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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Letter from Cornelius Van Til to Francis Schaeffer

The following is an excerpt from a letter Cornelius Van Til wrote to the late Francis Schaeffer.  It would appear that Van Til places more emphasis on presupposing God and Jesus as "historical" persons revealed in history rather than presupposing that the Scriptures are literally the very words and propositions of God.  This in fact weakens any apologetic Van Til and his followers could offer, for it is in essence an appeal to natural revelation and reason.  It is not purely presuppositional because Van Til's apologetics is infected with an almost Barthian view of history as revelational rather than Scripture being a rational revelation of God's will in written form:

But now the argument begins. Says Mr. Jones: “Are you asking me to believe that whole ‘system of doctrine’ that your Westminster Confession of faith finds in the Bible on your say so or on the authority of the Bible itself? Well, there are many other interpretations of the Bible besides yours. Moreover, there are a number of Bibles.” Or do you appeal to the authority of Jesus speaking in and through the words of the Bible? If you do then you should know that if Jesus was really a man then he was, like all men, finite and as such immersed in the contingency of all space-time reality. If you claim that Jesus was “God” as well as man for instance, in the Westminster Catechism, then you should know that no man knows because no man can know anything about such a God. You remember what Socrates said. He wanted to know the essence of holiness regardless of what gods or men had said or did say about it. In modern times Immanuel Kant worked out the implications of this Socratic principle of human inwardness more fully than Socrates did. He points out to us that what man knows he knows because his own mind has impressed its categories of thought upon the raw stuff of experience. There can therefore be no knowledge of a God such as the Westminster Confession sets forth. There can be no such a god. How could there then be anything like what you call a revelation of such a God? Propositional revelations given by such a god to man is meaningless. All the schools of modern science and philosophy agree that to say God is there, in the sense of the traditional Confessions of the Church, is to speak nonsense. Many of the typical modern scientists and philosophers may believe in a god. They even defend their belief in their god against naturalists, mechanists, and sceptics and materialists. They may believe in a personal god. They may want to give a spiritual, teleological interpretation to the course of history. For all that their gods are nothing more than projections of would-be autonomous moral consciousness of man. They agree with Kant that man himself is autonomous in the final point of reference in predication. In the eyes of all the major schools of modern thought, the god who is there is dead. “When it comes to metaphysics,” says Neuath, a member of the Vienna Circle, “one must indeed be silent, but not about anything.” Or, as the Cambridge philosopher, F. P. Ramsey, an enthusiastic follower of Wittgenstein, puts it: “What we can’t say we can’t say, and we can’t whistle it either.”
Click here to read the entire letter:  A Letter from Cornelius Van Til to Francis Schaeffer

Unfortunately, even Schaeffer's view was flawed since reconstructionism leads in the semi-pelagian direction.  Francis Schaeffer's son, Franky, is now associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church, which is as idolatrous as Rome and also associates faith with works by way of the semi-pelagian view.

Charlie

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