For many years, I have had a fascination for the reasons why people deconvert from the Christian faith. I was therefore interested to pick up The Anatomy of Deconversion: Keys to a Lifelong Faith in a Culture Abandoning Christianity, by John Marriott, a professor of philosophy at Biola University.
The “young earth” teaching introduces an unnecessary and erroneous tension between Scripture and science that has confused many and I have personally met many people who have turned aside from their faith due to what they see as the impossible challenge of trying to reconcile that understanding of Scripture with the clear scientific evidence. They end up being neither ‘old’ or ‘young’ earth and worst of all not believing that God is the Creator at all.
I recently published an article on the noetic effects of sin and apologetic methodology. This week, Dr. James White, whom I am going to be debating as part of a round table discussion on apologetic systems this coming Friday, devoted a significant portion of his Dividing Line program to responding to what I wrote. In this article, I respond to Dr. White’s critique of my position.
In my judgment, what matters with an apologetic system is primarily its adherence to sound principles of reason and secondarily its persuasiveness. Arguments that are unsound can be persuasive to the uninitiated, and the apologist must resist the temptation to compromise his intellectual integrity by forsaking sound principles of reason for the sake of effectiveness.
Proponents of the presuppositionalist school of apologetics typically stress the vitality of reckoning with the noetic effects of sin — that is, the effect of the fall upon the mind. Van Tilians argue that sin has corrupted man’s ability to properly comprehend the things of God and understand spiritual things. In particular, sin is understood to have impacted our ability to reason and think rationally, especially in relation to God.