Cornelius Van Til and Belief in God

Cornelius Van Til

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Cornelius van Til was a Christian Philosopher, Presuppositional Apologist and Reformed Theologian born in Grootegast, The Netherlands, in 1895. If you are not familiar with him, I highly suggest reading his works such as The Defense of the Faith, A Christian Theory of Knowledge  or even his biography Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman. Further, Presuppositional Apologetics (also referred to as Reformed Apologetics) may seem very foreign to you, but it is the apologetic school that believes that Faith in God is the only basis for rational thought. This approach emphasizes the presentation of Christianity as revealed – based on the authoritative revelation of God in Scripture and in Jesus Christ. Its most common forms find absolute and certain proof of Christianity in the absolute and certain character of the knowledge that God has and that He has revealed to humanity. (For further reading about apologetic systems read Ken Boa and Robert Bowman’s Faith Has Its Reasons)

I recently read his pamphlet Why I Believe in God and was greatly encouraged by his sound defense of his believe in the existence of God. In his speech he not only accurate states the position of the non-believer, but also hints that Christians themselves have not done the best job preaching Christ. Here is what he says:

We were so anxious not to offend you that we offended our own God. But we dare no longer present our God to you as smaller or less exacting than He really is. He wants to be presented as the All-Conditioner, as the emplacement on which even those who deny Him must stand.

And again he says:

The fact that so many people are placed before a full exposition of the evidence for God’s existence and yet do not believe in Him has greatly discouraged us. We have therefore adopted measures of despair. Anxious to win your good will, we have again compromised our God. Noting the fact that men do not see, we have conceded that what they ought to see is hard to see. In our great concern to win men we have allowed that the evidence for God’s existence is only probably compelling. And from that fatal confession we have gone on step further down to the point where we have admitted or virtually admitted that it is not really compelling at all. And so we fall back upon our testimony instead of argument. After all, we say, God is not found at the end of an argument; He is found in our hearts. So we simply testify to men that once we were dead, and now we are alive, that once we were blind and that now we see, and give up all intellectual argument.

I highly encourage you to take some time to read through his argument Why I Believe in God and to evaluate your current efforts in ‘apologetics’. May we not be so conscious of not offending man that we lose sight of offending God. Do not be discouraged brothers and sisters. It is through the Bible that God speaks to those he has called. We are mere vessels for His use. May we seek to honor God and His word by setting forth to study it and speaking it in a logical manner in order that we may be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within us. (1 Peter 3:15)

Brief Thoughts on Marriage and Society

While I was listening to a sermon, an unsolicited and uninvited message popped up on skype that greatly disturbed me. Here is what it said:

“There are thousands of unhappy married women and men in every city, but they DO NOT want to leave their spouse. They want to stay married, but they want to have an affair without ever being caught. Our dating community is extremely popular! Having an affair can be stressful because you never know if the other person involved is going to get attached to you. You just want to have an intimate encounter and nothing else.  A great thing about this Discreet Dating Community For Married People is that there is no cost to join. You can check it out, see if you like it, and then begin contacting married people for secret intimate encounters. Press here if you want to have an affair with a married person. <address removed>”
Marriage is severly under attack in this day and age. It is things like this, though they sound innocent and promise you the moon, will in the end rob you of great joy and leave you in the dust without a thought. Will you join me in praying for the people who may choose to frequent this place? Pray that people will not buy into this lie and will choose to do the right thing in their marriage.

Brief Thoughts on Christian Ethics

Could it be that we, as Christians, are focusing in the wrong place? It seems we are constantly trying to prevent something or move the Congress to do something or even take part in great humanitarian efforts (NOT THAT THAT IS WRONG, THAT IS OUR DUTY AS CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY). Often times, though, these are done without the Gospel. Great if you want to help change the mind of a pregnant teen from abortion to adoption. But where is the Gospel?

Great if you want to help feed the hungry in Africa, but where is the Gospel?I have heard too many so called Christian organizations that give their mission and at the same time inform you that the Gospel is not part of their program.Isn’t that the Great Commission though? To carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth and baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are not commanded to make this world fit to God’s standards, but only to reach the lost and live the life we are commanded to live. We fight a futile fight if we try to convince the world of the Christian Standard and Morals. They will never except it because they are inherently against God in al their ways. They consider the things of God foolishness.

So could it be that we have this Ethic/Morals thing backwards? Could it be that once we start to take our faith seriously and start to fulfill the Great Commission that some of these issues will begin to be resolved? There are far too many Christians who speak out against a great moral situation but in their own personal lives they are no different than the world. Do they think the world does not see it? Believe me, they do and when they do, they will automatically discount you and your message.

Dear friend, do not let this be said of you. We should focus on our personal life and our walk with the Lord BEFORE we worry about what we can change in the world. When we transition our beliefs into convictions and start to live the life that we profess, the world will soon follow because we will be so different that we cannot be ignored. So lets fix our own lives before we try to fix lives of others. We can only lead as far as we have been.