Book review: Why I believe in God, by Cornelius Van Til.

As a part of the thrilling challenge that I’ve made with creationist Mark Tetzlaff to read Richard Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth,” I agreed to read two Christian books of his choice. I put no pressure on him to decide which books. He chose ones that I assume speak to him, his intelligence, and his cause. I’m still working to complete the first book, “Evolution, the Grand Experiment” by Dr. Carl Werner. The second book, “Why I believe in God,” by Cornelius Van Til arrived Friday in the mail, and I decided I needed a little change of pace, so I went ahead and read it.

For the record, I read “Why I believe in God” out loud, word for word, in my kitchen, and read a couple pages four and five times. I read it out loud because I wanted to really digest its words, not because I’m a poor reader. I typically read fast, but I wanted to carefully examine Van Til’s message.

For a bio on Van Til, go check out his wiki. He’s Dutch by birth and moved here with his family at a young age. Everyone knows I hate Dutch people, so the book didn’t go over very well with me.

Honk.


No really, after I started reading it, I had to double check that the author of the book wasn’t my dad. He grew up in Holland as well, and moved here with his family at a young age. He was born in 1895 (so was my dad). I have no idea how old Van Til was when he wrote this book. By the looks of the picture on the cover, he was 10,000 years old.

It’s a short read, just 16 pages. And if you’re wondering what it’s about, well, you’re an idiot.

No. Not really.

The book argues why Van Til believes in god, and proposes you should, too. Well, maybe not you. But he is talking to an imaginary or hypothetical person during the length of the book. Van Til kept referring to the person as “you,” as in the reader, but this guy and I have little in common. Van Til’s imaginary reader is a life-long non-believer.

Let’s name Van Til’s imaginary friend. We’ll call him, Josh.

From what I gather, Josh doesn’t believe in god. He grew up with parents who didn’t impose the Christian god (or any god) on him. By Van Til’s own admission, Josh is open-minded and a freethinker.

Van Til opens his discussion saying that scientific and philosophical developments have successfully pointed to the existence of god. Van Til’s work is done. He closes the book and has his wife bring him a cocktail and a cigar. God exists and science proves it.

Oh wait, Van Til needs to continue despite “proof”. His second paragraph on why he believes in god, Van Til says to Josh:

Have you, too, on occasion asked yourself whether death ends all? Have you recalled, perhaps, how Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, struggled with that problem the day before he drank the hemlock cup? Is there anything at all, you ask yourself, to the idea of a judgement after death? Am I quite sure, you say, that there is not? How do I know that there is no God.”

Van Til decides that the best way to proceed is to compare notes with Josh over their origins. “Perhaps you think that the only real reason I have for believing in God,” explains Van Til, “is the fact that I was taught to do so in my early days.” He assures Josh that is not true. Rest assured, Van Til has heard a “pretty full statement of the argument against belief in God, and it is after having heard that argument that I am more than ever ready to believe in God.”

He says, “I feel that the whole of history and civilization would be unintelligible  to me if it were not for my belief in God. So true is this, that I propose to argue that unless God is back of everything, you cannot find meaning in anything.”

Van Til says that he can’t argue about god’s existence without taking him for granted, and that Josh can’t argue against god without taking god for granted. That makes sense, and let me show you why. Out of curiosity, I looked up the idiom “take for granted“. A lot came up. The common definition is “assumption of truth.”

For example, say you’re young and married and your spouse passes. You might say, “I took for granted that she’d always be here.” The tendency for the human mind is to assume the truth, whether it’s true or not. One definition of “take for granted” said, “take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof.”

It’s clear that Van Til means “take god for granted” in this same sense, because he “assumes” throughout the rest of the argument that god exists, and never once considers his argument from the standpoint that he may not exist.

Van Til is the master of wishful thinking, but his god forgot to provide better proof.

According to Van Til, to assume that god doesn’t exist is a fallacy, and this argument relies on the very fact that he exists, whether we agree or disagree. Van Til declares himself the argument winner on the first page of the book.

In fact, explains Van Til, if you and I argue over whether or not air exists, the entire time we are arguing, we are breathing air. So if we’re talking about god, you and I are talking about something that exists whether both or one of us is convinced. That’s the early 1900s illustration he has come up with.

We know that oxygen is measurable and is a definitive resource necessary for existence. God is not measurable. He is not necessary for existence. If he were, I’d have been dead 10 years ago when I let him go.

