Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Apologetics and Epistemology

GooseHenry said:

Hi Triablogue

I request a list over philosophy/epistemology.

Please, please let us in on how to became so good at refuting the philosophy of unbelief!

Both lay-atheism as well as professional unbelief.

6/19/2007 12:57 AM
Some of the other T-bloggers are definitely much better equipped in this category of literature, but since no one else has jumped on this yet I'll attempt to muster up a list:

Apologetic Method:

Apologetics to the Glory of God by John Frame
Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought by John Frame
Van Til's Apologetic by Greg Bahnsen
Always Ready by Greg Bahnsen
Pushing the Antithesis by Greg Bahnsen & Gary DeMar
Christian Apologetics by Cornelius Van Til

Philosophy and Epistemology:

Doctrine of the Knowledge of God by John Frame - (best place to start)
Philosophy, Science, and the Sovereignty of God by Vern Poythress
Justification of Knowledge by Robert Reymond - (Reymond is a Van Tilliam with Clarkian sympathies)
A Realist Conception of Truth by William P. Alston
Perceiving God by William P. Alston
Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Platinga
Faith and Understanding by Paul Helm
A Christian Theory of Knowledge by Cornelius Van Til

Philosophy of Science:

Science and its Limits by Del Ratzsch - (good place to start)
Philosophy, Science, and the Sovereignty of God by Vern Poythress
Redeeming Science by Vern Poythress - (recommended)
Christianity and the Nature of Science by JP Moreland - (Moreland is a critical realist)
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn - (book that started it all: reference point for anti-realism)


  1. By the way, there's a lot more to apologetics than merely philosophy or epistemology. One thing that has best equipped me for the apologetic task has been to simply read a few solid Bible commentaries.

    But since the question connected apologetics and epistemology (which is a vital aspect of apologetics), this list reflects the original question.

  2. "Reymond is a Van Tilliam with Clarkian sympathies"


  3. I posted on this a while back, FWIW


  4. On some minor issues, Reymond seems to veer toward Clark where debates between Clark and Van Til were present (a few examples are his treatment of paradox and his addressing of the incomprehensibility of God).

    Now, Reymond is no Scripturalist, mind you! :-)

  5. How many epistemologists ever interact with Reymond's work? Zero. Why would you include Reymond as a relevant source?

  6. "How many epistemologists ever interact with Reymond's work? Zero. Why would you include Reymond as a relevant source?"

    Frame has.

    But, given this line of thought, why should they include Frame? Which epistemologists interact with him?

  7. Frame would never be listed as having an AOS as epistemology for any job in a philosophy department. I doubt Frame would even consider himself to be an epistemologist! So the fact that Frame, as a theologian, interacts with Reymond, another theologian, points nothing to the fact of whether Reymond himself is even competent in epistemology. I didn't bother to balk at Frame because at least he's ABD in philosophy, and so to that extent, he is not a bad introduction to epistemology from a Christian perspective. But I wouldn't go so far as to list Frame alongside the names of professional philosophers specializing in epistemology, such as, Alston, Sosa, Bergman, Feldman, et. al.

  8. Given qualifications, Frame would not define those men (Feldman et al.) as epistemologists! That's because in some sense to study knowledge is to study God. Hence there's some overlap between theologians and epistemologists - given a Framean approach.

    This brings out an ambiguity. I hardly doubt Evan May was trying to give a list on "contemporary analytic epistemologists who have much technical knowledge, but leave the Lord of Knowledge and his revelation out of the picture, thus hindering a more robust and Christian epistemology."

    So, in one sense Frame wouldn't be listed amongst those guys, sure, but in other contexts he would be. In some contexts a good list would be something like Frame Plantinga, Polanyi, Meek, etc. In others Sosa, Audi, Williams, Bergman, Bonjour, Plantinga, etc would be. Still others, say a study on testimony, a good list might be Sosa, Coady, and Lackey, for example.

    The question posed to Evan May was, "Please, please let us in on how to became so good at refuting the philosophy of unbelief!"

    Thus depending on the context, one could include a Reymond or a Frame as a "relevant source." However, I concur with your thoughts on Raymond. Not much help there.

  9. Thanks!

    God bless you.

  10. Blind leading the blind.

  11. Mr. Gibson:

    As Mark explained, my purpose here was to introduce believers to Christian, Scripturally-based epistemology. My purpose here was not to present a comprehensive bibliography on analytical epistemology.

    Yes, Alston, Sosa, Bergman, etc., are extremely helpful to develop a pretty sophisticated theory of knowledge. But in their methods they seem to neglect a fundamental source and standard of knowledge: Scripture itself.

  12. I have been so out of the loop since moving to South Carolina this past weekend. I'm back on, checking out the blogs and ran into this blog entry.

    Mr. Gibson stated " doubt Frame would even consider himself to be an epistemologist!"

    Well, I do know that Frame would at least consider himself, along with others, as writing on a Christian epistemology.