Interview with Eli Ayala (Revealed Apologetics)

An interview with Eli Ayala on presuppositional apologetics and related topics:

Also check out the interview Eli conducted with my colleague Mike Kruger a couple of weeks ago:

Enjoy!

2 Responses to Interview with Eli Ayala (Revealed Apologetics)

  1. Ron DiGiacomo

    I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion on transcendental arguments. I hope to see more of these sorts of forums. Also, the question pertaining to the canon is a delicious one. I’ll impose some ramblings if I might…

    When it comes to the question of how we can know whether we have the Canon, I’ve never been comfortable with appealing to “criteria”. After all, even if we make apostolic authorship a criterion for NT canonicity, then several canonical books don’t qualify as such. Perhaps we include “close association” to an apostle as a criterion; then we can accept Luke, Acts… but then what about Barnabas? I also don’t think “attributes” of canonicity (or marks of divinity) gets us much closer to the thorny epistemic question at hand. Neither does apostolicity in my estimation. Indeed, those sorts of criteria may have been employed by the early church when pondering canonicity and there’s no question the Holy Spirit persuaded according the divine attributes of Scripture, but the means the church employed and our criteria today is not on par with the authority of Scripture itself. Not to mention, non-authoritative criteria can influence the outcome.

    However, I don’t think we’re consigned to skepticism or looking to an alleged infallible magisterium; nor must we conclude (as one Reformed popularizer suggested) that we have a fallible collection of infallible books. I’m grateful Dr. Kruger takes things in a dramatically different direction.

    Some basic premises all Reformed folk can agree upon:

    1. There’s a relevant distinction between what is true and what is sometimes known to be true. So, it is true that canonical books were Scripture prior to those books being widely known to be Scripture. Accordingly, the church didn’t determine the canon. Rather, the church recognized the canon and received it as such.

    2. Jesus placed his imprimatur on the Jewish canon (and not the apocrypha).

    3. Jesus promised to build his church. (Matt. 16:18) Jesus also told his apostles that those who received them received Him. (Matt. 10:40) The implication is that the building project of the Lord was to be founded upon the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus being the chief cornerstone. (Eph. 2:20)

    4. Consequently, the words or teachings of the apostles and Christ had to be received impeccably because Jesus *promised* to build his church upon them, which is now a settled matter. The church has its foundation lest there’s no church and Christ’s word failed.

    5. Therefore, the canon was received and is closed, lest the church has no foundation, contrary to Jesus’ intention.

    6. The apostolic tradition was both oral and written (II Thess. 2:15) but only the written apostolic tradition has been providentially preserved. Accordingly, Scripture alone is what the church is built upon, which must have been God’s intention since Scripture alone is all he left us in keeping with Christ Jesus’ promise to build his church.

    In sum:

    7. It’s in the canon we find the divine intention to build the church upon the canon.

    8. Therefore, shouldn’t our confidence be based upon the divine intention contained in the canon, which presupposes the church would recognize and receive the canon in order that Christ might build his church? Also, in conjunction with that, shouldn’t our confidence be based upon God’s revealed ability to do all his holy will?

    9. Maybe we can even take the church’s recognition of the canon out of the equation to make the point even stronger. Even had the church not wanted to receive the canon, she couldn’t but receive the canon given the intention. (Of course Jesus’ intention was that she be guided by the voice of God testifying in Scripture through the Holy Spirit.)

    10. In a word, I’m very hesitant to go outside the canon for our assurance that we have the canon.

    With gratitude for you and Dr. Kruger.

  2. Marshall Wall

    When talking about the “certainty” of TAG, Eli asked you about the possibility of being wrong in your worldview. He seemed to be implying that someone who is genuinely Reformed/Van Tilian/whatever must believe that he could not possibly be mistaken in regard to his worldview, otherwise something is more ultimate than God in his system of thought (in this case apparently a principle of contingency or possibility).

    If I understood your response, you located the believer’s epistemic warrant in natural and special revelation, with the family of TAG arguments providing only a supporting and reinforcing role.

    Something seems off to me about saying “I could not possible wrong about my worldview.” But I am trying to take his concern seriously. So, from the theological angle in which you responded, do you think a consistent Christian epistemology requires one to say, “I could not possibly be wrong”? Or given the warrant of natural and special revelation, can a Christian believe it’s possible they’re wrong about their worldview, without admitting something more ultimate than God into their thinking?