“Or to use another illustration,” Van Til explains, “God is like the emplacement on which must stand the very guns that are supposed to shoot Him out of existence. However, if after hearing my story briefly you still think it is all a matter of heredity and environment, I shall not disagree too violently [phew!]. My whole point will be that there is perfect harmony between my belief as a child and my belief as a man, simply because God is Himself the environment by which my early life was directed and my later life made intelligible to myself.”

Clearly, Van Til is clearly being clear. One of my favorite songs my brother wrote is called “Certainly Uncertain.” Maybe he based the song off of reading this book.

Van Til briefly says that Josh may have heard of the “accident of birth.” He says that since we can agree that Josh was born in America, which is a “Christian Civilization,” we all have a clear idea of the Christian god we’re speaking about.

Here’s where your indignation may be righteous. We live in a country where people are free to worship or not worship whatever they like, and Cornelius Van Til assumes that being bon in America means we can say the word god and know quite definitely what or to whom we are all referring.

He assumes also that if he were talking about being born in Afghanistan, that I would immediately know who Allah was based on my knowledge of the Muslim God.

He says (note: I broke up the following sentences with Jeremy commentary in brackets), “So much then we have gained. [have we?] We at least know in general what sort of God we are going to make the subject for our conversation. [do we?] If now we can come to a similar preliminary agreement as to the standard or test by which to prove or disprove God’s existence, we can proceed.”

This is where my whistle was whetted. He’s going to prove the existence of god!

Van Til says, “You, of course, do not expect me to bring God into the room here so that you may see Him. If I were able to do that, He would not be the God of Christianity.”

To be clear, Josh is a non-believer talking to Van Til. Josh knows that the Christian god cannot be ushered into the room for proof, because Josh already knows this is impossible based on his preconceptions of the god of the “Christian Civilization.”

Van Til is really good at taking things for granted.

Van Til explains that he believes in god and therefore believes he is god’s creature. Josh does not believe, but that still makes Josh god’s creature. No matter how Josh looks at it, god exists. Josh can’t escape god, a being who Van Til hasn’t really explained yet.

Josh could throw a complete temper tantrum and scream, “I am NOT GOD’S CREATURE!!!” But that wouldn’t be sufficient. Josh is god’s creature no matter what.

What do we know at this point? Van Til learned about god when he was a toddler, and now he still believes in him. Americans believe in this being too. In fact, if you’re American, you probably have an idea of who this god is. He’s not a physical being that can be led into a room. That’s not the Christian god. He’s as real as air, or he is the pedestal that we shoot at. Oh, and Van Til takes him for granted and so should you.

Van Til uses an eighth of his book to bore us with is background

Yawner time, Van Til describes his youth. He went to a parochial school. He and his buddies fought with the public schoolers. He describes being taught about Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. He says god was the kind of thing his parents talked about from time to time. He says that one time he slept outside in a servant’s quarters by a cow barn, and that his mind played tricks on him all night. He said that his knowledge of Jesus let him dispel any ideas that ghosts or bad people existed that might harm him, because Jesus died on the cross and saved him.

Seems logical.

Wait, what?

Van Til says that he was conditioned to believe in God, because his environment was a Christian one, and influences conditioned his mind. How could he not believe. He was conditioned after all.

I can’t figure out how arguing for the existence of god based on conditioning is a positive thing.

He says that Josh may have been raised by his parents to be a freethinker, and they read to him from the bible of the world. Van Til says that Josh was conditioned not to believe, and therefore views life through non-belief-tinted glasses. Is this really a bad thing?

Van Til blathers about his youth some more. You’d think he would do more convincing of god’s existence, but there isn’t any of that here. He compares his upbringing more with Josh’s. He says that Josh must have gone to a “neutral” school.

He argues that having a “neutral” bias just means Josh has an anti-Christian bias. Van Til says, “At least it ought to be plain that he who is not for the God of Christianity is against him.”

Wait, did George Bush write under the surname of Cornelius Van Til?

Van Til says that the whole world belongs to god. He says, Josh belongs to god too. He said that it is a failure to not “own” up to the reality of god. Here’s where things get creepy and why I chose to name the imaginary person to whom Van Til is speaking.

“You dare not manipulate God’s world, and least of all yourself as His image-bearer, for your own final purposes. When Eve in the garden of Eden became neutral as between God and the Devil, weigh in the contentions of each as though they were equal value, she was already on the side of the devil,” says Van Til.

