A Reformed View of Apologetics, Part 2

One of the assertions of a Reformed view of apologetics is that apart from God’s revelation, man cannot account for anything, or as Van Til once put it: “…the atheists cannot account for accounting.” It is the “voluntary revelation” of a gracious God that leads us to think His thoughts after Him. Once again Van Til:

He must therefore be known for what He is, and known to the extent that He is known, by authority alone.[1]

The Christian Reformed apologist can rightly boast that his system or method for apologetics endeavor is far superior to his opponent. The Christian argues presuppositionially; God is the all in all of apologetic encounter. Though our apologetic is superior, there is a humbling sense when we acknowledge that we are solely dependent on God’s grace in revelation for our interpretation of the world.

When we spouse this position, some may say that it is theologically immature to assume things before we enter into a formal discussion. However, the reality is that no one enters into a discussion neutrally. We all reason presuppositionally! For the Thomist, “human reasoning” is his presupposition; for the Reformed thinker, God is the presupposition. Van Til summarizes this:

Psychologically, acceptance on authority precedes philosophical argument; but when, as epistemologically self-conscious grown-ups, we look into our own position, we discover that unless we may presuppose such a God as we have accepted on authority, the Moment will have no significance.[2]

Part 1 A Reformed View of Apologetics

[1] Van Til, Cornelius. Common Grace. Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1947. pg. 8.[2] Van Til, Cornelius. Common Grace. Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1947. pg. 8-9.

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Presuppositional Apologetics, Reformed Theology, Van Til. Bookmark the permalink.

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