Gordon H. Clark and Cornelius Van Til: An Introduction
to Their Issues and
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
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
*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
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
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
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.