Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thoughts on Van Til

I just finished reading an excellent book by John Muether on the life of Cornelius Van Til. it really was a really great read and a humbling one as well. From the recesses of the farm in Indiana that he grew up with and there was some entertaining parts as well. One that I found most comical was when Van Til was a child he decided it would be fun to shoot the neighbors chickens with a slingshot and there was the story of the his pastor wanting to rebuke him with a oven poker for causing mischief.
As he reached adulthood however his calling to the ministry of Christ became apparent with his sound intellectual gifts, talents, and zeal for the Lord. It is ironic how many similarities that are found between Van Til and Machen and the the vehemency with which his enemies attacked him. I got the impression it was almost an identical fight that Machen had with the liberals that were simply called neo-Reformed in which they were not really reformed, but attempted to pass themselves off as such. The attacks against his integrity were especially unfounded and there is case after case of his warm humility to all he was engaged with. His zeal never to compromise the “Christ of the Scriptures” is a lesson that the 21st century church needs to hear. Once you realize that any reinterpretation of Jesus is to deny the Christ of the Bible and thereby to shipwreck your faith. Van Til understood this and always remained consistent to this purpose. Those who were on the other side often judged him as intolerant and often attached more severe nouns to his name that I will expound on.
The final point to note is the synergy between Van Til the apologist and Van Til the churchman. He was always faithful to the church by means of pastoring the church that he was part of at every and any point that providence placed him. He was very faithful to the teaching of Sunday school and catechizing the children he was responsible for instructing. This is something that his critics never addressed and a good reason why he is so misunderstood.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to gain a greater understanding of the man, Cornelius Van Til.

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