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All Students of Apologetics should read at least one book by arguably the most important apologist of the twentieth century: Cornelius Van Til. The single best point of entry into Van Til's writings is Christian Apologetics. Here Van Til presents the underpinnings of his uniquely biblical approach. He shows how Christian apologetics is rooted in a unified system of scriptu All Students of Apologetics should read at least one book by arguably the most important apologist of the twentieth century: Cornelius Van Til. The single best point of entry into Van Til's writings is Christian Apologetics. Here Van Til presents the underpinnings of his uniquely biblical approach. He shows how Christian apologetics is rooted in a unified system of scriptural truth, a worldview that encompasses all spheres of knowledge. Noting the ultimate conflict between Christian and non-Christian systems, Van Til sets forth a method of argument that centers on an all-important, biblically defined point of contact with the unbeliever. In this the first typeset edition, William Edgar sheds light on Van Til's approach by adding a new introduction and explanatory notes.


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All Students of Apologetics should read at least one book by arguably the most important apologist of the twentieth century: Cornelius Van Til. The single best point of entry into Van Til's writings is Christian Apologetics. Here Van Til presents the underpinnings of his uniquely biblical approach. He shows how Christian apologetics is rooted in a unified system of scriptu All Students of Apologetics should read at least one book by arguably the most important apologist of the twentieth century: Cornelius Van Til. The single best point of entry into Van Til's writings is Christian Apologetics. Here Van Til presents the underpinnings of his uniquely biblical approach. He shows how Christian apologetics is rooted in a unified system of scriptural truth, a worldview that encompasses all spheres of knowledge. Noting the ultimate conflict between Christian and non-Christian systems, Van Til sets forth a method of argument that centers on an all-important, biblically defined point of contact with the unbeliever. In this the first typeset edition, William Edgar sheds light on Van Til's approach by adding a new introduction and explanatory notes.

30 review for Christian Apologetics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adam Calvert

    Professor William Edgar rightly warns the reader in his preface to this book that Cornelius Van Til never meant this to be a published book but simply a class syllabus for his students. It's not too hard to understand why once you start reading it. While this work of Van Til does provide some more insight into the presuppositional apologetic approach which he championed, the writing is not the most polished and the thoughts are sometimes very difficult to grasp. Nonetheless, this is where you wil Professor William Edgar rightly warns the reader in his preface to this book that Cornelius Van Til never meant this to be a published book but simply a class syllabus for his students. It's not too hard to understand why once you start reading it. While this work of Van Til does provide some more insight into the presuppositional apologetic approach which he championed, the writing is not the most polished and the thoughts are sometimes very difficult to grasp. Nonetheless, this is where you will find Van Til's reference to the man of water climbing out of the water on a ladder made of water and the buzz saw analogy (among others) which are so often referenced by Van Til's successors in this field of apologetics. Amidst the unpolished writing and the difficultly of this book, it's still a very powerful presentation for the presuppositional method of defending the faith - a method I wish all Christians could be exposed to at least once. As Van Til repeatedly and so strongly points out: "If we first allow the legitimacy of the natural man's assumption of himself as the ultimate reference point in interpretation in any dimension, we cannot deny his right to interpret Christianity itself in naturalistic terms ... If the natural man is given permission to draw the floor-plan for a house and is allowed to build the first story of the house in accordance with his own blueprint, the Christian cannot escape being controlled in a large measure by the same blueprint when he wants to take over the building of the second story of the home" (p119, 144-145). The solution, then, Van Til admonishes: "We have seen that in reality their own [Catholic and Arminian apologists] false interpretations of the facts of Christianity mean that they do not really present the facts fully for what they are. But to the extent that they do present the facts as they are, they still do not challenge the natural man to take off his colored glasses. And it is precisely this that the Reformed apologist seeks to do. He will first present the facts for what they really are and then challenge the natural man by arguing that unless they are accepted for what they are according to the Christian interpretation of them, no facts mean anything at all" (p. 193). This is the thrust of Van Til's argument (though it's more clear when one is more familiar with Van Til); and if understood correctly it is a very powerful, Biblical position in the field of Christian apologetics and evangelism. But Van Til did more than promulgate the idea of presuppositional apologetics. He truly showed us what it means to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Even our thinking must be subject to the authority of our Creator-Redeemer (p. 140). Even the way we reason can be done in a godly or ungodly way. Van Til shows in this work (like in others) that it's not simply a matter of fact between the believer and unbeliever, but it's even more a matter of philosophy of fact that separates us. Being a syllabus as it is, this type of thinking is found better presented in other works. Van Til's own "Defense of the Faith," as well as Greg Bahnsen's "Always Ready," John Frame's "Apologetics to the Glory of God," and Richard Pratt's "Every Thought Captive" are all great introductions to Van Til's method. And they all are written in more comprehensible form. (Richard Pratt's book is geared even toward high schoolers, but worth reading no matter where your education is at). Do I recommend this book for every Christian? No. I most assuredly recommend Van Til's method of Christian apologetics to every Christian (see above referenced works), but I only recommend Van Til's syllabus "Christian Apologetics" to those who want to read a primary source from Van Til and gain a little more insight into his thoughts than what he presented as a published book in "Defense of the Faith." While this work (even in published format) is not for everyone, Van Til's understanding of Christian theology and its application to the unbelieving world is! But unless you already know Van Til, I'd recommend his "Defense of the Faith" first.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie Larson

