Blockbuster Book

Not to steal Gary’s thunder, but I really want people to buy this book. It will be coming out in about two weeks. It will be of interest in the continuing Federal Vision debate, since all ties of Van Til to the Federal Vision will be shown to be a mirage. One little tantalizing tidbit: Muether had access to Van Til’s correspondence with Meredith Kline, in which Van Til clearly sided with Kline on the issue of covenant theology over against Murray. May the Trinity Foundation and Federal Vision proponents both take note. Gary Johnson will be doing a chapter by chapter review of this book on my blog. Stay tuned. It should be rather riveting.

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56 Comments

  1. February 29, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    With all due respect, I don’t understand why the defensiveness about VanTil. His accomplishments and contributions were more in the field of epistemology and apologetics. He did not distinguish himself in the other traditional loci of systematic theology, excepting only his contribution to the common grace controversy. Even if he was abysmally wrong on covenant theology, he is not the first guy anyone should go to for an expert opinion on that issue.

  2. GLW Johnson said,

    February 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    DG
    Did you know that CVT was invited to replace Louis Berkhof in the chair of systematics at Calvin? He declined the offer to stay at Westminster-but he was more than a first class apologist, as attested by the fact that he was one of G. Vos prized pupils in Biblical theology while a student at Princeton . Further more Machen held CVT in very high regard , as did Casper W. Hodge, Warfield’s successor . I think this confirms that CVT was very much at home in the field of systematics.

  3. Andrew Compton said,

    February 29, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I heard this from Dr. Robert Norris of 4th Presbyterian in Bethesda. He was talking with John Murray years ago who told him that when CTS offered Berkhof’s job to CVT, he (Murray) advised him that his (CVT’s) Biblical-languages weren’t strong enough to be in ST! Of course *no one* had language abilities like Murray so this might have simply been Murray’s way of saying, “DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE WTS!!!” :)

  4. GLW Johnson said,

    February 29, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    AC
    That story is correct. CVT acknowledged that to G.C. Berkhouwer in the ‘Jerusalem and Athens’ festschrift that he relied on Murray and E.J. Young and the other men in NT and OT at WTS for exegetical support- but don’t think for a moment that CVT was lacking linguistical gifts. His PhD in philosophy program at Princeton Univ. required working through all the major Western philosophers from Plato to Kant in the original languages and not in English translations. Had CVT choosen to labor in the field of systematics he would have ‘gotten up to speed’ as it were in exegetical expertise.

  5. greenbaggins said,

    February 29, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    David, the only reason why people are defensive about CVT is that he is being turned into a wax nose by many factions in the church today, either for blame or for propriety.

  6. February 29, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks, Gary, for the follow up. No doubt CVT would have been a great full-time systematician! And no doubt with Murray’s influence, he might have even changed the ST approach of CTS . . . not that Berkhof’s approach wasn’t as good as Murray’s of course – they were just different.

    Thanks too, Lane, for pointing out this forthcoming gem!

  7. GLW Johnson said,

    February 29, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    CVT sided with Kline was obvious and for one major reason: G. Vos.I once asked CVT who, in his opinion was the best representative of Vos. He didn’t hestitate-” Meredith Kline”- he urged me to take Kline’s course on Old Testament Biblical Theology. The primary text was Vos’ ‘Biblical Theology’.

  8. GLW Johnson said,

    February 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    p.s.
    If it is any consolation to those of you who struggle with Kline and Vos-I was totally baffled in Kline’s class. I told CVT a few weeks later that I was in a fog in Kline’s class( I was still shedding my dispensational skin). He laughed, slapped me on the back and said, ‘Well, be patience, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Hang in there, you’ll get it.”

  9. John Muether said,

    February 29, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Lane,

    I thank you for the advance publicity but I fear you may be over-hyping my book. If readers buy it anticipating it will demonstrate that CVT preferred Kline over Murray, they will be sorely disappointed. I have not found evidence for that nor do I make that claim. What is clear is:

    1. Van Til and Kline were close friends, and Van Til urged Kline to return to WTS after EJ Young’s death. He did not regard Kline’s views on the days of creation or the covenant as obstacles.

