17 July 2010

Discussions with a Van Tillian regarding Worldview

Here I try and briefly explain the problem of Van Tillian informed Worldview teaching and how it leads to the autonomous thought they so want to avoid.....

It ended up being a good exchange. You can follow the whole thread here.

I learned a few things and am pondering what was said. I still hold to what I've written, but will admit it's complicated with Van Til. He said a lot of things and they don't always seem to fit together. Whether he truly laid the foundation for what has happened, or whether the Dominionists have hijacked him......the jury is still out I guess.

Here's part of the comment thread.....

A note to me:

John A. – you state that Van Til’s apologetic was good but that his view of “no neutrality” was not good…even harmful. Do you understand his apologetic? I ask because it is built upon the basis of no neutrality. You cannot separate the two. The unbeliever can never be neutral in his knowledge of and responsibility before God. Van Til says nothing new – he simply puts into a system what reformed theology taught.

My response:


Van Til's apologetic is just a re-wording and working of the Ontological argument. He argues his apologetic flowed from his philosophical construct, but I don't accept that, other than it's just the same circular argument applied to apologetics. In the end, his apologetic is one acceptable method. It depends on who you're arguing with and where they are at. For some who already accept an open universe with transcendent laws and morality...VT's argument could be quite persuasive. Or it can be employed to 'shut down' the objections of someone who rejects the open universe. In the end, the Bible doesn't seem to teach VT's approach though I grant it validity.

I'm not worried about Sproul's objection to question begging. I don't believe someone can be reasoned into faith and though we are to give an answer (1P 3.15)....it doesn't mean we have to have to then concern ourselves with comprehensive systemic solutions to every problem in a fallen world. They are unsolvable. That's why the gospel is good news. Our apologetic should simply rest in the proclamation of Jesus Christ. He is the axiom, period.

The quest for the Comprehensive system is driven by assumptions coming out of the Dutch Reformed tradition. If those questions are wrong, which I assert they are...the whole VT philosophical construct deteriorates....and suddenly all the Christian Worldview teachers are exercising the very thing they abhor......autonomous thought. And that's exactly what they do...and are quite blind to the fact that they read the Bible as modern Americans and read a lot of cultural values and assumptions right into the text and call it "Biblical" Government, "Biblical Economics", "Biblical music and art", etc.......

The unbeliever can never be neutral.......of course he can't, but Comon Grace with Providence is completely sufficient for the World Order....we're just looking for a matrix for the gospel to operate. This is the NT vision of how we're to interact with the world. The prayers of the NT are for peace, stability, quiet...leaving us alone to pursue the work of the Kingdom. The Kuyperians are making it ten times harder for the gospel to function. Sacralism has left us a legacy where we have to get people un-saved from their Constantinianism, so we can indeed get them saved.

VT-ian fed Worldview teaching rather than interact with the world and try to operate within it's fallen-ness...instead tries to create a pseudo-world with its own interpretations of history, culture, and current events. Just today, I went on the American Vision website and encountered not truth...propaganda.

I know you don't agree, but think about it. And, anyone else who wants to chime in...please do, because I realize I'm probably alone on this one. Most 2kers are Van Tillians in some sense aren't they? Although it seems everyone claims the label....but I'm not sure everyone is thinking about it beyond the apologetic.

Thanks for you thoughtful note.....

John A.

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