Input: Johne Frame zur Apologetik von Francis Schaeffer

Steve Scrivener hat John Frames Bemerkungen zur Apologetik in einem hilfreichen Artikel zusammengestellt. Frame vergleicht Schaeffer verschiedentlich mit dessen Lehrer Cornelius van Til:

I think that Schaeffer is very insightful in his analysis of the non-Christian’s (and the Christian’s) inconsistency and the apologetic fruitfulness of this inconsistency. Van Til also spoke of the non-Christian’s inconsistency, but he resisted the use of this inconsistency as a “point of contact.” I think this is part of Van Til’s general unclarity about the nature of the “antithesis” between believer and unbeliever, which I discussed in Chapter 15 of my CVT book. Schaeffer’s article was the root of my feeling that Van Til’s account of the unbeliever’s psychology needed clarification. I came out agreeing with Schaeffer, and not with Van Til, that it is legitimate to use the unbeliever’s inconsistencies as a positive point of contact. “OK: you believe in logic, but if you really believed in logic, you’d be a theist.”

Auch seine Kritik bezüglich Schaeffers „Verificationism“ hat Hand und Fuss:

Epistemologically, it goes like this: (1) We presuppose the norms or standards for knowledge, (2) we apply these to the evidences and facts, and (3) we adopt those conclusions which we believe are warranted. (1) is normative, (2) situational, (3) existential. We can, then, err in three ways: (1) by presupposing the wrong norms, (2) by wrongly identifying and interpreting the evidence, or (3) by wrongly drawing conclusions from the application of the norms to the facts. These are perspectivally related: error on one of these will lead logically to error in the others. … As for Schaeffer, I don’t think he ever developed a philosophically rigorous account of coherence, factual evidence, and practical adequacy.

Bezüglich Geschichtsphilosophie bringt Frame ebenfalls einen wichtigten Vorbehalt an:

Van Til’s analysis of the history of philosophy is more accurate, and, I think, more profound, than that of his student Francis Schaeffer, though there is much profitable teaching in Schaeffer’s thought. Schaeffer argues that the Greek philosophers believed in objective truth, and that that conviction pervaded Western philosophy until the coming of Hegel, who taught that truth and falsity could somehow be combined dialectically to achieve a supralogical level of insight. After that, says Schaeffer, Western culture “escaped from reason,” despairing of ever discovering “true truth”. 
Van Til, on the contrary, finds the Greeks just as irrationalistic as the moderns. The Sophists’ “man is the measure,” Heraclitus’s “everything flows,” Plato’s “realm of opinion,” Aristotle’s “prime matter”, the Gnostic realm of error—all are, to Van Til, classic statements of the irrationalist impulse—which, to be sure, was combined in their thought with the rationalist impulse. But, says Van Til, even Greek rationalism did not possess the sort of objectivity that Christians should applaud. Greek rationalism was based on human autonomy, and therefore on empty concepts rather than the riches of divine revelation.

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