Christ and the Jews by Cornelius Van Til

Christ and the Jews

by Cornelius Van Til

Philadelphia: Westminster Theological Seminary, 1965.
Syllabus, 74 pp. [1968.G]
This syllabus on Jewish apologetics was published as a book in 1968.
Editor’s Preface
1. Philo Judaeus
1. The Unknowability Of God
2. A Negative Mystical Theology
3. Logos Theology
4. Allegorical Theology
5. The God Of Mystery
6. The Higher Law
7. The Torah
8. The Mystic Moses
9. The Alexandrian Apologetic
2. Two Types Of Faith
1. Buber And New Testament Faith
2. Buber And Modern Philosophy
A. Spinoza And Hasidism
B. Eclipse Of God
3. Modern Thinkers On Buber
A. Will Herberg
B. W. Aalders
C. M. H. Bolkestein
D. Ludwig Binswanger
E. Maurice S. Friedman
4. The Nature Of Evil
A. The Eclipse Of God
5. Evaluation
3. The Torah
1. The Torah And The Old Testament
2. The Advancing Ethical Consciousness
A. The Development Along The Rabbinical Line
B. The Sopherim
3. The Unwritten Torah
4. Adjustments Of The Torah
5. The Revolt Against Hellenism
4. The Lord Of History
1. Idolatry
2. The Jewish Principle And Modern Protestantism
3. Holiness And Glory
4. The Origin And Destiny Of Man
5. Sin
6. Atonement
7. The Kingdom Of Heaven


From the introduction…

“Modern Jews have a life-and-world view through which they seek to become a blessing to the world. This life and world view has no place in it for Christ. The Jews believe that men can know and serve the true God and therein be “saved” only if they reject the claims of Christ.

When a Christian worships Christ as the Son of God he is, says the Jew, an idolater. And he sees his mission as that of bringing such an idol-worshiper back to the God of Abraham and of Moses.

In seeking to fulfill his mission in relation to Christian idolaters the Jew must, of course, oppose the claims of Christ. Even so his ultimate aim is positive. It is to win the Christian to the service of the one true God.

Martin Buber speaks of Jesus as “a great Son of Israel.” 1 He says that “in the teaching of Jesus himself, as we know it from the early texts of the gospels, the genuinely Jewish principle is manifest.” 2 He adds: “From my youth onwards, I have found in Jesus my great brother.” 3

It would seem that Buber’s position is quite different from that of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. But is this really so? Is it not rather true that according to Buber the “genuinely Jewish principle” has already won the battle. The Jews brought true monotheism into the world. Christians will now gladly follow their lead to the one God, the God beyond any and every form of human knowledge. The only Christians who need to be opposed today are those who still think that in Christ and in the Bible as his Word there is a direct and final revelation of the true God to man in history. All the rest already worship the true God. All the rest are in the kingdom of God, and even the “fundamentalist” will some day be.

Our main purpose in this brief monograph on Jewish Apologetics is, in turn, to understand and to evaluate the position of the modern Jew in order to win him to Christ. The historical mission of the Jews was to bring forth Jesus as Christ in order that through him the world, Jew and Gentile alike, might be saved. When Buber speaks of Jesus as his “great brother” without speaking of him as his divine Savior, this is still to reject Christ. And with the rejection of Christ by the Jew his mission in history dissipates as the waters of a river in a desert. But Christ will not allow the Jew thus to defeat himself in rejecting him. Through his Spirit Christ can and will create a new heart within him and give him true repentance toward him. Then, together with all Gentiles who truly repent, all Israel shall be saved.”

1 Martin Buber, Two Types of Faith (tr. Norman P. Goldhawk; New York: Harper & Brothers, 1961), p. 9.

2 Ibid., p. 12.

3 Ibid.


Psychology Of Religion by Cornelius Van Til

Psychology Of Religion
by Cornelius Van Til

Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. 1971
Volume 4 of the series In Defense of Biblical Christianity


1. Introduction: The Religious Consciousness
2. Method
3. Method (continued)
4. Method (continued)
5. General Psychology and the Psychology of Religion
6. The Nature of Religion: Objections to the Traditional View
7. Religion as the Joyful Submission to the Inevitable
8. Religion and Objective Redemption—Miracle
9. Religion and Redemption—Revelation
10. Religion and Subjective Redemption—Regeneration and Conversion


General Introduction from this work:”The studies presented in this series are written with a view to the defense of the doctrine of the free grace of God through Christ as he testifies of himself in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. They are written from the point of view of one who believes the Reformed Faith to be the most truly biblical expression of the Christian Faith. They are written from the point of view of one who believes that a world that lies in darkness needs, therefore, to hear about the Reformed Faith.