    2. For his part, Kline thought Van Til went further than Murray in appreciating and building upon the connection between creation and covenant.

    However, I do not know that Van Til ever pronounced judgment on the differences between Kline and Murray. It would be anachronistic to expect that he would, since debates over those differences began to emerge after Van Til’s retirement.

  10. February 29, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    #8 “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Heh.

  11. Darryl Hart said,

    February 29, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    John, at least you’d concede that it is a block buster index.

  12. February 29, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    False advertising imo.

    I’ll still consider buying it if I can get it signed at GA.

    PS I did hear that in some of Van Til’s correspondance you were able to prove he loathed the Red Sox. Please confirm if you are able.

  13. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 6:58 am

    I am responsible for Lane’s enthralling and premature expectation. John Muether kindly sent me ch.5 of the book-‘The New Machen against the New Modernism’ which deals with CVT on Karl Barth. John and I have been exchanging emails from time to time and I recently relayed to him my concerns about the growing popularity of Karl Barth ( by the way,Barth’s mono-covenantalism has been extremely influencial in some very unexpected ways), especially in conservative Reformed circles-and the refrain coming from some in those very circles that CVT had misunderstood Barth, I found equally disturbing.With the recent release of the much anticipated book on ‘Engaging Barth’, I thought the time was ripe to address this claim that CVT missed the boat on Barth. After reading this chapter from John’s forthcoming book on CVT I wrote him and told him that instead of following through on my own defense of CVT, I would do an extended review of John’s book and post it on Lane’s highly popular blog, GreenBaggins. I then called Lane to request permission to post and relayed to him my enthusiasm for John’s work in this chapter. In the process, I pointed out that John’s book will come as a bucket of ice cold water in the faces of the Federal Visionists on a number of fronts and mentioned to Lane that John had made reference to correspondence from Kline to CVT where Kline pointed out that Murray had missed CVTemphasis on the ‘covenant-creature identication’ and from this I concluded that it indicated CVT preference for the Vossian/Kline model over that of Murray( which I do think CVT did). But, as John points out-#9- there is no ‘paper traill’ leading directly to that conclusion.
    However, since we have Doug Wilson’s attention, John does highlight in this chapter CVT admiration for BB Warfield ‘fine little book’ THE PLAN OF SALVATION- to which I can testify that I heard CVT on more than one occasion tell students that it was absolutely essential reading and that we should memorize the chart that Warfield included. Obviously the misguded notion that Warfield lapsed into ‘refried gnosticism’ in this book CVT would have found ridiculous. Anyway DW, you need to bucket up your seatbelt-your in for a rough ride.

  14. J.R. Polk said,

    March 1, 2008 at 9:18 am

    However, since we have Doug Wilson’s attention, John does highlight in this chapter CVT admiration for BB Warfield ‘fine little book’ THE PLAN OF SALVATION- to which I can testify that I heard CVT on more than one occasion tell students that it was absolutely essential reading and that we should memorize the chart that Warfield included. Obviously the misguded notion that Warfield lapsed into ‘refried gnosticism’ in this book CVT would have found ridiculous.

    If you don’t mind reading it from a PC monitor, here is Warfield’s book:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=390OAAAAIAAJ&dq=warfield+the+plan+of+salvation&pg=PP1&ots=cNuHUng_dW&sig=GpzpOjbwBMaWobys5nsFpS-FwQo&hl=en&prev=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUS253&q=warfield+THE+PLAN+OF+SALVATION&btnG=Google+Search&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title&cad=one-book-with-thumbnail#PPA1,M1

  15. J.R. Polk said,

    March 1, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Sorry Lane. It looks like my link has made the screen wider.

  16. James Jordan said,

    March 1, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I don’t know of anyone in “FV” circles who is “monocovenantal.” Whatever that is. To say that the relations between the Persons of God is the root of historical covenants is not monocovenantalism. My own essay in *The Federal Vision* is a throroughgoing defense of bi-covenantalism.