    “...the only method that will lead to the truth in any field is that method which recognizes the fact that man is a creature of God, that he must therefore seek to think God’s thoughts after him.” (p. 131) VanTil in this work, does just that—seeks to think God’s thoughts after him and present them clearly and beautifully. He also gives help to understanding how arguments which contradict this truth breakdown. This book was not only a helpful guide to Christian Apologetics, but also an enjoyable r “...the only method that will lead to the truth in any field is that method which recognizes the fact that man is a creature of God, that he must therefore seek to think God’s thoughts after him.” (p. 131) VanTil in this work, does just that—seeks to think God’s thoughts after him and present them clearly and beautifully. He also gives help to understanding how arguments which contradict this truth breakdown. This book was not only a helpful guide to Christian Apologetics, but also an enjoyable read. I would gladly read VanTil again if looking to grow more in this content area.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Excellent book, laying out the inconsistencies in Roman Catholic apologetics and Arminian apologetics when confronting the natural man, while putting forth the consistency in Reformed apologetics. This is a tough book to get through. Van Til is a bit hard to follow at times, otherwise I would have given this work 5-stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pastor Matt

    A compelling work.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Todd Miles

    I give four stars on the content, not the organization. This is a published class syllabus. When you know that going in, it is easier to be charitable with the organization and editing. Van Til was ahead of his time, bequeathing to the church an apologetic that I think is compelling in our current postmodern context. His conversation partners obviously arise from his own context of the previous century and are not as helpful today. Go to Frame or Bahnsen for a more contemporary presentation of V I give four stars on the content, not the organization. This is a published class syllabus. When you know that going in, it is easier to be charitable with the organization and editing. Van Til was ahead of his time, bequeathing to the church an apologetic that I think is compelling in our current postmodern context. His conversation partners obviously arise from his own context of the previous century and are not as helpful today. Go to Frame or Bahnsen for a more contemporary presentation of Van Til's presuppositionalism.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott Cox

    This is a classic work on the defense of Biblical presuppositional apologetics. Highly recommended, though it's slow-reading due to technical theological jargon. This is a classic work on the defense of Biblical presuppositional apologetics. Highly recommended, though it's slow-reading due to technical theological jargon.

