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By Cornelius Van Til / P&R / 1979
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Cornelius Van Til wrote this book as a response to a series of three volumes published by Westminster Press in 1959: The Case for a New Reformation Theology, The Case for Theology in Liberal Perspective, and The Case for Orthodox Theology. In The Case For Calvinism, Van Til challenged their views “by setting the truly Christ-centered position of the historic Protestant faith, especially the historic Reformed Faith as found in Calvin and his followers, over against the man-centered position of [these authors].”
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Van Til’s The Case for Calvinism is his response to three volumes published by Westminster Press in 1959: The Case for a New Reformation Theology, by William Hordern; The Case for Theology in Liberal Perspective, by L. Harold DeWolf; and The Case for Orthodox Theology, by Edward John Carnell.
"[W]ritten with the twofold purpose of showing: (a) that the first two positions, those of Hordern and DeWolf, really represent the same view, which we may call the non-biblical view, (b) that the third position, that of Carnell, while seeking earnestly to present the biblical point of view, does not do it at all adequately. The result is that the current theological issue is not made clear. Those for whom the three above-mentioned volumes were written may see the issue in theology more clearly if it is demonstrated that there are really only two, not three, points of view between which they must choose. The ’Big Ditch’ dividing them is now seen to be deeper and wider than is suggested by Carnell. Only in a more consistent biblical presentation than is given by Carnell can they find a methodology sufficient to answer the basic problems of life.”-from the Preface
Dr. Cornelius Van Til, served as a professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, for 43 years. He retired in 1972, but remained as an emeritus professor until his death in 1987. Van Til, an immigrant from The Netherlands, was one of the most respected apologetic theologians of his time.
Van Til earned degrees from Calvin College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Princeton University on his way to becoming an Orthodox Presbyterian Minister. He served throughout the ministry and scholarly fields, including teaching as an instructor of apologetics at Princeton Theological Seminary and being heavily involved with the foundation of the Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy.
His most noted writings include The New Modernism, The Defense of the Faith, and Christianity and Barthianism. Much of his work with apologetics focuses on the presuppositions of humans, the difference between believers and non-believers, and the opposition between Christian and non-Christian worldviews.
More information about Van Til as a teacher and Reformed theologian is available in an article Eric Sigward wrote for New Horizons entitled "Van Til Made Me Reformed." Read the article as HTML or PDF (copyright 2004 by New Horizons; used by permission)