The Reformed Pastor and Modern Thought

The Reformed Pastor & Modern Thought“The Reformed Pastor and Modern Thought” published in 1971. This is an interesting and important work, as relevant today as ever. In the first chapter Dr. Van Til primarily discusses Reformed apologetics in relation to John Calvin’s Institutes. The second chapter dealing with Roman Catholicism, also deals with classic Greek philosophers, contrasting Thomas Aquinas with John Calvin. Chapter three deals with the philosophy and religion of Immanuel Kant and his influence within Protestantism. Chapter four is an analysis of Richard Kroner and Paul Tillich. Chapter five is a response to modern Catholicism. The last chapter six is a response to the modern ecumenical movement.


“This little volume is designed to aid the Reformed pastor in his work of helping high school and college students face the challenge to their faith presented in their classes on science, philosophy, and religion.

To be able to help his young people the Reformed pastor must himself have some acquaintance with modern science, modern philosophy, and modern religion. But, more than that, he must see clearly for himself that unless science, philosophy, and religion frankly build upon the authority of Christ, speaking his Word in Scripture, they can offer no coherent interpretation of life. Modern thought has repeatedly, in attempting to explain reality, shown its own incoherence.

The first chapter sets out to deal comprehensively with the relation of Christianity to modern thought. It can be read as a complete unit by itself and is, as such, the basis of what follows.

The second chapter deals with traditional Catholicism, the third with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant as the basic source of modern Protestantism, the fourth with modern Protestantism and its relation to twentieth century philosophy, the fifth with modern Catholicism, and the sixth with Ecumenism. In each case the effort is made to show the Reformed pastor how he may relate himself to these movements. The argument of the book is that only the Reformed faith can truly present the gospel as a challenge to modern unbelief.”