Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith
Defending the faith can be daunting, and a well-reasoned and biblically grounded apologetic is essential for the challenge. Following in the footsteps of groundbreaking apologist Cornelius Van Til, Scott Oliphint presents us with an introduction to Reformed apologetics as he sets forth the principles behind a distinctly “covenantal” approach. This book clearly explains the...more
This is a marked improvement upon his Battle Belongs to the Lord, which was so elementary that it was helpful to a very few. I should note my sympathies. ...more
There have been many attempts to popularize him. I’ve read Greg Bahnsen’s Van Til’s Apologetic and John Frame’s Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought, ...more
Oliphant made an excellent argument for why we should use the term "covenantal apologetics," as opposed to the term "presuppositional apologetics." I was kind of skeptical at the beginning of the necessity of this change, and while it's still not a hill to die over, he did make a compelling case for why we should prefer the former term.
The book unpacks ten tenets:
1. The faith that we are defending must begin with, and necessarily ...more
Premise: We should argue for Christianity from its supernatural revelation, not from a natural theology or bare Deism or rational approach. When we critique atheism and Christian skeptics, we should point out their own inconsistencies, rather than argue from "neutral" reason.
For example. In answer to skeptics who ask how an unchanging God can become incarnate, we should appeal to Athanasian and Chalcedonian thought, not fall back to what the modern ...more
Although Oliphant characterizes his book as a translation of Van Til's Reformed apologetics, it broadens the scope and makes it more accessible to a general audience. In fact, he is responsible for making it more Christ-centered and proposing the name change from presuppositional apologetics to convenantal apologetics. Like other reviewers, I find this term much easier to understand and makes clear our covenantal relationship to God.
Chapters one ...more
I still remember at a church where I was on staff that I found out through the grapevine that I believed only 144,000 people would ...more
Good stuff on persuasion. Pretty biblical. I like his idea to rename Presuppositional Apologetics “Covenantal Apologetics.” His attempt at giving examples of possible conversations was good. He should supplement the book by sharing videos of actual conversations.
In all I feel like it made a helpful contribution to rounding out my ...more
Oliphint defines covenantal apologetics and presents the ten tenets of this approach.
To try to know ourselves without knowing God would be like trying to know our image in a mirror when we are not standing in front of it. There would be no image because the "original" would not be there.
Man's denial of God is not something that's done in ignorance. It is evidence of the suppression of the knowledge of God within us.
2. Set Christ Apart as Lord
How, then, ought we to think of a God ...more
My favorite insight is ...more
This was the first time I read a book on Apologetics and maybe that’s the reason I found it really exciting. The concept introduced in the book is to ‘update’ the language and terms of the Presuppositional apologetics to a language that was easier to understand by the reader, and that’s true to a certain point, let me explain why.
K. Scott Oliphint is no stranger to this subject, he’s a professor of apologetics and systematic theology at the Westminster ...more