BOOK REVIEW: The Ultimate Proof of Creation

The Ultimate Proof of Creation

“It is time to get to the real heart of the issue and rationally resolve the origins debate.” Dr. Jason Lisle

Overview: It is a bold claim, Dr. Lisle confesses in his introduction, to assert to be in possession of the ultimate proof of creationism. Does such a proof even exist in that it can claim to be ultimate? Dr. Lisle’s book sets out to prove biblically, rationally, logically, and scientifically that there is such a thing as this proof. This book is a wonderful primer to presuppositional apologetics, and whether you are educated, curious, or skeptical about presuppositionalism, this work serves as an extensive introduction to the methodology and reasoning behind this more hotly-contested apologetical approach.

Appraisal: I would be remiss if I did not mention the easy-to-read style with which Dr. Lisle writes. One of the most immediate things that struck me while reading was the style and eloquence that so visibly flows from his pen. He presents the aspects of presuppositionalism in a manner that the newest inductee to apologetics may comprehensively grasp the points of his writing. If the reader in himself contains the slightest ability or desire to think rationally and logically about his beliefs, this book’s clarity and conciseness is a treasure. Among the writing, Dr. Lisle also includes several graphics that also help to condense the themes of that section or chapter into an easy-to-remember visual. In my opinion, the two most beneficial sections of this book are his two chapters upon logical fallacies that the evolutionist often commits (and sometimes even the creationist). He provides many examples and ways of recognizing and refuting both formal and informal logical fallacies in conversation or debate. These sections were an eye-opener for me, and his lists and explanations of fallacies are sure to be useful to me in my future apologetics. The end of the book was also incredibly helpful, as Dr. Lisle includes a wealth of examples of threads of emails from actual critics and his responses to them. Reading these, I was able to practice identifying almost every sort of fallacious thinking the unbeliever will commit, along with learning how to respond in a firm yet righteous manner.

Criticism: I understand that this book is not meant to be an explanation of all the existing methods of apologetics that have ever existed. However, one thing that I wish had been included in this work is perhaps a chapter on other types of existing apologetics that are employed by other believers. Besides evidentialism, there is not much explanation or refute of other ideologies. However, I recognize that in his deep analyzation of presuppositionalism, other method’s inconsistencies and failures can be logically inferred. I simply wish that these other forms and types (such as classical apologetics) had been identified and described on at least a surface level.

Recommendation: Nevertheless, there is an abundant trove of other resources on the countless methodological approaches to evangelism and apologetics, and Dr. Lisle did not set out to provide an encyclopedia covering them. His work is a marvelous introduction to presuppositional apologetics, and can easily serve as a primer into other presuppositional heavy thinkers such as Greg Bahnsen or Cornelius Van Til. If you are interested about the mindset behind, or are looking to improve your apologetic skills, this book will not let you down. I with utmost clarity recommend Dr. Lisle’s book, and firmly believe it will be a relied upon resource of mine for years to come.

Grade: 9/10

Book Link:

PC: Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Solicitude and Golgotha: A Good Friday Meditation

“Care, as a primordial structural totality, lies ‘before’ every factical ‘attitude’ and ‘situation’ of Dasein, and it does so existentially a priori; this means that it always lies in them.”

Martin Heidegger

In the Incarnation, we see the embodiment of God’s solicitude, which is at the center of Who He Is for others — and at the center of who we are, created in His image to be primarily relational beings.

Sin inevitably involves a falling away from this solicitude. So each man becomes an island, isolated and alienated, no longer concerned with the interests of others but only with his own. But to be turned in on one’s self is to slowly implode, spiraling downward into a deteriorating despair that limits vision and prevents awareness.

The man who has lost his solicitude has lost his sense of purpose. He cannot see the threads that unite him to others; he cannot understand the impact of his actions, how the environment is transformed by even the most miniscule of his decisions. He does not see the interconnectedness of the world around him, and his orientation becomes so inwardly turned that even the good he does is tainted with ultimately destructive self-absorption.

By taking upon Himself our nature, the Son demonstrated the fullness of His outward orientation, the fundamental constitution of humanity. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve: His focus outward, His eyes set to serve, His hands poised for the miracle needed to transform the lives of the broken and undone.

