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5 Stars Out Of 5
January 13, 2009
The subject of this book is apologetics. As such it's primary concern is not with evangelism, but with another branch of Christian knowledge: the defense of the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude). So, the reader should not expect the author, Van Til, to provide instruction on how to lead someone to Christ (which is the chief aim of evangelism). What you will find with this book is a biblical approach to apologetics.
Cornelius Van Til is the father of the presuppositional approach to apologetics. This approach is strictly tied to his theology, which is unashamedly Reformed (Calvinistic). This is typical of Van Til's writings, and should not be a surprise to anyone who is familiar with his works. If you want to know what Van Til believes, this is a great place to start. If you want to know how to do presuppositional apologetics, this is a poor place to start. He will not explain how to use his approach in leading others to Christ. This book is simply a defense of his approach and an attack on the classical and evidential approaches. As the previous reviewer said, Van Til states that other apologetic methods do not have their foundation on the Word of God. Unfortunately, this is a complete misrepresentation of those who use other approaches. Read this book only if you want to understand Van Til and the defense of his approach.
This title is the first one I have read by Van Til. I am beginning to understand why he is seen as such a classic apologist. His principle is timeless -- one's pre-suppositions and worldview must begin with the truth of the Scriptures. He shows why other systems of thought are flawed, in that they do not have their foundation on the Word of God.While his principle here, profoundly stated, is timeless, his presentation is tiring. This book is hard to read and to follow. Perhaps if Van Til's work had been more recent his presentation would have been easier to digest.Van Til also makes his point by focusing on Arminians and Catholic thought systems, rather than on secular thought systems. The author gives the impression that he is defending his own reformed position, rather than defending historic, biblical Christianity. While he IS defending the Christian faith, using a wider variety of examples would have made defense clearer and more compelling.This book is NOT for the faint of heart. Van Til is a deep thinker and a dogmatic, reformed theologian. I recommend it only to those people who have a strong interest in apologetics in general or in Van Til in particular.