It was Dr. Kenneth Talbot who first introduced me to the writings of Gordon Clark.
In seminary I had been taught the Van Tilian system of apologetics, and in comparison with evidentialism, it seemed to be a breath of fresh air. Further, as one Reformed scholar assured me: “To be Reformed is to be Van Tilian, and to be Van Tilian is to be Reformed.”
Yet, as impolitic as it was to challenge the teachings of Dr. Van Til, his system left me without answers to far too many questions; it produced a strange melange of logical antinomies.
How can one be a presuppositionalist and still believe that there are proofs for the existence of God?
How can one be in the orthodox camp of Christianity and maintain that the God of Scripture is both one person and three persons?
How can one read and understand the Scriptures if there are so many humanly irresolvable contradictions in them?
How can one stand for the Christian faith and at the same time endorse a form of irrationalism?
The answer to all of my questions was simple: One can’t. And neither does one have to. It was Gordon Clark, who pointed this out.
But it is not only Clark who has seen the errors in Van Til’s teachings. Drs. Robert Reymond (Preach the Word! (Edinburgh: Rutherford House, 1988), 16-35.) and Ronald Nash have also recognized the irrationalism of Van Til. And it is Clark’s disciple, Dr. John Robbins, who has given us the fullest criticism of Van Tilianism to date.
In the opinion of this writer, an honest reading of Robbins’ book, followed by a serious study of both Van Til’s and Clark’s works, will convince the reader that Van Tilianism is an error. There are few, however, who are willing to study the issue seriously. They have already made up their minds, and their attitude seems to be, “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”
Yes, I have come across this mindset a few times.