Hanniah the Prophet renders van tillian apologetics useless

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jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
Hanniah the profit renders van tillian apologetics useless.

The reason this is the case is because van tillian presuppositionalism is supposed to show the necessity of the Christian worldview.

The problem is the format of these arguments attempt to show that the triune God of scripture is true my necessity.

This is where Hanniah the prophet becomes a problem

Hanniah is a false prophet who speaks in the name of the real guy who is mentioned in Jeremiah 28 verses 15 to 17.

Jeremiah accuses him of lying about what God told him and God subsequently executes Hanniah.

The problem here is this proves that you can actually reference and talk about the real God and also tell a false story about the real God.

Against this vantillianism is basically helpless.

For there is nothing in all the world that a Vantillian can do to stop someone from saying

"look I get that there needs to be a solution for the one in the many found in God and it can be a trinity. However I think Jesus predicted a false prophecy and therefore can't be God incarnate"

The vantillion can attempt to do several things from here but all of them fail some examples are:

1. Argue for a necessity of a messiah.
This doesn't work however because if you prove the necessity of a messiah all you've done is prove the basic format of the Jesus story you haven't actually proven that Jesus is the character that actually fulfilled the story.

2. Try to argue from the some kind of timing mechanism from the Bible like Daniel 9.

This might perhaps work against a Jew but it will not work against someone who can be more aggressive against the text.

For example a generic philosophical theist could be absolutely persuaded by a vantillion style argument regarding the one in the many while also believing that the Christian God is real .


However there's no reason to accept that because God solves the one in the many problem that nobody is lying about Moses making a bunch of laws, or that Hezekiah defeated armies, or pretty much all the bible specific content.

This generic theist can just assert he believes in
Pre-biblical revelation, which would be defined as the prerequisite knowledge for being able to read the Bible.

If you did not know how to read or speak you couldn't gain the knowledge of Moses.

Such a man would basically have a minimal theism devoid of third party prophets and angelic messengers.

3. The last recourse of a Vantillian would be to assert somehow I need for these third party profits in order to know these things.

If one were to say you needed these profits in order to know these things because God hadn't revealed to you these things except for the Bible then the argument becomes self refuting.

There are lots of characters in the Bible who predate the Bible who also know things such as Noah from Genesis 9:24, who knew his son saw him naked.

Conclusion:

I'm forced to conclude because of the above that the van till followers really don't have an proof for Christianity.

For Christianity is a claim about what God has done, one of many others which cannot be excluded just because you have belief in the same God.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Hi, there.

Fairly devoted and self-conscious presuppositionalist here. Would you mind restating your post in a more concise and clear way? Your post is just a bunch of lines, and I’m not sure how any of them relate to the others. I’m struggling to find the actual argument being made. The numerous spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors only exacerbate the problem for me.

Thanks!
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
Hi, there.

Fairly devoted and self-conscious presuppositionalist here. Would you mind restating your post in a more concise and clear way? Your post is just a bunch of lines, and I’m not sure how any of them relate to the others. I’m struggling to find the actual argument being made. The numerous spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors only exacerbate the problem for me.

Thanks!
:ditto:
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi, there.

Fairly devoted and self-conscious presuppositionalist here. Would you mind restating your post in a more concise and clear way? Your post is just a bunch of lines, and I’m not sure how any of them relate to the others. I’m struggling to find the actual argument being made. The numerous spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors only exacerbate the problem for me.

Thanks!
I'm terribly sorry I'm doing this on a phone using a voice recognition software because I have nerve damage in my hands autocorrect is a pain and it's hard to manipulate the keys.

The dumb down version of this argument is basically this.

If it is possible to tell false stories about the real God then it follows that someone can believe that Jesus is a false prophet while simultaneously believing in the Christian God.
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
I mean it's really not that hard of a concept...

Prior to Jesus actually being revealed as the Messiah people had an open-ended Messiah options on their hand.

If you just gave a list of names from the New testament to Noah and said one of these guys is the Messiah he wouldn't be able to pick out any of them in a principaled manner.


Noah lacks the essential belief of Christianity that the human named Jesus is the messiah, but he still believes in the same god



Noah not believing that the human person named Jesus was the while believing in the same God means belief that the human person of Jesus was god incarnate is not a prerequisite for believing in the Christian God.
 

jw

Administrator
Don’t care about a perceived problem with Van Til. What teacheth the Scriptures?

Westminster Larger Catechism:

Q. 30. Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A. God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Works; but of his mere love and mercy delivereth his elect out of it, and bringeth them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Grace.

