How many of us Van Tillians have read the men CvT critiqued?

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by BayouHuguenot, Mar 1, 2015.

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  1. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I say this as a friendly outsider to the Van Til school. My own epistemology is a marriage of both the Dutch tradition and the Scottish tradition. How many of us have read the men Van Til critiqued? I have in mind Butler, Paley, Hackett, Locke, and Kant? I know Van Til read these guys and that's partly why he was able to do great things.

    I am working through Locke right now and I plan to start Hackett soon.
     
  2. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    Ive read through Locke and Kant.
     
  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I have about 1,000 more pages in Aquinas to go. I'v read through Gordon Clark :lol:
     
  4. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    My condolences. I've read extensively in Barth at this point.
     
  5. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    You know I must say, this may be off thread but I'll try to keep it in line, that it doesn't seem to me that Clarkians have adapted his insights in reading contemporary philosophy like Vantillians have. Bahnsen, Oliphint and others have "translated" Van Til's thought into contemporary thinking but the same may not not be able to be said for Clark, Carl Henry and Ronald Nash as possible exceptions here. For instance if you were to claim, as Clark did, that if you claim to know anything through your senses than you must embrace Empiricism, the idea that all knowledge comes through the senses, wouldn't fly in today's thinking. Just because I claim to know one thing through my senses doesn't mean I claim to know all things through my senses.

    But Clark was a brilliant guy and had much to teach us. He was wrong on a lot but had much to teach us. I think overall we should compare how Clark or Van Til read anyone to see how accurate they were. I wonder Philip (or anyone else) how accurate do you find the Reformed tradition, and Van Til in particular, in its understanding of Barth? To anyone do they feel that Van Til or Vantillians have consistently read anyone in particular wrong?
     
  6. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I like Clark's commentary on the confession (it's not anywhere near the best, but it's folksy at points) and his early treatment of Greek Philosophy is spot-on. Clark's better disciple, Carl Henry, is a personal hero of mine (even if I disagree).

    The only Clarkian who has "translated" to the modern times is Ronald Nash.
     
  7. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    Yeah that is a shame. It seems to me, and I could totally be off base here, that his thought was good at points but got stranger as he developed. Van Til from what Dr. Oliphint has said regarded Clark as a better philosopher than him, towards the end of his life. I think Van Til thought the same way about Dooyeweerd as well. That's just speculation though. You know I joined this site over a decade ago under a different name and I was very anti Van Til. I stopped coming on for personal reasons but in that time as I read more philosophy and theology while studying Van Til I became a Vantillian. So appreciate your post because for me it was in reading those whom he disagreed with and his criticisms of them that brought me into his fold. But you raise a good point thanks for bringing it up.
     
  8. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    What was your screenname back then (you can PM me if you want)? Clark's philosophy is mostly fine, except for his views on evidence. I think his rejection of analogical knowledge meant he had to keep distancing himself from the Reformed tradition (most Clarkians will not agree with Bavinck).
     
  9. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    Philosoper82 i believe it was.
     
  10. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    I'm still on the fence on this. My impression is that Barth's ontology is unstable, but that may be because he simply doesn't want to go back to liberalism and has an unfair assessment of the ontology of classical theism. As it is, Barth gets awfully close, but there's enough problems that you get multiple alternative trajectories, some more traditional (Bonhoeffer, Torrance, Rahner) and some less so (Tillich, Bultmann) and some simply difficult to categorize (Pannenberg, Moltmann). Barth is genuinely trying to recover orthodoxy, but he sees evangelicalism as buying into a number of problematic ontological assumptions. I disagree with that assessment, but I see why he comes to that conclusion.

    I'm not so sure. I think his whole philosophy belongs in the era of logical positivism, with Scripture inserted in place of verification. Even his ontology has more in common with Leibniz than with Scripture and while, granted, the same could be said of Edwards, it is without Edwards' redeeming features.
     
  11. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    I'm not sure how close he came, Barth, to orthodoxy but I think he tried. He is most certainly not Reformed though. I think he started from a bad P.O.V. and did his best. But he nevertheless ended up wrong.
     
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    One thought:
    1) Barth never claimed to be fully Reformed. He criticized the post-Reformation tradition in II.1 for not carrying Calvin's insights further (and partly faulted Calvin, too).
     
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