The Reformation of Apologetics, Session #2
Reformed Forum 2017 Theology Conference
Hope Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Download the handouts.
Participants: K. Scott Oliphint
K. Scott Oliphint speaks about the incomprehensibility of God as detailed in his book, The Majesty of Mystery: Celebrating the Glory of an Incomprehensible God (Lexham Press). As creatures, we will never and can never comprehend fully God’s mysteries. Indeed, this must even be an epistemological and methodological starting point. Standing upon this biblically-based notion of mystery, Dr. Oliphint drives us to doxology—to worship our glorious God.
K. Scott Oliphint, Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, explains the role of evidences in a Reformed apologetic by turning to Cornelius Van Til’s book Christian-Theistic Evidences. Dr. Oliphint provides a foreword and explanatory notes in this re-typeset syllabus, originally from Cornelius Van Til’s Christian Evidences class at Westminster Seminary. As he addresses unbelieving philosophies of science, Van Til presents an uncompromising Christian philosophy and methodology for defending the faith that presupposes the absolute authority of the triune God of Scripture.
Today we speak with Dr. K. Scott Oliphint, Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about Cornelius Van Til’s book Common Grace and the Gospel (P&R Publishing). Dr. Oliphint has annotated a new edition of Van Til’s important work. In the trajectory of other recently annotated volumes of Van Til, such as The Defense of the Faith and An Introduction to Systematic Theology, this edition will help readers to understand the ecclesiastical and theological context of Van Til’s work and its enduring value.
Dr. K. Scott Oliphint examines the Reformed tradition’s understanding of the Son as a se. In his assessment, much of the tradition relies upon unsatisfactory formulations offered by Thomas Aquinas. Oliphint encourages Reformed theologians to “tear away the tares of Thomism” in this first plenary address at Reformed Forum’s 2014 Theology Conference.
Philosophy poses questions and problems that are often thought to undermine Christian faith. Christians need not shy away from these discussions. There is ‘philosophical good news for the Christian,’ says K. Scott Olipint. The Christian position is ‘not simply a plausible alternative,’ but ‘the consistent, cogent, and altogether reasonable position that is able to offer solutions to the problems posed.’
The purpose of this collection of essays is to set in the foreground the necessity of exegetical and theological foundations for any Reformed, Christian apologetic. A Reformed apologetic is only Reformed to the extent that its tenets, principles, methodology, etc. are formed and re-formed by Scripture.
It is our hope that this book will demonstrate the necessity of the truth of Scripture, and the implications of that truth, for apologetics. These essays are meant to spell out more clearly the need for, and the beauty of, an apologetic surrounded by the rich truths of the Reformed faith.