Review: Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman by John Muether

I had the delightful opportunity read and review John Muether’s new biography of one of Christianity’s most important thinkers. Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman is fantastic. Check out my review and then buy the book!


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5 responses to “Review: Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman by John Muether

  1. Brandon

    Thanks for the review. Be careful about letting Meuther determine your understanding of Van Til. His accuracy as an historian has been called into question, especially in regards to his reporting of the Clark controversy.

    Here are two links to give you a little more information. I very highly recommend reading John Robbins short book Can the OPC Be Saved? That very seriously challenges Meuther’s accuracy as an historian.

    Thin Skinned

    Rusted Memories

  2. Ian

    Hi Brandon,
    Thank you for commenting and sending the links. In the last couple of years I have read through Robbins’ critiques of Westminster, the OPC and Van Til with great interest.
    My feelings about Muether’s book – and his historiography – remain intact however.
    God bless!

  3. D.R. Brooker

    Hi Ian….

    I just read your review (well written btw) and probably not surprisingly :) I echo Brandon’s thoughts. Did Muether really imply this:

    “Instead of viewing Van Til in a negative light, one comes away from reading the section on Clark having learned a key pastoral insight from Van Til: the appropriate way to deal lovingly with a brother in error.”

    In short, Clark applied for ordination in the OPC. Van Til and Westminster brought charges. Clark was examined and ordained and the charges deemed without merit. The historical record on this is quite explicit. I honestly wanted to pick this book up but this is quite a blunder if that’s an accurate account of Muether’s “history.”

  4. Brandon

    D. R. Brooker,

    Take a look at the two links in my comment for a more detailed examination of Meuther’s claims.

  5. Ian

    Hey Darrin – somehow I knew you’d comment! :) Read Muether and let me know your thoughts – I’d be interested to hear them. I found Muether to be sound. There was nothing in what he wrote where I thought “Aha, a Clarkian would jump all over this!” In fact, I was delightfully surprised.
    As an aside, I’m thankful for your various Clark recommendations over the years. I’ve picked up and enjoyed his Thales to Dewey and Ancient Philosophy. Those will now be standard references on my shelf.
    It’d be great to grab coffee sometime.

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