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.”
Christianity and Barthianism is among the most noted writings by Van Til. This first edition work documents his allegation that Barth had clearly departed from the faith of historic Christianity, Van Til quotes from the writings of Schilder, Berkouwer, Idema, Zuidema, Polman, and Dooyeweerd. By analyzing the writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Hans Küng, he clearly shows how Barthianism provides a basis for ecumenical thought.
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From the Preface of the Print Edition
"Some years ago the prediction was made that Karl Barth’s theology would soon disappear from the scene. It was said to be nothing more than an expression of post-war pessimism. But, as Barth’s recent visit to America has emphasized, he is now regarded as the great prophet of the twentieth century. In particular it is Barth’s Christology that has, it is said, spoken the liberating word for our day. In it, we are told, God’s sovereignty above man and his gracious presence with man, are kept in proper balance. Moreover, it is through his view of the Christ that Barth has become the great ecumenical theologian of our day. By his return to and by his development of a true Reformation theology, he has, it is said, paved the way for a union of all true Protestants. Surely all Protestants gladly accept the Christ as the electing God and the elected man. In this Christ heaven and earth are being reconciled. Thus, Barth’s theology is rapidly becoming the rallying point for modern ecumenism. Roman Catholic and New Protestant theologians alike rejoice as Barth replaces the Christ of Luther and of Calvin with a Christ patterned after modern activist thought.”
“Those who, with the Reformers, believe that through the death and resurrection of Christ in history sinners are saved from the wrath of God to come, have the responsibility of upholding Biblical Christianity against this new and concerted attack. 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."
- Title: Christianity and Barthianism
- Author: Cornelius Van Til
- Publisher: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company
- Publication Date: 1974
About Cornelius Van Til
Cornelius Van Til 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.
Other noted writings include The New Modernism, and The Defense of the Faith. Much of his work with apologetics focuses on the presuppositions of humans, 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.)