1 Thess. 5:9; Gal. 3:10, 12; Titus 3:4-7; Gal. 3:21; Rom. 3:20-22.

Q. 31. With whom was the covenant of grace made?
A. The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.

Gal. 3:16; Rom. 5:15-21; Isa. 53:10-11.

Q. 32. How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?
A. The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely provideth and offereth to sinners a Mediator, and life and salvation by him; and, requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him, promiseth and giveth his Holy Spirit to all his elect, to work in them that faith, with all other saving graces; and to enable them unto all holy obedience, as the evidence of the truth of their faith and thankfulness to God, and as the way which he hath appointed them to salvation.

Gen. 3:15; Isa. 42:6; John 6:27; 1 John 5:11-12; John 3:16; John 1:12; Prov. 1:23; 2 Cor. 4:13; Gal. 5:22-23; Ezek. 36:27; Jas. 2:18, 22; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Eph. 2:10.

Q. 33. Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?
A. The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same manner, but the administrations of it under the Old Testament were different from those under the New.

2 Cor. 3:6-9.

Q. 34. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?
A. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the passover, and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.

Rom. 15:8; Acts 3:20, 24; Heb. 10:1; Rom. 4:11; 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 8-10, 11:13; Gal. 3:7-9, 14.​

Noah didn’t need a list of names, and didn’t have one, so there’s no dilemma. Everything he needed he had.
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
Don’t care about a perceived problem with Van Til. What teacheth the Scriptures?

Westminster Larger Catechism:

Q. 30. Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?​
A. God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Works; but of his mere love and mercy delivereth his elect out of it, and bringeth them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Grace.​
Q. 31. With whom was the covenant of grace made?​
A. The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.​
Q. 32. How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?​
A. The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely provideth and offereth to sinners a Mediator, and life and salvation by him; and, requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him, promiseth and giveth his Holy Spirit to all his elect, to work in them that faith, with all other saving graces; and to enable them unto all holy obedience, as the evidence of the truth of their faith and thankfulness to God, and as the way which he hath appointed them to salvation.​
Q. 33. Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?​
A. The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same manner, but the administrations of it under the Old Testament were different from those under the New.​
Q. 34. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?​
A. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the passover, and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.​

Noah didn’t need a list of names, and didn’t have one, so there’s no dilemma. Everything he needed he had.
I don't deny these things just so we're clear
 

jw

Administrator
:up: Not implying you deny them, just wondering about your apparent concern. Your definition of Van Til presuppositionalism may be lacking? Simplistic? I'm not particularly Van Tillian, but I am "presuppositional" in that I believe that the Bible alone, and in its entirety is the Word of God.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
If it is possible to tell false stories about the real God then it follows that someone can believe that Jesus is a false prophet while simultaneously believing in the Christian God
So, Van Til was wrong because people can believe in contradictions?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I think there is a simpler problem. Claims like "preconditions of intelligibility" or "you have to presuppose the Trinity" are useless when you deal with most theistic claims and rival Trinitarian groups (Rome, EO, etc).
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
So, Van Til was wrong because people can believe in contradictions?

He wasn't clear on that point. In some places he says the unbeliever only has false knowledge, which is immediately debunked by Romans 1. In his more careful moments he will say that he is operating inconsistently.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
In his more careful moments he will say that he is operating inconsistently.
This true of many of us but given over to a reprobate mind is beyond that. Mankind is actively redefining by turning one thing into something else and having our consciences darkened so that we can not see.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
If it is possible to tell false stories about the real God then it follows that someone can believe that Jesus is a false prophet while simultaneously believing in the Christian God.
I’m not sure how this disproves the validity of presuppositionalism.

P.S. I’m sorry about your nerve damage, brother! Voice recognition is awful.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
I’m not sure how this disproves the validity of presuppositionalism.

P.S. I’m sorry about your nerve damage, brother! Voice recognition is awful.
Yeah, I read this statement as, “people lie, therefore Van Til was wrong.” I’m really confused about the logic.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
This true of many of us but given over to a reprobate mind is beyond that. Mankind is actively redefining by turning one thing into something else and having our consciences darkened so that we can not see.

Here is the problem. In some passages (and they are listed in the Sproul book) he says unbelievers either don't have true knowledge or they have false knowledge. The problem is that Romans 1 says they actually have knowledge of God, but they suppress it. If they only have false knowledge, then why would they suppress that knowledge? They can't suppress what they don't have.
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
Van tills method is supposed to show how all non Christian worldviews entails some kind of contradiction on their own terms.



