I was reading a book on presuppositional apologetics the other day. It started, as such books usually do, by differentiating between classical and presuppositional apologetics and arguing in favor of the latter. It was a thoughtful book and a good argument. However, as the author mapped out the parameters of his presuppositional apologetic, I was struck by how close his approach was to what I have read from my favorite classical apologists. In fact, the best presuppositional apologists end up sounding surprisingly similar to the best classical apologists, and vice versa. There are important differences between the two perspectives, but it seems as if some sort of metaphysical gravity draws both camps back from the extremes to which they might otherwise fly: presuppositionalists blindly ignoring any extrabibical evidence, or classical apologists attempting salvation by logic rather than Jesus Christ.
In a world where ideologies are always slippery-sloping away to their worst extremes, it is striking how, if we look at the history of the Church, this “gravity” seems to be constantly at work. It pulled the martial impulse of the Crusades back to earth, so today no part of the Church seeks to spread our faith by the sword. It checked the burgeoning ecclesiastical authority of Medieval Catholicism by restoring the solas of the Reformation. Today, it keeps Calvinists from losing human responsibility and Arminians from losing divine sovereignty.
It is, in a word, the Bible.