Van Til Apologetics Analysis

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“The philosopher does not differ from the common man, except in the degree of self-conscious reflection upon, and hard work given to, philosophical questions.” (Greg Bahnsen, Van Til’s Apologetics, page 51) Cornelius Van Til, a famous theologian and Christian philosopher of the twentieth century, asks us to consider the importance of deep, serious thought before engaging the world about Jesus Christ. Indeed, philosophy is the foundation of analytical reasoning, problem-solving and effective communication skills that are essential to an effective ministry for the student. Ed Miller explains in his book, Questions That Matter, that philosophy is "the attempt to think rationally and critically about the most important questions." A universal…show more content…
Perhaps the greatest example of this in the Bible occurs in Acts 17 where Paul reasons with Athenian scholars at Mars hill. The men that he encountered were Epicureans and Stoics. The Epicureans believed in intellect as the main virtue to follow. The Stoics sought to be in “perfect order with the universe” through control of their emotions. These two groups were representative of the thinkers in Athens that followed in the line of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle and they were open and curious to what Paul had to say. His words were well thought out and this appealed to them. The text says, “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill and said, ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the Unknown God, Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you” (Acts 17:22-23). Apparently Paul’s point about ignorance bore fruit as later in the chapter, “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, we will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed” (Acts17:32-34). Some of the Athenians made fun of Paul, some had to take their time to reason, and still others responded with such believe that they put total faith in Jesus Christ at that instant…show more content…
This is especially true when linking philosophy to theology of the trinity, attributes of God, and the atonement. The trinity tempts us to throw out a rational approach to God and embrace Him as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a way that transcends human reason. Furthermore, God's attributes, whether beyond our words, knowledge or qualities shared with humankind, involve the philosophical categories studied by Kant, Descartes, and others of time, space, and knowledge. Finally, how does philosophy account for the death of Jesus Christ as payment for our sins? Many different explanations and theories evolved from such great thinkers as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine (Stanford website). Philosophy and theology seem to have a close connection and this relationship demands that we follow the laws of logic and argumentation when trying to reason with

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