Review – Covenantal Apologetics: Principles & Practice in Defense of Our Faith by K. Scott Oliphint

41pikbk4nZL._AA160_Review by C.L. Bolt

Thank you Crossway for the review copy of this book. Thank you Dr. Oliphint for the heads up and sneak peek at this work.

Oliphint, K. Scott. Covenantal Apologetics: Principles & Practice in Defense of Our Faith. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013. pp. 277. $19.99.

Introduction

K. Scott Oliphint serves at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia as professor of apologetics and systematic theology. Like his predecessor, Cornelius Van Til, Oliphint places much greater emphasis upon the particularities of apologetic methodology than do most other apologists. The importance of apologetic methodology follows from the significance of the …

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Presuppositional living

BibleI was sitting in church just this Sunday past with one of the elders preaching on power, and one of the sections that was noted was the way that all of the responses of Jesus to Satan in the wilderness temptation were scriptural responses, as well as that all Jesus needed to do was to command a demon to come out, and they did.

A few ideas came into my head : Jesus was able to do what He did with regards to power, because who He was, and What He said corresponded to the truth of what reality actually …

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Revelation from a keypad

6761965591_5e434905a6_nSo I was just popping in the code to the security door to my work, and a thought struck me as to an analogy of the problem universals and particulars!

What is the nature of particular facts of our experience, and what is their relationship to one another and the universal laws that bind them together?

Van Til was fond of speaking of beads and string, and for the longest time I couldn’t understand what he was speaking about, but I eventually worked it out, hopefully this analogy will help too!

Think of each number on a keypad, like the …

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A New Year and New Mercy

Lamentations 3:16-26

He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is;  so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The

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Stop! It’s Hammer Time!

While I was searching for citations from Van Til, I ran across this post at a website named “God’s Hammer”. It appears to be a great website full of resources overall, but this particular author seems to have blind-spots when reading Van Til. It could be a bad rep given by clarkians, or for some other reason altogether. Nonetheless he doesn’t seem to understand the difference between real contradictions, and apparent contradictions (otherwise known as a paradox).

“Cornelius Van Til was a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church who is well-known today for his apologetic method and his views on …

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False If It Helps?

Many people come to believe and embrace Christianity by means of some tragedy or crisis. They’re driven in desperation to look for something that will help them rationalize and file away their grief, and many times, they find Christianity. Many other times, they grab hold of other things, such as drugs, alcohol, other religions, or even a perceived freedom achieved from relinquishing religion. In any case, tragedy has a way of forcing people into a spiral of desperation while their flailing arms are reaching for something outside themselves hoping that thing can withstand the force, and grant stability once again. …

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[F]utilitarianism

There is a school of thought to which many ethicists subscribe, whose students never seem willing to move on from the lambda-omega-lambdas, and whose parties are always unusually loud and long even after the music has been stopped for years and all the drink has dried up. This troupe of tautological idealogues loves to insist upon its own opinions and swears so should you. In doing so they both establish and undercut their point. These are the Utilitarians.

Utilitarianism is a philosophy of ethics that is summarily defined to say, “the morally right action is the action that produces …

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Delusion Milkshake

It is quite the situation we’ve found ourselves in when one of the most detestable things in God’s sight becomes the most celebrated in popular culture. Namely, acts of sexual immorality (homosexual or heterosexual) . Now, as a regular observer (and recovering participant) in this particular context, I used to think of the act of sexual immorality  as something that brought on terrible consequences. Even though true, it isn’t the whole truth. Sexual immorality is, itself a terrible consequence of sin (Romans 1:24).

Pop culture, at its base, espouses a god of its own making, though it sometimes uses scripture …

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