Another tasty morsel of Bite sized chunks of ‘He is there and He is not silent’

Posted: June 16, 2006 in Theo/Philo

Dr[1]. Francis Schaeffer.jpg



It could be said that Metaphysics is defined by its lack of boundaries, it is not bounded by the data we can collect, either through the methodology of Science or what we see, hear, smell and feel. It transcends the natural.

C.S.Lewis in his book ‘The screw tape letters’ uses a conversation between a senior and a junior demon, the trainee, called Wormwood.

There conversation is regarding ways to keep people from faith in Christ, here they talk tactics:

‘By the very act of arguing, you awaken the patient’s reason; and once it is awake, who can foresee the result? Even if a particular train of thought can be twisted so as to end in our favour, you will find that you have been strengthening in your patient the fatal habit of attending to universal issues and withdrawing his attention from the stream of immediate sense experiences. Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it “real life” and don’t let him ask what he means by “real”.

Lewis rightly points out that the fatal habit of attending to universal issues can aid Christianity.

Schaeffer also held this view with regard to apologetics; when defending the gospel there is a need to start at the beginning of the story with the metaphysical questions.

Schaeffer begins ‘He is there and He is not Silent’ outlining the metaphysical necessity in the form of 3 questions:

1.The problem of existence.

The existentialist John-Paul Sartre was noted as saying the basic philosophical question is that something is there rather than that nothing is there.

From nothing comes nothing; therefore as there is something, there must have been a first uncaused cause.

Thomas Baldwin (1996) reinforces the possibility of an empty world by refining the following argument: Imagine each object vanishing in sequence. Eventually you run down to three objects, two objects, one object and then Poof! There's your empty world.

The Materialists were hoping to hold onto the theory that matter is eternal, but the so-called Big Bang has dashed that hope to pieces. Leaving them with no answer as to what the first cause of the big bang singularity was and no answer to why we or anything is.

2.The problem of ‘Man’

Sartre said’ No finite point has any meaning UNLESS it has an infinite reference point. Man is personal and yet finite and so he is not a sufficient integration point for himself. Man is distinct from non-man, from machines, in that he has a personality. He is also faced with the dilemma of his great cruelty and great nobility.

If our starting point and origin is impersonal how can we find any meaning for individual entities (Particulars) such as you and me?

3.The problem of epistemology.

How do we know that what we know is real? René Descartes (1596-1650) understood the problem he said: ‘Every sensory experience I have ever thought I was having while awake I can also think of myself as sometimes having while asleep; and since I do not believe that what I seem to perceive in sleep comes from things located outside me, I did not see why I should be any more inclined to believe this of what I think I perceive while awake.’

More later.


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