In Defense of the Eschaton: Essays in Reformed Apologetics (Dennison)

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In Defense of the Eschaton is an anthology of William D. Dennison's essays on the Reformed apologetics of Cornelius Van Til. Written over the course of Dennison's many years of study, the chapters in this volume investigate Van Til's theory of knowledge, revelation, common grace, antithesis, Christian education, and the history of ideas, as well as examine key Scriptures to identify the redemptive-historical structure of a biblical apologetic method.

In the end, Dennison finds that Reformed apologetics must take eschatology seriously. According to the New Testament, the believer has been transferred by faith in Christ into the final stage of history. As a citizen of heaven, the Christian apologist must defend the eschaton of the age to come against the satanic attacks of this present world. 

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Van Til Studies

1. Van Til’s Critique of Human Thought

2. Van Til’s Epistemology and Analytic Philosophy

3. Van Til and Common Grace

4. Antithesis, Common Grace, and Plato’s View of the Soul

5. Van Til and Classical Christian Education

Part 2: Redemptive History and Apologetics

6. The Christian Apologist in the Present State of Redemptive History

7. The Eschatological Implications of Genesis 2:15 for Apologetics

8. A Reassessment of Natural and Special Revelation

Part 3: Book Review

9. A Review of Greg Bahnsen’s Van Til’s Apologetic

10. A Review of John Muether’s Cornelius Van Til

11. A Review of Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God

 

Author

William D. Dennison (MDiv, ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Michigan State University) is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Covenant College and Visiting Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Northwest Theological Seminary. He is the author of Paul's Two-Age Construction and Apologetics (Wipf and Stock, 2000), A Christian Approach to Interdisciplinary Studies (Wipf and Stock, 2007), The Young Bultmann (Peter Lang, 2008), and Karl Marx (P&R, forthcoming).

 

Editor

James Douglas Baird (BA, Covenant College) is Content Strategist at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He was the founding Head Editor of the online philosophy journal, Mountaintop Thoughts, and is a contributor to Reformed Forum.

 

Endorsements 

"Geerhardus Vos and Cornelius Van Til were among the most significant Reformed thinkers of the last century, their legacy an enduring one. William Dennison is an eminent scholar, a leading exponent of their thought but with distinctive contributions of his own. This collection of his writings, building on both Vos and Van Til, will be of great interest to all who recognize that only when our thinking and living is shaped and directed by the trinitarian God can we be true to his revelation in the Bible." -- Robert Letham, Senior Lecturer in Systematic and Historical Theology and Director of Research, Wales Evangelical School of Theology

"Whether one agrees or not with the apologetic methods of Cornelius Van Til, his unique contributions to the discipline must be considered. William Dennison has spent a lifetime engaged in this work and his students and readers have been the beneficiaries. In the collected pages of this volume, the reader is helpfully led by the hand into the mind and thoughts of one of the most unique theologians of the modern age."  -- Jason Helopoulos, Associate Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

"This marvelous collection of apologetic essays will encourage faith in Christ even as it sharpens the mind. It represents an eschatological approach to the life of the mind, rooting traditional Augustinian-Reformed apologetics in the rich soil of Scripture and its unapologetically firm faith in the Lord of nature, history, and rationality. Many thanks to Bill Dennison for staying true to his tribe (Presbyterian confessionalists and students of Van Til) while developing its insights in important, new ways to meet the needs of our own day." -- Douglas A. Sweeney, Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"It is good to see these important essays gathered in one place, forming as a whole what they couldn't individually--a comprehensive and sustained witness to the effectiveness of a presuppositional apologetic and to the cohesiveness of Van Til's theological and philosophical thought. Dennison's treatment is by turn powerful, convicting, and cumulatively overwhelming in its analysis."  -- Derek W. H. Thomas, Robert Strong Professor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Atlanta; Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina

"Professor Dennison and I have not seen eye-to-eye with regard to Van Til, and after twenty years I am still bewildered by his critique of my approach (chapter 2 of this book). But Dennison and I both seek to honor Jesus Christ and to recognize his claims on human thought, and I honor him for that. Further, Dennison does us a service by drawing attention to Van Til, one of the most significant Christian thinkers of recent years. However one evaluates it, Dennison's analysis of Van Til is distinctive and has influenced many students. Indeed, nobody can fully appreciate the discussion of presuppositional apologetics over the last century without taking Dennison's approach into account. For that reason I am glad to see the book available, and I recommend it to serious students of the debates over apologetic method." -- John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

"This stimulating collection of essays presents a robust explanation and defense of Van Til's apologetic for the twenty-first century. It will both make Van Til more accessible to the beginning reader and greatly assist the more discerning reader probe even more deeply into the profound truths he propagated."  -- Joel R. Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary