Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Van Til's Summary of His Apologetic Principles

From Van Til’s Apologetic (1998), page 610:

We contend:

A. That in apologetics we must use the same principle that we use in theology: namely, the principle of the self-attesting Scripture and of the analogical system of truth which it contains.

B. That therefore we must not make our appeal to the “common notions” of unbelievers and believers but to the “common notions” that, by virtue of creation in God’s image, men as men all have in common.

C. That when appeal us thus to be made to man as man, this can be done only as we set the principle of Christianity squarely in opposition to the principle of the unbeliever. Only when the principle of autonomy, with its irrationalist-rationalist principles of identity and contradiction, is rejected in the name of the principle of analogy, is appeal really made to those common notions which men have as men.

D. That therefore the claims must be made that Christianity alone is reasonable for men to hold. And it is utterly reasonable. It is wholly irrational to hold to any other position than that of Christianity. Christianity alone does not crucify reason itself. Without it reason would operate in a total vacuum.

E. That the argument for Christianity must therefore be that of presupposition. With Augustine it must be maintained that God’s revelation is the sun from which all other light derives. The best, the only, the absolute certain proof of the truth of Christianity is that unless its truth be presupposed there is no proof of anything. Christianity is proved as being the very foundation of the idea of proof itself.

F. That acceptance of the Christian position on the part of sinners who are in principle alienated from God, who seek to flee his face, comes when, challenged by the inescapably clear evidence, the Holy Spirit opens their eyes so that they truly see things for what they are. Intellectually sinners can readily follow the presentation of the evidence that is placed before them. If the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian position is only made plain to them, as alone it can be on a Reformed basis, the natural man can, for argument’s sake, place himself upon the position of the Christian. But though in this sense he then knows God more clearly than otherwise, though he already knew him by virtue of his sense of deity, yet it is only when by the grace of God the Holy Spirit removes the scales from men’s eyes that they know the truth existentially. Then they know him, whom to know is life eternal.

G. That therefore the remnants of the traditional method of apologetics that have been taken over from Romanism and Evangelicalism, in greater measure by old Princeton, in lesser measure by Amsterdam, must no longer be retained.



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