Resurrection and Scripture : the relationship between two key doctrines in reformed apologetic methodology
In this study three apologetic methodologies (evidentialism, Reformed epistemology, and presuppositionalism) are analyzed to determine which method is most coherently related to Reformed theology. It is argued that comparing how each methodology relates the doctrine of Scripture with the doctrine of the resurrection can demonstrate which method is best suited to defending Christianity in its Reformed interpretation. The doctrine of Scripture is taken to be that of full plenary inspiration and inerrancy, and the question is which apologetic method can be successful in defending that position. After contemporary arguments for the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ are surveyed, each of the three respective apologetic methodologies is subjected to an examination and critique. Each method is intra–systematically evaluated to determine whether it suffers from internal contradictions or incoherencies. Each method is further tested to determine whether, on its own internal principles, it is capable of a logical defense of a high doctrinal view of Scripture. The respective methods are also compared and contrasted with each other. A prominent issue is the direction of the methodology, i.e., its sequence. Some strands of evidentialism attempt to move from the historical fact of the resurrection to their doctrine of Scripture; Reformed epistemologists do not necessarily require any historical argumentation at all; presuppositionalists take their doctrine of Scripture and the resurrection as both necessary and mutually reinforcing points in their worldview. In the final analysis, it is the presuppositional methodology which emerges as that which is most capable of coherently defending a doctrine of Scripture that includes full inspiration and inerrancy. This is due to the transcendental nature of the argument that it presents. It is urged in this study, however, that evidences, historical details, and logical analysis are all critically important for a fully–orbed apologetic system. Presuppositionalism needs to be ramified with evidential arguments, even if they are transposed into a transcendental key, as supporting details in a transcendental framework.
- Theology