Archive | Apologetics RSS feed for this section

Cornelius Van Til – Our World is Not Normal

6 Aug

Van Till

Men are glad to read the utopias that dreamers have dreamed; they are glad even to include the story of Genesis in their repertoire of light reading for leisure hours, but men rebel against being told that their ethical ideals must be judged by the ethical ideals of Adam.

The real meaning of this opposition to the original perfect ethical ideal is nothing short of hatred of the living God. If God does exist as man’s Creator, it is as we have seen, impossible that evil should be inherent in the temporal universe. If God exists, man himself must have brought in sin by an act of wilful transgression. Hence, existence, as it now is, is not normal but abnormal. Accordingly, to maintain that existence, as it now is, is normal, is tantamount to a denial of man’s responsibility for sin, and this in turn makes God responsible for sin, and this simply means that there is no absolute God.

~Cornelius Van Till~




The Defense of the Faith (Phillipsburg, NJ; P&R Publishing; 2008) p. 85.

Books by Cornelius Van Till

Kindle Books

More Van Til Quotes

Charles Hodge – The Existence of Evil and the Glory of God

26 Jul

The Scriptures teach, (1.) That the glory of God is the end to which the promotion of holiness, and the production of happiness, and all other ends are subordinate. (2.) That, therefore, the self-manifestation of God, the revelation of his infinite perfection, being the highest conceivable, or possible good, is the ultimate end of all his works in creation, providence, and redemption. (3.) As sentient creatures are necessary for the manifestation of God’s benevolence, so there could be no manifestation of his mercy without misery, or of his grace and justice, if there were no sin. As the heavens declare the glory of God, so He has devised the plan of redemption, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.” (Eph. iii. 10.) The knowledge of God is eternal life. It is for creatures the highest good. And the promotion of that knowledge, the manifestation of the manifold perfections of the infinite God, is the highest end of all his works. This is declared by the Apostle to be the end contemplated, both in the punishment of sinners and in the salvation of believers. It is an end to which, he says, no man can rationally object. “What if God, willing to show his wrath (or justice), and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that He might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.” (Rom. ix. 22, 23.) Sin, therefore, according the Scriptures, is permitted, that the justice of God may be known in its punishment, and his grace in its forgiveness. And the universe, without the knowledge of these attributes, would be like the earth without the light of the sun.

The glory of God being the great end of all things, we are not obliged to assume that this is the best possible world for the production of happiness, or even for securing the greatest degree of holiness among rational creatures. It is wisely adapted for the end for which it was designed, namely, the manifestation of the manifold perfections of God. That God, in revealing Himself, does promote the highest good of his creatures, consistent with the promotion of his own glory, may be admitted. But to reverse this order, to make the good of the creature the highest end, is to pervert and subvert the whole scheme; it is to put the means for the end, to subordinate God to the universe, the Infinite to the finite. This putting the creature in the place of the Creator, disturbs our moral and religious sentiments and convictions, as well as our intellectual apprehensions of God, and of his relation to the universe.

~Charles Hodge~


Systematic Theology, Vol. 1 (Peabody, MA; Hendrickson Publishers; 2013) p. 435-436

Free PDF
$2.99 Kindle Version

Books by Charles Hodge

Kindle Books

More Quotes by Hodge at The Old Guys

Cornelius Van Til – A Definite Conception of Everything in the Created Universe

15 Jul

Van Till

It is not a sufficient description of Christian theism when we say that as Christians we believe in both the transcendence and the immanence of God while pantheistic systems believe only in the immanence of God and deistic systems believe only in the transcendence of God. The transcendence we believe in is not the transcendence of deism, and the immanence we believe in is not the immanence of pantheism. In the case of deism transcendence virtually means separation, while in the case of pantheism immanence virtually means identification. And if we add separation to identification, we do not have theism as a result. As we mean a certain kind of God when as theists we speak of God, so also we mean a certain kind of transcendence and a certain kind of immanence when we use these terms. The Christian doctrine of God implies a definite conception of the relation of God to the created universe. So also the Christian doctrine of God implies a definite conception of everything in the created universe.

~Cornelius Van Till~




The Defense of the Faith (Phillipsburg, NJ; P&R Publishing; 2008) p. 32.

Books by Cornelius Van Till

Kindle Books

More Van Til Quotes

Cornelius Van Til – Bible Based Theism

11 Jul

Van Till

To engage in philosophical discussion does not mean that we begin without Scripture. We do not first defend theism philosophically by an appeal to reason and experience in order, after that, to turn to Scripture for our knowledge and defense of Christianity. We get our theism as well as our Christianity from the Bible.

~Cornelius Van Till~




The Defense of the Faith (Phillipsburg, NJ; P&R Publishing; 2008) p. 28-29.

Books by Cornelius Van Till

Kindle Books

More Van Til Quotes

Old Guy Kindle Deals: Apologetics Edition

9 Jul



Christian Apologetics Past & Present: A Primary Source Reader: Vol. 1
ed. by William Edgar &; K. Scott Oliphint
Kindle Price: $3.99



Christian Apologetics Past & Present: A Primary Reader: Vol. 2.
ed. by William Edgar &; K. Scott Oliphint
Kindle Price: $3.99



Why I Believe in God
Cornelius Van Til
Kindle Price: $.99



Nature and Scripture
Cornelius Van Til
Kindle Price: $.99

Herman Bavinck – Is It Really Possible to Speak of God In Our Human Ways?

