/ Gentle Reformation

Timely Remarks from an Old Voice

Cornelius Van Til, an influential Reformed thinker in the 20th century, penned this insightful words:

"Here then are the marks of the natural man in his attitude toward the interpretation of the facts (events) of the world:

(1) He thinks of himself as the ultimate judge of  what can or cannot be.  He will not allow any authority to stand above him revealing to him what may or may not have happened in the past or what may or may not happen in the future.

(2) This assertion or assumption of autonomy on the part of man makes a covert, if not an overt, assertion about the nature of God.  God (it is assumed if not asserted) cannot be of such a nature as to control any and all phenomena.

(3) These two assertions or assumptions imply a third: that man's thought is, in the final analysis, absolutely original.  Whatever his ultimate environment may be, the area of interpretation that man makes for himself will be true for him because his thought is in effect legislative with respect to that environment.

(4) The facts of man's environment are not created or controlled by the providence of God.  They are brute facts, uninterpreted and ultimately irrational.  The universe is a Chance controlled universe.  It is a wholly open universe.  Yet, at the same time, it is a closed universe.  It is so in this sense: it cannot be what Christ says it is, namely, created, governed, and redeemed by him.  In this one respect the cosmos is closed- there can be no such God as the Bible reveals.  This is the universal negative of the open-minded men of philosophy and science." [Van Til's Apologetic, Readings and Analysis, page 310]