Posts tagged ‘Presuppositional Apologetics’

November 9, 2016

An Introduction to Systematic Theology

intro-to-systematic-theology-coverStatus: Available

Book Description

The theological foundations of Van Til’s defense of the faith are set forth here as the unified system of truth to which believers are committed and with which nonbelievers need to be confronted.

Writes Van Til: “The Christian faith as a whole, as a unit, must be set over against the non-Christian faith as a whole. Piecemeal apologetics is inadequate, especially for out time. A Christian totality picture requires a Christian view of the methodology of science and philosophy, as well as a Christian view of theology.”

Thus Van Til explores the implications of Christian theology, particularly for philosophy, as he discusses epistemology, general and special revelation, and the knowledge and attributes of God.

Cornelius Van Til taught apologetics for more than forty-five years at Westminster Theological Seminary. This newly edited and typeset edition features an introduction and explanatory notes by William Edgar.

Cornelius Van Til

Cornelius Van Til

About the Author

Obituary: Cornelius Van Til–April 18, 1987

Dr. Cornelius Van Til, for 43 years professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and emeritus professor there since his retirement in 1972, died at the age of 91 on April 17, 1987. After an illness of several months, death came peacefully at his long-time residence near the campus. A memorial service will be held at Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Glenside, PA (where he worshipped for the last 40 years) on Wednesday, April 29, 8:00 pm.

Van Til was born on May 3, 1895, in Grootegast, The Netherlands. He was the sixth son of Ite and Klazina Van Til, who emigrated to the United States when “Kees,” as he was known to friends, was 10. He grew up helping on the family farm in Highland, Indiana. He went on to receive an advanced education when he saw the need to meet unbelief on its own ground and in the most thorough terms. Years later he said, “Study was not easy for me. Having grown up on the farm I was used to weeding onions and carrots and cabbages. It was hard to adjust to classroom work; I had labored physically and my body was aching for that.” He was married to Rena Klooster in 1925 and they had one son, Earl, who died in 1983. Van Til is survived by a grand-daughter, Sharon Reed of Valencia, PA.

He was graduated from Calvin College (A.B., 1922), Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.B., 1924; Th.M., 1925) and Princeton University (Ph.D. 1927). He served as the pastor of the Christian Reformed Church in Spring Lake, MI, 1927-28 and was instructor of apologetics at Princeton Theological Seminary, 1928-29. He was professor of apologetics at Westminster, 1929-72. He held an honorary professorship at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, in 1938; the Th.D. (honoris causa) from the University of Potchefstroom, South Africa; and the D.D. from Reformed Episcopal Seminary, Philadelphia.

He was a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church from 1936 until his death. Van Til was also instrumental in the founding of Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy, serving as the president of the board. Begun in September 1942, the school now has over 700 students, K-12, on campuses in three Philadelphia communities: Roxborough, Dresher and Erdenheim.

Van Til’s published writings include The New Modernism (Presbyterian & Reformed, 1946), The Defense of the Faith (P&R, 1955) and Christianity and Barthianism (P&R, 1962), plus several syallabi and numerous reviews and articles. He was joint editor of Philosophia Reformata, a quarterly devoted to Calvinistic philosophy. A festschrift, Jerusalem and Athens, edited by E. R. Geehan with contributions by Hendrik G. Stoker, Herman Dooyeweerd, J. I. Packer, Paul K. Jewett, Arthur Holmes and others, was published on his 75th birthday (P&R, 1971).

He is perhaps best known for the development of a fresh approach to the task of defending the Christian faith. Although trained in traditional methods he drew on the insights of fellow Calvinistic philosophers Vollenhoven and Dooyeweerd to formulate a more consistently Christian methodology. His apologetic focused on the role of presuppositions, the point of contact between believers and unbelievers, and the antithesis between Christian and non-Christian worldviews.

In an interview with Christianity Today (December 30, 1977) he said, “There are two ways of defending the faith. One of these begins from man as self-sufficient and works up to God, while the other begins from the triune God of the Scriptures and relates all things to him. . . . The traditional ideas of trying to find some neutral, common ground on which the believer and unbeliever can stand are based on the notion that man is autonomous . . . [yet] Paul says, all men, knowing God, hold down this knowledge in unrighteousness. . . . [This knowledge] is the only basis man has on which he can stand, to know himself, to find the facts of his world and learn how to relate them to one another. Without the Creator-God-Redeemer of Scripture the universe would resemble an infinite number of beads with no holes in any of them, yet which must all be strung by an infinitely long string.”

