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Jerusalem and Athens Critical Discussions on the Philosophy and Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til

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Throughout his long career, Cornelius Van Til—a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary and a renowned apologist—raised and discussed issues such as the authority of the Scriptures, the effects of the fall, and the existence of “common ground” between believers and unbelievers. Such issues are as significant in our day as they were in his.First published in 1971 and now back in print, Jerusalem and Athens goes beyond the scope of a typical festschrift. As a point of reference for what follows, it opens with Van Til’s clear and simple introduction to his own thought, in which he defends the Christian’s commitment to the “self-attesting Christ of Scripture”: “I have never met Christ in the flesh. No matter, he has written me a letter.” This is followed by twenty-five critical essays on theology, theological method, philosophy, and apologetics written by contributors such as J. I. Packer, G. C. Berkouwer, Richard Gaffin, Herman Ridderbos, and Rousas Rushdoony. Van Til replies to a number of these essays, sharpening the impact of this unique and useful book.


“Cornelius Van Til is undoubtedly one of the most profound and significant Reformed thinkers of the twentieth century. Few critical assessments of his work come close to the breadth and depth of this collection of scholarly essays. The opening essay by Van Til may be the most succinct and compelling introduction to his apologetic ever to come from his own pen. I’m thrilled that this invaluable volume is being granted a new lease of life.”

—James N. Anderson, Carl W. McMurray Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte

“This festschrift is unique not only because of its rich content but because, unusually, Van Til responded to a number of its authors, thus clarifying and reasserting his position on key issues.”

—William Edgar, Professor Emeritus of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

“This collection of essays and the many responses by Van Til almost functions as a ‘one-stop shop’ for Van Til’s prolific career. The various essays—some critical, others appreciative—provide a useful survey of the most influential conservative and Reformed assessments of a Reformed apologetic. For a rich and thoughtful evaluation of the state of Reformed apologetics toward the end of Van Til’s career, there is no better place to begin.”

—K. Scott Oliphint, Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Jerusalem and Athens contains illuminating contributions from many angles related to the thought of one of the most seminal Christian thinkers of the twentieth century. And it includes Van Til’s responses, which often clear up misunderstandings of his work. Highly recommended!”

—Vern S. Poythress, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Biblical Interpretation, and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary