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Christianity and Barthianism

Publisher:
, 1974

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Overview

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.

Do not miss out on the updated release of The Works of Cornelius Van Til.

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."

Product Details

  • 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.)

Resource Experts

Top Highlights

“The answer is that Barth’s position is much more fully and more carefully articulated in his scholarly than in his popular works.” (Page 1)

“With critics such as Strauss and Feuerbach in the background, Barth constructs his theology.” (Page 6)

“His problem is, as already noted, how to have a theology that can laugh in Feuerbach’s face. Feuerhach said that theology was really nothing more than a projection on the part of the autonomous consciousness of the theologians.” (Pages 15–16)

“Romanism does not realize this point. With its notion of the analogy of being it has developed a natural theology. By means of this natural theology Romanism thinks it possible for man to have direct knowledge of God. Romanism does not realize that while revelation is historical, history is never, as such, revelational. Accordingly, Romanism cannot do justice to the fact that God’s grace is prior to all the decisions of men.” (Pages 6–7)

“Barth makes plain that Christ is present among men as Geschichte. His presence can therefore not be directly identified with Jesus of Nazareth. To indicate this fact pointedly, Barth, from time to time, says that the facts concerning Jesus Christ do not pertain to Historie as such. To identify Geschichte with Historie would be to commit the great mistake of orthodoxy, namely, to identify history with revelation.” (Page 91)

  • Title: Christianity and Barthianism
  • Author: Cornelius Van Til
  • Publisher: P&R
  • Print Publication Date: 1974
  • Logos Release Date: 2008
  • Era: era:Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Barth, Karl, 1886-1968
  • Resource ID: LLS:CVTCHRBARTH
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-02-02T19:25:24Z
Cornelius Van Til

Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987) 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 serving as a professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary and 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 which can all be found in The Works of Cornelius Van Til (40 vols.).  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.

Reviews

6 ratings

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  1. Cris Dickason

    Cris Dickason

    3/24/2018

  2. db

    db

    11/13/2016

    As a logos book, it's excellent (five stars). Easy to search and affordable. As a book written by Cornelius van til that completely misunderstands and maligns Barth (1star)...typically awful
  3. Rev Dr Paul Blackham
  4. David Leslie Bond
  5. Sean

    Sean

    4/5/2014

    This is an important but bad book: important because Van Til remains an important influence on how American evangelicals in particular view Karl Barth, bad because it is not a fair reading or reporting of Barth. I cannot give justice to either Barth or Van Til in a short review like this; suffice it to say, Van Til has an axe to grind, and one should read both Barth and other critics of Barth to get a better picture. As for the book itself, it is way too long as Van Til is extremely repetitious and also indulges in some very long and needless excursions. (Those who have read Barth can appreciate the irony there!) The Logos edition of the book, sad to say, I also rate as "bad." It has no page numbers, which is inexcusable for a Logos edition of an academic work, and omits the index found in the current P&R edition. Also be aware that while the Logos edition does include hyperlinks from English quotations of the Church Dogmatics, Van Til mostly uses the German edition, and most of those links (understandably) don't work.
  6. Richard Bush

    Richard Bush

    3/9/2014

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