  17. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 11:38 am

    James
    Let me see if I have properly understood you. You did say in the discussion over at De Regno Christi that you knew of scores of people who took an exception to the CoW in the WS-and furthermore , in your opinion, the entire VII chapter needed to be completely over hauled. In this regard , you do not subscribe to the bi-covenantal structure as taught in the WS. Bavinck, Vos, Kline, and more importantly for this discussion, so did CVT. I continue , therefore, to be amazed at the claim you recently made here at Green Baggins that given the ‘trajectory’ you felt that CVT was on, he would wholeheartedly support the FV were he alive today. I don’t think he would, and neither does John Muether.

  18. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 11:39 am

    p.s that should read ‘Bavinck,Vos, Kline did..’

  19. James Jordan said,

    March 1, 2008 at 11:41 am

    No. I do subscribe to the structure as taught in the WS, which is non-meritorious. I don’t subscribe to Kline’s redaction of it. My essay makes it very clear the roots of my position. It is thoroughly bi-covenantal, and much more so than Kline’s.

  20. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 11:45 am

    JJ
    Then you can’t claim CVT at this point-correct?

  21. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Would you care to explain then why you said the VII chapter was badly in need of revision.

  22. March 1, 2008 at 11:49 am

    “. . . but he was more than a first class apologist”

    I’m curious how strongly folks here would defend the use of “first class apologist” to speak of CVT. He theorized extensively about epistemology as related to the Pauline distinction between belief and unbelief; but I am not aware of much actual apologetic work worth mentioning. When I think of reformed apologists, I think of folks like Greg Bahnsen and Doug Wilson. Any thoughts?

  23. greenbaggins said,

    March 1, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Their apologetics is mostly dependent on CVT. See Christian Apologetics, by CVT, now in a beautiful second edition with a forward (and edited by) William Edgar.

  24. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 11:57 am

    CVT declared that in terms of theological emphasis AND epistetomology he stood squarely in the Old Princeton tradition.

  25. James Jordan said,

    March 1, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    #20. Sure I can. But I don’t.
    #21. Anything that starts out saying that there is “distance” between Creator and creature is written in scale-of-being language. Anyone who understands CVT in the least will see why that needs help. Also “covenant of works,” while explained in a non-meritorous way, is an unhelpful phrase and has shown itself to cause pernicious effect. Many Calvinists today intellectually serve the bribe-merit Zeus of paganism instead of the gifting Father of the Bible.

  26. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    JJ
    Please show me from CVT writings where he ever remotely suggested he had ‘issues’ with the CoW as stated in the WS. You are on record saying that you do have problems with the WS on the CoW-and not simply with Kline’s take on it.

  27. Ron Henzel said,

    March 1, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    James,

    You wrote:

    Many Calvinists today intellectually serve the bribe-merit Zeus of paganism instead of the gifting Father of the Bible.

    You seem to be constructing a theology ideally-suited for rendition in graphic novel format. The “many Calvinists” you describe swagger like cartoon characters out of a sinister imagination, while your heroes call down fire and brimstone upon them. Such statements are hardly worth responding to, and tedious even to acknowledge.

    Meanwhile, those of us living in the world of theological reality look across the table at semi-Pelagians and rationalistic Arminians who have baptized their myopia in hopelessly-decontextualized and ruthlessly-tortured texts from Calvin and other orthodox Reformed and dubbed it the Federal Vision. They serve a God who will ultimately include works in the basis of their final justification. So much for “gifting.” Somehow, however, we manage to refrain from implying that they are intellectual idolaters.

    Go figure.

  28. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    James
    Where did you go? Let me guess- you got your marching orders from the fearless leader and now you can’t come out and play. Darn.

  29. March 1, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Great to hear of this book.

  30. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    MM # 22
    Greg Bahnsen, yes I think Greg, a student of CVT , certainly deserves to be mention somewhere down the line from of CVT ( and Gre would be the first to admit that he stood in the shadow of CVT), but please don’t put DW in that class. I don’t think even Doug would take that honor and allow you do that.

