Robert Webber, Presuppositionalist

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I've been reading the late Robert Webber's last book, Who Gets To Narrate the World? Contending for the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals  (IVP, 2008), and came across these lines:

"When we argue [in an evidentialist] way, we overlook the inner authority of the Scripture and seek to support it with an external authority.  Truth is made dependent on something outside the authority of the Bible.  We judge the Bible by bringing it under a discipline:  reason, science, experience or some other field of study.  We must do the opposite--bring all the disciplines under the Word of God, under God's narrative from beginning to end" (87).

With this presuppositionalist foundation, he next employs a presuppositionalist methodology.  As some background, Webber's concern in the book is the external challenge to the Christian narrative, which he identifies as Radical Islam.  (He also takes on the internal challenge of a privatized faith of a Christianity overly accommodated to culture).  Now comes the presuppositional method, which occurs throughout the book and also in a nutshell on page 87.  Webber takes us over to the ground of Radical Islam, considers it, then takes it to its conclusion.  He finds it as a rather lacking narrative of the world; it breaks down.  Then Webber invites us over to the Christian narrative, to consider it, and then to take it to its conclusion. 

In the end, he offers a "wake-up call," as he writes in the introduction, concerning the external and internal challenges in our day.  He also presents a winsome portrayal of the Christian narrative, the only narrative that makes sense of the world:  His (almost last) words in the book:  "There is no narrative that begins to compare with the Christian narrative--in which God enters our suffering to deliver us from sin and death, and to deliver the world from the domain of darkness" (137).  Webber knew he was dying, he had pancreatic cancer, when he wrote this.

REF21 readers might have a bone or two to pick with the work of the late Robert Webber.  Let's just not overlook some significant comments here in his last work.  

Posted August 13, 2008 @ 2:31 PM by Stephen Nichols
TOPICS: Apologetics

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