This solicitude is seen the most transparently on Good Friday. It is there, on Calvary, that solicitude is exemplified through action, most particularly through sacrifice. But this sacrifice is more than simply a giving up; it is a complete expenditure of self, accompanied by a bearing of an otherwise unbearable weight. What Christ pours out is His own life; what He takes upon Himself is the complete gravity of our transgressions, past, present, and future, borne through the agonizing hours until death steals the last breath from His lungs.

Beyond the atonement secured through His death, what do we learn from the crucifixion? We learn how to restore the fundamental orientation of personhood: solicitude. For Jesus Himself has done this, His own life both a model and the source of strength we require to enter into this state of concern, readily available to us when we ask in faith.

To walk in Golgothic solicitude is to spend ourselves for others. It is to orient our perception of every facet of reality towards the question of how we can utilize our energy, our volition, for the upbuilding of other persons. Solicitude teaches us that all of life is intention and movement, and we were created for that intention and movement to be primarily directed towards others and not ourselves.

Immediately we hear this, and thoughts of self-preservation enter in. We feel weak; we do not have the strength to sustain this kind of life, even if it gives us purpose and meaning. We are aware of the necessity, perhaps even as unredeemed persons: phenomenologically, our consciousness is always directed out from us (even our thoughts exist, in the structures of experience, separate from ourselves). Yet the awareness of our self’s deterioration compels us to retract, to deny the impulse of solicitude.

Yet Jesus tells us — “he who seeks to save his life will lose it.” To seek preservation is to, quite literally, cause the dissolution of self. Here is a universal paradox: that we only become more fully ourselves when we engage in solicitude. An isolated self begets entropy; it prevents growth, which must always be outward, and thus intentional.

This is what we learn on Good Friday. The truest self is that self which is constructed from concern, consistently oriented outward to bear the emotional, psychological, and spiritual weight of others. In so doing for us, the God-Man teaches us to do it for others. Only then is our existence restored to reflect His goodness and present His image in the world.

P.C. Joshua Eckstein

Generation to Generation: On the Importance of Christian Education

In the words of John Gresham Machen, for Christians to rightly influence the
world through the truth of God’s Word, “The great Reformation doctrine of vocation must be recovered.” Machen’s works eloquently describe how Christians are called not only to the positions within the church, but in secular positions all across the world. Machen’s analysis is absolutely correct. As followers of Christ, it is not only a duty but also a privilege to shape the culture into a Godly fashion. Christians ought not be consumers of the culture only, but the fashioners and makers of a society that is glorifying to the triune God. Every field of study and occupation must be filled with Christ-following difference makers that are dedicated to bringing about the will of their Father. This noble calling must be carried out through the efforts of the Christian family along with the Body of Christ, all through the working of the Spirit. One of the most vital and important ways that Christians can shape the culture as God commands is through biblical and theological education. Teaching and raising up a young generation of biblically-minded leaders is essential for Christians if they wish to fulfill their God-given cultural mandate, as can be seen numerous times throughout Scripture, works by great Christian historical thinkers, and from the current state of modern culture and education.

One of the most blatantly obvious — and convincing– reasons Christians ought to be teaching the truths of God’s word to the younger generation is because of the importance the Bible places upon “Biblical education.” In Deuteronomy 6, The LORD commands that the words he has spoken to Israel be taught to their children, and that they be bound on each person’s heart, mind, and hands. Psalm 145:4 also explains that “one generation shall declare your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” By commanding his chosen people to educate and cultivate His teaching within the younger generation, it is evident that this duty God puts upon parents and teachers is not to be taken lightly. The joy that comes from teaching God’s truths and works from generation to generation can be visibly seen additionally throughout Scripture. In Psalm 78:4, the Psalmist states that, “We will not hide them from their children; but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” This verse further demonstrates the privilege that believers share to joyfully inform their children and students of the wonderful person, statutes, and deeds of God. These verses obviously hold massive importance for the Christian family — parents teaching and raising their children — but also hold major implications for theological education and schooling as well. It is visibly seen through the clear witness
of Scripture that cultivating a generation of leaders through the doctrines and truths of God is necessary within the family, the church, and the school system if Christians are to fulfill their God-given command.