28 Jun

If as humans we may not speak of God in a human and analogical manner, we have no choice but to be silent. To think and speak divinely of God is beyond us. But then all religion implodes. If God cannot be known, neither can he be felt and, in that feeling, enjoyed. Feeling is as finite as the intellect and finitizes and humanizes God in the same way. No possibility then exists either of God revealing himself objectively in his creatures or of us subjectively perceiving him by any organ. All religion, then, is sacrilege and all theology blasphemy.

Given this outcome, the question concerning God’s knowability has been reduced to another question, namely, whether God has willed and found a way to reveal himself in the domain of creatures.

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 2: God and Creation (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2004) p. 50.

Books by Herman Bavinck

Kindle Books

Biography of Herman Bavinck

More Bavinck Quotes

Herman Bavinck – Does Our Knowledge Limit God?

25 Jun

Our knowledge does not limit God because (1) it is grounded in him, (2) can only exist through him, and (3) especially has as its object and content God as the infinite One.

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 2: God and Creation (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2004) p. 49.

Books by Herman Bavinck

Kindle Books

Biography of Herman Bavinck

More Bavinck Quotes

John Calvin – Suppressing the Truth About God

22 Jun

The signs of immortality which have been implanted in man cannot be effaced. Now what reason would there be to believe that man is divine and not to recognize his Creator? Shall we, indeed, distinguish between right and wrong by that judgment which has been imparted to us, yet will there be no judge in heaven? Will there remain for us even in sleep some remnant of intelligence, yet will no God keep watch in governing the world? Shall we think ourselves the inventors of so many arts and useful things that God may be defrauded of his praise even though experience sufficiently teaches that what we have has been unequally distributed among us from another source?

~John Calvin~






The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, KY; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) Vol. 1.5.5. p. 57.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

Herman Bavinck – Is the State of Religion Hopeless?

29 Oct

Let me grant, in the first place, that the believer cannot cite a deeper ground for revelation than its divine authority, which he or she recognizes by faith. But this is not to say that believers have nothing to say to the opponents of that revelation. True: they have no airtight proofs; they cannot move the opponent toward faith; but they have at least as much to say in defending as the opponent has in attacking scriptural authority. Unbelief, too, is rooted, not in proofs and arguments, but in the heart. In this respect believers and unbelievers are in exactly the same position. Their convictions are integrally bound up with their whole personality and are only a posteriori supported by proofs and arguments. And now, when the two parties oppose each other with these a posteriori proofs and arguments, the position of believers is not less favorable than that of unbelievers. God is sufficiently knowable to those who seek him and also sufficiently hidden to those who run away from him. “There is enough light for those who only desire to see and enough darkness for those of a contrary disposition. There is enough clarity to illumine the elect and enough darkness to humble them. There is enough darkness to render the reprobate sightless and enough clarity to condemn them and to render them inexcusable.” The state of religion, theism, revelation, and Scripture is not as hopeless as science has for years wanted us to believe.

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 590.

Books by Herman Bavinck

Kindle Books by Herman Bavinck

Biography of Herman Bavinck

More Bavinck Quotes

Herman Bavinck – The Blessing of Apologetics

20 Jul

Apologetics cannot precede faith and does not attempt a priori to argue the truth of revelation. It assumes the truth and belief in the truth. It does not, as the introductory part or as the foundational science, precede theology and dogmatics. It is itself a theological science through and through, which presupposes the faith and dogmatics and now maintains and defends the dogma against the opposition to which it is exposed. Thus understood, apologetics is not only perfectly justified but a science that at all times, but especially in this century, deserves to be seriously practiced and can spread rich blessing all around. First of all, it has the immediate advantage of forcing Christian theology to take deliberate account of the grounds on which it is based, of the principles on which it is constructed, and of the content it has within itself. It brings Christian theology out of the shadows of the mysticism of the human heart into the full light of day. Apologetics, after all, was the first Christian science. Secondly, it teaches that Christians, even though they cannot confer faith on anyone, need not hide from their opponents in embarrassed silence. With their faith they do not stand as isolated aliens in the midst of the world but find support for it in nature and history, in science and art, in society and state, in the heart and conscience of every human being. The Christian worldview alone is one that fits the reality of the world and of life. And finally, if it seriously and scrupulously performs its task, it will very definitely succeed in impressing opponents with the truth of Christian revelation, refuting and silencing them. It cannot truly convert people to God. Not even the preaching of the gospel is able to do that; only God, by his Spirit, can accomplish that. But subject to this working of God, and as a means in his hand, apologetics, like the ministry of the Word, can be a source of consummate blessing. For this fact the early centuries of Christianity offer abundant evidence.

~Herman Bavinck~


Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 515.

Books by Herman Bavinck

Biography of Herman Bavinck

More Bavinck Quotes