Phil Johnson is playing the part of an Orwell character over at TeamPyro. In this post, part of a series on the John MacArthur book "Truth War", Phil wonders how "vital" truth is, and has this to say:
Phil Johnson:The irony. What's that pre-modern position called Phil? What's the underlying epistemology you're espousing, here?
So give him a look like, "Huh?" and remind him that the position you are defending has historically been associated with a point of view that is known for its militant opposition to modernism. Then ask if he understands what "modernism" is.
Phil goes on, and lets us know how clever he is by zooming right past modernity when talking to post-moderns, and scoffing at their assumptions about his "modern", foundational epistemology. Not so fast, pomos! Phil's not even reached a modern epistemology, something he's quite proud of, even as schedules his next flight on a modern jet, and posts on his modern laptop, relieved from his cold by modern medicine.
Phil Johnson:I don't think there's any problem with complexity here, or mental horsepower. What's in play here is dishonesty and intransigence. Why not just be honest about your fideism, Phil? You eschew epistemology as a discipline. It isn't that you are epistemologically arrogant so much as that you think you are above the discussion of knowledge in the first place.
He'll most likely respond with a condescending look and tell you in an exasperated tone that—while this all is probably far too complicated for you to understand—you have naively bought into foundationalist epistemology; your worldview has recently been totally discredited; and you need to acquire some epistemic humility.
I'll skip down to the end -- it's just Phil, safe behind his administrative controls, dissembling about the problems of post-modern epistemology. Now post-modern epistemology is problematic; even post-moderns will tell you that. Modernism is fraught with tensions, too. But these are both advanced fighter jets compared to the trike Phil's peddling around, complaining about the comparative weakness of the others.
Here's his finish:
Phil Johnson:"Fideism", Phil. Why not just call it what it is, epistemically?
I don't think there's a fancy name for the view of knowledge the Reformers and other biblically-oriented Protestants held, other than "basic Christianity." Call it "Calvinism" if you like. Or you can label it "the Proverbs 1:7 view" to be even more accurate.