8. 1981. Cornelius van Til. Introduction to Systematic Theology
Van Til is doubtless the single most important thinker in my life, unless he is tied with Dabney. For philosophy and theological introduction, it is definitely van Til. Yet it is hard to point to very many of his works that are exemplary and pointed — of a kind to pass on to a friend for consideration — and without crotchets and flaws. Part of it is that the Dutch are nothing if not in-fighters, and some of the obscure pugilistics often leave one bewildered, especially with the passage of time, as the opponent fades even deeper into obscurity.
Like all great thinkers, it is the way of thinking that must be captured, and this is often in despite of the husk of presentation. This particular work that I list, however, is one of the great ones. It is dizzying. At times I re-read passages and again come under the feeling that I am observing the very first motions of thought itself — in that sense it is like reading Hegel’s Phenomenology.
I will not try to go further here. In a sense everything I do or write is an attempt to grasp and continue van Til’s insight, so there is no need to tarry here just now.