This is my part of an interaction I had with an atheist. They claimed over and over that my claims of revelational epistemology were nonsense. I hope you find encouragement in reading through my comments and that they help you more faithfully share the gospel.
Revelational epistemology is a valid field of philosophy. Philosophers such as Val Til, Bahnsen, White, and Lisle did or are teaching this branch of Christian thinking. So, my statement is not nonsensical…in fact, it is the reason we can actually determine ideas to have rational value in the 1st place.
God revealed Himself in creation. Even Dawkins recognizes this fact even though the idea of design by God is abhorrent to him. Dawkins conjured up the contradictory idea of “bottom up design” in an attempt to explain the clear design of the universe out of philosophical convictions…not scientific ones
God revealed Himself in the Bible. The Bible claims to be the Word of God, & it records many prophecies that, once fulfilled, have verified its authenticity. The Bible also records historical events that forensic scientists have over and over corroborated the truthfulness of the recordings.
God revealed Himself in Jesus. Jesus claimed to be God during his earthly ministry. His claims make him either a liar, a lunatic, or the LORD of glory. Which do you think Him to be? His appearance, life, and resurrection both fulfilled numerous old testament prophecies and verified his claims of divinity. Recognizing these facts and repenting of one’s rebellion against the Creator brings forgiveness and abundant life.
Now, to get to the consistency of one’s WV. For Christians, all of these elements are both internally and externally consistent:
- matter – God is outside of time/space and brought all of the cosmos into existence (John 1). Because of the curse of sin, we would expect to see decay, suffering, and death in anticipation of God’s ultimate victory (Isaiah 11)
- truth – God claims to be source of truth (John 14:6, Prov 26:5)
- laws of logic/reason – Laws of logic are unchanging, abstract, and universal. God provides a foundation for LoL because He is immutable and transcendent
- Unchanging physical laws, uniformity of nature, induction – Like laws of logic, these laws are abstract and unchanging…like God
- morality/human value – Mankind is created in God’s image so has great value (Gen 1:27, Matt 22:37-40)
- Generally reliable senses – Although perverted by the curse of sin, senses still function to glorify God, so Christians would expect them to be generally reliable
- Human consciousness – God breathed life into humanity (Gen 1:27)
- Human ability to comprehend matter, truth, physical laws, morality – It is expected that humans be able to comprehend the things of the universe and abstractions because by doing this, humans bring glory to God.
You can dislike this line of argumentation, but it is illogical & irrational to claim that my WV lacks internal coherence. It is also externally consistent because it solves the problem of induction, provides a truth anchor and has verification through the Bible and Jesus.
Lastly, I want to address your statement:
“IF you say something like “X Y and Z are true, therefore I believe that God has revealed himself, ergo these other things are true”, then perhaps a conversation could be had”
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the fundamentals. Since God is my ultimate authority, there is no HIGHER authority by which to compare his revelations. He is my epistemological foundation. But it is because He provides this foundation that we can evaluate things using logic, science, evidence to determine things to correspond to rationality or not.
You very much want the ambiguous term “evidence” to be your epistemological foundation except that to evaluate evidence, you have to justify laws of logic, truth, and morality for the evaluation to make sense. Besides, everyone interprets evidence according to their worldview. So, evidence makes a poor epistemological foundation.