Recently it has been brought to my attention that despite his lengthy work addressing the concept, there are still people today who will make the claim that Dr. Van Til was an idealist (or suggest an influence on him and him unaware of it). This is because of similarities people project between Immanuel Kant and Van Til concerning transcendentalism. Rest assured, Dr. Van Til not only was not an idealist, but clearly against idealism, and quite aware of idealism, as you will be able to prove with this work. On with the formal details…
CHRISTIANITY AND IDEALISM.
Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1955. 139 pp.
Having been accused by the Calvin Forum writers of being under the influence of idealism, this collection of book reviews on modern idealistic philosophy (1930–1942) was published in order to clarify his opposition to it.
1. God and the Absolute [1930.A]
2. Recent American Philosophy [1937.C]
3. The Theism of A. E. Taylor [1939.B]
4. Philosophical Foundations, John Thomas [1941.B]
5. Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, A. A. Bowman [1939.A]
6. A Sacramental Universe, A. A. Bowman [1940.A]
7. The Nature and Destiny of Man, Reinhold Niebuhr [1941.C]
8. The Logic of Belief, D. Elton Trueblood [1942.B]
9. The Doctrine of God, Albert Knudsen [1930.D]
10. Kant or Christ? [1942.C]
“From time to time I have written on the relation of idealist philosophy to Christianity. It is obvious that such philosophies as materialism and pragmatism are foes of Christianity. It is less obvious but no less true that Idealism and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Christianity teaches man to worship and serve God the Creator. Idealism, no less than materialism or pragmatism, teaches man to serve and worship the creature. Idealism has a language which resembles that of Christianity but its thought content leads inevitably toward pragmatism. That is the idea expressed in the articles that are herewith reproduced. The relation between Idealism and Christianity has recently become a controversial issue among Reformed Christians. This accounts for the republishing of these articles.”-from the Preface
As you can see the accusation is nothing new, and from the first line in the preface, Dr. Van Til could not be more clear about his position. Read it for yourself, share it with philosophy students, and people with the integrity and humility to admit error, misguidance, misleading, and misunderstanding.