Strong Meat from the Stacks: Van Til On The Importance Of Systematics

If we do not pay attention to the whole of biblical truth as a system, we become doctrinally one-sided, and doctrinal one-sidedness is bound to issue in spiritual one-sidedness. As human beings we are naturally inclined to be one-sided. One tends to be intellectualistic, another tends to be emotional, and still another tends to be activistic. One tends to be only prophetic, another only priest, and a third only king. We should be all these at once and in harmony. A study of systematic theology will help us to keep and develop our spiritual balance. It enables us to avoid paying attention only to that which, by virtue of our temperament, appeals to us.

Cornelius Van til | An Introduction to Systematic Theology, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey; P&R Publishing), 22.


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  • Cornelius Van Til
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    Rev. Cornelius Van Til, PhD (1895–1987) studied at Calvin College (A.B.), Calvin Theological Seminary and at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a Th.M. He earned his PhD at Princeton University. He served briefly in the pastorate but taught apologetics and theology at Westminster Theological Seminary from 1929–1972. The best introduction to his life and work is John Muether, Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman.

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  1. Hi
    I have recently discovered Van Til and saw this article.
    Being of diminished sound mind, as to body, well…I am 69
    I would like to know what Van Til books or sites would be recommended for a newbie.
    I say that because I want to know if I would understand his works.
    I want to read New Modernism by Van Til. Van Til peaked my curiosity on Barth.
    I dont want to buy a book and not understand it. Advice first, book later.
    I read an article of what he was like in Class settings. Sounds deep.
    Thanks for a great site.

  2. How helpful. Some Christians object to systematic theology because they claim it causes the very problems that Van Til here says make it so necessary. It reminds me of those who reject written prayers as vain repetition, when in fact their primary purpose is to keep us from vain repetition.

  3. Depends on whose systematic theology you’re talking about. If it’s Grudem’s, I’d say yes, get rid of it. There are many betters ones available. But for all evangelicals Grudem seems to be the one and only go-to work.

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