Van Til, Cornelius
When defending Christianity, we often play by man’s rules, letting secular science and philosophy determine the cards we’re allowed to bring to the table. But can we effectively defend the primary authority of Scripture if we start with other sources of authority that relegate it to minor status from the outset?
K. Scott Oliphint provides a foreword and explanatory notes in this retypeset syllabus, originally from Cornelius Van Til’s famous Christian Evidences class at Westminster Seminary. Van Til argues for the defense of a pure, full-fledged Christianity, unadulterated by a scientific methodology founded on non-Christian assumptions. He offers us instead a Christian philosophy and methodology for defending the faith that presupposes the absolute authority of the triune God of Scripture.
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Appendix: Some Recent Scientists
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.
“Critics of Van Til often complained that in Van Til’s presuppositionalist apologetics there was no room for the use of evidences to verify the Christian faith. But Van Til often said that evidences were an important part of apologetics. . . . Christian Theistic Evidences is Van Til’s philosophy of fact, his philosophy of science, and as such it should interest everyone who seeks to understand Van Til’s work.” — John M. Frame, Author, A History of Western Philosophy and Theology
“Christian Theistic Evidences represents Cornelius Van Til’s first, revolutionary statement of presuppositional (or covenantal) apologetics. It contains all his major statements against the pretended neutrality of fact, of reason, and of foundations. Dr. Oliphint’s masterful annotations clarify and enhance the beauty of the text. His introduction is pure gold. This is must reading for anyone who wishes apologetic method to be consistent with sound theology.” — William Edgar , Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary