwarranted belief in a pantheon that was hardly explanatory. The naturalistic worldview of these thinkers shaped much of what we understand as philosophical inquiry, but it is important to note that it was their worldview that was naturalistic, not the discipline of philosophy itself.

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Epistemological Foundations for a Biblical Theology, Part 3

(The series so far.)

Four Pillars

Some years ago I published a paper, entitled “Presuppositional Dispensationalism,”1 in which I attempted to summarize the biblical epistemological model with the illustration of four pillars.

Pillar #1 is the existence of the biblical God. As the first principal, the God of the Bible exists, and not merely as one god among many, but as the One who has disclosed Himself in such a way that His exclusivity is unavoidable. Further, He is characterized above all else by holiness (Isa. 6:3, Rev 4:8), and all that He does is to be understood through that lens. The recognition of this first principle does not advocate faith as the sole or final source of understanding truth;2 rather it is an invitation to step into the biblical perspective, to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psa. 34:8).

Pillar #2 is the principle that God has divinely and authoritatively disclosed Himself for the purpose of His own glorification, through general revelation (creation, Rom. 1:18-20), special revelation (the Bible, 2 Tim 3:16-17), and personal revelation (Jesus Christ, John 1:1-18).

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