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.
As Cornelius Van Til prepared syllabi for his classes on Christian Apologetics, 'outsiders' took interest in them for classroom teaching, and others subjected them to critical analysis. In The Defense of the Faith Van Til sought to service both types of readers. To the former, he sought to provide in positive fashion, what seemed to him to be the biblical method of defending the Christian Faith. To do so, he thought it necessary to make a comparison between the Romanist-Evangelical and the Reformed points of view concerning apologetics. For the latter group, those interested in 'critical analysis,' he deals with 'contemporary objections' made against his views of apologetics. Thus, though the reader is provided answers to the critics, the primary purpose is to provide '"a method of defending Christianity which is consistent with the nature of Christianity." The Defense of the Faith is among his most noted writings.
Do not miss out on the updated release of The Works of Cornelius Van Til.
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 other most noted writings include The New Modernism, and Christianity and Barthianism. 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)
“The question of knowledge is an ethical question at the root. It is indeed possible to have theoretically correct knowledge about God without loving God. The devil illustrates this point. Yet what is meant by knowing God in Scripture is knowing and loving God: this is true knowledge of God: the other is false.” (Page 33)
“There were no principles of truth, goodness or beauty that were next to or above God according to which he patterned the world. The principles of truth, goodness, and beauty are to be thought of as identical with God’s being; they are the attributes of God.” (Page 28)
“Christianity interprets reality in terms of the eternally self-conscious divine personality; non-Christian thought interprets reality in terms of an existence independent of God.” (Page 55)
“We can make no contact with men unless we speak to them in their language.1 Many men, in declaring that they believe in God, assume that God is identical with Reality. It must be demonstrated to them that when we speak of reality, we at once make a distinction within it, namely the reality of God as self-sufficient and of the universe as existing by his plan, creation and providence. This distinction in being will have basic significance for our views of knowledge and behavior.” (Pages 40–41)
“In Christ man realizes that he is a creature of God and that he cannot seek for comprehensive knowledge. Christ is our wisdom. He is our wisdom not only in the sense that he tells us how to get to heaven; he is our wisdom too in teaching us true knowledge about everything concerning which we should have knowledge.” (Page 33)