Van Til's Trinitarian Theology: Reformed or Revisionist? (Part 1)


Video from Reformed Forum


"Dr. Lane. G. Tipton lectures on Van Til's trinitarian theology during a special lecture series hosted at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana on October 8, 2020. Scholars have long debated whether Van Til's unique trinitarian formulations are helpful, confusing, or even heterodox. Dr. Tipton describes Van Til's proposals within their confessional and polemical contexts." from video introduction.


"Cornelius Van Til was born on May 3, 1895, in Grootegast, the Nether­lands, the sixth son of Ite Van Til, a dairy farmer, and his wife Klazina.1 At the age of ten Cornelius moved with his family to Highland, Indiana. He picked up English quickly and spoke thereafter with very little trace of an accent.

The first of his family to receive a formal higher education, Van Til in 1914 entered Calvin Preparatory School in Grand Rap­ids, where he remained to study at Calvin College and at Calvin Theological Sem­inary. These institutions were all schools of Van Til’s denomination, the Christian Re­formed Church, which was made up mostly of Dutch immigrants like himself. But after his first year of seminary, Van Til trans­ferred to Princeton Theological Seminary. In those days, Princeton was an orthodox Calvinistic school, as was Calvin, and there was much mutual respect between the two; but Princeton’s roots were in American Presbyterianism rather than in the Dutch Reformed tradition represented by Calvin. While in seminary, Van Til was also ad­mitted to Princeton University as a gradu­ate student in philosophy, working on a doctorate as he completed his seminary course.2 In 1925 he completed a Th.M. at the seminary and married his childhood sweetheart, Rena Klooster; in 1927 he com­pleted a Ph.D. at the university..." from the article Cornelius Van Til


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