“In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).
“It is only to follow out the lead which Hodge in his theology, following Calvin, has given, if we seek our point of contact not in any abstraction whatsoever, whether it be reason or intuition. No such abstraction exists in the universe of men. We always deal with concrete individual men. These men are sinners. They have “an axe to grind.” They want to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They will employ their reason for that purpose. And they are not formally illogical if, granted the assumption of man’s ultimacy, they reject the teachings of Christianity. On the contrary, to be logically consistent they are bound to do so. This point will engage us more fully in the sequel. For the moment it must suffice to have shown how the apologist is not only untrue to his own doctrine of man as the creature of God, but also defeats his own purpose if he appeals to some form of the “common consciousness of man.”
Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Philadelphia, 1955).
We are to put on the whole armour of God—for, or because, ‘we wrestle not’ etc. This is one of the most glorious aspects of the Christian faith. You cannot reason yourself into it, but the moment you are in it you find that it is the most reasonable thing in the world, full of understanding, full of explanations. Christianity, unlike so many of the cults, is not merely something which teaches you to persuade yourself in a thoughtless manner. It does not just tell you to say something, and to go on saying it mechanically, whether it be true or not, and whether you feel it or not. That is not Christianity. It always gives reasons.”
The Christian Warfare: An Exposition of Ephesians 6:10–13 (Edinburgh; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976), 38–39.