  31. James Jordan said,

    March 1, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    #26. What’s CVT got to do with my reservations? CVT was clearly on Shepherd’s side against Kline. CVT wanted Bahnsen to teach at WTS. If CVT was happy with WCF 7, or if he never got around to looking at it carefully, so what? CVT is pretty clear about scale-of-being theology. He’s also pretty clear about theologies that oppose pure abstract rationalism (e.g., Intrusion) against pure abstract irrationalism (e.g., Commongrace). So, maybe he was a friend of Kline’s and never got into looking at Kline’s views. So what? If you understand CVT, you can see immediately the problem with Kline’s dialectical theology.

  32. chaos said,

    March 1, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    psyche! i forgot about this book. DVD told me about it at a fellowship meal. Well, one more book among many to read after I finally graduate.
    thanks for the post. (i can’t believe JBJ doesn’t know what monocovenantalism is. where in the world has he been? but it does explain why he doesn’t know what covenant theology is. to describe the covenant of works as the bribe-merit-Zeus puts JBJ in bed with Brian M Claren…and a couple of Feminists).

  33. greenbaggins said,

    March 1, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Welcome, Chaos. I assume that this is Phil? I just linked to your blog, as I like what I see.

  34. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    James
    You are dodging the question: You have publicly stated that the entire VII chapter of the WS is in need of a complete overhaul- not just Kline’s interpretation but the entire substance of what the Westminster divines wrote. And you are being coy about CVT and Shepherd- at that time Shepherd’s views were not then what they are now- case in point Dick Gaffin and the OPC study report. You are cornered and you know it.

  35. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Checkmate.

  36. James Jordan said,

    March 1, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    #35. Gosh. I’m totally mortified.

  37. GLW Johnson said,

    March 1, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    James
    I would rather you belly up to the bar and ‘fess up’.

  38. thomasgoodwin said,

    March 1, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    I wouldn’t welcome Chaos if I were you, Lane. He’s a shady character :)

  39. chaos said,

    March 1, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks GB::I was going to say I’m Mark’s friend but I was sure that he wouldn’t want me to advertise it. Guess I was wrong.
    observation: non-confessionalists seek to become our confession. why don’t they just come out and say it?
    GLW: I was a closet-Gnome til I Kingdom Prologue first lighted upon my finger tips…it actually cleared the fog for me like a brilliant white light. Like a drunken babbler I used to burble the word “glawspel” Thankfully MGK and Horton taught me to articulate in new sobriety the two distinct words of revelation: “law” and “gospel”

  40. Sean Mahaffey said,

    March 2, 2008 at 7:28 am

    I don’t think that Pastor Wilson would claim to be in the same league as Dr. Bahnsen as an apologist, but I would claim it for him. Wilson’s debates with Stein, Barker, and Hitchens are first rate. His critiques of Harris and Dawkins are devastating . His book Persuasions is the most practical example of presuppositional apologetics I have read. Granted, Wilson is not as precise or relentless as Dr. Bahnsen was. Wilson’s style is more like Chesterton or Lewis, but he is thoroughly Van Tillian/presuppositional and is actively engaged in debating atheists publicly and successfully.
    Who is a living self-conscious Van Tillian who is publicly debating atheists better than Wilson nowadays?
    Blessings,
    Mahaffey

  41. GLW Johnson said,

    March 2, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Oh, I would take James White (who I have debated and who DW debated). I have , as is well known, very serious issues with DW not only on the substance of the Federal Vision, but on the way he has gone about defending the FV and particularly the scurrilous way he has dealt withthe FV critics-especially entire Reformed denominations and seminaries. As such I am very reluntant to commend his work across the board.

  42. March 2, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Sean,

    Who is a living self-conscious Van Tillian who is publicly debating atheists better than Wilson nowadays?

    Is this the definition of an apologist? Do public spectacles make an apologist?

    There’s much more to life than CVT. I think that people like Dr. R. C. Sproul, Dr. Mike Horton, Dr. Ravi Zacharias, Lee Strobel, the late Dr. Jim Boice and Francis Schaeffer, and even Josh McDowell have led the apologetical world over the decades. I could name more if I thought about it longer. Their ministries have greatly impacted college students, young adults, and studied professionals.CVT is just one of many who have made their mark on Christian apologetics and his approach just one amongst a number.

