foolproductimage largeIf it's true that you always hurt the ones you love, Sye Ten Bruggencate has some pretty deep affection for the non-Christian folks around him

How To Answer The Fool: A Presuppositional Defense Of The Faith
Author: Sye Ten Bruggencate American Vision/Crown Rights Media
If it's true that you always hurt the ones you love, Sye Ten Bruggencate has some pretty deep affection for the non-Christian folks around him. How To Answer The Fool shows its starring Dutch-Canadian apologist/evangelist to be a lovingly stubborn defender of the one true faith delivered to the saints against all comers, including presumed fellow believers who would deny the entire truthfulness of the Bible. And if he hurts his rhetorical opponents' feelings, it's not like he's doing so out of cruelty.

There isn't anything new to the presuppositional approach that Ten Bruggencate takes, which lets scripture suffice to defend itself and the Deity it chronicles. It goes back to the formation of the canon and its numerous declarations of the exclusivity of the Judeo-Christian God and His inspired, written revelation. More recently, theologians including Cornelius Van Til and Greg Bahsen, the latter a direct inspiration for Ten Bruggencate, have rendered extra-scriptural evidence unnecessary, letting the Word and people's consciences speak to the reality of the triune Lord they decry and deny.

The difference being that Ten Bruggencate takes it all out of the seminary and academy to the streets... and the university commons. Those number among the settings forf this 75-minute documentary, heavy on talking heads. Elsewhere, he instructs collegians in the discipline he has pretty well mastered; takes to task both a freethinker and the moderator of their debate who attempts to play a vaguely theistic middle ground; and reflects upon that debate with a ministry partner at a Christian radio station. Variations between monochrome and color footage clue viewers to the inter-cutting between the several scenarios.

Ten Bruggencate's argumentation boils down to the unbeliever's lack of a basis for knowing anything without an outside, transcendent, self-reliant source of knowledge. It's not a proverbial silver bullet, as he has admitted in the radio interview that informed me of How to Answer, but its ultimate epistemologicall unassailability often frustrates his opponents, if not to anger, at least to a dismissal that must be rife with at least a bit of sublimated cognitive dissonance. If the unsaved are spiriually blinded, some of his professed kin in Christ and others who would propose the existence of a God/god appear at least misled; evangelical celebrities using evidential take apologetics, some intending to prove Him without the Good Book and one glibly suggesting that the non-Christian give God a trial period, and authors advancing intelligent design that's not specifically Christian counterpoint to Ten Bruggencate's more substantive tack.

Some of the encounters might seem comical in the often conceited assurance without suifficient philosophical footing Ten Bruggencate faces. And though it may occasionally seem superficially funny, conversations of eternal consequence are taking place. An accompanying study guide follows the six themes of the video and furthers the viewer's crash course in joining in on defending Christianity rationally and intelligently.

Perhaps in the interest of ending hopefully, How concludes with an interview subject to whom Ten Bruggencate's gospel presentation makes sense and for whom he prays. That kind of tenderness may not be what obstinate atheists and agnostics get when they meet up with him, but as his fellow worker in the same kinds of fields, Ray Comfort, would say, "Law to the proud and grace to the humble." How To Answer The Fool works both as an engaging doc' and study tool to abet some urgent kingdom business.

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