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The Defense of the Faith

The Defense of the Faith

by Cornelius Van Til
Restoring the full text of the original 1955 work, this annotated edition sets forth and explains a method of apologetics that is consistent with the nature of Christianity.


Restoring the full text of the original 1955 work, this annotated edition sets forth and explains a method of apologetics that is consistent with the nature of Christianity.

Editorial Reviews

John M. Frame
Cornelius Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith (1955) was his first published apologetic, therefore of great importance to Van Til interpreters. But for many it was difficult, even bewildering. Van Til’s vocabulary was not only philosophical, but idealist, at a time when idealism was no longer in vogue. And many of Van Til’s conversation partners and critics were not widely known then, and are even less known today. So later editions greatly abridged the Defense, with loss of valuable content. But now the original version is back, with Scott Oliphint’s excellent introduction and many explanatory footnotes. Now Van Til becomes much more understandable, and his opponents too. The dialogues between Van Til and the other figures become really exciting again. How stimulating it must have been to have been part of that dialogue in the early days of Reformed apologetics! We need that stimulus now, even more than they did in the 1950s, if we are to deal with unbelief in a God-honoring way.
William Edgar
If Cornelius Van Til is the most original apologist of the twentieth century, The Defense of the Faith is arguably his most important book. This new edition provides an enormous service to the reader. The somewhat challenging the text is abundantly illuminated by Scott Oliphint, who is no doubt the leading expert on Van Til in our times.
Michael S. Horton
As an assigned text in my introductory systematics course, The Defense of the Faith typically meets with a combination of frustration and delight. Frustrating because Van Til often engages ideas, terms, and conversation partners unknown to contemporary (especially non-Reformed) readers, this work also has a cumulatively delightful effect in exposing the pretensions of human autonomy and the grandeur of God’s sovereign grace. In his careful, thorough, and sympathetic notes, Professor Oliphint has done us all a tremendous service: turning down the frustration and turning up the delight!

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Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing
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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

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. Among his best-known titles are The Defense of the Faith, A Christian Theory of Knowledge, and An Introduction to Systematic Theology.

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