Monday, April 6, 2009

Van Til - Foundations

Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought by John M. Frame (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 1995, 443 pages)

John Frame, a former student of Van Til, favorably but not uncritically examines the full spectrum of Van Til's philosophy in this compendium of a book. It's probably more of a dip in and duck out book, rather then a straight cover to cover read. In it Frame overviews Van Til's career, before moving through a large variety of topics and concludes with an analysis of Van Til's apologetic system. There is a detailed review on Amazon that clearly outlines the contents of the book so I'd like to focus on the following three topics from Van Til.

  • Propositional Apologetics
  • Scripture and the beginning of Epistemology (Knowledge)
  • The Sovereignty of God
As I explained in my last post, there is some important groundwork that presupposes Christianity. The primary benefit in reading Van Til and thinking about his philosophy is to examine this foundation. It's also useful because this foundation is where, quite often, different interpretations between Christians come from. Furthermore it's encouraging to realise that everyone, religious or non-religious have a philosophical foundation that shapes their beliefs and actions.