Moreover, if the world needs to hear the Reformed Faith, the statement of this Faith must be true to the historic Reformed creeds. The Reformed Faith, to be heard, must, therefore, be set over against neo-orthodoxy.

These studies are merely student syllabi; they are not to be regarded as published books. These studies are produced under the auspices of the den Dulk Christian Foundation of Ripon, California.”

Collection of Articles From 1920-1939 by Cornelius Van Til

The Following PDF is a collection of articles from 1920-1939 by Cornelius Van Til. The printed length is 220 pages. They consist of Calvin College Chime Eitorials, The Evangelical Quarterly, The Banner, Christianity Today. I spent some time creating the table of contents and added hyperlinks.

Download the complete PDF here:

Van Til, Collection of Articles From 1920-1939

Click on the following link to read an article from this collection of articles:

A Christian Theistic Theory of Reality

Common Grace and the Gospel by Cornelius Van Til

by Cornelius Van Til

Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1972. 233 pp.

This is a fairly complete collection of Van Til’s writings on common grace and its relation to Christian apologetics.

Author’s Note and Preface

Part 1     [1941.E, 1945.D, 1946.F, 1947.C, 1954.D]
1.     The Christian Philosophy of History
2.     Abraham Kuyper’s Doctrine of Common Grace
3.     Common Grace in Debate

Part 2
4.     Particularism and Common Grace      [1951.I, 1952.A]
5.     Common Grace and Witness-Bearing      [1954.E, 1956.M]
6.     A Letter on Common Grace (Masselink)      [1953.G, 1955.L]
7.     A Reply to Criticism     [1966.Ga]
8.     Reformed Dogmatics of Herman Hoeksema     [1968.A]
9.     Terminal Considerations (New)

From the introduction…

“The subject of Common Grace was originally of interest to the present writer because it seemed to him to have basic significance for the subject of Christian Apologetics. Any one holding to the Reformed faith is constantly required to explain how he can do justice to the “universalism” of the gospel as presented in Scripture. How can he hold to election, especially “double election,” without doing violence to the “whosoever will” aspect of biblical teaching? How can he hold to “total depravity” and yet find a “point of contact” for the gospel among men in general?

There is no way of discussing these problems adequately except by way of setting forth the entire “philosophy of history” as the Reformed confessions teach it. When the Reformed view of the philosophy of history is set forth on a frankly biblical basis it appears that the questions pertaining to “human responsibility” and to “the point of contact” find their “solution” in the Reformed faith and nowhere else.

But then, to say this is not to say that the “solution” offered on these questions is a “systematic” one, in the sense that it is logically penetrable by the intellect of man. The biblical “system of truth” is not a “deductive system.” The various teachings of Scripture are not related to one another in the way that syllogisms of a series are related. The “system of truth” of Scripture presupposes the existence of the internally, eternally, self-coherent, triune God who reveals Himself to man with unqualified authority.

On the surface, and by the sound of words, all this might seem to indicate a neo-orthodox approach to the question of God and His relation to man. The opposite is the case. The neo-orthodox view of the relation of God to man is based on the idea that since man cannot have a “systematic,” i.e., purely rationalist knowledge of God, he must, in purely irrationalist fashion, fall back on the notion that any “systematic” interpretation of God’s “revelation” is nothing more than a “pointer” toward something of which man knows nothing. That is to say, the neo-orthodox view of God’s relation to man is based on the modern, particularly the post-Kantian, philosophical notion of truth as being nothing but a limiting concept. Man is surrounded by an ultimate void and he must direct the “flashlight” of his intellect into impenetrable mist. It is over against this post-Kantian view of the “limiting concept” that the writer speaks of a Christian limiting concept. This enables him, he thinks, to set off a truly biblical concept of mystery based on the God of Scripture, who is light and in whom is no darkness at all, from the non-Christian, in particular from the modern philosophical, concept of mystery. In the former case there is an intelligible, though not an exhaustive, intellectually penetrable basis for human experience. In the latter case man has no intelligible basis for his experience and, what is worse, insults the Christ who came to bring him light and life.

This is the point of view that binds the several chapters of this book together. So far from being a system of philosophical determinism that stultifies human knowledge and responsibility, the Reformed faith, being unreservedly based on biblical exegesis, is alone able to deliver to men the unadulterated joy of the gospel as it is in the Christ of the Scriptures.”

