Category Archives: Van Tillianism

Training the “Rudders of Your Mind”

Basil the Great on Reading Greek Literature Having recently been reading a bunch of stuff written by Van Tillians, I have to say that I find Basil much more palatable and useful.

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Two Steps Removed From Truth

A quick thought I don’t have time to expand on right now: So called “presuppositional” apologists make the centerpiece of their paradigm the doctrine of “autonomous thought” – that is, human thought that doesn’t acknowledge its dependence on the Christian … Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics, Faith and Reason, Van Tillianism | 5 Comments

Deny the Skepticism

The problem with self-described “presuppositionalists” – whether they are Reformed Van Tillians or Roman Catholic papal absolutists – seems to be that they accept the Enlightenment’s criteria of epistemological skepticism and then try to reconstruct epistemological certainty from scratch. Ironically, … Continue reading

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Augustine and the Antithesis (II)

More from Augustine showing a clearness of thought about the usefulness of “pagan philosophy” that we ourselves often don’t have: In City of God VIII.10, Augustine mentions that some people “whose education has been confined to the study of the … Continue reading

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Augustine and the Antithesis

Yet another note on the Van Tillian caricature of the Church Fathers as people who rather unfortunately did not recognize that they were “co-opting” the Faith with pagan philosophy: Augustine notes that disproving the pagan arguments about the gods’ benevolence … Continue reading

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Losing Sight of the Human Person

Speaking of the classical (“pagan”) idea of Virtue, Josef Pieper writes: It is true that the classic origins of the doctrine of virtue later made Christian critics suspicious of it. They warily regarded it as too philosophical and not Scriptural … Continue reading

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Exaggerated Antithesis

There’s an idea going around in some Reformed circles that Christians before the glorious time of the Reformation, (you know, when the Bible, having been lost for so many ages, was rediscovered and theology purged from centuries of error and … Continue reading

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Iustitiam Carnis and “Total” Depravity

Philiip Melanchthon identifies the hotly-disputed issue of free will as being “about the deterioration of human strength through sin, man’s inability to free himself from sin and death, and about the works that man is able to do in such … Continue reading

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Subjectivism and Van Tillianism

Descartes rested ontology on epistemology – I am because I think. Kant came along a few centuries later and said that all our knowledge of the external world is constructed by our own subjectivity. This was what he described as … Continue reading

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Van Til’s Presuppositionalism, Part III: The “Presupposed” God

We saw in Part II of this series that Van Til’s presuppositionalist system of apologetics begins its arguments by assuming that neither existence nor human knowledge nor human predication (making truth statements) are justifiable apart from the assumption of the … Continue reading

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