Yesterday, I posted an article titled John Frame On Using The Bible To Justify The Bible. A WordPress user by the name of Steven Hoyt replied stating:
It is in fact fallacious and circular and viciously so.
Systematic theologians are not philosophers or epistemologists. NO theory of knowledge needs to our should rely on supposing anything is true at all! and not all theories of knowledge even have the semiotic structures and reliance you describe frame as accusing the philosophers mentioned of.
What Mr. Hoyt doesn’t realize is that simply asserting using the Bible to justify the Bible is viciously circular does not make it so. This is a proof by assertion fallacy. As pointed out in the article, all systems of epistemology must use circular reasoning in some way in order to justify their ultimate presuppositions. Even Mr. Hoyt’s worldview must do this, and the burden of proof is on his to prove otherwise. I’ll touch more on this below.
Mr. Hoyt continues by stating that “Systematic theologians are not philosophers or epistemologists.” I believe that Mr. Hoyt is unaware of Dr. Frames academic history. Frame has studied philosophy at several different academic institutions. These include:
- Princeton University, A.B.
- Westminster Theological Seminary, B.D.
- Yale University, M.A., M.Phil.
- Belhaven College, D.D.
This doesn’t also take into account that Frame teaches philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary. So, Mr. Hoyts claim, at least in this case, is simply false. If the reader would only do a quick Google search, he would see that Dr. Frame has an extensive background in epistemology and philosophy, and has written many volumes on those particular topics.
Lastly, Mr. Hoyt argues, “NO theory of knowledge needs to our should rely on supposing anything is true at all!”
This argument fails to take into account that the commenters own epistemology presupposes truth, which is the very thing he argues we shouldn’t presuppose. It must, or else there’s no point in arguing the point. What Mr. Hoyt is really saying is that we should be neutral in our reasoning, therefore we should presuppose nothing. However, in saying this, Mr. Hoyt himself is not neutral. There is no neutrality. Hoyt’s entire argument falls apart when simply asking, “is that true?”
At this point, it becomes apparent that the commenter has made his own faulty and fallible reasoning ultimate. The Christian presupposition is validated because there is no other standard higher than the God-breathed Scriptures. I have a foundation to argue for truth, because God has given me the ultimate standard of truth. I need not appeal to anything higher, lest I contradict my own position. What standard is higher than revelation from God? None. To push the antithesis, Mr. Hoyt, however, does not have this same kind foundation because he has presupposed his own fallible reasoning as ultimate. This forces him to inconsistently claim things like we should presuppose no truth for anything, while at the same time presupposing truth. If Mr. Hoyt were consistent with his supposed presupposition, then he would have no basis to argue for anything! This is the absurdity of unbelief.