  7. 4 out of 5

    J.R. Coltaine

    Van Til was an original thinker and the originator of presuppositional apologetics. Unfortunately this work, which is one of his most accessible along with WHY I BELIEVE IN GOD, is fairly obtuse. It was written as a syllabus, but still cannot be praised for its style or clarity. I also have great disagreements with Van Tillian Presuppositionalism. Presuppositionalism argues that God's existence is the necessary grounding for all epistemology and that the laws of logic, meaning, value, the one and Van Til was an original thinker and the originator of presuppositional apologetics. Unfortunately this work, which is one of his most accessible along with WHY I BELIEVE IN GOD, is fairly obtuse. It was written as a syllabus, but still cannot be praised for its style or clarity. I also have great disagreements with Van Tillian Presuppositionalism. Presuppositionalism argues that God's existence is the necessary grounding for all epistemology and that the laws of logic, meaning, value, the one and the many, the reliability of sense perception and mental states, the uniformity of nature, and the intelligibility of the world only find their grounding and justification in the eternal, triune, God. I whole heartedly agree with this transcendental argument. However, Van Til goes beyond this transcendental argument and argues that we must presuppose God's existence and revelation as epistemic instruments. He argues that belief in God is a priori. It is an unjustified, self-evident belief for all. He asserts that Romans 1:18-20 teaches this, but we see from those verses that knowledge of God is revealed through nature. This would make knowledge of God a posteriori: a conclusion we make based on evidence. Arguing that God is an a priori presupposition is a circular argument. Van Til agrees but asserts that all arguments are circular. He argues that presupposing basic sense perception and the laws of logic are equally circular. However, these presuppositions are epistemic instruments-not the content of an argument. I agree that God is the necessary grounding for these epistemic instruments and that his ontological existence is certain. However, Van Til argues that God's existence is epistemically certain and wants to presuppose God's revelation as an epistemic instrument. This is circular and renders argument mere assertion because it includes the content of the argument within the argument itself (begging the question). In addition we must ask if we live by certainty or if we live by faith? Do we please God by certainty or do we please God by faith? Van Til argues that all human beings are epistemically certain of God's existence. This would make faith unnecessary or redefine faith radically. Human beings cannot be epistemically certain. This is part of the fall of man. Only God has epistemic certainty. Human beings must walk by faith until glorified, which means it will always be possible for us to doubt or to suppress the truth. Because of this, we do have common ground with which to reason with the unbeliever. Firstly because we can sympathize with their fallen and rebellious state, and secondly because we can sympathize with their doubts. If not for God's miracle within, we too would rebel against God's revelation and suppress the truth.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Magnuson

    If you are a seminarian at a Reformed school, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're looking for a practical book on apologetics, this is not the book for you. For that, I'd highly recommend Josh McDowell. This book should perhaps more aptly be called "Why Calvinism is Better than Catholicism and Arminianism" because Van Til spends the entire book comparing and contrasting them, endeavoring to show how Calvinism (i.e, Reformed Theology) is the only one of the three that is actually "consistently C If you are a seminarian at a Reformed school, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're looking for a practical book on apologetics, this is not the book for you. For that, I'd highly recommend Josh McDowell. This book should perhaps more aptly be called "Why Calvinism is Better than Catholicism and Arminianism" because Van Til spends the entire book comparing and contrasting them, endeavoring to show how Calvinism (i.e, Reformed Theology) is the only one of the three that is actually "consistently Christian in its starting point and methodology" when it comes to apologetics. Of course, Van Til had every right to write this book as he desired, but I personally wish he'd had a better understanding of the belief systems with which he disagreed before taking this tack. As a case in point, in the final chapter, "Authority And Reason," Van Til devotes 9 pages describing how the Arminian would approach this with a non-believer & then critiquing it without ever actually citing any Arminian sources whatsoever. Although I'm far from an expert, I have spent a great deal of time studying both Calvinist and Arminian theology, and Van Til makes a number of assertions about Arminian theology that are just not true [for the record, I have issues with both Calvinism & Arminianism, although I've found Arminianism far more biblically consistent]. On a positive note, I agree with Van Til's overall conclusion; viz., that when sharing the gospel with non-believers, it's necessary to address their preconceptions, showing them that their starting point is flawed. That said, I would again point to Josh McDowell as a better source for this as he personally came to faith trying to disprove Christianity, only to find out that it is the only belief system that holds up to scrutiny. In conclusion, unless this book is required reading for you, there are many other books on Christian apologetics that are both more accessible and more practical.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ethan McCarter

    For the one who wants to learn more of Van Til's thought this is a great book to begin with. I can appreciate much of his systematic theology and usage of the Bible; I also have heard first hand details on how devout of a Christian Van Til was. However, there are some issues that I take with the book. First, it seems that Van Til has an implicit, dismissing rhetoric versus those who hold to other schools. He typically terms opposing schools as Roman Catholic or Arminian ways of thinking. He fail For the one who wants to learn more of Van Til's thought this is a great book to begin with. I can appreciate much of his systematic theology and usage of the Bible; I also have heard first hand details on how devout of a Christian Van Til was. However, there are some issues that I take with the book. First, it seems that Van Til has an implicit, dismissing rhetoric versus those who hold to other schools. He typically terms opposing schools as Roman Catholic or Arminian ways of thinking. He fails to realize that there were, and are, plenty of thinkers in the Reformed tradition who held and hold to the classical views of the church including Warfield, Dabney, Edwards, and John Gerstner. To claim that his views are the only way to do apologetics seems dismissive of those who are even within his own tradition. Another quibble is his writing style which, for any who are familiar with Van Til, is difficult to understand at best. Granted, this is not entirely his fault as English was his second language. But, that fact does not make the book any more easy to read. In conclusion, those who hold to presuppositionalism will find the book much more of an intriguing read than myself versus those of the classical school who will find their holes in it. My advice: read it for yourself and see if Van Til's arguments are convincing and logical. Don't let my reviews stop you from reading him! Van Til was the premier Christian apologist of the 20th century and should be studied even by those who disagree with his thought.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Austin Hunt

    I found this to be a useful intro into Van Til. It’s fairly short (about 200 pages), and it includes some useful footnotes from Dr. William Edgar of Westminster Theological Seminary. Van Til’s basic argument is that Christian apologetics should be rooted in the total system of Biblical truth. Other Christian apologetic approaches (Catholicism and Arminianism are cited in the book) seek to reason with unbelievers from a common epistemological starting place, but Van Til shows that this goes no wh I found this to be a useful intro into Van Til. It’s fairly short (about 200 pages), and it includes some useful footnotes from Dr. William Edgar of Westminster Theological Seminary. Van Til’s basic argument is that Christian apologetics should be rooted in the total system of Biblical truth. Other Christian apologetic approaches (Catholicism and Arminianism are cited in the book) seek to reason with unbelievers from a common epistemological starting place, but Van Til shows that this goes no where because it doesn’t get at the root of the problem, varying world views (or presuppositions). The Christian worldview finds ultimate meaning in the self-contained Trinitarian God of the Bible, whereas the “natural man” finds ultimate meaning in himself. The point of contact, then, is that all people are made in the image of God and have that latent knowledge, even if suppressed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Horton

    Van Til defends an apologetic method that is now known as "presuppositional apologetics." Starting from the "purest expression of Christianity" found in Reformed theology, he establishes a method that is distinctly and uncompromisingly Christian. This work mostly centers around fundamental principles. The practical outworking of these principles gets a cursory treatment at best. My reaction: I have a lot of questions. When you start to catch his train of thought, it feels as though you've received Van Til defends an apologetic method that is now known as "presuppositional apologetics." Starting from the "purest expression of Christianity" found in Reformed theology, he establishes a method that is distinctly and uncompromisingly Christian. This work mostly centers around fundamental principles. The practical outworking of these principles gets a cursory treatment at best. My reaction: I have a lot of questions. When you start to catch his train of thought, it feels as though you've received a scathing critique for your own inconsistencies. Yet, many of the questions that arose for me weren't directly addressed. To take his critique to heart, it will require some focused labor to apply and test his method in different contexts. Content: 5 Clarity: 3 Consistency: 5 Practicality: 3

  12. 5 out of 5

    Seth Goodale

    This little book (actually a syllabi) is a great starter to understanding Cornelius Van Til, the father of what we call as the “Presuppositional” approach in evangelism and apologetics. Actually tried much of his principles while talking with an atheist friend of mine, and it turned out that instead of me going to him and trying to find “commonality” and acting surprised if he says something interesting, we started right with his presuppositions and then exposed the errors in his arguments accor This little book (actually a syllabi) is a great starter to understanding Cornelius Van Til, the father of what we call as the “Presuppositional” approach in evangelism and apologetics. Actually tried much of his principles while talking with an atheist friend of mine, and it turned out that instead of me going to him and trying to find “commonality” and acting surprised if he says something interesting, we started right with his presuppositions and then exposed the errors in his arguments according to the standard of Scripture, all for the purpose of preaching repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This syllabi is definitely better evangelism training than most of the “gospel-centered” training much receive today. If only some superficial baptists would convert back to their mother of Reformed theology, we would have a lot more content- and also competent- missionaries on the field.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chet Duke