Then he says, “I see you don’t care for this turn of our conversation. Still, you are open-minded and neutral, are you not? You have learned to think any hypothoesis has, as a theory of life, an equal right to be heard with any other, have you not? After all, I am only asking you to see what is involved in the Christian conception of God. If the God of Christianity exists, the evidence for His existence is abundant and plain so that it is both unscientific and sinful not to believe in him.”

Some of my readers may remember someone named “Prophet Lady” whom I had to ban. She was a complete loony toon, and I found out that she was praying for the death of a terminally ill person. Well, she told me over and over that I should believe in god, because she spoke in tongues and understood it when others did it. She told me that I should believe in prophecy, because she has prophesied.

Anyone can make a HUGE claim, and say, “Believe me, it happened.” That’s the way you convince a child. You can’t pull that shit with me.

Van Til argues more about having tinted glasses that prevent belief, because of conditioning. He says that he is going to change Josh’s perspective by breaking down preconceived notions that are dirtying his belief in god. And he repeats that he’s heard different arguments for the case against god, but he doesn’t tell Josh (or us) what those arguments are. You can look them up for yourselves apparently.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that when Mark Tetzlaff’s influences of scholarship are this lousy, that he would think that Van Til’s and Dr. Werner’s forms of scholarship are admirable. It’s like riding in a horse-driven carriage and thinking it’s the best, fastest, most comfortable way to travel, but when it comes down to it, there are better, faster, more comfortable, more advanced and definitely more exciting ways to get from point A to point B. When your standards are low, the rosy-tinted glasses you wear view crap like this as legitimate.

Van Til address the four principles for belief are creation, providence, prophecy and miracles. He says out of politesse toward non-believers, Christians have backed off from being too pushy, and their arguments aren’t nearly as compelling. They’ve turned to “testimony”. He says, “After all, God is not found at the end of an argument. He is found in our hearts.”

Van Til also says that we should believe because experiential recommendations. If you say, “I’m cold, shut the windows and put on the heat.” I would have to believe you just as much as if you said, “I was praying and I felt the hand of god.”

“If I have offended you,” says Van Til, “it has been because I dare not, even in the interest of winning you, offend my God. And if I haven’t offended you, I have not spoken of my God.” He then says if you aren’t offended, it’s because the atheist has determined himself to be god.

Yawn. When are Christians going to stop using this stupid line? Van Til hasn’t accurately defined what god is, and yet he’s saying that his readers think they are gods. I don’t think of myself as god. My wife doesn’t think of herself as god.

He says that of course he doesn’t think you’d create an elephant or a tree (like god). Josh is accused of the color-tinted glasses again.

Instead of owning up to failure, Van Til gets more and more childish. He says, “Deep down in your heart you know very well that what I have said is true. You know there is no unity in your life. You want no God who by his counsel provides for the unity you need.”

Desperate much? He is unable to convince with his juvenile stories of all-powerful conditioning, so he resorts to the juvenile and hypnotic, “Deep down you know I’m right. Come on, honey baby. It’s great. Everyone’s doing it. Without god, you won’t be unified. Come on baby, take a hit.”

Van Til says, “So I readily grant that there are some ‘difficulties’ with respect to belief in God and his revelation in nature and Scripture that I cannot solve,” says Van Til. He explains that there is mystery in god, but without god is chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos.

“So you see when I was young I was conditioned on every side. I could not help believing in God. Now that I am older, I still cannot help believing in God. I believe in God now because unless I have Him as the All Conditioner, life is chaos.”

Van Til finally wraps up his little book about why he believes  saying that it’s not that there aren’t other beliefs that are better, or more or less probable than Christianity, it’s that if you don’t believe in god, you can believe in nothing else. He says that science, psychology, logicians and bible critics could authoritatively give Christianity a hard time, but he says that everything always comes full circle back to god.

So there you have it, if you don’t believe, fine. Just know that if you don’t, you weren’t conditioned to have tinted-glasses of anti-Christianity (it’s your fault). Also, you have fallen prey to science, logic, bible critics and psychologists. Without god, your life will be chaos and you won’t have anything to believe in.

A better title for Van Til’s book should be, “The more I whine and talk disdainfully, the better chance I’ll have at making you believe too.”

I feel like a gigantic douche. I didn’t decide to take a look for a printing online until yesterday. I found one. By all means, feel free to read it for yourselves and let me know how my review would differ from yours. By all means, show me how I missed Van Til’s excellent arguments.

