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Van Til's Apologetic: Readings and Analysis [Hardcover]

By Greg L. Bahnsen (Author) & Bahnsen (Author)
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Item description for Van Til's Apologetic: Readings and Analysis by Greg L. Bahnsen & Bahnsen...

Most of Cornelius Van Til's works are out of print, but now students of apologetics can find the best of his teachings in one topically arranged volume. Who better than a former student to provide a complete introduction to Van Til's thought, an in-depth study of apologetic method, and incisive commentary and analysis.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: P & R Publishing
Pages   764
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.26" Width: 6.38" Height: 1.88"
Weight:   2.7 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1998
Publisher   P & R Publishing
ISBN  0875520987  
ISBN13  9780875520988  

Availability  2 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 04:28.
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More About Greg L. Bahnsen & Bahnsen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Greg L. Bahnsen, was resident scholar at the Southern California Center for Christian Students.

Greg L. Bahnsen has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Counterpoints

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Apologetics
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Apologetics

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Reviews - What do customers think about Van Til's Apologetic: Readings and Analysis?

great analysis  Sep 20, 2007
This is a great review and analysis of Van Til's philosophy written by one of his most brilliant and articulate students. The publishers have done the Christian Church a tremendous service by finishing and publishing this book after Dr. Bahnsen's untimely death. There are many who criticize Van Til for various reasons. The empiricists call him a fideist and the disciples of Clark believe he wasn't really a presuppositionalist. I think Bahnsen, through his extended quotations and analysis, answers these charges well. One of the more accurate critiques of Van Til is that he is not readable (I can attest that he is not easily read and understood). However, Bahnsen is, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a student of Christian apologetics, is interested in one of the greatest apologists who ever served the Christian Church, or simply wants to develop a better understanding of what a consistent, biblical Christian worldview should look like, from epistemology to how it interacts with competing worldviews (and defeats them). A very good read.
Absolutely Essential  Jun 24, 2007
Reading this book has been nothing less than 'epoch-making.' Dr. Van Til's writings are voluminous, spanning 3 feet on a book shelf when combined. Greg Bahnsen has done the church a great service by compiling, and systematically organizing some of Van Til's key writings into about 3 inches of shelf space (764 pp). The book is almost an anthology with running commentary by Bahnsen. Bahnsen usually opens each section with an intro, which is followed by many sections of Van Til's writings pertaining to the relevant topic, with lots of footnotes from Bahnsen analyzing, adding, and answering critics along the way. Van Til can be hard to read in places, as he is very well read, and expects his reader to be familiar with the history of Western philosophy. Bahnsen is very helpful here in the footnotes. The book has 9 chapters:
1. An Introduction to Van Til's Apologetic
2. The Task of Apologetics
3. A Simple Summary and Illustration
4. The Epistemological Side of Apologetics
5. The Apologetical Side of Epistemology
6. The Psychological Complexities of Unbelief
7. The Presuppositional Apologetical Argument
8. Comparisons and Criticisms of Apologetical Methods
9. Concluding Summary: How to Defend the Faith
It is saddening to know that this book has not and probably will not gain much of a hearing outside Presbyterian circles. Van Til really is a brilliant gift to the church and was crucial in the 'Reformation of Christian Apologetics.' One could not ask for a higher view of Scripture. Van Til took the lordship of Christ seriously, especially concerning the realm of knowledge.

--The gospel of the self-authenticating God speaking through Christ in Scripture offers man salvation, not only for his life, but for his science and philosophy and theology as well. (571)
--Christianity alone is reasonable for men to hold. It is wholly irrational to hold any other position than that of Christianity. Christianity alone does not slay reason on the altar of `chance.' (730)
--Every Evangelical, as a sincere Christian is at heart a Calvinist. But witnessing is a matter of the head as well as the heart. If the world is to hear a consistent testimony for the Christian faith, it is the Calvinist who must give it. (582)
--So in presuppositional apologetics we seek to "remove the enemy's foundation" by reducing his worldview to absurdity, thereby rendering the claims that constitute his case against the gospel unintelligible and demonstrating the necessity of the Christian worldview if we are to make sense of argumentation about reasoning about, and interpretation of, any element of human experience. (111)
--It is therefore mandatory that Reformed theologians urge their fellow Protestants everywhere to call upon modern man to interpret his life in terms of the book of God and therefore in terms of the God of the book. (713)
Excellent explanation of Van Til's presuppositional apologetics.  Mar 3, 2006
I personally that this is one of the most well done books out there when it comes to understanding Van Til. When Van Til wrote his two largest books (on epistemology, and on apologetics), Van Til writes as if you, the reader, are in a master of divinity program. What Greg Bahson does, one of the greatest theologians and apologists of his time, is take Van Til's works and explain them to the reader who is either 1) unfamiliar with Van Til's works, or 2) wants to better understand Van Til's basic principles of presuppositional apologetics.
Van Til is explained in such a fascinating way, telling the reader the most basics of Van Til's presuppositional apologetics, and even delving a little further.
Although there is, of course, the Greg Bahson influence when he makes a quick note in the favour of reconstructionism, twisting Van Til's theonomy and autonomy excerpt located on Page 21, Note 65 (reconstructionism did not exist when Van Til made that statement), the entire work is done very well otherwise.
This book provides a simpler insight to Van Til's complicated works, as well as some of Van Til's personal history located at the beginning of the book.
In the end, this is an excellent work. Van Til's words in these works speak the authority he had back when he was alive. I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating. Not only is this Greg Bahson's best work (my person opinion), but this is also one of the greatest explanations of the best of presuppositional apologetics. Van Til.
Van Til Made Relatively Easy  Feb 26, 2005
Cornelius Van Till (1895-1987) is best known today for his dispute with Gordon Clark concerning the comprehensibility of God and his inspiration for many thinkers in the Christian Reconstruction movement (although I gather Van Til was not in agreement with the politics of men such as R.J. Rushdoony).

Van Til was an apologist for Christianity and an accomplished philosopher. He earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he studied under Philip Wheelwright. His apologetic system is often called "presuppositionalism" and he developed it in numerous books, articles and syllabi.

The central problem in understanding Van Til is the nature of his writings. He wasn't the clearest of writers and his works tend to get bogged-down into lengthy summaries of other schools and thinkers. His insights are scattered throughout multiple book and if your goal is to understand the basics of his thought, no particular book is well suited. Even his introductory THE DEFENSE OF THE FAITH contains a 25-page excursus on a critique of his thought by J. Oliver Buswell, which is particularly out of place given that Van Til's argument is that Buswell didn't understand him.

Fortunately, the late Greg Bahnsen has distilled Van Til's fundamental ideas from the vast corpus of Van Til's writings and arranged them topically with introductions. Bahnsen was an orthodox Van Tillian, and he interacts with John Frame's semi-revisionist approach to Van Til. There is a particularly good section containing Van Til's critique of Gordon Clark. Bahnsen's introduction is quite helpful because he shows the areas of overlap between these two men and then lets Van Til's critique of Clark speak for itself.
Awesome  Sep 22, 2004
There is only one thing better then reading Van Til - that is reading Bahnsen on Van Til. Van Til's insights and development of a Biblical apologetic cannot be over appreciated. I have been told by a former student and close friend of Van Til, that he never really learned to "think" in English. Though he was fluent in English, Van Til always thought in Dutch and this accounts for the difficulty of reading much of his material. But whatever the reason why so many find reading Van Til difficult, Bahnsen has made the vast writings of Van Til reachable for even the average lay person. Bahnsen's analysis of Van Til will equip the reader with a systematic approach to understanding to Van Til's approach to apologetics.

The two main schools of Christian apologetics are Classical Apologetics (also known as evidentialism) and presuppositionalism. The former is used by men such as Josh McDowell, John Gersner, RC Sproul, B.B. Warfield. The later by Van Til who considered himself to be in line with men like Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck. With the exception of McDowell, the names just listed are all reformed, covenantal calvinist who all would have great respect for each other while differing greatly on this particular point of theology.

If you are looking to understand the difference between these to systems, or just want to grow in you appreciation of Van Til's teaching, Bahnsen will be very helpful in instructive. Agree or not with presuppositionalism, reading Bahnsen's work will give you a great understanding of Van Til's approach and application to aplogetics.

This is a must have book for anyone building a serious theological library and would make a good gift for you pastor, serious Bible student or seminarian. Agree or disagree with Van Til, you will gain much from this book in appreciating the issues in apologetics and the reader will gain understanding in the task of apologetics, epistemology and the deficiency of non-Christian worldviews.

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