BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC METHOD
In this site, what is used is a unique method in Biblical Christian Apologetics, that is one directed to the logical demonstration of the Bible and of Jesus Christ as having no other rational option. That in itself is not based on presupposition, but on findings.
Following its presentation in the midst of the Th.D. of 1978, it has been extended in use, in the 3 volume work, The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, developed 1988 to1992 when the first edition was published. The third edition came in 1997, and it has been updated here and there, since.
the three volume work, The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, we move through reason, without presupposition, to find its resultant, as normal. Here, in terms of methodology, we find through it that God is, almighty and omniscient, that He has spoken and that the Bible is the only God-referring composition relating to His eminence, testable by reason and verification including that of relevant aspects of scientific method, and that it so fills the logical need empirically, that it is a validation of the method, including the validity of reason, so attesting its veracity and vigour, and so confirmed. (See also Aporchestra.)
For a name to this method, the term Unapologetic Christian Apologetic Method may be used (UCAM), since there is no mediating step that first insists on presuppositional commencement, and it is empirical as well as comparative. However, simpler and preferred is ABC Apologetics, for A-Presuppositional Bible Christian Apologetics (Secession from Presupposition Ch. 9).
The detail after identification of the Bible by reason (as to its place not its contents, these being here relevant only to the status and stature of God, as in Romans 1), leads on to investigation of those contents. If this then is it, and it is, what does it have to say, an independent resource with the knowledge of the Maker, not simply of derivatives of whatever kind ?
In every phase, unlike any other book, let alone any attributing authorship to God, in this Bible, there are to be found both (where applicable, which is very often) verification of data such as prediction and retrodiction, and presentation of what has no internal conflict or incidental failure. Further, every phase merges with others so that there is the cumulative and lateral coherence of the whole, as well as its chronological unfolding, matching all known facts (as distinct from imaginatively based dissidence on null grounds). Again there is found an irrefragable account first in predictive data and detail, with theological grounds, and then in historical presentation in fulfilment of the same, starting a millenium and more in advance of the occurrence, of the greatest event in history, even beyond the creation.
It is that of the incarnation of God, crucifixion and bodily resurrection of the staggering exhibit of the love of God, in the Messiah, not only judgment aside for those freed, but this by His own divine payment of the cost in death, precisely as predicted (Matthew 20:28, Isaiah 50-55, Psalm 22,16). Nor is the divine offer brought by the Messiah, forced, but free*1. This in turn allows and contains an ongoing work of prediction to the present day, so that nothing is in vain, but all that is said, has either happened or is in train of the scope and sequence of events as given (cf. SMR Chs. 8 - 9, for example, and general index). Everything in principle to the point is covered, from understanding to testability, to clarity of its claims and the encouragement to use tests to verify it (as in Isaiah 40-48).
This method, forged and chosen in the 1978 Th.D. of some 150,000 words, has been employed by the same author in the more than 800,000 word logically sequential, 3 volume presentation, The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, 1992, Third Edition 1997, with limited updatings since. It has been supplemented, not as such, but in use, through the 242 all-inclusive total volumes employed in this project. This, of course, is not limited to apologetics, but has it as an underlying, and often addressed aspect (cf. What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4). The entirety of these volumes has the name In Praise of Christ Jesus, which gives the final cause of its presentation.
In particular it examines, in systematically various studies, topics and phases in the spread of knowledge, the unique coverage of the words of the Bible, of every phase of philosophical, rational and systematic study, with the splendidly and all but outrageously consistent results when reason is applied to the topics and perspectives of the Bible, both in itself and in contests from other would-be sources of wisdom. On this, see
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God
This comprises a Pair of Volumes: Opus 128 and 129, of some 2.3 million words
It incorporates as a subsidiary, Scientific Method. On this last point, see Scientific Method...
Part of this approach is that of textual fidelity. All efforts to UNDERSTAND the Bible, once it is located and characterised as the word of God, in view of this, are to start with the actual text, all of it, above philosophy and textual constraint above surmises. In other words, the author is left to define his word, words, work and intent. He is not made into a combination of the surveyor of his word, the thoughts of this agent on the value of his work, on what to delete or deny and what to glorify or add, and so forth, so making it a work of joint authorship, which in the case of God is more than presumption, not merely less than precision. As with Shakespeare or other writers, the task in interpretation is to find what the author meant, not patronise, paint or pant noisily over it.
This is here called, as it is, scriptural fidelity.
Comments upon what is written is a separate category; it is first necessary to define accurately what it is that is written. Otherwise the comments will not be on the work of this Author, but partly on that of those not given such notoriety or fame, not actually in any sense the source, and in part therefore critics of their own work. It is content, however, not circularity, which is required.
In particular, this enables putting together ALL the relevant texts and biblical principles on a topic, with a searching lookout for more that might be inadvertently passed by, in parallel to the search for every datum in scientific method. This is a primary principle of interpretation.
