"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Friday, September 18, 2009

Does God Exist: Bahnsen v Stein

Greg Bahnsen is a presuppositionalist apologist and a student of Cornelius Van Til. Before his death in 1995, Bahnsen debated an atheist named Gordon Stein. (Audio here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) This debate is at a higher level of thought than I have heard with people like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. This was my favorite part, with the audio below, where Bahnsen is cross examining Stein:

Dr. Bahnsen: I heard you mention logical binds and logical self contradictions in your speech. You did say that?

Dr. Stein: used that phrase, yes.

Dr. Bahnsen: Do you believe there are laws of logic then?

Dr. Stein: Absolutely.

Dr. Bahnsen: Are they universal?

Dr. Stein: They are agreed upon by human beings. They aren’t laws that exist out in nature.

Dr. Bahnsen: Are they simply conventions then?

Dr. Stein: They are conventions, but they are conventions that are self verifying.

Dr. Bahnsen: Are they sociological laws, or laws of thought?

Dr. Stein: They are laws of thought which are interpreted by men; and promulgated by men.

Dr. Bahnsen: Are they material in nature?

Dr. Stein: How can a law be material?

Dr. Bahnsen: That’s a question I’m going to ask you!

Dr. Stein: I would say no.

Moderator: At this time you have an opportunity to cross examine Dr. Bahnsen.

Dr. Stein: Dr. Bahnsen, would you call God material or immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen: Immaterial.

Dr. Stein: What is something that’s immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen: Something not extended in space.

Dr. Stein: Can you give me an example of anything other than god that’s immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen: Laws of logic.

(audience laughs)

1 comment:

Matthew Lush said...

I love Bahsen, I have some of his literature. Honestly if you ever want to tackle Van Til, it is good to read Bahnsen's critique and understanding of it.

That is a good debate.