A Presuppositional Apologetical Response by Lönngren Taljaard (Doctoral Thesis Accepted North-West University)
While in the past the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa (DRCSA) confessed the authority of the Bible as the Word of God, many within the Church today do not see the Bible as authoritative on all matters. Prevailing views on the Pauline epistles is a prime example. In many ways, Paul is viewed as “a product of his time who could only describe the awesome reality of God’s saving presence in limited (patriarchal) language”
The well-known South African theologian Andrew Murray, himself a member of the DRCSA, reacted as far back as 1862, shortly after the midway mark of the 19th-century, to the large-scale rationalism that had been advocated in Dutch theology faculties and warned against the influence it may have had on fellow ministers in the DRCSA. This battle where the authority of Scripture was at the centre became so severe that it was not able to escape the Cape courtrooms.
The following is an attempt to establish an accurate view regarding the authorship and date of the Pastoral Epistles. There has been a vicious attack on the Bible and particularly with regards to the question of inerrancy and authorship. These questions however can only be properly addressed by viewing the evidence and allowing the evidence to speak for itself. Evangelicals have long faced opposition from liberal theologians who have questioned the validity and inerrancy of the Bible. By imposing endless questions on the text these theologians have succeeded to create doubt in the hearts of many concerning their own belief in the basic truths of the Bible.
One such area that liberal theologians would challenge is the authorship of the Bible. They would argue that certain portions of Scripture have not truly been written by those who have traditionally been believed to have written it. However, by closer observation of the facts we are able to arrive at a clear understanding and a proper rebuttal of such assaults.
The presuppositional method of apologetics, popularised by Westminster Seminary professor Cornelius van Til, largely relies on the internal testimony of the Bible to provide credible arguments for the accuracy, exclusivity, and supremacy of the Christian faith over all other world religions. Hence, the importance of Presuppositionalism is immense. Reliance on Scripture is fundamental to Christianity.
Sadly, in today’s so-called Christian community, there are many professing Christians who have interpretations of Christianity that oppose the biblical interpretations for truth that have been carried on to us by the Apostles (Thomas & Farnell, 1998:356). Understandably, there are many minor differences between the evangelical denominations of Christianity, and there should therefore be a measure of tolerance for one another. Yet, there are differences that require extreme refutation since the Bible itself issues a stern warning against erroneous teachings (Linneman, 2001:148). In extreme cases it means the difference between belief in the existence of God and the pre-eminence of Christ in redemptive history as stipulated in Scripture, and some man-centred, Christless, practically atheistic approach to Scripture.