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.
“Christians believe in two levels of existence, the level of God’s existence as self-contained and the level of man’s existence as derived from the level of God’s existence. For this reason, Christians must also believe in two levels of knowledge, the level of God’s knowledge which is absolutely comprehensive and self-contained, and the level of man’s knowledge which is not comprehensive but is derivative and re-interpretative. Hence we say that as Christians we believe that man’s knowledge is analogical of God’s knowledge.” (Page 12)
“The question of method is not a neutral something. Our presupposition of God as the absolute, self-conscious Being, who is the source of all finite being and knowledge, makes it imperative that we distinguish the Christian theistic method from all non-Christian methods.” (Page 8)
“The nature of our a priori element is clearly determined by our conception of God. Again, the nature of our a posteriori differs from the idealist notion of the a posteriori. Our facts are created and controlled by God, while the facts of idealism are not.” (Page 9)
“This distinction between the method of apologetics and the method of the other disciplines we believe to be mistaken. All the disciplines must presuppose God but at the same time presupposition is the best proof. Apologetics takes particular pains to show that such is the case. This is its chief task. But in so doing it is no more neutral in its method than are the other disciplines. One of its main purposes is to show that neutrality is impossible and that no one, as a matter of fact, is neutral. We conclude then that apologetics stands at the outer edge of the circle of systematic truth given us by systematics in order to defend it.” (Page 3)
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