Since its release more than a decade ago, this definitive collection of works from the renowned Cornelius Van Til has become an essential tool for apologists and students of Van Til's thought. We are pleased to make it available in this new enhanced edition for Logos BIble Software.
Please note: at this time, the audio components included in this collection function only on the Windows and Mac desktop applications.
Van Til . . . is perhaps the most important Christian thinker of the twentieth-century.
—John M. Frame, Westminster Theological Seminary
The desire of Cornelius Van Til is to present and to teach a thoroughly Biblical system of apologetics, giving to the natural man no quarter in his all-out warfare against the Biblical system of truth.
—F. R. Howe, Dallas Theological Seminary
Van Til's presuppositional approach has been a powerful impetus for reform in Christian thinking. Outwardly, it directs a transcendental challenge to all philosophies which fall short of a Biblical theory of knowledge, demonstrating that their worldviews do not provide the philosophical preconditions needed for the intelligible use of logic, science, or ethics. Inwardly, it calls for self-examination by Christian scholars and apologists to see if their own theories of knowledge have been self-consciously developed in subordination to the word of God which they wish to vindicate or apply. It has likewise cut a wide swath through a large number of relevant areas of interest, requiring that every area of life be governed by the inscripturated word of God.
—Dr. Greg Bahnsen, student of Van Til
In the Logos edition, these digital volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
In this important work, eminent Reformed thinker Cornelius Van Til offers a Christian apologetic that includes five chapters titled The System of Christian Truth, The Christian Philosophy of Life, The Point of Contact, The Problem of Method, and Authority and Reason. Van Til begins the work with the words, “Apologetics is the vindication of the Christian philosophy of life against the various forms of the non-Christian philosophy of life.”
Cornelius Van Til wrote this book as a response to a series of three volumes published by Westminster Press in 1959: The Case for a New Reformation Theology, The Case for Theology in Liberal Perspective, and The Case for Orthodox Theology. In The Case For Calvinism, Van Til challenged their views “by setting the truly Christ-centered position of the historic Protestant faith, especially the historic Reformed Faith as found in Calvin and his followers, over against the man-centered position of [these authors].”
The Preface states, “In this monograph the author clearly sets ancient and modern Jewish thought over against Christian thought and demonstrates that there can only be opposition between them when both are advocated from the standpoint of their respective ‘standards’ and presuppositions. . . . The Christian who is concerned that his witness to the Jew be scripturally sound and honoring to his Lord will receive help . . . by the reading of Christ and the Jews.”
The Preface states, “This [book] claims with the historic Reformed creeds that the good is good because God in Christ through the Scriptures, says it is good. Without the presupposition of the self-sufficient moral consciousness of the triune God revealed in Scripture, man’s moral consciousness would operate in a vacuum. To bring out this point Part 1 deals with Christian Ethical Principles. . . . Part 2 traces the development of apostate man’s principle of ‘inwardness’ or moral self-sufficiency in order to show that it has led and cannot but lead to moral chaos.”
Van Til wrote this book as an “expansion and supplement” to his work The Defense of the Faith (1955). Van Til summarizes it as an “attempt to work out in greater detail the nature and implications of our commitment to Scriptural authority in relation to our activity as Christian theologians and philosophers today. In addition several men discussed in Defense of the Faith are given a deeper analysis. Among these are Warfield, Kuyper, Buswell and Hamilton.”
Van Til writes in the front matter, “A true method of Christian Evidences must start with the interpretation of man and his universe as given to him on the absolute authority of Christ speaking in Scripture in order then to show that unless this is done man abides under the wrath of God and his speech is meaningless. . . . The studies presented in this series are written with a view to the defense of the doctrine of the free grace of God through Christ as he testifies of himself in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. They are written from the point of view of one who believes the Reformed Faith to be the most truly biblical expression of the Christian Faith. . . . These studies are merely student syllabi; they are not to be regarded as published books.”
Van Til writes in the Preface, “The present writer is of the opinion that, for all its verbal similarity to historic Protestantism, Barth’s theology is, in effect, a denial of it. There is, he believes, in Barth’s view no ‘transition from wrath to grace’ in history. This was the writer’s opinion in 1946 when he published The New Modernism. A careful consideration of Barth’s more recent writings has only established him more firmly in this conviction.”
Van Til writes in the Preface, “It is obvious that such philosophies as materialism and pragmatism are foes of Christianity. It is less obvious but no less true that Idealism and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Christianity teaches man to worship and serve God the Creator. Idealism, no less than materialism or pragmatism, teaches man to serve and worship the creature. Idealism has a language which resembles that of Christianity but its thought content leads inevitably toward pragmatism.”
This work brings together 16 book reviews by Cornelius Van Til. The books under review are on apologetical subjects and were deemed by Van Til to have been of more than passing importance. Authors reviewed include Niehbuhr, Brunner, Ridderbos, and Berkouwer.
According to the Preface, this book “seeks primarily to present the salient features of the Reformed conception of common grace on the basis of these materials. In doing so it has at the same time an apologetical aim. It seeks to suggest, as far as it is possible to do so in short compass, that the Reformed Faith, in setting forth most faithfully the Scriptural doctrines of free grace, at the same time provides the only solid foundation for the general ordinances of creation. Nature and grace alike come to their own in the Reformed Faith and nowhere else.”
This book brings together a number of Van Til’s studies on Common Grace. Here the author addresses the question of how a Reformed person holding to the doctrine of “double election” can do justice to the universalism of the gospel, as expressed in the “whosoever will” statements of Scripture. Van Til finds the solution to this predicament in the “philosophy of history” conveyed by the Reformed confessions, based on biblical exegesis.
In this work, Cornelius Van Til argued against the adoption of the Confession of 1967 by the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. He held that, “this proposed Confession gives expression to and is based upon a new theology . . . founded upon a new and relativistic view of truth.” The author goes on to survey the thinking and writing of a number of contributors to the Confession and attempts to predict how the Confessions of 1977, ’87, and ’97 would progress.
In this book, a revision and abridgment of an earlier work, Van Til seeks to discover the most biblical and effective way to present Christ to unsaved people. He writes in the introduction, “First, the main contents of the gospel of grace is briefly set forth in terms of theology (Chapter 1). Then this same gospel is set forth in terms of philosophy (Chapters 2–4). Finally, this gospel is presented to the ‘natural man’ in order that he might be saved (Chapters 5–11).” Along the way, Van Til contrasts his position with that of Roman Catholicism and the neo–orthodoxy of Karl Barth and his followers.
In this book, Van Til seeks to discover the most biblical and effective way to present Christ to unsaved people. Along the way, Van Til contrasts his position with that of Roman Catholicism and the neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth and his followers. Part One is entitled “The Structure of My Thought” and Part Two is “Objections Considered.” Van Til also uses the Introduction to respond to his critics.
This volume describes the field of Christian education from the perspective of practical analysis as well as introducing ideas of educational philosophy and its relation to the Christian school. Van Til addresses issues facing the teacher in Christian education, along with their relationship to educational philosophy and non-Christian educators. This volume includes previously published works The Dilemma of Education and The Christian Scholar.
This volume contains sermons and addresses given by Cornelius Van Til from 1946 to 1974. The sermons center about the idea of the finished work of the redemption of Christ on the cross. The addresses given on various occasions all deal with the question as to how to bring the Reformation Faith to modern man.
Seeking to face modern philosophy and the timeless questions of “Who is Jesus Christ” and “What does it matter anyway”, Cornelius Van Til delves into a volume on philosophy. Pointing out the problems with modern Christians relaxing their philosophies and theology, Van Til seeks to restore the truth that “the Christ who alone is Lord of life is the Christ of the Reformers, of Augustine, and of the Scripture. To present the voice of this Christ as the Lord of life in the valley of death as opposed to the Christ of modernism and neo-orthodoxy is the purpose of this little book.”
Cornelius Van Til revises his syllabus on Systematic Theology in the volume, accounting for developments in theology from Karl Barth and the subsequent studies of G. C. Berkouwer. The Christian faith must not be taken in the form of “piecemeal apologetics” but instead “be set over against the non-Christian faith as a whole.” This work includes his studies on Epistemology, General Revelation, and the Attributes of God, among other studies in Christian theology.
The New Hermeneutic of such men as Ernst Fuchs and Gerhard Ebeling is similar to what Barth did in the early twenties. These men seek to be both more modern and more Reformational and this book is doing the same. What is needed is a really Reformational philosophy and theology. Only if we have this can the depth of the contrast between the self-attesting Christ of Scripture and the Christ-Event of neo-orthodoxy be seen for what it is.
It is accordingly one of the chief aims of the present volume to investigate the relation between the “earlier” and the “later” Barth, and the relation between the “earlier” and the “later” Brunner as well as the present relationship between these outstanding Crisis theologians.
Including Why I Believe in God, The Intellectual Challenge of the Gospel, Is God Dead? and others, this set features 10 of Van Til’s short tracts and essays.
Cornelius Van Til approaches the Protestant Doctrine of Scripture with the goal of presenting doctrines of God’s grace as displayed throughout the Scriptures. His argument sets the Reformed Faith above the neo-orthodoxy of the age and establishes the true Reformed creeds.
Van Til analyzes the perpetual warfare between the secular and Christian psychologies, one being focused on the Christ’s interaction with the human being and the other, which is worthless without this interaction of the Holy Spirit. He analyzes the ways human thought has attempted to escape facing God and on recognizing ways in which Satan uses human thought to pull us away from the relationship with God.