One of Van Til’s students, T. Grady Spires, now professor of philosophy at Gordon College, Wenham MA, says of him, “Every student of Van Til can instantly recall the characteristic Van Tillian blackboard graffiti: the foremost symbols being two circles, a big one for the creator, the other for creation with no ontological bridge between. The entire history of philosophy or Christian thought, including most heresy, would be strewn in names and phrases across the board. . . . The consumption of chalk and the whir of ideas were symptomatic of an excitement generated not from brilliant eruditions, though some of his skyrocketing digressions could be called that, but from the strong and systematic emphasis on the antithesis between a biblical world and life view and the several intellectual scientific versions of the carnal mind. Students began to see how far-reaching were the differences between believer and non-believer.”

Source: The Works of Cornelius Van Til, 1895-1987 (electronic ed.).
Copyright © Eric H. Sigward 1997

410 Pages
Publisher: P&R Publishing Company
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN 10: 0875527892
ISBN 13: 9780875527895

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

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February 1, 2016

The Battle Belongs to the Lord:The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith

Battle Belongs to the Lord CoverStatus: Available

Publisher’s Description

Apologetics is not just for philosophers. We all need wisdom for defending our faith. This book equips us to answer unbelief by means of our most powerful weapon.

Hoping “to get us to open our Bibles again when we think about apologetics,” K. Scott Oliphint probes six Scripture texts on the subject. He summarizes their message as follows:

Since Christ is Lord, and the battle is his, we are always ready to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

We are to use the weapons, not of this world, but of the Lord.

We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ as we demolish the arguments, with gentleness and reverence, of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, exchanging the truth of God for a lie, worshipping created things, rather than the Creator.

Includes study questions for each chapter.

Oliphint K Scott

Dr. K. Scott Oliphint

About the Author

 

K. Scott Oliphint is Professor of Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He is the leading authority on Van Tillian Apologetics. He is author of Reasons for Faith: Philosophyin the Service of Theology, The Consistency of Van Til’s Methodology,Cornelius Van Til and the Reformation of Christian Apologetics; coauthorof Christian Apologetics Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader, If I Should Die Before I Wake: Help for Those Who Hope for Heaven, Things That Cannot Be Shaken: Holding Fast to Your Faith in a Relativistic World, and editor of Justified in Christ: God’s Plan for Us in Justification, and The Defense of the Faith, 4th Edition.

208 Pages

Publisher: P&R Publishing Company
Publication Date: December 2003

ISBN 10: 087552561X
ISBN 13: 9780875525617

Source: WTS Books

March 20, 2015

Christian Apologetics

Christian Apologetics Cover

Status: Available

About

The theological foundations of Van Til’s defense of the faith are set forth here as the unified system of truth to which believers are committed and with which nonbelievers need to be confronted.

Writes Van Til: “The Christian faith as a whole, as a unit, must be set over against the non-Christian faith as a whole. Piecemeal apologetics is inadequate, especially for our time. A Christian totality picture requires a Christian view of the methodology of science and philosophy, as well as a Christian view of theology.”

Thus Van Til explores the implications of Christian theology, particularly for philosophy, as he discusses epistemology, general and special revelation, and the knowledge and attributes of God.

Cornelius Van Til taught apologetics for more than forty-five years at Westminster Theological Seminary. This newly edited and typeset edition features an introduction and explanatory notes by William Edgar.

Cornelius Van Til

Cornelius Van Til

The Author

Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987) was born in Grootegast, the Netherlands, and immigrated with his family to America in 1905. He attended Calvin College and Calvin Seminary before completing his studies at Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University with the ThM and PhD degrees. Drawn to the pastorate, Van Til spent one year in the ministry before taking a leave of absence to teach apologetics at Princeton Seminary. When the seminary reorganized, he was persuaded to join the faculty of the newly founded Westminster Theological Seminary. He remained there as professor of apologetics until his retirement in 1975. Van Til wrote more than twenty books, in addition to more than thirty syllabi. Among his best-known titles are The Defense of the Faith, A Christian Theory of Knowledge, and An Introduction to Systematic Theology. For more, visit http://vantil.info

(HT: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing)