Reflections on Biblical and
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Gordon H. Clark and Cornelius Van Til: An Introduction to Their Issues and Controversies

I had this site up and running for two years before really addressing the Clark-Van Til issues and controversies.  Currently, a Google Search of my site yields 18 hits for Van Til and 25 for Clark.  While these references are not equal, it does demonstrate that I value both as resources in theology, philosophy, and ethics.

Predominantly and overwhelmingly, I favor the thoughts and positions of Gordon Clark.  He is the more consistent theologian, philosopher, and Greek expert.  Van Til was primarily a theologian and apologist. Eventually, I will write more at length on these issues.  For now, I introduce readers to some URLs in which these subjects are introduced and explored.  I waited two years to establish this page on my site because I did not want it to be seen as a defense or apologetic for Clark, even thought I have drawn quite heavily from him.

However, one of the most important issues that few, besides Clark, have argued is the powerful, but negative, effect that empiricism* has had on those evangelical and Reformed.  One of the few concepts that most philosophers agree upon (there is little!) is that the inductive method (empiricism) does not determine truth.  Simply, it can never survey the whole earth, much less the entire universe.  Thus, it is always limited and fragmented in scope.  Thus, those evangelical and Reformed have embraced pagan theories and practice in such areas as psychology, sociology, certain forms of medicine, the scientific method, education at all levels, anthropology, and history.  For this reason, I long ago published an essay on the fallacies of empiricism and its dangers to Bible-believing Christians.

*One should be aware of the (precise or approximate) synonyms of empiricism: induction, inductive method, scientific method, naturalism, positivism, scientism, materialism, evolutionism, common sense philosophy, natural law theory, pluralism, modernism, The Enlightenment Project, natural philosophy, and many, many others.  These are far and away the dominant influence on the thinking of both secular humanists, and with few exceptions, evangelicals.

Other resources are:

**For a recent, vigorous, and comprehensive debate, The Clark/Van Til Controversy from a podcast and numerous comments and posts.

Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought by John Frame (P&R Publishing Co., 1995).  Frame is a disciple of Van Til, but he is quite candid in his thorough review of Van Til's philosophy and theology.

The Clark-Van Til Controversy by Herman Hoeksema (The Trinity Foundation, 1995).  A review of the trial of Clark by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Seminary by an independent observer.

Peripheral Sources on Many of the Core Issues of Clark and Van Til

Original letter of Greg Bahnsen to the Editor of Journey magazine concerning the lack of importance of various Clarkian issues.

Responses of Anthony Flood to Bahnsen's letter above and an followup response to the letter below.

Personal letter of Bahnsen to Flood's first letter to the Editor of Journey.

An Introduction to Gordon H. Clark (posted by Vincent Cheung): click here

Identification with Carl F. H. Henry: Carl Henry has come under attack for a number of reasons, almost all of which are consistent with criticisms of the positions of Gordon Clark.  See Was Carl Henry A Rationalist?

Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended Book review by Gary Crampton on the "lost book" of Greg Bahnsen, edited by Joel McDurmon.  This book has 65 pages of mostly, if not entirely, errant representations of Gordon Clark. 


 

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