What He Wants Us to Know – Van Til and Systematic Theology
I quoted Cornelius Van Til in my last post on the discipline of Systematic Theology. Here is the quote again:
It does not follow from this that it is about God alone that we wish to obtain knowledge. It only means that it is primarily of God that we speak. We wish to know all that God wishes us to know about anything (C. Van Til, Introduction to Systematic Theology, 16).
In my opinion, this is a pretty significant statement and it describes Van Til’s method pretty succinctly. For Van Til, the discipline of systematic theology was not a practice of finding out what we want to know about God and the world around us, but instead, what God wants us know about himself, ourselves, and the world around us. This can only be through the study and bringing together the whole counsel of God.
Orthodox systematic theology assumes all of Scripture as a whole to be one message from God and it is “with God-created minds, which must think systematically, that we must rework the content of revelation” (p. 21). It is with this “whole counsel of God” systematic that helps pastors preach “all of Scripture, and thus make God central in their work” (p. 22).