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Who Do You Say That I Am?

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There has never been a time when the question of the identity of Jesus of Nazareth was so important as it is today. For example, was He the self-attesting Christ of the historic Protestant Confessions; or is He, rather, the "Christ-Event" of post-Kantian philosophy and theology? The present booklet gives the writer's reasons for believing Him to be, not the latter, but the former. If one would reject the genuine, self-attesting Christ of Scripture, he must do so, unavoidably, in terms of the self-attesting man. But the very existence of the latter presupposes, unavoidably, the self-attesting Christ: thus, to deny the former's claim is self-stultifying.

A concise overview of the history of philosophy in relationship to the claims of Christ.


Table of Contents:

Ancient Man Replies 

A. Who Blasphemes, Jesus or the Pharisees?

B. Stephen the Martyr

C. The Risen Lord Appears to Paul

D. Saul the Persecutor Becomes Paul the Apostle

     1. Paul at Lystra

     2. Paul and the Greek Philosophers

E. Paul’s World-Wide Mission

     1. Paul at Athens—the Biblical Framework of Thought

          a. All Men are Covenant-Breakers in Adam

          b. The Resurrection Indicates the Coming Judgment

F. The Greek Paideia

     1. Behold the Man: Socrates

     2. Werner Jaeger on the Greek Paideia

          a. (Arete)

          b. The Search for a Divine Center: Socrates

          c. The Contrast Between the Greek and the Christian Paideia

     3. Platonic Idealism

     4. Aristotle’s Form-Matter Scheme

Medieval Man Replies

A. Plotinus and Augustine

     1. Plotinus and the Scale of Being

B. Augustine and the City of God

C. From Augustine to Thomas Aquinas

     1. Negative Theology—Pseudo-Dionysius

     2. Natural Theology

     3. Mystical Theology

D. Gilson’s Argument for the Medieval Synthesis

     1. Necessity—The Parmenidean Principle of Continuity

          a. A Christian Philosophy

     2. Contingency—The Heraclitean Principle of Discontinuity

E. Degrees of Knowledge

     1. Thomas Aquinas as the Medieval Man—Par Excellence

F. Degrees of Love

G. The Total Picture

H. The Substantial Unity of Man

I. Conclusion 

Modern Man Replies

A. Renaissance Man Replies

     1. Renaissance Man vs. Reformation Man

          a. Modern Science

     2. Renaissance Man’s Idea of Himself

          a. Nicolas Cusanus

          b. Francis Bacon

     3. Reformation Man’s Idea of Himself

          a. Martin Luther vs. Boehme

          b. Descartes vs. Calvin

B. Immanuel Kant and the Principle of Inwardness

C. Post-Kantian Man Replies

     1. The Post-Kantian Theologian—Karl Barth Replies

     2. The Post-Kantian Scientist—Teilhard de Chardin Replies

     3. The Post-Kantian Philosopher—Robert Collingwood Replies

D. The Modern Church Replies—The Congress of 2000

     1. The Confession of 1967

     2. Lutherans and Calvinists

     3. The Protestant Principle and the Roman Catholic Principle

     4. The Christian Principle and the Jewish Principle

     5. The Thirty-Eighth Parallel



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.