The mandate given to Christians at the creation of the world to, “be fruitful and multiply,” refers to the raising up of countless individual Christian children, generation after generation, until the entire Earth is filled with nothing but Christ’s glory. However, the Fall has deeply corrupted man’s ability to do so apart from the working of the Spirit. Though Christians can no longer complete this mandate perfectly, each one is called by
God to further his kingdom with what they have been given. This mandate is something that the great theological thinker Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) understood. Kuyper was extremely passionate about this calling and how Christians should react to the command. Kuyper had an excellent grasp upon the fact that the entire world had already been subjected beneath Christ’s rule as he continually reigns at the right hand of the Father. In the words of Kuyper himself during an inaugural address at the opening
of the Free University of Amsterdam in 1880, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” This rightful understanding of the dominion of Christ led him to place an extreme emphasis on shaping the culture by raising biblically and theologically-minded leaders through education. Christians ought to be encouraged in the face of this
daunting task to spread God’s kingdom as Kuyper again says that, “It is impossible, Bible in hand, to limit Christ’s Church to one’s own little community.” The implications of Christ’s ruling and the gospel spreading eventually spill into the everyday life of a Christian. Kuyper again states that whatever a man may do, whether, “in agriculture, in commerce, in industry, art, or in science,” he is employed under the service of God. Christians have been called to do everything to the degree of excellence, and this cannot be done apart from partaking in Biblical training and cultivation by those wiser and more experienced than themselves. It is certain that Christ is reigning and sovereign over the entire universe, and that the promises he has given His church should encourage its members to go forth and multiply in every field and fashion of work, utilizing good, doctrinal education to do so.

One final example of another man who understood the importance of theological education was John Gresham Machen (1881-1937). The author of Christianity and Liberalism comprehended the terrible consequences of having an educational system apart from being rooted in Christian doctrine. He stated that, “ it is difficult to see how even the remnants of liberties can subsist when children are placed underneath schools appointed by the state where the higher aspirations of humanity are crushed out and the mind is filled with the materialism of the day.” Much can be gleaned from Machen’s
teaching, as the current public school system, and as a result, society, is in a rapid decline. Apart from Christ and the teaching of solid doctrine, the culture will continue to erode and fall away. The current state of the public education system demonstrates the need for a higher, more sustaining power that can not be found in man himself, but only in God. Machen describes the solution to this problem in that,“The more we know God,
the more unreservedly we will trust him… the more childlike will be our faith.” God has commanded everyone that the knowledge of his person and works be sought, believed, practiced, and taught to others until Christ returns from his throne. Only when society is fastened and dedicated to the Rock of Ages will it no longer be tossed to and fro. Cultivating and raising solid, biblically-minded leaders in each generation is one of the best ways to infiltrate the culture and to bring changes about in the world for God’s

God commands each of his children to know him on an interpersonal level, to be edified by other believers, and to daily grow to look more like him. This is the true role and purpose of Biblical education. By being continually built up in wisdom, followers of Christ can truly begin to influence and shape the world as God commands. The Christian duty is to be a culture-shaper, not a culture-absorber. Regardless of the field of work, religious or secular, witnesses need to be raised and sent from every nation to illumine the world with the good news of Christ. Theological education is not only important because it benefits the Christian, but because it glorifies the Creator, Savior,
and Redeemer of the world by spreading his kingdom to the ends of the Earth.

Works Cited

De Moor, Henry. “Church/Doctrine.” The Banner, 2017. Accessed 11 Feb. 2019.

Machen, John M. Christianity and Liberalism. New York, Macmillan. 1923.

Kuyper, Abraham. The Work of the Holy Spirit. Grand Rapids, Funk and Wagnalls
Company. 1900.

Student Study Bible, English Standard Version. Crossway, 2011.

PC: Michael Kristenson

Eclectic Empiricism

I often wonder at the intuition of man. By intuition, I’m not referring to an impression made upon the mind without rationale. Quite the contrary, I refer to an impression made upon the mind, the rationale of which is not immediately apparent; one which is drawn from several sources of experience and formed into a singular impression, upon which one believes and acts. This intuition is similar to Aristotle’s sensus communis, his “common sense” which refers to the unifying capacity of man to trace impressions from his various senses into coherent wholes of intelligiblity. Yet, the intuition I’m speaking of here is even deeper than the sensus communis (though it includes the notion). Rather, it is the ability of the rational soul to apprehend and “hold together” all forms of information available to him in order to make judgments, be formulated, and guide his life. This eclectic intuition is, therefore, able to account for truths derived from emotions, as it systematizes emotions. It is also able to account for past experience, seeing as it contains the memory. Yet, it is also able to account for coherent reason within experience (personal logical inconsistencies, theorizing, and ext). In this regard, the eclectic intuition is of ordered priority to explicative reason (the provision of a rationale for any given assertion or belief) because without it the desire and ability to “give a reason” would be impossible. Intuition precedes rationale.

I am also amazed at the ink that has been spilled in the history of Philosophy regarding the “rationally explicable” faculty of man as the source of knowledge and certainty; it seems to me, rather, that the discursive, deductive, explicating, and ordering, “consciously mental” faculty of man is always secondary to his rational capacity to intuit using all his capacities as a rational soul. Yet I don’t find as many philosophers insisting on the primacy of intuition which to me seems to be a key resolver of some of the problems of certainty, practical living, value theory and the like. If the doubting soul accepts eclectic empiricism, it seems to work toward the resolving of the problem of “transcendental” certainty in their daily lives. If they accept it, the “problem” of seeking certainty is turned on its head into a methodology; intuitive psychological certainty seeking mathematical certainty (Aristotle seeking after Descartes as a method, not a Lord).  I think it is due to a fast and loose reading of Philosophers like Descartes and Bacon that a lot of people beginning in Philosophy live their lives in perpetual doubt and uncertainty a lot of the time, most particularly when they begin to reflect and philosophize (As did I). Philosophic certainty, in general, is a delusion of grandeur by pompous systematists (I am a systematist. I love systematists). In other words, contingent, derived, fallible beings shouldn’t live their lives expecting deductive certainty in most matters; certainty, rationally construed, is not in every way necessary for psychological, mental peace regarding action and life. In a lot of matters, I don’t even think an “absolute epistemic certainty” is preferrable. Remember friend, it’s the Progressives that think they should rule the world by their absolutely certain and objective “science.” It’s the Conservatives which admit of the utter finitude of man and hence revere custom, tradition, order and the like. Purported “epistemic” certainty, at many times, is the mother of oppression, though it clothes itself as a virtuous good.


In this regard, my thoughts as to the epistemic priority of man as a totality – mind, heart, emotion, sensation, memory, systematization – and his capacity to “hold” all of these together in singular intuitions – is a brand of Empiricism not Rationalism. In every way, the subjective apprehension of truth is formed primarily (if not exclusively) by experience; it is important, though, to state at the outset that this “experience” is not simply sense experience – rather, it is all forms of experience, sensation, memory, systematization, emotion, and ext. Ultimately, whether all knowledge begins in such an experience, I don’t claim to know (though I am very skeptical of the idea of innate ideas), but I can claim to know that priority for rational justification, as to living our lives,  epistemically, seems to be at what I call the eclectic intuition, not any one of the purported faculties of experience (reason or emotion). Sure, some men prefer to speak and talk about sense experience, others rational systems, and others emotions – yet in all their actions, there exists a harmonious (or disfunctional) interplay between the whole; and it is on the sum total of this whole that they actually act, believe, and value.

If this is true, it obviously has an impact on the type of “reasoning” which is valued by the persons who believes as I do. Preference isn’t given to “deductive” reasoning in the majority of cases, nor slow-hearted experiential “empiricism” on the other; Descartes and Bacon are both out when it comes to daily life (though either method may be adopted as a method, like they did, for certain purposes – though I would strongly advise curtailing your Cartesianism along Thomistic lines; one Catholic over another as it were). Rather, abduction is seen as the actual structure of personal epistemic life in the broad contours of his mental life; abduction is the ability of the rational soul to make judgments based upon various sources of information. As I see it, abduction is the faculty of the rational soul, working on various sources of apparently unified sources of knowledge (intuition) in order to formulate a singular “impression” (belief) regarding the whole, from which he then goes on to explicate the parts and the whole (reason). In this regard, it cannot be maintained that such an abduction is the abduction of a scientist dyadically “acting” as though he is passionately disinterested from the object at hand; rather, the relation is triadic, the individual’s self interest is always “tied up” with his perception of facts; and both of those also relate to his own “explicit mental conception” (the story he tells himself about what he believes) and these three, the individual’s self-interest, the subjective and explicit thought-world, and the facts are always at play with one another in any given act of the rational soul. Mind over matter; no (Plato). Mind in the service of matter; no (Hume). The totality of all faculties working in relation to itself harmoniously or non-harmoniously; yes.  

Again, for the sake of clarity I make a distinction regarding eclectic empiricism; when I posit that in the majority of your life you live by intuition as I’ve defined it here – the rational substructure of which is abduction – I am not stating that such a way of living and thinking is what, for the majority of time, you talk about, think about consciously, or what pleases you; I’m saying it’s what you’re doing and the structure of how you’re doing it mentally (thus I’m not denying the reality of habit nor the vegetative and animalistic aspects of man. Quite the contrary, I’m affirming aspects about the rational faculties). Many men love to talk of practical reasoning and sense impressions, others prefer the study of the humanities and of books, still others enjoy more than these conversational intercourse with others, yet some others prefer aesthetics. All well and good, I am not here referring to personality nor pleasure preferences, I am referring to the mental structure of the rational soul of man in the world in general; and I am positing that he acts in his volitions, thoughts, and values as a unity (or a disunity in unity in the case that various informational capacities disagree yet still relate to one another within one person). I am also arguing that though man puts on various methodologies (Cartesianism, Baconianism, Scholasticism, Existentialism), he acts in the greater whole of his life, according to unified intuitions and as a unified person (though, as stated, he may be disunified in this unity of relation). We tend to overlook this unity of man and focus on personality preferences because the unity we share is so normalized to us; what is abnormal is someone who focuses to a large extent or degree on any one of his given faculties more than the majority of other persons within his community (which is what we refer to such a person as an individual with a “personality” – the bookworm isn’t a bookworm because he doesn’t act, in the majority of his life, as other men do but mentally; rather, he is referred to as a bookwork because he acts, in regards to books and learning, more particularly in that regard than most men do. Yet when he acts, even as a bookworm, he acts as a totality and primarily according to abduction).  

Another facet of my theory (I call it a theory because I believe I have evidence) is that it is intimately related to another epistemic notion which I think is practically beneficial and resolves some Theological conundrums that I, at-least, wrestle with. It posits the general epistemic reliability of the person; more particularly, it posits the general reliability, epistemically, of mankind. Even more particularly, it posits the general reliability, epistemically, of fallen mankind. The general I use here is very general. Men are everywhere afflicted by and afflicting epistemic blunders; Bacon talks about it in his idols, any given logic textbook can tell you about the various errors that humans make; yet even our ability to find errors really proves my point. If our race is able to understand it’s errors in a consistently reliable way, then it proves that general reliability in matters pertaining to our lives is preferable to generally erroneous. Biblically speaking, in Romans 1, if you recall, Greek idolaters are representative of mankind in their right and true and rational perception of God, yet are given over to a debased as a consequent to their idolatry. Yet, in order to be guilty in an epistemic sense, they must first know. And if they know, their faculties have to be at-least generally reliable in terms of the perception and understanding necessary to render them guilty. Thus, it is proven from experience and revelation that man is generally reliable at-least in the general course of his life, epistemically. Again, the general I speak of is very general; any given man might be terrible on any given matter (indeed, you should expect such), yet the general reliability of man’s rational soul should not be doubted; totally depraved, but not absolutely foregone. Mentally corrupt, but not inept.

