Cornelius Van Til Quotes

Cornelius Van Til (May 3, 1895 – April 17, 1987) was a Christian philosopher and Reformed theologian, who is credited as being the originator of modern presuppositional apologetics.

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Cornelius Van Til



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The Bible is authoritative on everything of which it speaks. Moreover, it speaks of everything.

Cornelius Van Til


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The picture of fallen man as given in Scripture is that he knows God but does not want to recognize Him as God.

Cornelius Van Til


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Agnosticism is epistemologically self-contradictory on its own assumptions because its claim to make no assertion about ultimate reality rests upon a most comprehensive assertion about ultimate reality.

Cornelius Van Til


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The only proof for the existence of God is that without God you couldn't prove anything.

Cornelius Van Til


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It is not kindness to tell patients that need strong medicine that nothing serious is wrong with them.

Cornelius Van Til


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If one does not make human knowledge wholly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man, then man will have to seek knowledge within himself as the final reference point. Then he will have to seek an exhaustive understanding of reality. He will have to hold that if he cannot attain to such an exhaustive understanding of reality he has no true knowledge of anything at all. Either man must then know everything or he knows nothing. This is the dilemma that confronts every form of non-Christian epistemology

Cornelius Van Til


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So, as we have our tea, I propose not only to operate on your heart so as to change your will, but also on your eyes so as to change your outlook. But wait a minute. No, I do not propose to operate at all. I myself cannot do anything of the sort. I am just mildly suggesting that you are perhaps dead, and perhaps blind, leaving you to think the matter over for yourself. If an operation is to be performed it must be performed by God Himself.

Cornelius Van Til


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To admit one's own presuppositions and to point out the presuppositions of others is therefore to maintain that all reasoning is, in the nature of the case, circular reasoning. The starting-point, the method, and the conclusion are always involved in one another.

Cornelius Van Til


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I shall not convert you at the end of my argument. I think the argument is sound. I hold that belief in God is not merely as reasonable as other belief, or even a little or infinitely more probably true than other belief; I hold rather that unless you believe in God you can logically believe in nothing else.

Cornelius Van Til


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He [Christ] came to bring peace, to be sure, but the peace that He came to bring must be built upon the complete destruction of the power of darkness.

Cornelius Van Til


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When man thinks in self-conscious submission to the voluntary revelation of the self-sufficient God, he has therewith the only possible ground of certainty for his knowledge.

Cornelius Van Til


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Without the interpretation of the universe by man to the glory of God the whole world would be meaningless

Cornelius Van Til


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There are those, of course, who deny that they need any form of authority. They are the popular atheists and agnostics. Such men say that they must be shown by 'reason' whatever they are to accept as true. But the great thinkers among non-Christian men have taken no such position. They know that they cannot cover the whole area of reality with their knowledge.

Cornelius Van Til


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