Paradox and Truth: Rethinking Van Til on the Trinity by Rev. Ralph Allan Smith

3 Oct

From the introduction: “Cornelius Van Til’s doctrine of the Trinity has been variously viewed. On the one hand, it has been misconstrued as heretical or attacked as rash and dangerous by some. On the other hand, however, a not insignificant group of theologians and Christian writers has found Van Til’s doctrine of the Trinity to be a fruitful source for serious work to develop a truly Christian worldview. The contrast between the two groups’ evaluation of Van Til could not be greater. Evaluating Van Til is something of a theological problem, which has now become further complicated by recent studies of the doctrine of the Trinity which have been critical of Augustine’s formulation — the foundation of Van Til’s approach. A Reformed representative of those critical of Augustine is Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.1 who offers, in the place of the traditional statements of the doctrine, a social view of the Trinity.

This recent study of the Trinity invites reconsideration of Van Til’s view. Does Plantinga’s social view of the Trinity and recent critique of Augustine require a revision of Van Til’s approach? What about Van Til’s use of non-traditional language? Is it legitimate or is it a “novelty” that causes confusion? What are the worldview implications of Van Til’s view of the Trinity and does Plantinga’s view significantly alter these? To consider these and similar questions, we introduce and evaluate Cornelius Plantinga’s social view of the Trinity, briefly explain and attempt to defend certain aspects of Van Til’s view and compare it with Plantinga’s, and, finally, suggest a revision of Van Til’s view that sets the doctrine of the Trinity more clearly at the center of systematic and Biblical theology and the Christian worldview. It is my purpose to help bring Van Til’s profound exposition of the Trinity back into the discussion of this doctrine and, in that connection, to help stimulate further consideration of the worldview implications of the doctrine of the Trinity.” – Ralph Smith

I recommend Paradox and Truth: Rethinking Van Til on the Trinity by Rev. Ralph Allan Smith to anyone looking for more insight into Van Til’s teachings, the following link is to Rev. Smith’s website where you can read a couple of samples from the book: http://www.berith.org/essays/pt/ If you are a Van Tillian, and are involved in doing apologetics (especially on the internet), you may butt heads with someone introducing common misunderstandings of Van Til’s position on the Trinity, and this book along with Van Til’s writings should help clear things up.

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2 Responses to “Paradox and Truth: Rethinking Van Til on the Trinity by Rev. Ralph Allan Smith”

  1. SLIMJIM October 3, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Read that book sometime ago, worth the read!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Van Til on the Trinity? - May 19, 2012

    […] Finally a book recommendation and unashamed link to my blog: Book Recommendation: Paradox and Truth: Rethinking Van Til on the Trinity by Rev. Ralph Allan Smith … Andrew First Presbyterian Church Branson, Missouri Reply With […]

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