Buswell interaction with Van Til on Presuppositional Apologetics: Historical Archive Series

Over at “The Continuing Story”, a blog which features the primary sources on Presbyterianism, they have recently concluded a series in which they posted up the interaction between Oliver Buswell, Francis Schaeffer and Cornelius Van Til concerning Presuppositional Apologetics, as taught by Van Til.

This archive series will be interesting for those seeking to study the historical side of Presuppositional Apologetics. Here are the links:

1. Buswell, J. Oliver, Jr., “The Arguments from Nature to God: Presuppositionalism and Thomas Aquinas—A Book Review with Excursions,” The Bible Today 41.8 (May 1948): 235-248.
2. Schaeffer, Francis A., “A Review of a Review,” The Bible Today 42.1 (October 1948): 7-9.
3. Buswell, J. Oliver, Jr., “The Fountainhead of Presuppositionalism,” The Bible Today 42.2 (November 1948): 41-64.
4. Young, G. Douglas, “Dr. Young’s Letter”, The Bible Today 42.2 (November 1948): 65.
5. Buswell, J. Oliver, Jr., “Warfield vs. Presuppositionalism,” The Bible Today 42.6 (March 1949): 182-192.
6. Van Til, Cornelius, “Presuppositionalism,” The Bible Today 42.7 (April 1949): 218-228.
7. Anonymous, “Presuppositionalism,” The Bible Today 42.8 (May 1949): 261.
8. Van Til, Cornelius, “Presuppositionalism Concluded,” The Bible Today 42.9 (June-September 1949): 278-290.


Van Til: Defender of the Faith by William White

Author: White, William

ISBN: 840756704

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers

Pages: 233

Binding: Paperback

Product Description:

“He has been praised, condemned, quoted, misquoted, represented, misrepresented, understood, misunderstood, loved, hated, explored, ignored.”

So writes William White, Jr., in the introduction to the authorized biography of the greatest apologist in American theology, Cornelius Van Til.

Van Til, former professor at both Princeton and Westminster seminaries, turned the field of apologetics upside down by de-emphasizing man’s rational faculty. “To employ the launching pad of the naked intellect instead of the launching pad of Scripture is to fight the Lord’s battle in Saul’s armor. All thinking must begin where the Bible does: ‘In the beginning, God…; otherwise all is chaos.”

White skillfully unfolds the story of Van Til’s early years in the Netherlands and later in Indiana, his mutual love for learning and farming, his marriage to Rena Klooster, and his call to the ministry, and eventually to the university. The author reveals Van Til’s personal side: his sense of humor, adventure, and uncompromising conviction.

White traces Van Til’s philosophic development with care. But always, there is the humanity and humility of the man, his love of Scripture. White points out that Van Til, like Luther is “bold before man, humble before God.”

I highly recommend White’s book to anyone interested in Van Til, especially his personal life.. Perhaps you are familiar with Van Til the Apologist, Van Til the Professor, Van Til the Theologian, Van Til the Preacher, in the pages of this book, you will become familiar with Van Til the man, and what an interesting portrait of his life this is! For example, did you know Van Til was married to his wife Renee for 53 years? Not so many people can say the same, considering how common divorce is in America, including professing Christians. He was not a perfect man, and did not have a perfect life. He went through struggles and disappointments like the rest of us, at the same time, it is amazing all that God did through him! This great biography of Van Til is out of print, but can be found through searching.

Van Til, defender of the faith: An authorized biography

A Survey of Christian Epistemology by Cornelius Van Til


by Cornelius Van Til

Vol. 2 of In Defense of the Faith/ Biblical Christianity.
Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1969. 228 pp.
[1925.A, 1932.G, 1933.G, 1951.J]

This second volume in the series, published under the auspices of the den Dulk Christian Foundation (Ripon, CA), is a published edition of Van Til’s systematic and historical treatment of epistemology, previously entitled “Metaphysics of Apologetics.” This is the final version of what was originally his master’s thesis at Princeton Theological Seminary [“Reformed Epistemology” 1925.A]. It surveys Greek, medieval, and modern epistemologies, and sets forth the principles of a Reformed Christian epistemology along with its implications for apologetics.

1.     Epistemological Terminology
Historical Survey
2.     Greek Epistemology—Its Starting Point
3.     Greek Epistemology—Its Climax (Plato)
4.     Mediaeval Epistemology—Its Starting Point (Augustine)
5.     Mediaeval Epistemology—Its Climax (Scholasticism)

Download the complete PDF here:

A Survey Of Christian Epistemology

Soli Deo Gloria!