    As a student of Christian intellectual history, I would call this a "must-read." Van Til was obviously a titan in Reformed Theology, and I can see how he's left such a profound legacy. However, I was not moved to adopt a Reformed/Presuppositionalist paradigm. I still cannot bypass Van Til's circularity (even though many credible thinkers have provided defenses of Van Til). The irony of his book is that in 200 pages, Van Til attempts to reason with those he would consider unreasonable. This is a As a student of Christian intellectual history, I would call this a "must-read." Van Til was obviously a titan in Reformed Theology, and I can see how he's left such a profound legacy. However, I was not moved to adopt a Reformed/Presuppositionalist paradigm. I still cannot bypass Van Til's circularity (even though many credible thinkers have provided defenses of Van Til). The irony of his book is that in 200 pages, Van Til attempts to reason with those he would consider unreasonable. This is a book geared toward: (1) The Natural Man (the agnostic/atheist, Arminian, or Roman Catholic); (2) Adherents of Reformed Theology. If anyone does not adopt Presuppositionalism in all its dimensions, Van Til would label them as "Natural Men," bound on the idol of autonomy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zack

    Some great ideas, and I probably agree on the whole. I was soured on the horrible (sometimes impenetrable) writing style and strange illustrations. Overall, Van Til did not inspire me with confidence that he truly/completely understood the various philosophical positions he critiqued so vehemently. His read on Barth, Maritain, and Arminianism seems true, though. I would have liked to see demonstrated more solidarity with historic biblical/Reformed Christianity. Also, it is not clear to me how hi Some great ideas, and I probably agree on the whole. I was soured on the horrible (sometimes impenetrable) writing style and strange illustrations. Overall, Van Til did not inspire me with confidence that he truly/completely understood the various philosophical positions he critiqued so vehemently. His read on Barth, Maritain, and Arminianism seems true, though. I would have liked to see demonstrated more solidarity with historic biblical/Reformed Christianity. Also, it is not clear to me how his apologetic method would work out in “real life” after reading this book. The vision of a Van Tillian apologist in my mind after reading this book is one that could be described as obnoxiously dismissive and narrowly read in other schools of thought.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dónal Walsh

    Having come to this book knowing much about presuppositional apologetics not much here was new to me. Appreciated how Van Til compared this to other Roman Catholic and Arminian systems of apologetics though and he lays a good theoretical groundwork for the method. Van Til is The Godfather of this movement and this is his preliminary sketch (so not a masterpiece). Introduction is great and have seen how Van Til's consistently Reformed approach impacts a host of other things: counseling, worship, Having come to this book knowing much about presuppositional apologetics not much here was new to me. Appreciated how Van Til compared this to other Roman Catholic and Arminian systems of apologetics though and he lays a good theoretical groundwork for the method. Van Til is The Godfather of this movement and this is his preliminary sketch (so not a masterpiece). Introduction is great and have seen how Van Til's consistently Reformed approach impacts a host of other things: counseling, worship, cultural analysis, etc. Worthy to read but definitely would recommend going onto Van Til's later popularizers (Bahnsen, Frame, Sye Ten Bruggencate) to learn how to practically apply this great stuff and to do apologetics biblically and to the glory of God.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Each of us has 5 senses and a 3-pound brain. This is our only fundamental, basic equipment for discovering, evaluating or knowing Anything. At least, this is the position of the atheist-materialist. Yet how do we know our equipment is adequate or even functioning properly? Ultimately, the best we can say is: I know my equipment works because my equipment tells me this is true. Circular reasoning! Well, Van Til is your best guide to this crisis--the problem of presuppositions, of our essential de Each of us has 5 senses and a 3-pound brain. This is our only fundamental, basic equipment for discovering, evaluating or knowing Anything. At least, this is the position of the atheist-materialist. Yet how do we know our equipment is adequate or even functioning properly? Ultimately, the best we can say is: I know my equipment works because my equipment tells me this is true. Circular reasoning! Well, Van Til is your best guide to this crisis--the problem of presuppositions, of our essential dependency and creaturliness--in view of Christianity. This book is often abstract but also accessible, and when read as intended it may have the effect of the Book of Psalms, the effect of doxology.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thaddeus