My rosy-tinted glasses forced me to see this book as a gigantic disservice to Christianity. If this is a go-to argument, I’m surprised anyone would ever say they believe in god. There’s nothing except random appeals to emotion, grand assumptions and empty threats.

A tribal shaman could make a better case for gods than Van Til.

Van Til didn’t write this book for me. He wrote it for someone who grew up conditioned by non-belief. I grew up solid in godly beliefs and let go of god through questioning and research. Not that it matters. His arguments are piss poor and makes no case to any non-believer and believers alike.

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20 Responses to Book review: Why I believe in God, by Cornelius Van Til.

  1. Marianne says:

    Unbelievers use the same logic. It is an intellectual preference, based on opinion.

    The best argument that anything exists is a direct, tangible contact with the “anything.”

    I believe in God because I met him.

  2. And Marianne, I don’t believe in god (or gods) because I’ve never met him/her/it and no one has been able to produce him/her/it. My daughter had an imaginary friend that only she could see. Did that automatically mean her friend was real?

  3. Petursey says:

    I’m with Renee here..

    I had two imaginary friends when I was 5..grew out of them when I was 7..and certainly don’t need them now !!

    The only time , as I’ve stated many times, that I’ll believe in this “god” nonsense is when I see an amputated limb grow back, with video evidence, through the power of prayer. I’m still shocked that so many people get suckered into this puerile religious nonsense… anyone with an IQ above 80 can see it’s all geared towards control and $$$$.

    The Bible itself should carry a warning sticker on the front because of the violence, misogyny and hatred contained within it.

    If people want to be religious they should treat their religion like their genitals, ie keep them out of sight and non thrust them down childrens throats.

  4. Steve says:

    Yet another fine example of Russel’s Teapot.

    “I can’t produce god because it’s against his nature but, believe me, he’s real and you just need to look around to see him.”

    Like P says, shows us concrete evidence – not this vacuous “god is in all things” nonsense. Until that happens, I’m beginning to think that facepalming myself so much may begin to hurt after a while.

  5. Petursey says:

    and I apologise for my homeland producing such a person as van Til !!!

    The Netherlands used to be very religious..with huge divisions between strict tight fisted boring fun hating protestants…and then the catholics in the south….but even though there are still political parties with religious crap in their names….there’s still amount a million people who go to church..but thats dropping year on year (as post of them are old and popping their clogs !!)..soon there’ll be more people going to a mosque than a church every week (there’s minarets popping up everywhere !)…but luckily the religious right have no huge say in a broadly secular society. We have true equality of marriage (everyone straight or gay can choose to marry or have a civil registered partnership)..equality of rights/taxation/pension…we can even die with dignity when terminally ill with the minimum of fuss.

    Let’s just say life here is 100,000,000 than the UK or US !!!!..in my humble opinion !

  6. Petursey says:

    I meant to say “adopted” homeland !! Damn I type too fast sometimes !

  7. cafewitteveen says:

    Please, oh please, some body provide an intellectual argument for god.

    Please.

    In the meantime, don’t call it intellectual.

    If Van Til is the best you’ve got, the bar is set too low.

    Set your bar higher, Christians. Please. With sugar on top.

  8. zdenny says:

    I have heard the argument many times and I have used it many times.

    If there is no God, then everything is conditioned including your belief in atheism. However, if everything I believe is conditioned, then everything I believe is also an illusion. How is knowledege of any truth possible in a world where everything is an illusion.

    In order to know that everything is not an illusion, you have to believe in God first which allows your mind to know the truth itself.

    It is a fairly simple argument and it is true. Jeremy belief in atheism is conditioned if God does not exist; however, if we are made in the image of God, then we do have a free will which makes knowledge of reality really possible.

    I have never heard an atheist deal with this argument other than to accept a mystical view of free will or deny free will altogether. It is a box that has no opening for an atheist.

    As a result, belief in God is a precondition or a presupposition that must be accepted in order for knowledge to be possible.

    God Bless…

    • cafewitteveen says:

      Conditioning was the crux of Van Til’s argument, zdenny.

      By your own admission, you’ve just admitted that everything you believe is an illusion.

      Congratulations on stepping up and admitting the truth.

      You’re a great leader for your cause. Maybe you can start going by the name, “zdelusion” or “zillusion”

      Best,

      Jeremy

      All the best.

    • Sure, I’ll bite – I used to be believe in Santa Claus. Now I don’t. Does this argument automatically then conclude that Santa Claus must exist?