Lastly, I want to explain what I believe to be another legitimate deduction contained within the brand of Empiricism here stated. Personalistic Empiricism, an Empiricism which views the entire human person, and the totality of his experiences, as adequate to epistemic justification, is inherently democratic. I don’t use the word democratic to refer to a political party but as an analogy to the manner in which knowledge is apprehended, which, in the vast majority of humans (exempting invalids for example) is substantially one. Thus the distinctions we make regarding the “intellectual” ability of one man to another is really vastly overstated in my view; to be a human means you’re a rational animal. To possess rationality means you possess the same “faculties” as the man who you regard as “smarter” than yourself. Thus there is a fundamental equality between you, the clergy, the scientist, and the mathematician, regarding the vast majority of knowledge about life. Sure, one man may study and focus on mathematics, another philosophy, and another cars, but these humans are really not all that different. Their eccentricities are only noted by us because they are predicated on such a regularity of uniformity; the irregularity is only noted because of a substantial regularity, which is actually, in my mind, more ultimate (though I have a hunch sometimes that there is a total equity and interplay between unity and diversity within the world, predicated ultimately on the Trinity). What I’m really driving at is that this epistemology is a working system for Protestantism; since it affirms the general equity of mankind epistemologically, it preserves for the individual the right to interpret the Scriptures for himself. Lords, Popes, and capital T teachers are a facade utilized by the devil in order to control; helpful ministers, lower t teachers, and others who differ from us not so much as to the form of their reasoning but as to their dedication to the craft and their propensity toward certain information, that’s what differ the Theologian from the layman. In my experience, those who get regarded as “smarter” than other people are people who spend alot of time studying the source material and educating themselves as to the grammar of their subject. I don’t actually think my favorite discipline, philosophy, is unable to be comprehended by the common man. I believe that the common man doesn’t care much to learn the grammar of philosophy and utilizes the excuse that he is “incapable” of learning it, when really he is just, generally, lazy (there are, though, some people who really cannot learn or grasp some philosophical concepts. I’m not here referring to them. I’ve read Hegel. I can’t understand all of Hegel). The same thing goes with the judgments of councils, creeds, individual elderates and presbyteries, husbands and wives, and ect. In principle, they have no infalliblity and all parties before they are separated according to their various stations are united in their common rationality a humanity. In principle, one man can stand with the truth against an entire array of men biased towards evil.

Though in the preceding I’ve written more musings than a scientific exposition I will end with more philosophic clarity (less popular level perspecuity). As to the epistemic question of origins of knowledge, I am uncertain but I am inclined to think that knowledge begins in experience and is related to the self through the maturation process. In this regard, I don’t believe in a doctrine of “innate ideas” in the Platonic or Leibnizian sense. I am more inclined to the Aristotelian notion that man is a “rational soul” who is endowed with an epistemic “apparatus” which is concurrent with the world he lives in and through which, eclectically, he come to true knowledge. Thus I believe innate forms, not innate ideas. I don’t believe man is a “blank slate,” but that through experience he learns of his own forms which are innate (logic, for example). As such, I reject the primacy of deduction and induction respectively, when it comes to the majority of life; deduction and induction refer to systems of reasoning, the likes of which are utilized by the totality of the rational soul. Thus induction and deduction are both valued, but are subservient to a total abduction in the majority of affairs. Such a statement, epistemically, is, in my mind, a correlate to a properly “Critical Realist” philosophy which believes in and rationally justifies our true conception of our world and in that finds a deeper form of peace than in Idealism and Naive Realism. Idealists tend to favor deduction (Plato, Hegel, Leibniz) whereas Empiricists tend to favor induction (Bacon, Locke). A Critical Realist would logically value both induction and deduction seeing as he really believes that his knowledge of the world is true knowledge, but that his belief in his senses can be justified, critically by reason. Thus, his form of reasoning is logically abductive and eclectic, not deductive or inductive principally. Further, ethically, such a position yields, practically and epistemically, a form of psychological peace with regard to beliefs, but not a dogmatic impositionalism (as in Fundamentalism); yet it does not deny, at times, that men know things certainly, at other times they have a hunch, and at other times they’re sure but not philosophically certain – in fact, it posits that the majority of time, their philosophical “beliefs” fall in that latter category. As it stands, my position is somewhere between Aristotle, Pyrhonnian Skepticism, James and Kant – It is Realist (with Aristotle), critical (with Kant), open to new information (with the Pyrhonnians), and pragmatic as it is an epistemology for life (with James). Yet, unlike Aristotle I find justification for my belief in the intelligibility of experience within the Christian Scriptures (thus it is transcendental), unlike Kant it affirms that Idealism and an absolute antithesis between subject/object is irrational (thus it is Realist), unlike the Pyrhonnians it affirms the potential for real, true, and certain knowledge of Metaphysics (thus it is, in part, dogmatic), and unlike the Pragmatists it is concerned to justify the apparent, rationally.

PC: James L.W.