  43. March 2, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I think Frame needs recognition as another non-apologist apologist for the apologists. He was far more philosophically subtle than Bahnsen in setting forth some of the basic gists of CVT’s theorizing; he didn’t even baptize CVT in the latest conceptual analysis of analytic epistemology.

    And on the other note: yes, Wilson is more rhetoric than he is argument. His critique of Sam Harris isn’t worth an intellectual nickel, although I’m sure it was just the medicine Christians needed. But Wilson also engages in a full-orbed apologetic, including life, beauty, community, satire, literature, rhetorically effective debate, and less fortunately, ridicule and political strategy. In this respect, he is more close to biblical practice than any of the other debaters of the age IMO.

  44. greenbaggins said,

    March 2, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Well, I can welcome Chaos if I also welcome Control. That may allow some to get smart on this blog.

  45. March 2, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    #40 and #41:
    So, is James White the only practicing CVT apologist that folks here would recommend as equal or better to Wilson?

    #44:
    ?

  46. GLW Johnson said,

    March 2, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    MM
    By no means- William Edgar and Scott Oliphint-both at WTS come to mind, as well as Mike Horton of WSCAL.

  47. March 2, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    GLWJ
    Do Edgar and Oliphint engage in the practice of apologetics or do they theorize about it? E.g. I would consider Plantinga’s epistemology trilogy borderline apologetic ‘practice’ given his place and the kind of readership (public debates with athiests are not a requirement for how I use ‘practice of apologetics’); Oliphint on the other hand wrote an article in the WTSJ arguing that Plantinga’s theory was not sufficiently presuppositional, which is what I would consider theorizing only. And is Horton spending much time these days doing apologetic work?

  48. chaos said,

    March 2, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    MM: “public debates with athiests are not a requirement for how I use ‘practice of apologetics”
    In that case I think Horton is frequently doing a defense (apologia) of the ‘Reformed’ faith (or tradition). He never stops churning out literature. He’s busy with White Horse Inn and Mod Ref. (and who knows what else?)
    Much of what I’ve read and heard him do is a defense of covenant theology against the foil of modernism-postmodernism. ‘Covenant and Eschatology’ is a great example of that and the first of a four volume series. But he also faithfully defends against the error of those who are always deforming in the name of Calvin. He does a great job of that in ‘Covenant and Salvation” (which is vm 3). Lately I’ve heard that he’s dealing with the open theists.
    Another rumor (only a rumor) has it that the people at 60 minutes (when they interviewed him to critique Osteen) were really drawn by his presentation of biblical Christianity. So we might see him do a sort of Reformed apologetic on TV? Hope so. I could always ask. Or Mark can when he comes to my wedding.

    I’ll put forth my landlord Peter Jones as one of the great apologists of these peculiar times. He’s engaging Reformed thinking to a world that has become bored with modernity and possibly even post modernity. We’re not in Kansas anymore. His dragon to slay is the new spirituality. Mod Ref has given him the lead article for a soon coming issue.
    His ‘Spirit Wars’ and “Capturing the Pagan Mind’ could also be tagged as apologetic works. Dr. Jones says his thinking has been greatly influenced by CVT. He calls his brand of apologetics to a postmodern-pagan worldview ‘antithesis apologetics.’ I’ve found that his work is a refreshing development of what has gone before to an emerging world of people who need us to provide them with a compelling comparison of biblical theism and pagan monism.

  49. Sean Mahaffey said,

    March 2, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Bob,
    I agree that there is more to life than CVT, but this thread is about CVT. I am not trying to disparage the contributions of classical or evidential apologetics in theory and practice and I appreciate the work of those on your list, but the particular point was concerning presuppositional apologists who are actively engaging unbelievers in the Acts 17 – refute the gainsayer way. Wilson is very effective at this. In my opinion, his debate with Barker is a close second to the Bahnsen-Stein debate and is better than Bahnsen’s debates with Tabash and Smith.

  50. March 2, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Sean,

    My apologies for confusing the topic. Since I care much for presuppositionalism, I’ll quietly withdraw from the discussion.

