“Before I start, let me first state that I am defending the Christian faith. I am not interested even if you can prove the falsehood of all other faiths; they fend for themselves. In fact, if Christianity is true, all others are false (Jn. 14:6), so I am not interested in defending them. As such, my apologetic method has and always will be presuppositional (Clarkan [sic] as opposed to Van Tillian), and upon this basis I will proceed.”
Even those who have no knowledge of epistemology would read from Wikipedia that, “empiricism is a theory of knowledge which asserts that knowledge arises from experience.” “Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas,” and surely in Watchman Daniel Chew Huicong’s latest post, we would find his empiricist leanings leaping out into the open like a zombie out of the closet. This is despite his repeated claims to being a “Clarkian Presuppositionalist.”
The promise of forgiveness of sin in this Gospel age (and even in the Old Testament era) was never to be taken to mean sins being forgiven through the instrumentality of prayer. Rather, it must be interpreted in the same way as the principle of forgiveness of sins in 1 Jn. 1:9, which is to say an experience of an established reality proving the genuineness of that same reality. In simpler terms, what this means is that true born-again Christians who have their sins forgiven will by nature confess their sins and pray to God in so doing. Such activities confirm that the ones practicing them have their sins forgiven, and the Holy Spirit uses such activities to bring peace and the sense of forgiveness within their hearts.
If you were to read this convoluted, albeit self-indicting and jejune, rendition of the following sentence, “In simpler terms, what this means is that true born-again Christians who have their sins forgiven will by nature confess their sins and pray to God in so doing,” you will notice the following proposition by Watchman Chew:
P = An experience of X proves the genuineness of X.
In other words, whether X is true or not, genuine or not, factual or not, real or not, will be proven by an experience of the X.
An experience of X would inevitably involve perceptual experience, or rather, an experience or experiences of sensory perception. This experience (derived from the human senses) then serves as the “proof” for the genuineness of X.
Despite his rabid denial of the need for empirical evidence for the existence of God and related apologetic issues, he doesn’t seem to have coherent rationality when it comes to other areas of thought in theology. For example, in the aforementioned example, he insists that, “an experience of X proves the genuineness of X.” In other words, Watchman Chew does demand empirical evidence – experiential evidence. This he denies when he proclaimed himself to be a Clarkian Presuppositionalist.
Isn’t it fair, then, for the unbeliever to say, “An experience of God proves the genuineness of God,” therefore show me this experiential evidence for God? Be it visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, proprioceptive, equilibrioceptive, nociceptive, or thermoceptive, show me thine evidence. This is exactly what Watchman Daniel Chew Huicong is demanding in his theology. Show me the experiential evidence, or your profession of faith is false.
So apparently, Watchman Chew has a different set of epistemology when he deals with apologetics and theology. He claims that his “Clarkian” epistemology is derived from the Scripture. But when you ask him questions concerning Scripture exegesis and theology, he turns around and presents another set of epistemological beliefs which purportedly are not derived from Scripture. By the way, how can two opposing epistemological systems be both scriptural?
I have no choice but to conclude that Watchman Chew is either a liar, a lunatic or a loser. Herein lies the trilemma. Which is he?
Furthermore, which epistemology is the great Watchman convicted of? Both?