Copan also argues that it is odd and arbitrary to claim that whatever brings comfort and solace is false. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com. The Gospel Coalition welcomes apologists and pastors who will define, critique, and defend particular methods commonly used among Christians. Copan points out, rightly, that some jealousy is good. He states "Consider how you would react if a neighbor tried to seduce your daughter or give your children drugs. Rome would have quashed any such flagrant opposition with speedy, lethal force. in philosophy of religion, as well as his M.Div. Copan argues that this position is an arbitrary philosophical (rather than scientific) pronouncement. Bjuge Award for a thesis that “evidences creative scholarship in the field of Biblical and Systematic Theology.”, In May 2000, Copan received his Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Copan states that we have no archaeological evidence of civilian populations at Jericho or Ai. [2], From 1980-1984, he attended Columbia International University and earned a B.A. (2017) Craig Vander Hart Review: Paul Copan. Currently, Copan is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics/Professor, Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL, where he received the Mentor of the Year award. This would be fine for a defence of a God who But it is a… Presuppositional apologetics may be understood in the light of a distinction common in epistemology, or theory of knowledge. Please make sure all fields are filled out. The FAQs: Are Fetal Cells Being Used in COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments? [12], Copan argues that the Biblical concept of slavery is misunderstood. Paul Copan is professor and Pledger Family Chair of philosophy and ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is currently a professor at the Palm Beach Atlantic University. In his debate with Henry, Hackett said that without some set of “neutral criteria” that are logically prior to consent or commitment to a particular worldview, “there is no way to show that one worldview perspective is more plausible than another” since both parties are “starting from totally different assumptions.” Indeed, the statements of Scripture themselves presuppose the validity of logical laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle; they also appeal to criteria beyond Scripture—-the court of appeals of historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection (1 Cor. Paul Copan – Analytic Philosopher and Christian Apologist Paul Copan, born 1962, is an analytic philosopher, theologian, and apologist. Update #2 (09/09/2016): To their credit, on March 12, 2012 The Gospel Coalition posted an article by Paul Copan, which thoughtfully highlights certain problems with presuppositionalism (such as its question-begging nature, its denial of a common ground or public case for the truth between believers and unbelievers, etc. Copyright © 2021 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. I would also disagree with presuppositionalism at certain points. 36 talking about this. 256 pp. He argues that they fit into the literary genre of the time. In the last century, Christians debating the relationship between reason and faith have divided into sometimes warring camps of classical, evidential, and presuppositional apologetics. A Critical Review of Is God a Moral Monster? 2011. Copan states that Joshua uses ancient conventional warfare rhetoric. So when the Bible comments on an issue that is contraryto the view you currently hold, there are only two options–(1) obedience and conformity or (2) rebellion and willful ignorance. : Making Sense of the Old Testament God, Did God Really Command Genocide? This stereotypical ancient Near East language of “all” people describes attacks on what turn out to be military forts or garrisons containing combatants — not a general population that includes women and children. Introduction Paul Copan's Is God a Moral Monster? 2:20), yet this does not exclude the Spirit’s using highly probable or plausible public evidences for God’s existence or for the resurrection of Jesus. at Trinity International. He argues that presuppositionalism begs the question. He says that we should compare Hebrew debt-servanthood (many translations render this “slavery”) more fairly to apprentice-like positions to pay off debts. [10], Copan is known for his defense of the ethics of the Old Testament, particularly divine command morality.[11]. Did God Really Command Genocide? Such reasoning would get you an “F” in any logic class worthy of the name! The Most Popular Porn Site Has Biggest Scandal to Date. He served with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and was Adjunct Associate Professor at Trinity International University (Deerfield, Illinois). Copan is also a critic of presuppositionalism, arguing that Christians can use common ground to engage non-Christians in debate. : Coming to Terms with the Justice of God (with Matt Flannagan), and The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul’s Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World (with Kenneth Litwak). Given the spiritual equality of slave and free, slaves even took on leadership positions in churches. These then are my concerns with presuppositionalism. : Coming to Terms with the Justice of God, The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul’s Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World. Paul Copan's Questioning of Presuppositionalism - Duration: 17:42. Cornelius Van Til, the father of Presuppositionalism, says, concerning Romans 1:19-20, “Accordingly, it must now be added, as Calvin points out so fully on the basis of Paul’s words, that God is displayed before men in the works of Paul Copan has been answering questions like these for many years. His dissertation topic was "The Moral Dimensions of Michael Martin’s Atheology: A Critical Assessment."[3]. Fourth, it is important to distinguish between the confident ground of our knowledge of God and the highly probable public case for the Christian faith. Now, a process of inquiry often corrects ideas we held previously. Does Presuppositionalism Engage in Question-Beggin... Paul Copan on common ground Does presuppositionalism beg the question? Copan received the Prof. C.B. For example, Frame asks: “Are we not still forced to say, ‘God exists (presupposition), therefore God exists (conclusion), and isn’t that argument circular?’” He answers, “Yes, in a way.”, Elsewhere he says, “If Scripture is the ultimate justification for all human knowledge, how should we justify our belief in Scripture itself? [15], Copan is married to Jacqueline Mariette (van Tol) Copan, the daughter of Dutch parents, and they have six children. ). Don’t Outsource It. Outrage indicates that we care and take injustice seriously." This form of Christian apologetics deals with presuppositions. Paul Copan helps us truly understand the world of the Old Testament and how it relates to us today." It begins with the assumption that God exists, and then concludes that God exists. Ultimately, Copan argues, presuppositionalism confuses private knowledge of God with public proclamation and argument for God. It’s important to be open to “Truth”. "Paul Copan on winning hearts, not arguments" A Christian philosophy professor talks about the real purpose of apologetics, by Warren Cole Smith WORLD News Group Did God Really Command Genocide? If you’re wondering how these views relate, then this week’s series of five articles is for you. Arguments for God and the Christian faith were important groundwork in Adler’s pilgrimage, opening the door for embracing Christ at a later stage. Paul Copan Paul Copan (Ph.D., Marquette University) is Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics Palm Beach Atlantic University, Florida. [5], He has criticized the presumption of atheism, (i.e. He argues that presuppositionalism begs the question. He also argues that the position of the scientific naturalist is self-refuting because scientism itself cannot be scientifically verified. 19 talking about this. Second, Christians share common ground with unbelievers, who are likewise made in God’s image, which is not erased by the fall. He gives the example of a woman who, hyperbolically, threatens to shoot her husband if he were ever unfaithful. Paul Copan is a Christian philosopher, apologist, and author. the notion that atheism should be one's default position when evaluating arguments over the existence of God). --Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College "Copan takes on current New Atheist It assumes that God exists in order to argue that God exists. For six years he served as the president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. He has contributed many articles to professional journals and has written many essays for edited books. Copan uses Genesis 9:6 to make his point. Presuppositionalism is a school of Christian apologetics that believes the Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. Is God a Moral Monster? He also argues that the New Testament is not silent on the issue of slavery. [Note: For a broader critique of Frame’s starting points, see Harold A. Netland, “Apologetics, Worldviews, and the Problem of Neutral Criteria,” Trinity Journal 12/1 (Spring 1991): 39-58.]. A Christian presuppositionalist presupposes God’s existence and argues from that perspective to show the validity of Christian theism. Typically, these presuppositionalists (e.g., Bahnsen) avoid traditional cosmological (causal), teleological (design), and moral arguments, but they enthusiastically endorse the transcendental argument for God (TAG)—-the argument to show that God is the inevitable ground for all rational thought. : An Interview with Drs. Copan also notes that the wish fulfillment argument against Christianity is a classic example of the genetic fallacy, claiming that because one can explain how the belief arose, that the belief is therefore false. (p 35). While a philosophy and divinity student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, I organized and moderated a debate between two of my professors—-philosopher Stuart Hackett and theologian Carl F. H. Henry. Masters who killed their servants were put to death.[13]. Copan argues that such a position commits the fallacy exemplified in Horton Hears a Who: "If you cannot see, hear, or feel something, it does not exist." Their position as master meant responsibility and service, not oppression and privilege. Furthermore, why the Christian God and not the God of the Qur’an as the ground for rational thought? [7], He suggests that scientific naturalists will argue that all claims of knowledge have to be scientifically verifiable; otherwise, they are meaningless. Christian philosopher Mortimer Adler exemplifies having a sufficient intellectual knowledge that the Christian faith is true, but he did not yet put his trust in Christ for his salvation. Copan attended Trinity International University, where he received his M.A. He argues that atheists often slide into defending agnosticism when asked for reasons for their view. Paul Copan (/koʊpæn/, born September 26, 1962) is a Christian theologian, analytic philosopher, apologist, and author. Presuppositionalism is common in Reformed circles. [1], Paul Copan's father, Valery Copan, is of Ukrainian origin, and his mother, Valtraut (Kirsch) Copan, was born in Riga, Latvia. --Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College "Copan takes on current New Atheist degree in biblical studies. Paul Copan is a Christian theologian, analytic philosopher, apologist, and author. Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan Jonathan Petersen & Paul Copan, January 2015 Link These are three areas that I hope to explore in future entries here on Incinerating Presuppositionalism, to see if any of these planks can hold up under the weight of rational investigation. The sweeping words like “all,” “young and old,” and “man and woman,” however, are stock expressions for totality — even if women and children were not present. Frame argues that we all have presuppositions, and if we assume that reason can be used to assess worldviews, then we are operating by rationalism, which itself begs the question (i.e., is circular). Paul Copan offers you clear, concise, and thoughtful answers to these critical remarks in this revised and expanded edition of “True for You, But Not for Me.” He shows you how with “patience, practice, prayer, and God’s grace,” you can gently respond in ways that move into more meaningful conversations with those who object to your faith. Copan started his career on the pastoral staff of First Presbyterian Church in Schenectady, NY. These are all part of the holistic witness to the reality of God and the gospel, all of which the Spirit of God can use to lead unbelievers to embracing Jesus Christ. This resembles indentured servitude during America’s founding when people worked for approximately 7 years to pay off the debt for their passage to the New World. One can have epistemic certainty of God's existence from private experience and still appeal to public evidence to persuade others of that fact. 8:15-16; Gal. By God’s grace, however, he moved from the conclusion of “a merely philosophical theology to a religious belief in a God that has revealed himself as a loving, just and merciful Creator of the cosmos, a God to be loved, worshiped and prayed to.”. Paul Copan is a Christian theologian, analytic philosopher, apologist, and author. Paul Copan's Questioning of Presuppositionalism (YouTube), by James White - response to this blog article "Due to the noetic effects of sin, presuppositionalists usually hold that there is not enough common ground between believers and unbelievers that would allow followers of the prior three methods to accomplish their goals. This was a much higher percent than Israel had in the Old Testament, but this was due to Rome’s policies and laws. He is currently a professor at the Palm Beach Atlantic University and holds the endowed Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics. The Bible calls Christians to always be prepared to give an answer to those who ask for the reason of the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15). Help TGC continue producing free, gospel-centered resources that apply timeless truths to timely issues. Third, some (not all) presuppostionalists seem inconsistent about natural theology. He is currently a professor at the Palm Beach Atlantic University and holds the endowed Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics. Someone Will Catechize Your Kids in 2021. The book of Judges demonstrates that military engagement. The Gospel Coalition is running a series on apologetics, and today’s entry was by Paul Copan, entitled “Questioning Presuppositionalism”. Joseph Partain taught at Covenant College from 2002-2008 and is now working as an adjunct for the philosophy department at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. [4] He was Adjunct Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Bethel Seminary. Copan states that God did not allow physical abuse of servants. As the quote from Dr. Geisler indicates, the charge that presuppositionalists “confuse ontology and epistemology” is arguably just a variation of the old “presuppositionalism argues in a circle” or “presuppositionalism begs the Making Sense of the Old Testament God.Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. (I think all four are misguided in one way or another, but the other three will have to wait for now.) Presuppositionalism Many people have maybe heard of what is called presuppositional apologetics but have little idea what it actually is. There are huge organizations who will disagree with me on that statement, an… First, it engages in question-begging—-assuming what one wants to prove. 4:6-7; 1 Jn. The Scriptures affirm otherwise (Gen. 9:6), and God can and does speak to unbelievers through reason, beauty, moral failure, and the existence of evil. He argues that the books of Joshua and Judges are literarily connected, and therefore need to be read in light of one another. By Scripture, of course!”. This situation is made worse because some defenders of the Faith are labeled presuppositional but, in fact, aren’t. Truth, in this sense, is Biblical Truth. As a cloud of apologetical witnesses can testify, God has used philosophical arguments for his existence, scientific supports for the universe’s beginning (Big Bang) and its fine-tuning, and historical evidences for the resurrection of Jesus to assist people in embracing Christ—-just as God uses the preaching of the gospel (Romans 1:16) or the loving character of a Christian community (John 13:35). بول كوبان (و لد في 26 سبتمبر 1962) هو لاهوتي مسيحي، وعالم فلسفة تحليلية، ومدافع، ومؤلف.وهو حالي ا بروفيسور في جامعة بالم بيتش أتلانتيك ويشغل منصب رئيس أسرة بليدجر للموهوبين في الفلسفة والأخلاقيات. Hackett, a self-proclaimed “rational empiricist,” argued that we can, in principle, evaluate the truth or falsity of worldview claims by certain neutral criteria. He is currently a professor at the Palm Beach Atlantic University. The only natural default position is agnosticism. Instead, Christians can begin dialogues with non-Christians with common ground such as the law of non-contradiction. Insanely Normal Times: Why TGC Will Read Through the Bible Again in 2021, Don’t Take It from Me: Reasons You Should Not Marry an Unbeliever, Christian Nationalism vs. Christian Patriotism, 9 Things You Should Know About Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, How Postmodern Pseudo-Prophecy Dishonors God. Passionate Conviction: Modern Discourses on Christian Apologetics - Paul Copan - 洋書の購入は楽天ブックスで。全品送料無料!購入毎に「楽天ポイント」が貯まってお得!みんなのレビュー・感想も満載。 Since there is no presupposition-free zone, one can legitimately “presuppose” the Christian faith to make sense of reality and engage with alternative worldviews. Board of Contributors, Christian Research Journal, 2006–present. (1988), Ph.D. (2000). He argues that such a position rigs the rules, since atheism is just as much a claim to knowledge as theism. He claims that the image of God was not completely destroyed in the fall, meaning that non-Christians can respond to general revelation, arguments from cosmology and history, as well as personal testimony and living a godly life. Jeremiah's desire was one of emotional outburst, and he did not sincerely believe what he said. One point to keep in mind. He has co-edited three books on the historical Jesus and coedited (with Paul K. Moser) a textbook on the philosophy of religion, "The Rationality of Theism" (Routledge). Having warrant for belief (by the Spirit) is not the same as showing my belief is warranted (using evidence and reason). Presuppositionalism and Induction: Exhuming Hume When apologists raise the problem of induction in their encounters with non-Christians, they apparently expect non-Christians to be freshly familiar with both David Hume and also his argument undermining the reliability of induction. [16], Society of Biblical Literature (and American Academy of Religion), Salvo Magazine: Board of Editorial Advisors, Global Scholars: Member, Board of Advisors, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Paul_Copan&oldid=996424715, Pages using infobox philosopher with unknown parameters, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, BA (1984), MA (1987), M.Div. Copan also compares these psalms to the emotional rants of Jeremiah, wishing he had remained in his mother’s womb until he died. At first glance, it appears that Joshua captured all the land, defeated all the kings, and destroyed all the Canaanites. He notes many other ancient Near East military accounts are full of bravado and exaggeration, depicting total devastation. Someone has said, “A person who believes in total depravity can’t be all that bad!” Yet in some Reformed circles, the doctrine of total depravity seems to leave no trace of the imago Dei. Though it gives us important insights, it falls short at a number of points as a viable apologetical methodology. The latest installment is “Questioning Presuppositionalism” by Dr. Paul Copan, who raises four criticisms of presuppositionalism, one of which is the old canard that presuppositionalists engage in fallacious circular reasoning. We also hope to provide resources to not only firm up your grasp of the debates, but also to put apologetics into practice in preaching and evangelism. A presupposition is an assumption that is taken for granted. He is the author of many books, including Is God a Moral Monster? [14], Copan defends the Old Testament imprecatory psalms, which are psalms that call down curses and divine judgments against Israel's enemies. Copan argues that if the New Testament authors had been too explicit about overthrowing Rome's slavery system, it would have done the gospel a disservice. Philosopher Alvin Plantinga  describes the attitude of Reformed theologians toward theistic arguments as ranging from “indifference, through suspicion and hostility, to outright accusations of blasphemy.”. 1 Theism is the belief that God exists and is involved in the world. And so, from the very beginning of church history, Christians have publicly and privately labored to show the reasonableness of our faith against the objections of skeptics. What struck me, while reading his take on the subject, was how superficial and inaccurate it was. He notes that comforting father figure, while unique to the biblical faith, is not at the heart of the other world religions. He has written and edited over 25 books in the area of philosophy of religion, apologetics, theology, science & religion, and the historicity of Jesus Christ. He states that early Christians undermined slavery indirectly, rejecting many common Greco-Roman assumptions about it and acknowledging the intrinsic, equal worth of slaves. But we don’t want to stop at method, as if apologetics were just meant for the lab. Copan holds the prestigious Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University . The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Readers who have examined my past writings on induction (see here ) will probably not be surprised if I find, on yet another pass on the topic, that the presuppositionalist endeavor suffers fatal defects. This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 14:55. As I see it, presuppositionalism has the following strengths: its emphasis on (a) the noetic influence of sin (sin’s effect on the mind); (b) the non-neutrality of worldviews (they are heart-commitments); and (c) the need for the Spirit’s work for faith to take root in one’s heart. Paul Copan is a Christian theologian, analytic philosopher, apologist, and author. Copan concludes that the New Testament took a more subversive strategy, by opposing oppression, slave trade, and treating humans as cargo — which eventually led to a slavery-free Europe a few centuries later. The witness of the Spirit—-not a host of intellectual arguments—-is what ultimately gives us confident knowledge that we belong to God (Rom. Copan uses James 3:9 to argue that the New Testament presupposes a fundamental equality because all humans are created in God’s image. Copan argues that the imprecatory Psalms should be read in the same way. He is a Professor of Philosophy and Ethics and holds the endowed Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University (1). Others like Gordon Clark, Greg Bahnsen, and John Frame have generally followed Van Til’s methodology—-although in variegated fashion (which makes a brief assessment of presuppositionalism difficult). [6] Copan cites atheists such as Baggini and Flew in arguing that atheism is not a mere lack of belief but a rejection of belief in God or gods. Christian masters called Christian slaves “brothers” or “sisters.” The New Testament commanded masters to show compassion, justice, and patience. While we begin our worldview examination from somewhere, universal logical laws like the law of non-contradiction or excluded middle are inescapable for assessing and critiquing worldviews. Joshua later refers to nations that “remain among you,” and he warns Israel not to mention, swear by, serve, or bow down to their gods, indicating that he did fulfill the command, and yet did not literally obliterate the Canaanite population. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and attempts to expose flaws in other worldviews. The Naturalistic Fallacy and Other Mistaken Arguments of Paul Copan (2000) In this response to Paul Copan, Martin revisits Copan's defense of the ontological foundation of theistic morality. If a servant was harmed, for example, by having a tooth or eye knocked out, the servant received freedom immediately. Someone has said, "A person who believes in total depravity can't be all that bad!" Professor Paul Copan shares his concerns about Presuppositionalism as a viable option for a method of apologetics. 15:1-19)—-things that were not done in a corner (Acts 26:26). [9], Copan is also a critic of presuppositionalism, arguing that Christians can use common ground to engage non-Christians in debate. He was Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgia Perimter College. If indeed we had done no previous thinking, nothing would motivate us to seek further information. Cornelius Van Til, called the “fountainhead of presuppositionalism,” argued that one must begin with biblical revelation; otherwise, “logic” and “evidence” will become distorted to accommodate the suppression of truth in unrighteousness. I just going to come right out and say it: I switched from evidential apologetics to presuppositional apologetics because the Bible is clear on which is correct. Knowledge in one area does not exclude knowledge in another. Van Tillian presuppositionalism relies on the notion that you either hold to a world view, interpretative system, or you do not. [8], Copan also believes that belief in God is generally not a psychological crutch, claiming that the argument that Christianity is wish fulfillment itself falls victim to a number of fallacies. Paul Copan on common ground Second, Christians share common ground with unbelievers, who are likewise made in God's image, which is not erased by the fall. In When God Goes to Starbucks , he offers readers solid and caring Christian responses to these and many other concerns that are being discussed in Starbucks, shopping malls, youth groups, and schools. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and then moved to Connecticut as a teenager. In any factual inquiry, it is important to distinguish between the ideas we have prior to the inquiry and those we gain in the course of the inquiry. Greg Boyd’s Misunderstandings of the ‘Warrior God’. Ancient Near East readers knew this was massive hyperbole and not literally true. This strikes me as a distinction without a difference: why couldn’t God use TAG just as he uses other natural theological arguments? He recently wrote an article, “Ten Problems with Presuppositionalism,” to which he graciously invited John Frame’s response. We need to hear the voices of men and women who are in unequal marriages and know to their sorrow why it is not merely a disobedient choice, but an unwise one. It assumes that God exists in order to argue that God exists. Henry, a presuppositionalist, claimed his epistemological starting point is the Bible; we need a sure Word rather than the mere probabilities of theistic arguments. Freud himself admitted to Oskar Pfister that psychoanalysis of religion has no clinical evidence, and are merely Freud's personal views. Paul Copan helps us truly understand the world of the Old Testament and how it relates to us today." No one, of course, embarks on an investigation with an empty mind. 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