Item description for The Defense of the Faith by Cornelius Van Til & K. Scott Oliphint...
Overview Restoring the full text of the original, unabridged, 1955 work, this annotated edition sets forth and explains a method of apologetics that is consistent with the nature of Christianity itself.
Publishers Description Restoring the full text of the original 1955 work, this annotated edition sets forth and explains a method of apologetics that is consistent with the nature of Christianity itself.
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Studio: P & R Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9" Weight: 1.35 lbs.
Release Date Aug 8, 2008
Publisher P & R Publishing
ISBN 0875526446 ISBN13 9780875526447
Availability 0 units.
More About Cornelius Van Til & K. Scott Oliphint
Cornelius Van Til was born in 1895 and died in 1987.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Defense of the Faith?
Easy to Understand, but.... Nov 2, 2007
Van Til wrote several books, many of them not widely known even among people 'in the know'. None are as good as this: this sets forth Van Til's apologetic in a way that is easy to understand.
However, the one major problem with this book is the pure theoretical nature of it - it isn't possible to take the theory out into the marketplace after reading it, which is why Richard Pratt did so well with his little book. I would suggest people start with Richard Pratt's book, then move to Van Til after.
Also, this is not a book you should buy to look good in your bookcase, or leave on your coffee table for guests to see, and unless you have a strong presence, I wouldn't even read it in public!
THE Defense of the Faith May 29, 2007
This is a profound and wonderful book. If I could split out the stars then I would give 5 stars for content but only 3 stars for writing and clarity, hence the averaged out 4 stars. In short, Van Til's apologetic approach will enable you to show why Christian Theism is the necessary precondition for doing this average and any average. In fact, Van Til goes so far to argue that Christian Theism is the necessary precondition for all knowledge, logic, ethics, and discussion. Far fetched? It may appear that way initially, but after studying Van Til's book I am convinced of his approach.
When you are engaged in an apologetic discussion with your atheist friend they assert, "God does not exist!" All too often both parties assume they agree on who god is from the outset and begin to argue accordingly. For example, the Christian is in agreement with the atheist that "allah" does not exist. Van Til argues that this, assuming both parties agree on what is being discussed, is not the right approach. It is first necessary to ask, "What type of god are we discussing?" This is why Van Til begins his book with theology, asking Who is god? Once who God is is settled, then Van Til moves to a discussion of Christian Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ethics. In each of these Van Til emphasizes the Creator-creature distinction, which is important and essential to all of his thinking and, I believe, appropriate Christian thinking. He then systematically moves through a Christian approach to apologetics, including the "point of contact" with the non-believer, which is the imago dei, "the problem of method", the place of authority and "reason" in the discussion, as well as a discussion on common grace, argument by presupposition and a closes with a discussion on several different Reformed views.
Van Til's opening four chapters is easily worth the cost of the book. His Creator-creature distinction and its affect on metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics is beautiful. It's the sort of writing that says, "Now that makes sense! WOW! That makes so much more sense!" Van Til sheds a lot of light into the dark world of "metaphysics" and "epistemology". And, as should be expected, this is done by God's Truth.
Despite the genius of the book, I believe, there are short comings. One, Van Til's writing style. He is not always clear. Two, this may be due to my ignorance, but I wish he would spell out the implications a little more. I feel like he jumps a few steps to his conclusion with the average reader, like myself, missing important steps along the way. This doesn't nullify his overall outlook and approach, but it does take from the book. Again, could be my fault, but, I believe, the reader would do well to brush up on idealist philosophy and basic concepts before he delves into Van Til. Along these lines, if you are not already familiar with presuppositional apologetics and Van Til, then John Frame and Greg Bahnsen's works on Van Til's apologetic outlook are must readings.
All in all, this is a great book. It could be improved slightly by filling in some of the arguments and having a good editor rework some of the wording and providing footnotes for clarity, but this book is a classic and a must read.
Do You Want To Defend Your Faith? May 24, 2006
If you are interested in defending your Christian faith, then this book is for you! Today's Christians are too ignorant about what they believe. Look at all these idiotic so-called Christians flocking to Da Vinci Code. Many of them have probably never read a book of Christian apologetics in their life. Just ask your friends. If you are one of these lazy Christians, then this book will start you off toward understanding the Christian faith and learning how to defend your Christian faith.
Excellent Presuppositional Apologetics. Mar 3, 2006
I really can't speak greater of Van Til. He addresses the issues of apologetics in a very well-mannered way. He speaks with authority, showing us that Christianity is, indeed, not weak. As Van Til says, the unbelievers are the creatures who rebel against the Creator; "a child can only slap his father on his face if he is holding on his knee." What authority. What strength. What Christianity. Really, this book is excellent. I cannot recommend a book more. Van Til's views are strictly Biblical, and all of his views are Christian, unlike Dooyeward who opposed him when it came to Spherical Modalities. Van Til's presuppositional apologetics is the best. I'm a Van Tillian. His form is excellent, as he points the gaps within the unbelievers. For example, and Atheist may hold to Kant's view of philosophy, but when Van Til deconstructs and moves in the unbeliever's metaphysics, Van Til points out the fact that Kant can never bring the two realms of Being and Non-Being together, but mentions that an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent God can, because our God is not Being and Not-Being, but is Becoming. Van Til's approach is unique, as is all of his works. He truly was one of the greatest minds of his age, and his presuppositionalism is outstanding. An atheist who walks away from this book and says "I disagree!" really is only commiting intellectual suicide, for they choose not to understand. In closing, this books explains the self-defeating principle of the un-believers, while affirming Christianity. I love his comment, that the unbeliever lacks and metaphysical precondition to declare anything as meaningful and intelligeble. Also, Van Til's conclusions also lead the unbelievers to the fact that, if they believe in a world created by chance, then there is no dictation that any laws will remain the same years later; Evidence of today may not be evidence 10 minutes from now; why is it that he same presuppositions you hold today will be the same presuppositions you hold tomorrow? As you can see, the unbelievers lack the metaphysical precondition for anything to make sense. And for you Atheists who read these works and still don't agree with Van Til. I'm sure he'd argue Evidence with you if he were alive. All in all, 5 out of 5. This is the best book on presuppositional apologetics. As Greg Bahson says on his book on "Van Til's Apologetics", inside the courtroom, despite what the unbelievers think, God is on the bench, as man is on the docks. For God is truth.
Pretentious text, weird typography Feb 11, 2006
If you want to read a "presuppositionalist" defense of militantly unregenerate Calvinism, I'd suggest EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE by Richard Pratt instead. It's much clearer, it's written in far better English, it's unpretentious, and it will take up a lot less of your time.
The text of this book looks as though it was photographed from a cut-and-paste of miscellaneous typescripts of different text sizes. The typographical variations appear to have no function. Just another irritation in a pretentious and windy book.