The problem is there are non-Christian world views that make use of the god of Christianity so somebody can just say okay your God is real and we need a messiah but it's not going to be Jesus.



So if van till wants to prove that Jesus being the Messiah is necessary the only recourse he has is to say "god told me Jesus was the Messiah therefore he is the messiah"


But that's not the transcendental method.

There's no way to prove just by demonstrating the basic format of the Jesus story is necessary for coherence that the Jesus story itself is the historical fulfillment of that format
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Van tills method is supposed to show how all non Christian worldviews entails some kind of contradiction on their own terms.



The problem is there are non-Christian world views that make use of the god of Christianity so somebody can just say okay your God is real and we need a messiah but it's not going to be Jesus.

I see what you are saying now. This actually is an important issue on epistemology. While some Van Tillians like to say that Van Til did hold to a correspondnce theory of truth, he still operated under the post-idealist coherentist model. If one holds to a coherentist model of truth, then it is really hard to say that some w-views are wrong. Some w-views could have a set of claims that a) don't contradict and b) make sense within the entire framework.

Even worse, on a coherentist model of truth, I can take a set of false propositions (the earth is flat, the earth is at the center of the universe, the election was fair) and since none of those propositions contradict each other, my w-view is true.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
The problem is there are non-Christian world views that make use of the god of Christianity so somebody can just say okay your God is real and we need a messiah but it's not going to be Jesus.
This is nonsense. The God of the Bible is the God of Christianity. If you deny who Jesus is according to the Bible, you don’t have the Christian God.
So if van till wants to prove that Jesus being the Messiah is necessary the only recourse he has is to say "god told me Jesus was the Messiah therefore he is the messiah"
God did tell him that.
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
This is nonsense. The God of the Bible is the God of Christianity. If you deny who Jesus is according to the Bible, you don’t have the Christian God.

God did tell him that.
Did Noah know that the human named Jesus was the Son of God incarnate?

If the answer is no then he cannot have the Christian God.

Also if you go to Romans 10 verses 1 and 2 Paul says of the non-believing Jews that they have a zeal for God just not in accordance with righteousness.

Well they can't very well have a zeal for God unless they believe in God
 

jw

Administrator
Did Noah know that the human named Jesus was the Son of God incarnate?

If the answer is no then he cannot have the Christian God.

Also if you go to Romans 10 verses 1 and 2 Paul says of the non-believing Jews that they have a zeal for God just not in accordance with righteousness.

Well they can't very well have a zeal for God unless they believe in God
Noah believed God’s promise, and in the coming Messiah. At Noah’s time of living, Christ was not Godman, so I don’t really understand what you’re getting at.
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
Noah believed God’s promise, and in the coming Messiah. At Noah’s time of living, Christ was not Godman, so I don’t really understand what you’re getting at.
It's essential doctrine for a christian to be able to identify the human person of the messiah.

It's absurd to say "I'm a christian but I don't know who the human person god incarnated as, maybe it was John the Baptist idk"
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I could be wrong, but I believe at the heart of what CVT says is a positive, not a negative, viewpoint of God's design in humanity and the amount of ‘illumination’ - I dont love that word - lets say knowledge of truth received and the divine source of these things.

As Christians, we know that the unbelievers take many things for granted. We know this because God creates all things. So they have faith in many things - they see, they know things, they read, they design things, they are theists, etc..... They may even believe that Jesus was a great man, or may even know that Jesus is the Son of God. They know many good things. All these good, productive things are taken for granted. They are all God given.

Either I dont get CVT or his skeptics are overthinking his brand of apologetics which I think is actually the best way to view the world and meet the skeptic. The only way a skeptic can contemplate anything is cause God gifted him with this ability. This can open up conversation about the fall, etc..... We see but our view is darkened. How darkened is up to the grace of God.
 
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danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
Does any one else ever think they are reading an Alex Jones post when presup is being discussed? I see "vantillian" as "reptilian" once and I can't get it out of my head. Then I'm no longer sure if I'm reading about apologetics and epistemology or a way to defeat the reptilian invaders.

Anyway, carry on.
 

Irenaeus

Puritan Board Freshman
I see what you are saying now. This actually is an important issue on epistemology. While some Van Tillians like to say that Van Til did hold to a correspondnce theory of truth, he still operated under the post-idealist coherentist model. If one holds to a coherentist model of truth, then it is really hard to say that some w-views are wrong. Some w-views could have a set of claims that a) don't contradict and b) make sense within the entire framework.

