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Gregory Lyle "Greg" Bahnsen
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Birth: Sep. 17, 1948
King County
Washington, USA
Death: Dec. 11, 1995
Santa Ana
Orange County
California, USA

Greg L. Bahnsen

He was an influential Calvinist philosopher, apologist, and debater. He was an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and a full time Scholar in Residence for the Southern California Center for Christian Studies. He was the first born of two sons of Robert and Virginia Bahnsen in Auburn, Washington, and grew up in Pico Rivera, California. In youth he was beset by a number of medical difficulties, the most serious of which was a lifelong blood platelet problem that made it difficult for him to stop bleeding. He also had heart trouble which came to light only during his first college admissions medical exam. Raised in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, he actively participated in religious activities. He first began reading the apologetics of Cornelius Van Til when in high school, and his absorption of these works influenced his later career. While attending Westmont College he began writing for the Chalcedon Foundation of Rousas J. Rushdoony and soon came to admire the latter's strong Calvinistic convictions. In 1969 Bahnsen married Cathie Wade. The two went on to have three sons of their own as well as an adopted Korean daughter, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1990 after his wife left him for a former church member. In 1970 Bahnsen graduated magna cum laude from Westmont College, receiving his B.A. in philosophy as well as the John Bunyan Smith Award for his overall grade point average. From there he went on to Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied under Cornelius Van Til. The two became close friends. When he graduated in May 1973, he simultaneously received two degrees, Master of Divinity and Master of Theology, as well as the William Benton Greene Prize in apologetics and a Richard Weaver Fellowship from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. His next academic stop was the University of Southern California (USC), where he studied philosophy, specializing in the theory of knowledge. In 1975, after receiving ordination in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, he became an associate professor of Apologetics and Ethics at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. While there, he completed his studies at USC, receiving his Ph.D. in 1978. One of the original pillars of Christian Reconstruction, Bahnsen was a leading proponent of theonomy, postmillennialism, and presuppositional apologetics. He lectured to a broad range of evangelical Christian groups at many colleges and conferences, not only throughout the United States, but in Scotland and Russia. He published numerous articles and has over 1700 audio tapes, videos, articles, and books to his name. Greg Bahnsen's vocal advocacy of Christian Reconstructionism and theonomy was highly controversial during his lifetime, and a public disputation pertaining to theonomy led to his dismissal from the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. In addition, he was known for his public debates on apologetics, theonomy, religion (such as Roman Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism), and a variety of socio-political issues (such as abortion, gun control, and homosexuality). Bahnsen is perhaps best known for his debates with such leading atheists as George H. Smith, Gordon Stein, and Edward Tabash. The debate with Stein marked one of the earliest uses of a transcendental argument for the existence of God (TAG). In 1994 a controversy emerged after atheist philosopher Michael Martin cancelled a debate with Bansen, because he "refused to allow the debate to be taped and sold to support a Christian organization." Martin maintains that he has since adequately responded to Bahnsen's use of TAG in that debate, doing so in his own debates with Michael Butler, John Frame, and Douglas Jones as well as in essays posted on the Secular Web. Due to his lifelong medical problems, Bahnsen had to undergo a third aortic valve implant surgery on December 5, 1995. After the completion of the operation, serious complications developed within twenty-four hours. He then became comatose for several days and died on December 11, 1995 at the age of forty-seven. Bahnsen was known to his friends for his personal side. Douglas Jones wrote in Credenda/Agenda magazine following Bahnsen's death: "some of us also remember him for his love of adventure movies, his fondness for Chinese food, his love of laughter, his lightning fast typing skills, and his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of rock and roll. No one could even come close to beating him on the details of rock history."

His obituary-

Greg Lyle Bahnsen: (Santa Ana, CA) - December 16, 1995

Greg Lyle Bahnsen, 47, of Irvine, an Orthodox Presbyterian Church minister, died Monday of heart failure. Services: 1 p.m. today, Rose Hills Memorial Park Mortuary, Whittier.

Survivors: parents, Robert, Virginia; sons, Jonathan, David, Michael; daughter, Wendie. 
Rose Hills Memorial Park
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Gate 1, Garden of Rest, Section 22, Lot 1222, Grave 3
Created by: K
Record added: Aug 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 75280925
Gregory Lyle Greg Bahnsen
Added by: K
Gregory Lyle Greg Bahnsen
Added by: KeithD
Gregory Lyle Greg Bahnsen
Added by: KeithD
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I recently discovered the teachings of Dr. Greg Bahnsen, and they have been a God send. I am devouring everything that I can get a hold of regarding Dr. Bahnsens works. I thank God for placing Dr. Greg Bahnsen on this earth to instruct Christians on how t...(Read more)
- manuel T.
 Added: Jan. 23, 2014
To a man that I consider a teacher of truth and my first apologetic mentor. Thank you for paving the way in bringing sound apologetic methodology to all Christians and for standing boldly against the error of unbelieving thought. You left the Church a gre...(Read more)
- James Brooks
 Added: Oct. 3, 2013

 Added: Nov. 29, 2011

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