  51. Alan said,

    March 3, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I would like to jump in here and ask a question. I know of Gordon Clark but not much about his confrontations with CVT. Could I ask for a brief recap and for some peoples opinions of GC? Thanks.

    In Christ
    Alan

  52. Sean Mahaffey said,

    March 3, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Alan,
    The bone of contention between the two was concerning the relationship of the knowledge that God has to the knowledge that man has. Van Til described our knowledge to be analogical – Clark took this to mean that Van Til was saying the knowledge we have was not true knowledge. Clark said the knowledge that we have is the same or identical knowledge that God has- Van Til took this to mean that Clark did not grasp the Creator/creature distinction and the transcedence of God.
    Van Til was emphasizing man’s dependence and was using categories that Bavinck and Turretin used. Both used the analogical term to describe our knowledge. I think the lack of translation of Bavinck and Turretin may have made Van Til’s description seem novel.
    Clark was emphasizing that man can truly know. Something that Van Til would agree with as long as the caveats of man’s finitude, dependence and sinfulness were clearly made.
    I’m not saying that the disagreement was purely semantic, but they were definitely talking past one another.

  53. Sean Mahaffey said,

    March 3, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    I highly recommend Dr. Bahnsen’s lecture series on Van Til titled “CVT’s Presuppositional Apologetic”. It is set “ASV” in the Covenant Media Foundation catalog (cmfnow.com). Two lecture tapes in that series (GB210 and GB211) deal specifically with the Van Til-Clark controversy. Bahnsen’s series on the Trancendence of God titled “Higher Thoughts” (TSM in the cmf catalog) is the best all round discussion of the whole topic.
    Of course Bahnsen’s Van Til reader and John Frame’s book on Van Til are excellent.
    Blessings,
    Mahaffey

  54. magma2 said,

    March 5, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I don’t know if the Trinity Foundation will “take note,” but that won’t stop me from chiming in with some loose change you can take or not. Ya’ll can discuss Kline and Murray and the CoW, but you continue to miss the point. The root cause of the FV is epistemic (which also explains the growing divide between BT and ST) and is something that was clearly understood by Frame who, in explaining VT, wrote:

    “Thus, the doctrine of justification by faith incorporates the paradox of divine sovereignty. The doctrine of justification by faith – when fully explained in its relations to the rest of Scriptural truth – is just as paradoxical as divine sovereignty”Van Til the Theologian

    For VT the doctrine of justification is just as paradoxical and contradictory as any other Biblical doctrine. As Frame explains, to VT paradoxes arise precisely when we attempt to explain a doctrine in relation “to rest of Scriptural truth.” For a discussion on the crippling nature and implicit danger of this view of Scripture I recommend Reymond’s chapter on biblical paradox in his ST. Of course, I recommend Clark too, but for those still unable to get past their seminary induced prejudices, Reymond provides a nice alternative.

    For the Vantilian, at least those who are consistent to what VT actually taught, the doctrine of justification is as resistant to logical harmonization as are all other Biblical doctrines. Some defenders of VT may not share VT’s view of Scripture, but most do. Even those Vantilians who may have not been bamboozled by the paradoxical double-speak of the FV men who are expert at speaking out of both sides of their mouths, most share the same misology when discussing, say, the so-called “well meant offer,” the problem of evil, God’s sovereignty and personal responsibility, the Trinity, or any number of other biblical doctrines.

    Admittedly, some Vantilians are on the right side in this present battle, and for that I’m thankful, but they have no epistemic reason for doing so. They do so IN SPITE of their Vantilianism; not because of it. At times I’m quite amazed that so many can completely miss and/or ignore such a central and glaring point.

    Jordan said during the De Regno Christi debate that the FV controversy is “the Clark controversy with feet on it.” Jordan was exactly right and I believe for the reasons I’ve just outlined (even if some are still just too enamored by their former WTS prof that they can’t even look at this big nasty blemish right smack in the middle of VT’s nose).

  55. June 19, 2008 at 10:15 am

    [...] Lane Keister: Pastor Lane speculates briefly on (a) Van Til’s view of covenant theology being more akin to Kline than Murray and (b) a possible synthesis of the so-called Clark-Van Til epistemological [...]


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