Even worse, on a coherentist model of truth, I can take a set of false propositions (the earth is flat, the earth is at the center of the universe, the election was fair) and since none of those propositions contradict each other, my w-view is true.
One thing I've learned from arguing with Roman Catholics is that there is considerable internal consistency to what many Roman Catholics believe. You have to accept some starting premises, of course, but once you do, many of Rome's arguments are exceedingly difficult to debunk because they follow from the starting premises in a way that's very difficult to debunk.* Likewise, many other worldviews have just enough internal consistency to be very plausible to the finite human mind. Going astray somewhat, one of the contributors to the fragmentation of society in our present day is precisely this: people have dozens of different worldviews, all with a plausible degree of internal consistency. As a society we have lost our set of shared starting points, and so people with different starting points have worked them out logically in their own heads, resulting in people shouting at each other in what are essentially different languages.

The problem with the argument from consistency is that it is very difficult not to end up denying incomprehensibility. The Christian worldview is the only one that is truly consistent, of course, but in the end you'd have to be God to truly know and understand that. Trying to demonstrate the consistency of Christianity in an understandable way brings with it the temptation to oversimplification. In the end, we're not Christians because it's the only worldview provably consistent in terms that we can understand, but because when the Holy Spirit lays it on our hearts that Christ is Lord, then we see that it couldn't possibly have been any other way.

But we only see it that way because we've accepted (with the help of the Spirit) a specific starting premise. Look at some of the Scriptural proofs for Christ used by Jesus and Paul: on the surface, they are no more convincing and no less apparently arbitrary than some of the "biblical" arguments used by flat-earthers. And in some ways this is a feature not a bug: God shows himself froward with the froward, and Isaiah and many of the parables explicitly express their intention to "veil" the truth from those hardened against it.

After bumbling his way down a series of dead-end trails, Inspector Morse hands a blackmail note to its author and says "It wasn't anyone else; it just had to be you". That's ultimately the case with Christianity. We can't, on our own, prove its superior consistency and necessity in ironclad terms. But we can argue for precisely those things in hopes that the Holy Spirit will be in the room ready to make that connection between our words and another person's heart. And then they can see that it had to be Christ, all along.

*/ramble*

*Granted, the starting premises are flawed, and they allow for a theological system that changes while claiming never to change and contradicts itself while claiming to never contradict itself, but you have to consciously reject the starting premises (including a very specific definition of truth) to be able to see that.
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm terribly sorry I'm doing this on a phone using a voice recognition software because I have nerve damage in my hands autocorrect is a pain and it's hard to manipulate the keys.

The dumb down version of this argument is basically this.

If it is possible to tell false stories about the real God then it follows that someone can believe that Jesus is a false prophet while simultaneously believing in the Christian God.
If you believe that Jesus is a false prophet, you do not believe in the Christian God.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
"Van Til admits that Calvin “did not bring out with sufficient clearness at all times that the natural man is as blind as a mole with respect to natural things as well as with respect to spiritual things.“ Van Til points out that, nevertheless, Calvin lessens the contrast by saying that the unbeliever’s knowledge of earthly things is vanity and that the unbeliever sometimes states true things regarding heavenly matters. Fesko responds by saying that “The problem of Van Til’s analysis is that it contradicts Calvin’s clear statements on the matter. Calvin unmistakably states that the unbelievers are blind with regard to heavenly knowledge but not blind to earthly knowledge” (66-67). But Calvin does not say that unbelievers are “not blind to earthly knowledge.” He does say that their earthly knowledge is vanity and that, concerning the reasoning of unbelievers: “being partly weakened and partly corrupted, a shapeless ruin is all that remains.” Calvin’s position is that fallen reason is not “utterly fruitless,”but it is corrupted.

Likewise, when Van Til says that “the natural man is as blind as a mole with respect to natural things,” he is not denying all knowledge to unbelievers but is saying that the unregenerate have a vision that is “blurred.” And he further says that the unregenerate have a less distorted view of earthly things than heavenly things: “. . . that from an ultimate point of view, the natural man knows nothing truly, but that from a relative point of view he knows something about all things. He knows all things after a fashion, and his fashion is best when he deals with earthly things such as electricity, etc.” The natural man knows nothing truly in the sense that they try to place their knowledge in the false context of a world without God, but, because they actually live in God’s world, they can’t be entirely consistent with their God-denying worldview. “Men can read nature aright only when it is studied as the home of a man who is made in the image of God.”The problem with a sharp distinction between earthly and heavenly knowledge is that atheism has a distorting effect on how atheists understand earthly matters. Since God’s existence is revealed through creation, and since man is in rebellion against God, then unbelievers are compelled to distort earthly things in order to deny heavenly things. The more that atheists try to be consistent with their denial of God (the more that they are “epistemologically self-conscious”), the more that they are going to distort earthly knowledge. Van Til also points out that atheist scientists do no limit their talk to earthly things; they draw all sorts of implications from their scientific studies about reality as a whole. And the Bible does not limit itself to heavenly matters, but speaks of the origin and destiny of the earthly world.
"

