Van Til Quotes

This section is dedicated to select quotes from Van Til’s writings, along with comments and such.

Here is a list of links by Topic, simply click on the link to read the select quotes.

On Circular Reasoning (This is a fairly common criticism or objection to “presupositional apologetics”, however Van Til did not shy away or back down from such responses, quite the contrary. In these quotes from his writings he addresses the issue to the extent that I am satisfied.)

On Objectivism (In contrast to another philosophical term “subjectivism” or relativism. Can we be one hundred percent certain about anything? If so, how can we justify such knowledge?)

On Point of Contact (What if anything do believers and non-believers have in common?)

On Proofs (That is, how did Van Til, in his own words, view the classical “proofs” for the existence of God?)

On C.S. Lewis (I understand that C.S. Lewis is somewhat popular in the unpopular world of Christian apologetics, and he had a great mind, and could write well, but this short piece is another side or view. Perhaps it is overly critical, though I do not think it was published, however for readers like me, who once adored Lewis’ works, it should give us reason to sort of take a step back, to pause and ponder.)

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14 thoughts on “Van Til Quotes

    • Great question and idea for a quote topic. Doing a quick search, it appears the word “proof” occurs 472 times in 275 articles. It will take me some time to research and put together a page of quotes, leading to the answer. Thank you for asking, and patience. 🙂

      • “I hold that belief in God is not merely as reasonable as other belief, or even a little or infinitely more probably true than other belief; I hold rather that unless you believe in God you can logically believe in nothing else” ― Cornelius Van Til

        This was Van Til’s statement

      • Thank you. Could you please tell me where that quote comes from, so I can prove it to others?

        Cary

      • Such statements are a real shock to the ears of the average person. On the surface it rings of nonsense, “how can that be” they exclaim. However, with few words, he is goes really deep, because he is addressing the justification for any and all knowledge, and at the same time acknowledging that everything is God created, the facts, the knowledge, the methods, well everything. In other words, if we do not believe in God, we do not have proper justification for any knowledge. The real kicker is everyone believes in God, however those who do not acknowledge the Creator of everything, have suppressed the truth of His existence. This is why, some time ago, I decided to call attention in discussions to a distinguishment between “faith”, a kind that saves, and another kind that doesn’t, but can and often does fool others.

      • If you believe X is true, then you believe all necessary preconditions of X being true, ONLY IF YOU BELIEVE THAT EACH OF THOSE PRECONDITIONS IS A PRECONDITION. Otherwise, you can believe X is true, but disbelieve a necessary precondition that you don’t believe to be a necessary precondition.

      • The problem with your statement is that it assumes truth is based on personal belief (even if two “truths” contradict one another). Truth comes with necessary preconditions, necessary emphasized. Countless people suppress the truth, and claim to disbelieve necessary preconditions. Just because they can, that does not make it so. It is only because people are made in the image of God, and His ordained prerogative, that we can partake in interpreting the realities that He created. That everyone is made in the image of God and cannot help but partake in interpreting reality, does not mean that everyone can or does have justification for their beliefs. Fallen mankind so often twists the God given ability to interpret reality, that it has no contact with the mind of God, or reality. To reiterate, just because a fallen creature can speak and know truth, does not mean they have proper justification or acknowledge or aware of the necessary preconditions for what they know.

      • My apologies, I am often guilty of misunderstanding people, and it seems to happen even more often in online discussions. Even more problematic, if I am not misunderstanding, often I am being misunderstood. I guess my question for you would be, but how can we separate belief from persons? Can interpretation exist apart from an interpreter?

  1. Belief and persons are separate abstract categories, but I share your ignorance of how to separate them pragmatically.
    Interpretation cannot exist apart from an interpreter, nor values apart from an evaluator.

    But I still feel that you intend a question that I haven’t understood.

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