In so acting, with the Bible, one finds that solutions to questions of internal consistency and eternal coverage of difficulties of man in his understanding, are far more readily resolved, and indeed suffer resolution in kind, as by a key. That is the empirical fact given notation in such aspects as found in Bay of Retractable Islands, LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST and expositions such as Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny.
even age-old, thus submit to understanding and in principle present no
problem, while enabling fascination as, like fish jumping out of the water with
the agile willow above, it is as if they were even summoned. There is authority
of fearless wisdom. One of the age-old
problems of philosophy, met in this way, is that of predestination and freewill,
in its various garbs. Not only is this solvable by respecting the Bible's
declarations, intimations, perspective and propositions, but in the seven volume
set on this topic,
ON PREDESTINATION and FOREKNOWLEDGE,
LIBERTY and NECESSITY,
RESPONSIBILITY, DUTY and CREATIVITY, it is in detail shown solved.
Such is the penetrating power of the Bible from the Creator, that when all His word is followed, all the problems melt, and light rejoices. Here, not only are all aspects of the biblical treatment shown harmonious, their principles found adequate for, but adapted to resolution of the whole field outside. No, even this further applies whether in the confused fields of secularism or those of alien theology, purporting what it does not produce. Nothing else works, nor could it; while the biblical approach not only works but penetrating neology and innovation alike, leaves no problems remaining.
It even provides understanding of grounds for the so durable misunderstandings which produce conflicts irresolvable because they start on false premisses, disdaining or departing from the Bible, which as the word of God, gives what it claims (cf. I Corinthians 2:9ff., Isaiah 34:16, I Thessalonians 2:13, Matthew 5:17-20, John 12:48ff.), and is irreplaceable.
This then is part of the ABC Apologetics method, as attested for example in the above works; it is one, though a special one, of the resolving powers of the Bible, supplying available understanding, not unexpected, since God is the Creator of what is thus resolved, the words and works having God for their author, the one explicit, the other implicit. The former, being His exposure in words, is pre-eminent.
It is of interest that this method underlies the work of the Melbourne University MA of 1964, the first formal presentation in this special field of the author, expressed in brief in Predestination and Freewill.
Its criterion is what is actually written there, in the Bible. It precedes the six further volumes in the above named heptad, exploring aspects and reviewing results. It all unfolds like a puzzle, when you do not take this appealing or that distracting path, but seeing the point (here displayed in the Bible), follow it to its end. Here this is what is actually written, seeking all there written, neither debunking nor departing, nor adding.
Thus seeing God's word, one is able to find what actually fits, however many traditionalistic fixtures it breaks. But the written word of God, it does not break, this being its source. This Word fits here as in every disciplined phase of thought, like the words of a sympathetic tutor, or a rigorous trainer with the program and the results.
In that way, ineffective minimality is avoided, which leads only to error, often with certain texts left out or moulded to something else; and excessive additives are not taken (cf. Proverbs 30:6), which merely inflate to what does not fit, The vast intrusions of philosophy left out, the inward light of the Bible shines on.
At Westminster Theological Seminary we had one Instructor, in time a Professor, who was an example in this minimising field, even applying his error to classwork, when the effect is both degrading to the entire biblical text, and deviating to its teaching. But if one did not have to endure such evils, what would be the point of perseverance! (Romans 5)!
In another class where there was freedom of speech in class, a basic relevant point had been formally made by the author in the field of predestination and freewill, and it was not answered. In the end, tradition can never answer. it is of man; but the Bible shows what it is, by what it does, the word of God effectual. This then is an illustration. Irrefutable, it is also irrefrangible.
Thus the vast scope of issues covered by the Bible and its unique resolving power most directly in matters philosophical and theological is attested in these works, and more directly in systematic detail in
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
On all sides the biblical teaching and Gospel is verified, validated, and its issuance in matters of human life on this earth and the living of it, becomes more necessary than any ambulance. The Gospel is God's product, a wonder in itself, but its application has a certain splendour, verified from its first intimation in Genesis 3:15 to its last in Revelation 22:17. It came quietly but has swallowed up not only confusion, but sin in all who receive it, granting salvation, the crucial adjunct to creation.
For more detailed work on Apologetic Method in Biblical Christian Theism at the level of apologetic method, see What is the Chaff to the Wheat ? Chs. 3 and 4 , and General Index at that locale.
See for example
Mercy Outdistances Judgment,
Ch. 15, SMR Appendix B,
Predestination and Freewill
and the 7 volume work,
ON PREDESTINATION and
LIBERTY and NECESSITY,
RESPONSIBILITY, DUTY and CREATIVITY.
The resolution of the relevant issues in this field is one of the phases for the testimony of the perspicuity and consistency, coverage and effectuality of the biblical perspective, both internally and externally.