    A must-read for the aspiring Presuppositional Apologist! With that said though, it is also just generally an important read for any apologist and theologian. Van Til is definitional in the Reformed Apologetic world, and his work is extremely important to understand if one is to have a good understanding of approaches to apologetic methodology. The book is a bit of a more difficult read, as one has to get used to Van Til's style of thought and argument... however, it is well worth the effort to st A must-read for the aspiring Presuppositional Apologist! With that said though, it is also just generally an important read for any apologist and theologian. Van Til is definitional in the Reformed Apologetic world, and his work is extremely important to understand if one is to have a good understanding of approaches to apologetic methodology. The book is a bit of a more difficult read, as one has to get used to Van Til's style of thought and argument... however, it is well worth the effort to stick with it - for he is profound and deep in his thinking and arguments - and it will definitely get you thinking and wrestling about things in a good way.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Brown

    Lots of mixed feelings about this book. I’m personally still unsure of my take of presuppositional apologetics. So to learn about it directly from the horses mouth is pretty exciting. People warned me that Van Til is notoriously hard to read: I didn’t find him harder than his influences (Vos, Turriten, Bavink). This work definitely challenged me to think more about the common ground that we do, or don’t have in an evangelistic encounter. It gave me very little to actually help that encounter, wh Lots of mixed feelings about this book. I’m personally still unsure of my take of presuppositional apologetics. So to learn about it directly from the horses mouth is pretty exciting. People warned me that Van Til is notoriously hard to read: I didn’t find him harder than his influences (Vos, Turriten, Bavink). This work definitely challenged me to think more about the common ground that we do, or don’t have in an evangelistic encounter. It gave me very little to actually help that encounter, which was a disappointment.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Keith Pinckney

    Reading this book is like eating unseasoned, healthy-food. So hard to digest and swallow but benefits you so much that it can be deemed as none other than NECESSARY. Presuppositional apologetics is like getting in a kiddie pool with your unbelieving friend and poking holes in it to show him that the water will inevitably run out. This method is easier caught rather than taught. But nonetheless presents a robust methodology for defending the Christian faith. Van til was brilliant and his writing Reading this book is like eating unseasoned, healthy-food. So hard to digest and swallow but benefits you so much that it can be deemed as none other than NECESSARY. Presuppositional apologetics is like getting in a kiddie pool with your unbelieving friend and poking holes in it to show him that the water will inevitably run out. This method is easier caught rather than taught. But nonetheless presents a robust methodology for defending the Christian faith. Van til was brilliant and his writing is very dense in areas but awfully biblical from cover to cover.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Intro to presuppositional approach to apologetics. Van Til highlights how epistemic considerations lead to metaphysical conclusions. So, the best apologetic approach is to expose the faulty epistemic foundations of an unbelievers worldview and then demonstrate the consistent foundation and propositions of the Christian worldview as the best understanding of reality. Helpful overview of the method in contrast to other apologetic approaches, but can be improved to describe more of a practical impl Intro to presuppositional approach to apologetics. Van Til highlights how epistemic considerations lead to metaphysical conclusions. So, the best apologetic approach is to expose the faulty epistemic foundations of an unbelievers worldview and then demonstrate the consistent foundation and propositions of the Christian worldview as the best understanding of reality. Helpful overview of the method in contrast to other apologetic approaches, but can be improved to describe more of a practical implementation this method. Newer books on this topic (e.g Frame) do this much better.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eleasa

    The rating is only because my brain finds it hard to grasp Christian philosophy and it'd be hard for me to fully explain this book to you. A good challenge to read the theologian who is credited with developing the Reformed "presuppositional" approach to apologetics (now updated to be known as covenantal apologetics), maintaining how to help unbelievers take off their coloured glasses -- because there can be no neutrality; every fact, every awareness is interpreted out of some kind of presupposi The rating is only because my brain finds it hard to grasp Christian philosophy and it'd be hard for me to fully explain this book to you. A good challenge to read the theologian who is credited with developing the Reformed "presuppositional" approach to apologetics (now updated to be known as covenantal apologetics), maintaining how to help unbelievers take off their coloured glasses -- because there can be no neutrality; every fact, every awareness is interpreted out of some kind of presupposition.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Parker