    • cafewitteveen says:

      For the record, I was conditioned to believe in god. My childhood through adulthood was steeped in rich belief in the same savior god you claim to worship.

      It says so above. Isn’t it interesting how _low_ reading comprehension skills and religious views go hand-in-hand?

      For more on conditioning, zdenny, don’t read the back of your wife’s conditioner bottles, check wiki for Ivan Pavlov.

  9. zdenny says:

    You are equivocating on the term condition. Van Til uses it to mean trained as when you are young. The fact that a person can be raised an atheist and then become a Christian means that they have a mind that can think objectively about ones beliefs. Van Til believes that Logic is real having real existence in the mind of God. He does not believe that all beliefs conditioned. As a result, since logic is real, knowledge is real.

    Atheists deny both the reality of logic as well as a immaterial mind. How can the new atheist justify doing science? Their philosophy denies our knowledge of reality.

    God Bless…

    • cafewitteveen says:

      Wrong again, Z. Van Til specifically says that he was conditioned in his youth and also throughout his adult years.

      Good try though.

    • George W. says:

      Thank goodness for stale-post surfers. I really needed a shot of zdenny to remind me just how ridiculous he actually was.

      Blah, blah blah blah, your worldview denies the existence of knowledge, blah blah blah..God exists for circular and logically bankrupt reasons, blah, blah, blah, you don’t love your spouse…blah blah, atheists deny logic, blaah blaah, I’m never wrong, blah blah.
      God Bless…
      -zdenny-

      He really was a masterdebater.

  10. [...] In other news, there are 30 FUCKING PULLMAN WAs!!! Justin over at the Pullman WAs reviewed my review of the Cornelius Van Til’s “Why I believe in God.” You should read [...]

  11. Justin says:

    “We know that oxygen is measurable and is a definitive resource necessary for existence. God is not measurable. He is not necessary for existence. If he were, I’d have been dead 10 years ago when I let him go.”

    This shows you do not understand Van Til’s argument. He is not saying the belief in God is necessary, but that God is necessary. Your belief in Him is irrelevant.

    “Cornelius Van Til assumes that being bon (sic) in America means we can say the word god and know quite definitely what or to whom we are all referring.”

    That may be a more accurate sediment today, but early last century, the God of the Bible was more known. So, this criticism might be suffering from a generational gap. However, did you want an extensive explanation if God as described in the Bible?

    “Josh can’t escape god, a being who Van Til hasn’t really explained yet.”

    Read the Bible for that, not this book.

    “He argues that having a “neutral” bias just means Josh has an anti-Christian bias.”

    If you are using some other means of obtaining truth, you need to justify that claim as well. Yet since that method of knowledge is used to find things out, how can you discover the truth of your method of finding out truth, by using the very same method. This is circular. All worldviews suffer from this, including the Christian one. This is basic philosophy. BTW, what does “Prophet Lady” have to do with anything?

    “and yet he’s saying that his readers think they are gods. I don’t think of myself as god. My wife doesn’t think of herself as god.”

    Can you provide the page number where he says this so I can verify this claim? I think you may have read him wrong.

    “He says that science, psychology, logicians and bible critics could authoritatively give Christianity a hard time, but he says that everything always comes full circle back to god.“

    Yes, the argument is that naturalists, most common of American atheist, has not explained how abstract concepts are true in their worldview. How can matter account for logic or reason? What chemical reaction demonstrates memory or self awareness?

    “I grew up solid in godly beliefs and let go of god through questioning and research.”

    If I understand Van Til, this would be a focus of criticism towards you. You used your own autonomy to discover truth, as did Adam and Eve that you alluded to. Since our limited nature makes our autonomy incapable of finding truth 100% of the time, relying purely on your autonomy for truth will make it so you fall at some point. Gordon Clark, another presuppositional apologist, would point out that even athletics thinkers like Hume, Kant, and Russell understood this. Hume called it Utter Skepticism, that is if reason and evidence is the only means you have of finding truth, then reason and evidence cannot be used to prove reason and evidence is good at finding truth. You believe that on faith, not “fact”. The Christian, and Van Til’s, answer to that is abstract concepts, such as reason, have their bases in the transcendent being of the Bible. Otherwise, you must believe that abstract concepts, such as order, must have an unknown natural explanation. What I think Van Til would say is, since you presuppose things like logic and order, which has no bases in a purely natural universe as it does not have “natural” properties, that you using something outside of atoms, you in effect presuppose something that only has God as it’s explanation. If you want to refute Van Til or Gordon H Clark,(or their students as they are both dead) you will need to do much more research. Your “rebuttal” of Van Til shows me that you do not understand his position yet.