Cornelius Van Til presents this volume to pastors, hoping to encourage them as they instruct young people who are influenced by modern schools of thought. It is important for a pastor to be acquainted with schools of modern thought, including science, philosophy, and religion, and all the while maintain their foundation on the ways of Christianity, which provides them the tool of critical analysis and comparison.
The pastor has the primary purpose to grasp, proclaim, and defend the Christian faith. While their faith is continually ridiculed, pastors must develop a criterion for analyzing such criticism and holding to their foundations in Christian teaching. Van Til argues that pastors must recognize these places where they will face criticism and learn ways to defend Christianity in the ways of modern thought.
Including his analysis of the principles discussed in the Council of Dordt, Van Til addresses the Reformed theology of grace as it was impacted by the discourse of the Roman Catholic church. Reviewing the works of Berkouwer and Barth, Van Til addresses the importance of the Council of Dordt to the development of the theology of grace, as well as analyzing the impact the aforementioned theologians have had on this concept in recent studies.
Van Til’s thesis on studies of knowledge focuses on the point that while man may choose to rely on the laws of the world to create definition for his thought, “only if one begins with the self-identifying Christ of Reformation theology, can one bring the ‘facts’ of the space-time world into intelligible relation to the ‘laws’ of this world.”
Analyzing Daane’s “The State of Theology in the Church,” Van Til addresses the importance of a biblical theology. Daane argues that theological development within the church is without direction, calling the Church’s orthodoxy “inert, inarticulate, unresponsive, and without sparkle of life” Van Til investigates these questions of the state of the Church’s theology as he studies Daane.
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.
This resource contains more than 100 articles and essays written by Cornelius Van Til over the course of his lifetime. The articles provide a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the Reformed thinker on a variety of topics, spanning some seven decades and pulled from publications like The Banner, The Presbyterian Guardian, Torch and Trumpet, Westminster Theological Journal, Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Christianity.
More than 50 hours of audio recordings from Cornelius Van Til are included in this extraordinary resource. Listen to more than 75 different addresses from the great Reformed thinker and apologist on topics ranging from the sovereignty of God to common grace, from the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas to Karl Barth. Audio files are grouped into five main categories: Bible studies and sermons, addresses and studies, Christian thought and conflict, historical survey of apologetics, and lectures on modern theology.
This resource contains 25 articles by Van Til, written in Dutch and published by the Dutch weekly De Reformatie between 1935 and 1940. The publication’s operations were shut down in 1940 when the Germans invaded the Netherlands and imprisoned the editor, Klaas Schilder. Topics include the founding of the Presbyterian Church of America, fundamentalism, Arminianism, modernism, Karl Barth, J. Gresham Machen, and more.
Including Why I Believe in God, The Intellectual Challenge of the Gospel, Is God Dead? and others, this set features 10 of Van Til’s short tracts and essays.
This volume contains over 70 of Cornelius Van Til’s literature reviews and articles between the 1920s and 1970s.
This volume includes select sermons from the life of Cornelius Van Til. There are sermons from 1930s as well as selections from the 1960s and 1970s.
This volume contains 14 of Cornelius Van Til’s unpublished manuscripts, including Black Theology and Black Power, Reformed Epistemology, and The Theology of C. S. Lewis.
This bibliographic guide was created for the Van Til CD-ROM product from Logos Bible Software. Beginning in the 1920s until his death in 1987, Dr. Cornelius Van Til wrote over five hundred books, syllabi, articles, editorials, book reviews, pamphlets, and manuscripts; this guide provides an index to virtually everything Van Til has written and includes links from each bibliographic entry to its corresponding Libronix DLS resource.
This resource gives the history of and introduction to this collection of the works of Cornelius Van Til, includes a gallary of several photos of Van Til, and includes his obituary.
The critical essays in this book are dedicated to Cornelius Van Til on the occasion of his 75th birthday and 40th anniversary as professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, in recognition of his tireless efforts in the statement and defense of the Christian faith.
Dr. Cornelius Van Til served as a professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, for 43 years. He retired in 1972, but remained as an emeritus professor until his death in 1987. Van Til, an immigrant from The Netherlands, was one of the most respected apologetic theologians of his time.
Van Til earned degrees from Calvin College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Princeton University on his way to becoming an Orthodox Presbyterian Minister. He served throughout the ministry and scholarly fields, including teaching as an instructor of apologetics at Princeton Theological Seminary and being heavily involved with the foundation of the Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy.
His most noted writings include The New Modernism, The Defense of the Faith, and Christianity and Barthianism. Much of his work with apologetics focuses on presuppositions, the difference between believers and non-believers, and the opposition between Christian and non-Christian worldviews.
More information about Van Til as a teacher and Reformed theologian is available in an article Eric Sigward wrote for New Horizons entitled "Van Til Made Me Reformed." Read the article as HTML or PDF (copyright 2004 by New Horizons; used by permission).