“The many worldviews found in this earth reflect very diverse conceptions of reality. “Presuppositions form the basis of the ‘interpretive framework’ by which we understand things.” Each belief system portrays ideas about God, man and the world in very different ways. Every belief system shows so-called facts in a different “light” of understanding than another one does. Facts are not viewed the same by those who hold differing worldviews. Our worldview not only provides us with a picture of what is real, it also dictates how we think we know that it is real. To put it another way, our epistemology (how we think we know what we know) is directly tied to our metaphysic (what we conceive to be real).
Scripture teaches that in order to obtain knowledge about man, science, ethics, the cosmos or to interpret any aspect of human experience the truths God has revealed to man in both creation and scripture must be presupposed. The Christian presuppositions discussed in chapter four are not merely abstract theological beliefs. The Bible teaches they are collectively essential to man’s interpretation of reality. In principle, they are required assumptions that must be relied upon if one is to have any type of knowledge at all. Biblical truths must be presupposed because they alone provide “the preconditions of intelligibility for man’s reasoning, experience and dignity.”
Christianity is proven true by the “impossibility of the contrary.” Only a Christian worldview rooted in the Bible, taken as God’s Word, provides a sure basis for knowing (epistemology). Christianity demands our
intellectual commitment because only the biblical worldview can account for true knowledge.
In the course of religious discussion between Christians and non-Christians both sides should be put into the position of justifying their beliefs. To reason against Christianity one must do more than simply deny it. Adherents of other belief systems must also justify their own faith-based presuppositions about reality. This is the heart of the matter. Christians can justifiably claim that absolute certain proof of Christianity is possible because only the Christian belief system offers the foundational premises necessary for rational thought and discourse.
According to scripture all people have a genuine knowledge of God that comes from His self-revelation in creation. (Rom 1:18-21; Acts 17:27-28) Although most people may deny having this knowledge, scripture teaches that man not only has it, but also seeks to suppress it. As God’s image bearer, man cannot logically reflect upon himself, the human condition or any fact without revealing that he does in fact possess such knowledge. Those who do not hold to a biblical view of reality must inevitably “borrow” from the biblical worldview even though they reject biblical theology. “Those who do not know God only ‘know’ on borrowed capital; they really do know things, but only because they are made in God’s image. They have no justification for their knowledge.” While they deny the Christian metaphysic in principal they operate upon it in the real world out of necessity.
Though man works to suppress his knowledge of God with other worldviews only the Christian worldview provides human beings with a basis for realities such as the laws of logic, dignity of man, regularities of nature and ethical absolutes. These things do not independently exist apart from any meaningful cause. Their existence is contingent upon the existence of the God of the Bible and His sovereign arrangement of the universe as revealed in scripture. Non-Christian worldviews cannot account for the human freedom, science, morality or tools of reason exercised in productive life and meaningful human experience. The Bible makes its own case by providing the only possible unifying principle for all areas of knowledge – the Triune God Himself.
…therefore the claim must be made that Christianity alone is reasonable for men to hold. And it is utterly reasonable. It is wholly irrational to hold to any other position than that of Christianity. Christianity alone does not crucify reason itself. Without it reason would operate in a total vacuum…with Augustine it must be maintained that God’s revelation is the sun from which all other light derives. The best, the only, the absolutely certain proof of the truth of Christianity is that unless its truth be presupposed there is no proof of anything. Christianity is proved as being the very foundation of the idea of proof itself.
Knowledge of science, ethics and man is rooted in a Christian view of reality. Non-Christian views, however, will “oppose themselves.” (2 Tim 2:25) Their fundamental beliefs will fail to properly integrate with one other. Their systems will be either inherently contradictory or their presuppositions will fail to account for man’s knowledge and experience. By relying upon the Bible’s truth-claims as a necessary foundation for epistemology Christians may demonstrate that non-Christian systems are proven false at their foundational level. The metaphysical reality revealed in the Bible must be held as true because only such a reality can account for man truly “knowing” anything at all.”
(Farinaccio, Faith with Reason)