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Christianity and Idealism (Westminster Discount) (Van Til)

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Having been accused by the Calvin Forum writers of being under the influence of idealism, this collection of book reviews on modern idealistic philosophy (1930–1942) was published in order to clarify his opposition to it.

“From time to time I have written on the relation of idealist philosophy to Christianity. It is obvious that such philosophies as materialism and pragmatism are foes of Christianity. It is less obvious but no less true that Idealism and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Christianity teaches man to worship and serve God the Creator. Idealism, no less than materialism or pragmatism, teaches man to serve and worship the creature. Idealism has a language which resembles that of Christianity but its thought content leads inevitably toward pragmatism. That is the idea expressed in the articles that are herewith reproduced. The relation between Idealism and Christianity has recently become a controversial issue among Reformed Christians. This accounts for the republishing of these articles.”-from the Preface
As you can see the accusation is nothing new, and from the first line in the preface, Dr. Van Til could not be more clear about his position. Read it for yourself, share it with philosophy students, and people with the integrity and humility to admit error, misguidance, misleading,  and misunderstanding.

Table of Contents:

  1. God and the Absolute [1930.A]
  2. Recent American Philosophy [1937.C]
  3. The Theism of A. E. Taylor [1939.B]
  4. Philosophical Foundations, John Thomas [1941.B]
  5. Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, A. A. Bowman [1939.A]
  6. A Sacramental Universe, A. A. Bowman [1940.A]
  7. The Nature and Destiny of Man, Reinhold Niebuhr [1941.C]
  8. The Logic of Belief, D. Elton Trueblood [1942.B]
  9. The Doctrine of God, Albert Knudsen [1930.D]
  10. Kant or Christ? [1942.C]



Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987) was born in Grootegast, the Netherlands, and immigrated with his family to America in 1905. He attended Calvin College and Calvin Seminary before completing his studies at Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University with the ThM and PhD degrees. Drawn to the pastorate, Van Til spent one year in the ministry before taking a leave of absence to teach apologetics at Princeton Seminary. When the seminary reorganized, he was persuaded to join the faculty of the newly founded Westminster Theological Seminary. He remained there as professor of apologetics until his retirement in 1975. Van Til wrote more than twenty books, in addition to more than thirty syllabi.