Category Archives: Book Summaries

The material element and the spiritual reality

As both my readers may have observed from recent posts, I’ve read Bradley G. Green’s The Gospel and the Mind. This book is a clear, interesting and persuasive book that argues that it is only the Christian worldview that provides … Continue reading

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Bonhoeffer’s “world come of age”

(This is a follow-up to this post.) Although the term “religionless christianity” is better known and has provoked more controversy, it is the phrase “world come of age” that had the greatest impact when Bonhoeffer’s letters became widely available. This … Continue reading

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Bonhoeffer, Bethge and Metaxas

With the publication of Eric Metaxas’s acclaimed (and criticised) biography in 2010 I decided it was time to revisit Bonhoeffer. I had read most of Bonhoeffer’s best-known books as a student, but my limited theological vocabulary at the time made … Continue reading

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Five Views on Circularity

I recently read Five Views on Apologetics, edited by Stephen B. Cowan, and found it a stimulating read. In a volume of this nature the articles inevitably lack the depth that those well-versed in apologetic methodology would appreciate. But, it … Continue reading

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God: the principium essendi of knowledge

After Van Til’s brief discussion of Idealism, in his Introduction to Systematic Theology, he moves on to discuss the principium essendi of knowledge (p. 29). Van Til claims that all of our knowledge has its origin and foundation in God. … Continue reading

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Van Til and the Idealism of Bosanquet

After some initial comments on the method of systematic theology, Van Til then moves on to address the views of some prominent British Idealists, particularly those of Bernard Bosanquet (Introduction to Systematic Theology (2007), p27-28). Unfortunately, Van Til’s comments at … Continue reading

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The Method of Systematic Theology

Van Til claims that “the method of Christian theism [is] the method of implication” (Introduction, p27). By this, Van Til means a combination of a priori and a posteriori approaches to systematic theology. Putting things simply, a priori knowledge is … Continue reading

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Systematic Theology and Apologetics

Van Til engages with the view of B. B. Warfield concerning the relation of systematic theology to apologetics and the nature of apologetics itself (Introduction to Systematic Theology, p17-19). Van Til considered Warfield’s distinction between the method of systematic theology … Continue reading

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Van Til’s Presuppositions

At the beginning of Chapter 1 of his “An Introduction to Systematic Theology” Van Til immediately states the main presuppositions upon which all apologetic activity – ultimately, all rational thought – rests. Firstly, God exists. Secondly, He has revealed himself … Continue reading

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