The following YouTube video features a relatively recent debate between Christian apologist Rev Joe Boot, an exceptional presuppositionalist (Van Tillian? I think so), and atheist Dan Barker. For those who may not know, Dan Barker claims to be an ex-Christian, an ex-minister even, a real apostate. Since his apostasy, Barker has participated in many debates against Christians (including James White). As an experienced debater, Barker has had many years to fine tune arguments in the field of rhetoric. Despite this, Rev Joe Boot leaves his subjectivist position found lacking, barren, and bankrupt. Watch for yourself as Rev Joe Boot TAG’s Barker!
Btw, who would have thought a presuppositionalist could come from or would have been part of RZIM? Strange world we live in.
“According to Bavinck apologetics cannot precede systematics. A true apologetics, he says, presupposes dogma. 5 There is in Christian dogmatics no place for reason as an agency by which, independently of the truth of Christianity, a natural theology may be established. The Roman Catholics are mistaken when they seek to work out a natural theology independently of Scriptures. There was a time, says Bavinck, when Reformed theologians also fell into this mistake. So, for instance, S. Van Til divided his work on theology into two parts, one dealing with natural and one with revealed theology. 6 But all this, says Bavinck, was due to false philosophical influences upon theology. He wants to return to the position of Calvin for whom Scripture was the eyeglass through which the Christian should read the book of nature. 7 “Originally natural theology did not serve the purpose of gradually leading up to revealed theology. In studying natural theology, theologians did not provisionally adopt the position of reason in order by reasoning and proof to climb up to the position of faith. On the contrary, the theologian stood upon the position of faith and in the attitude of faith looked upon nature, and thus with his Christian eye, and by means of Scripture, he would find traces of that God which from the Scriptures and through Christ he had learned to know as his heavenly Father.” 8 To this he adds: “Even if there is a knowledge of God through nature, this does not mean that there are two principles in dogmatics. Dogmatics has only one principium externum, namely, the Scriptures, and only one principium internum, namely, the believing reason.” 9 – Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology, Chapter 5, A. The Position of Herman Bavinck
Thanks to the people running the Westminster Theological Seminary facebook page for the announcement.
We are blessed to live in a period of time in history where sharing of information is so fast, easy, and simple. I graduated from high school a couple of years before Windows 95 released, and my family could not afford a computer pre-Windows (IBM anyone?). I bought my first computer (a used one) around 1997-98. I cannot remember if we had internet access right away, I do know when we did, we had a 56k dial up modem. Fast forward about 14 years…
My first (and only) son was born in December of last year, and he will grow up not knowing what it was like before all the high tech gadgets and technology. Even after all these years, I am still amazed sometimes how far technology has come along in a short time, especially having grown up without a computer or the internet.
Since 2005, James R. White has taken to a serious study of Islam. What he’s produced, both in lectures and reading material (in print and on his blog), is some of the most helpful stuff on Islam available. Here’s his 2 part introduction:
And here’s his shorter 1 part presentation of the much of the same material:
For more detail, see White’s fuller discussion in:
In 1969 P&R published a relatively short booklet by Cornelius Van Til entitled “The Sovereignty of Grace: An Appraisal of G. C. Berkhower’s View of Dordt”. For thought, the following quote is part of the conclusion:
“Berkouwer was therefore leading us forward when, in his earlier works, he constantly pointed out that the Reformed doctrine of Scripture and the Reformed doctrine of salvation by grace alone as involved in one another stand alone in their final opposition to those who start from human subject as though it were autonomous.
In his later works, however, Berkouwer is making an alliance with those whose theology is, in the last analysis, based on the assumption of human autonomy. Admitting that Barth’s “revised supralapsarianism blocks the way to ascribing decisive significance to history,” Berkouwer none-the-less insists that his “main concern is in speak of the all-conquering grace of God in Christ Jesus.” Barth denies, as basically destructive of the gospel of free grace, that which Berkouwer, in his earlier work, stressed as being foundational to all true theology, namely, the direct revelation of God in history through Scripture and the step-by-step redemptive work of Christ in history. Yet, Berkouwer now considers Barth as a fellow-defender of grace.
Not only this. Berkouwer now advocates principles similar to those of Barth and of neo-orthodoxy as though through them alone we can defend the teaching of free grace.
Yet Berkouwer appears not to be certain of himself in his advocacy of the neo-orthodox pattern of thought, as a new and better way. Committed as he is to the historic Christian position of salvation through the work of Christ in history, he halts and objects when Barth goes too far in rejecting this.
When Reformed Christians today read Berkouwer, they should realize that there are two mutually destructive principles operative in his theology. There is the position of the historic Reformed Faith and there is the position that would go beyond the first position by means of a modern existentialist pattern of thought. The first position is now gradually being snowed under. It is now said to be formalist and determinist.”
For your consideration, here is an unpublished manuscript from 1970, a short article by Cornelius Van Til, in favor of the seminary where he taught and loved. The following quote is the conclusion:
“I started this talk by speaking of Kuyper and Bavinck, of Warfield and Vos. I said that it was their aim to deepen and broaden the Reformation principle. This must, in our day be done anew. The enemy has broadened and deepened its attack. The enemy now controls, or seems to control, every area of human interest, of art, of science, of philosophy and of theology. We must as believers in Christ challenge Satan’s right to anything, least of all to the fealty of the hearts of man.
We must, like Noah, tell men that they await the wrath of the lamb unless they repent for what they have done with their past, their present, and their future. If you can point out other institutions of learning, whether seminaries, colleges, or universities, where this is being done we shall with you rejoice. We are not rivals to any institution. There is need for many more. It is our aim, at Westminster, at the strategic place of influence which God has given us, to do what Noah did. We know that God has sent his Son into the world that men through him might be saved. We know that the whole world lies in darkness; and is on the way toward the wrath of the lamb. Our faculty and our board are in entire agreement on the nature of our task in this situation. We would do what Machen tried to do, what Kuyper and Bavinck, Warfield and Vos tried to do, namely, take the flag with the name of Jesus to the top of the highest mountain. We have little strength, we need more strength, but what counts for most is that we have kept his Word and by his grace are resolved not to deny his name.”