    Van Til is steadfast in his commitment to logical consistency, and his apologetic is deeply rooted in solid theology. The only reason I don't rate this book higher is that it is generally terse. The author spares little ink to define his terms, and often assumes the reader will make all the necessary logical connections necessary for following his argument. For those reasons, it can be a tough read -- but certainly rewarding! Van Til is steadfast in his commitment to logical consistency, and his apologetic is deeply rooted in solid theology. The only reason I don't rate this book higher is that it is generally terse. The author spares little ink to define his terms, and often assumes the reader will make all the necessary logical connections necessary for following his argument. For those reasons, it can be a tough read -- but certainly rewarding!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    Exceptionally thick at times. A rewarding book, but not easy to follow if you are not an academic. Van Til often speaks in theological or philosophical shorthand to explain things, which prompts a flurry of google searching to figure out what he is referencing sometimes. And yet one of the most rewarding books I have ever read. The book is work, but is entirely worthwhile. A hearty recommendation, but give with a warning before lending it to a friend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nehem

    Great work, but much of the main points are interspersed throught ch3-5 and ch1-2 only set the stage. If you can pick up John Frame's work on apologetics, do it, as he distills the gist of Van Til's presuppositional method succinctly. Van Till's prose in writing, and his thought process and all are quite cool, but it is a bit "archaic." It might have been way more difficult to follow had it not been for the works of others that distilled Van Til's work (albeit consistent and God-honoring work)--p Great work, but much of the main points are interspersed throught ch3-5 and ch1-2 only set the stage. If you can pick up John Frame's work on apologetics, do it, as he distills the gist of Van Til's presuppositional method succinctly. Van Till's prose in writing, and his thought process and all are quite cool, but it is a bit "archaic." It might have been way more difficult to follow had it not been for the works of others that distilled Van Til's work (albeit consistent and God-honoring work)--prof John Frame, William Edgar, and even Jason Lisle through Greg Bansen.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trent

    Comprehensive overall and a gave me a good understanding of presuppositional apologetics. Van Til's insistence that it is the only consistent Christian method of reasoning with unbelievers bothered me, since Paul himself appealed to the historicity of the resurrection when arguing with the Athenians. I still think it was worth reading, however. Comprehensive overall and a gave me a good understanding of presuppositional apologetics. Van Til's insistence that it is the only consistent Christian method of reasoning with unbelievers bothered me, since Paul himself appealed to the historicity of the resurrection when arguing with the Athenians. I still think it was worth reading, however.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nate Weis

    Really great content, but this book was anything but an enjoyable read. 5 stars for content, 3 stars for readability. But these were class syllabuses that Van Til never intended to be published, so you can hardly blame him.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Though I have seen him quoted and explained often, especially by John Frame, this is my first book by Cornelius Van Til. It was a very helpful introduction to his thought, especially related to Reformed apologetics.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aurora Grace

    Probably Van Til's second most important work, in which he attacks any knowledge that does not assume his form of Christianity is correct, including Arminianism, Roman Catholicism, and compromised Calvinism. Probably Van Til's second most important work, in which he attacks any knowledge that does not assume his form of Christianity is correct, including Arminianism, Roman Catholicism, and compromised Calvinism.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sean Brand

    I found it to be a good book but I am not sure how much of it I would've been able to understand if I had not spent the past 18 months listening to debates and lectures on the topic. He assumes quite a bit of understanding of philosophy, which I don't have, when critiquing the opposing views. Looking forward to reading more from him, Bahnsen and Oliphint. I found it to be a good book but I am not sure how much of it I would've been able to understand if I had not spent the past 18 months listening to debates and lectures on the topic. He assumes quite a bit of understanding of philosophy, which I don't have, when critiquing the opposing views. Looking forward to reading more from him, Bahnsen and Oliphint.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mark Trigsted

    For Apologetics Class at RTS... Was a Van Tilian going in... remaining so... B+ in course due to a 2 hr. Final that kicked my butt...

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