Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Primer on the Gordon Clark/Cornelius Van Til Controversy

Almost an hour of profitable discussion:


  1. Really enjoyed this, thanks for posting.

  2. I'm very pleased that you profited from it, bro.

    By the way, are you a Van Tillian yourself?

  3. nice! i have downloaded the mp3 file, i didnt know that there is a video =)

  4. Great to have been of service, Atty.! ;-)

  5. Theoparadox? Hmmm... Looks like this fellow isn't hiding his affection for irrationalism and paradox:)

  6. Charlie,

    I believe this quote from James Anderson clarifies the paradox view as regards its "rationality":

    "By advocating paradox I don't want to give the impression that I'm giving a carte blanche to not think philosophically, to not think deeply, about these doctrines. Quite the opposite. . . . My position is that with each of these doctrines we reflect on them as hard as we can, we penetrate them as best we can based on the Scriptural data that we do have, but we also recognize that there are going to be limits, and that those limits are actually a positive thing and not a reflection of some inherent problem in the doctrines or in the process of theological reflection. . . . I think we can make progress, we can make considerable progress, in understanding these doctrines and resolving some of the . . . initial difficulties that we have with them, but at the same time recognizing that we're always only going to get so far and when we bump up against the limits of our capacity to formulate them in certain ways or to resolve certain difficulties in them, we shouldn't be too concerned about that. We certainly shouldn't say, 'Okay, we need to admit that Christians are ultimately irrationalists.' No. We don't need to say that at all. . . . It's a Biblically constrained rationality. It's a middle way between rationalism, of which I think [Gordon H.] Clark was a representative, and irrationalism, of which, to take an example I think the Neo-Orthodox - Karl Barth - would be an example, where you're saying that there are actual contradictions in there. So I think it's navigating a Biblical middle way between these two extremes: having too high a view of the human intellect, and perhaps too low a view of the intellect, of our ability to know the things
    of God."

    This was extracted from James Anderson's interview on the Reformed Forum radio program in 2010.

  7. Warren, I just noticed that I never answered your question: Are you a Van Tillian yourself?

    Well . . . yes and no (standard Van Tillian answer)

    I'm definitely NOT Clarkian. However, I haven't read enough of Van Til for myself to call myself a "Van Tillian" per se. But based on all I presently know, I can say I lean that way. When I listen to Clarkians and Van Tillians talk, or read their materials, I certainly resonate more with the Van Tillians.

    So, am I a Van Tillian?

    Yes and no. :)


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