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Archive for the ‘Westminster Seminary’ Category

First off thanks to Jeff Downs for letting me know about these lectures!

Westminster Theological Seminary have these “Seminary on Saturday” series and during April 2017 they had their professor of Apologetics Dr. Scott Oliphint teach.  For those of you who didn’t know Westminster Theological Seminary is the seminary where Cornelius Van Til taught at many years ago who was the founder of Presuppositional apologetics.  Christians must be informed by the Bible in how they do apologetics and that’s one of the plus of this method (among other things).

These lectures took place at Covenant Church in Nashville, TN.

Here are the lectures:

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In the past I have appreciated Dr. Carl Trueman’s teaching on Medieval theology and also the Reformation available through Itunes University.  He’s also written a more practical book on the Reformation for today for the general Christian readers titled Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow by Carl Trueman.

Every year The Master Seminary brings in a scholar to teach for the Winterim and for this year (2017) they have Dr. Trueman of Westminster Theological Seminary taught on the history of the Reformation.

The entire 19 lectures in video form have been made available online for free!

Enjoy!

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Scott Oliphint apologist

Rev. Dr. K. Scott Oliphint (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.  He is a proponent of Presuppositional Apologetics which starts with a high view of the God of the Bible, Scripture and engages in apologetics at the level of worldviews.

He was recently on a show for the “Trinities Podcasts” which was loaded up online two days ago.  The topic: How Christianity Trumps Philosophy.  Readers should beware that not necessarily everything associated with “Trinities Podcasts” is orthodox although Dr. Oliphint who is being interviewed is himself orthodox.  Since our blog has a new wave of readers I would say if you are new to Presuppositional apologetics its better to start with .

Here’s the show as found on Youtube with further description below:

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Common Grace and the Gospel by Cornelius Van Til

Cornelius Van Til. Common Grace and the Gospel.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1972. 233 pp.

This book is a collection of various essays by Reformed apologist and theologian Cornelius Van Til on the topic of common grace.  The writings found in this book spans twenty five years of Van Til’s teaching career.  By common grace we mean God’s unmerited favor shown both towards the believer and nonbeliever.  The subject of common grace has been a topic of no small debate in Reformed circles in the twentieth century (and carries over to the twenty-first century as well).  How the doctrine of common grace is understood or even rejected has implications for other areas of theology beyond the attributes of God such as the area of evangelism, apologetics, and one’s theological view of culture.  Here is Van Til’s contribution to the discussion gathered conveniently in one book.

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Van Til Defender of the Faith An Authorized Biography

William White. Van Til, Defender of the Faith.  Nashville, TN:
Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1979. 233 pp.

The work is primarily a brief biographical sketch of the life of Cornelius Van Til. It is good sometimes for serious disciples of Van Til’s apologetics or those curious to know the background of Van Til’s life and the historical development that led to Van Til’s ideas. Reading this book, one can not help but to think about the soverignty of God as He orchestrated the timing of various Dutch Reformed thinkers who shaped Van Til, and events leading to the founding of Westminster Seminary. The book was not intended to be read as a robust defense of Van Tillian apologetics, but rather as a biography laced with sentimental values antidotes.  However, the two appendix in the book features a good summary outline by Van Til himself of his apologetics, and a paper he delivered that expouse his ideas. Those who are out looking for Van Til’s ideas will find the two appendix to be precious gems.

I must add though that John Frame think this book is rather simplistic concerning its treatment of Van Til’s ideas.  Since it has been a long time since I read this book (I’m posting this review up because it’s been sitting for years on draft) Frame might be right.  This was one of the first biography of Van Til written and since this work was published another one put out by Presbyterian and Reformed has provided a more scholarly biography of him by a capable historian of the OPC.  Nevertheless, I did enjoyed this biography as well for its personal flavor.

Purchase: Amazon

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Should You Believe in God

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This booklet is a part of the “Christian Answers to Hard Questions” series that is put out by P&R Publishing and written by the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary.  In this booklet Westminster Theological Seminary’s professor of apologetics K. Scott Oliphint tackles the question “Should you believe in God?’ and answers with the affirmative.  I was looking forward to the booklet because I wanted to see how would Oliphint summarize his answer to such an important question in a brief and hopefully profound way.  Often when Presuppositionalists talk about God’s existence it is no brief matter!  As I was reading this it reminded me of Cornelius Van Til’s famous booklet, Why I Believe in God, with its conversational tone, anticipating objections and also its content.  Like Van Til, Oliphint addressed the problem of neutrality and “conditioning” of beliefs from one’s upbringing and environment.  Unlike Van Til however, Oliphint’s upbringing was not in an orthodox Christian setting but a religion that teaches works righteousness.  But like Van Til, Oliphint also shows how God is the “All Conditioner” saves us from brute determinism that render everything meaningless and unintelligible.  I appreciated that Oliphint dealt with the question of whether truth is knowable in the beginning of the book and also how he summarizes the Gospel early in the conversation and in the end.  Besides the issue of neutrality Oliphint also tackles the nonbelievers’ assumption of the normalcy of man’s mind and naturalism.  Like Van Til, Oliphint sees that unless one presupposes the God of the Bible, one will eventually find everything meaningless and absurd.  What I like about the book is that it shows in summary what an application of Presuppositional apologetics looks like.  But I would also as a criticism of both Oliphint’s and Van Til’s booklet is that for such a controversial question it is hard to summarize everything in one little booklet.  I remember reading Van Til’s booklet many times and not seeing it—it was only after I read the booklet with Greg Bahnsen’s footnotes and commentaries did I get what Van Til was doing.  Nevertheless, I do recommend the book.

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CarlTrueman

Earlier this month Westminister Theological Seminary has made available for free online on ITunes University their historical theology lecture series on the Reformation.  It is taught by Dr. Carl Trueman.  I am half way through the series and it is pretty good!

Dr. Trueman is a capable scholar and also one who teaches history in a way that is not boring.  He’s conversant with the material at hand, insightful and funny.

One of the things I really got out of the series thus far is the further appreciation for the historical context in which the Reformation took place.  I thought Trueman was also insightful in his observation that Martin Luther was really a Medieval man even as the age of modernity and the Reformation was dawning with Luther as the leader.

You can access the lectures on Itunes by clicking here: The Reformation

Or if you want to access it as an RSS feed click here: RSS

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