"I still need to answer this question: What does Van Til mean by “worldview”? Here is the definition that he gives: “Philosophy, as usually defined, deals with a theory of reality, with a theory of knowledge, and with a theory of ethics. That is to say philosophies usually undertake to present a life and world view.” Covering these three areas gives a comprehensive interpretation of reality: “The Christian life and world view, it was argued, presents itself as an absolutely comprehensive interpretation of human experience.” Note that the Bible is comprehensive in terms of covering the three major branches of philosophy, not in the sense of providing comprehensive knowledge of the world. Greg Bahnsen, by the way, uses the same definition of worldview as Van Til: “The Christian worldview, as Van Til never tired of emphasizing, must be defended as a unity (comprising metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics in an unbreakable system) over against the sinful worldviews of the natural man.” Is it distinctly Kantian to have an integrated system of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics? No. Does having an integrated system of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics entail anti-Christian ideas? No. Does Fesko object to a philosophy that has an integrated view of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics?

Fesko may not object, yet Thomistic philosophy undermines this definition of worldview. Van Til objects that Aquinas tries to integrate an anti-Christian view of all three areas of philosophy into Christianity, making Thomism inadequately integrated. The Thomistic procedure can be described as attempting to use an anti-Christian epistemology to prove Christian metaphysics – namely, the Christian God. (Things aren’t exactly this neat. No philosopher has developed an epistemology without having some concept of metaphysics in view. What we claim exists and how we claim to know what exists are inextricably related issues.) As I have explained, Van Til argues that the Aristotelian epistemology can only lead to an anti-Christian view of metaphysics, not the God of the Bible. If “worldview” seems like an alien concept to Thomists, it is because their philosophy is not integrated. Their distinction between reason and faith, with the first derived from Aristotle and the second derived from the Bible, undermines viewing Christianity as a worldview, having an integrated view of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Van Til says, “Both men [Warfield and Bavinck] view the place of Scripture as imbedded in their total outlook on life. They do not build the first story of their house by reason in order then to add a second story built by faith. Their outlook on life is a living whole. For convenience we speak of this total outlook on reality as a world and life view.” Van Til depicts Thomists as having a two-story house with the first story built from Aristotle’s philosophy, which is then used to reach the second story that is built from the Bible. But the first story is inconsistent with the second story, like a building that provides no way to reach the second floor from the first floor. In fact, the first floor is a collapsing floor because it undermines the possibility of reason, knowledge, and ethics."

".....In conclusion, Fesko and the other Reformed Thomists who endorse his book need to start over from scratch. They don’t understand Van Til’s criticisms of Aquinas. If Van Til misunderstands Aquinas, they haven’t proven it. Or better, they should realize that they didn’t understand Van Til, but now he makes a lot of sense. They should realize that Van Til’s apologetic methodology provides the best answers to the philosophical and evidential claims against Christianity and it best defends the Reformed doctrines of God’s sovereignty, man’s total depravity, and the supremacy of Scripture." - Mike Warren


Hmmm....Mic drop?

The last 15 miutes or so is pretty relevant on CVT....
 
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Irenaeus

Puritan Board Freshman
The problem with that quote is the irony of it all. The burden of proof actually rests on Van Til to defend all the unproven assertions he makes about Thomism. The fourth paragraph is rife with leaps of logic.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
In conclusion, Fesko and the other Reformed Thomists who endorse his book need to start over from scratch. They don’t understand Van Til’s criticisms of Aquinas. If Van Til misunderstands Aquinas, they haven’t proven it. Or better, they should realize that they didn’t understand Van Til, but now he makes a lot of sense. They should realize that Van Til’s apologetic methodology provides the best answers to the philosophical and evidential claims against Christianity and it best defends the Reformed doctrines of God’s sovereignty, man’s total depravity, and the supremacy of Scripture." - Mike Warren

What's really ironic is that CVT almost never interacts with Thomas in any detail. You don't find any serious analysis of key texts in Thomas. Everything Warren says about Fesko applies to CVT's analysis.
 
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