    “If this is a go-to argument, I’m surprised anyone would ever say they believe in god.”

    No, I would say most apologists are Evidential Apologists or perhaps Classical Apologists. There are many ways to approach apologetics.

  12. Justin says:

    PS I am not the same Justin that you have been having a discussion with.

  13. Jeremy says:

    Justin,

    Welcome to Le Café. Glad to see you sat a while. Maybe we can agree to use this version the book for the discussion.

    Your very first rebuttal, if you will, reflects just how poorly the rest of your responses are laid out.

    Through the air metaphor and followed by the emplacement metaphor (paragraph four), Van Til argues that god exists, whether I believe it or not. It’s what I said in my review (it’s really quite obvious), and what you reiterated while explaining that I misunderstood him.

    Where you missed the point is (and this is where Christians fail because they don’t think with any creativity), I took Van Til’s argument a step further.

    Van Til compared god to two things tangible (i.e. air and and an emplacement).

    I argued that while air and emblacements emplacements are viewable, tangible, and scientifically provable, god is none of those things. Arguing an abstract with a tangible is harebrained.

    Musing upon what Van Til did not say does not insinuate misunderstanding.

    Before you so graciously point out a misspelling and incorrectly write (sic) en lieu of [sic], you should ascertain your superiority instead of waving your inferiority. Note: your use of “sediment” (you probably meant “sentiment”). Although your argument does qualify as the dregs of all rationale, so maybe you were somewhat accurate.

    Don’t turn this as I’m attacking you personally. I find it rather hypocritical on your part to be so wrongfully disdainful.

    You said to read the bible for an understanding of god. I have read the bible. Why do you assume I haven’t? No one can assume that since we both have understanding of “god” and which religion he/she/it is associated with, that means we’re on the same page.

    God/Jesus/the Ruach Yahweh — in both the new and old testament books all show inferiority of reason and intellect. If they are perfect, all-knowing, all-loving beings, they certainly fail on all accounts … and in others … within the 66 books of the holy bible.

    Your response to my neutral bias responses is as circular as my circular response.

    Go fish.

    You asked where Van Til argues that the non-believer thinks himself a god, another indication you haven’t read the book. I’m wasting my time.

    In paragraph 11 from “the end” (that’s counting from back to front eleven paragraphs), Van Til says (emphasis mine), “We seem now to have come to a pretty pass. We agreed at the outset to tell each other the whole truth. If I have offended you it has been because I dare not, even in the interest of winning you, offend my God. And if I have not offended you I have not spoken of my God. For what you have really done in your handling of the evidence for belief in God, is to set yourself up as God.”

    Did I misunderstand that, too, Justin? Or is setting myself up as god mean something completely different, because I’m such a moron?

    Yawn.

    That paragraph shows how insane Van Til is. He’s talking to the reader, but has no interest in what the reader responds. A book is an absurd place to argue a point with a fictional person. The assumptions prove the writer is far more ignorant than the reader, and it shows throughout “Why I believe in god.”

    That’s the Christian argument in a nutshell. It’s one way or no way. It’s as absurd as it is fallacious.

    You ask what chemical reaction demonstrates memory or self awareness? This is one of those classic moments where atheists and their ilk like to say things like, “Read a fucking book.”

    However, at this point, you demonstrate you haven’t read the book that we’re discussing. How can I advise reading more books if you clearly haven’t read this one?

    And finally, I’ll address your second to last response. In your big bad paragraph, you argue that I used my own autonomy to discover truth. Again, you demonstrate that you haven’t read its pages.

    Van Til’s argument is clearly against a person who was raised “neutral” without god. It is against someone who is familiar with the “Christian” god, but doesn’t believe in him. I argued that he was wrong to assume such a ridiculous idea. I was raised and disciplined in an incredibly loving and amazing environment. My parents are both Christian. My education through college was Christian. My efforts in post-collegiate self-education were directed toward understanding the academic and spiritual view of Christianity.

    You’re right, Justin. Perhaps I don’t understand Van Til’s argument.

    Maybe you should hold my hand and lead my readers and me through.

    Please, by all means, take me word by word through the entire argument and help me understand what you clearly demonstrated above … which is that you haven’t read the book in the first place.

    All the best and all kinds of haughty claptrap,

    Jeremy

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