Douglas Groothuis

Defending Christian Faith, September 21, 2004






I.          World Views, Conceptual Systems, etc. as Webs


II.        Gained Through Enculturation (non-epistemic/intellectual)


III.       Incommensurate with Other Webs; No Objective Tests for Truth (as correspondence); All Are Web-Dependent; Leslie Newbigen (See D. Groothuis, Truth Decay, chapter six)


IV.       Consequences:


A.        Destroys apologetics:  Karl Barth, William Willimon (See D. Groothuis, Truth Decay, chapter six):  fideism—faith without evidence, argument


B.         Destroys understanding of truth as correspondence (realism)


1.         Incompatible truth claims (contraries or contradictories) cannot both be true


2.         Leaves us with relativism (and all its problems, moral and epistemological)


3.         Cannot explain why people change world views (web defection)


4.         A (coherent) web of belief is one necessary aspect of a logical worldview; it is not sufficient to determine truth.


5.         Presuppositions of a worldview are more like glasses than eyes (see David Clark, Dialogical Apologetics [Baker, 1994], p. 94)