The Point of Contact: Evangelicalism

“Non-Calvinist Protestants, frequently spoken of as Evangelicals, have conceived of “the operations of God looking to salvation universalistically” in order to leave room for an ultimate decision on the part of the individual human being…

For our purposes then the point of importance is that Evangelicalism has retained something of Roman Catholicism both in its view of man and in its view of God. Like Romanism, Evangelicalism thinks of human self-consciousness and consciousness of objects as to some extent intelligible without the consciousness of God. It is to be expected that Evangelicalism will be in agreement with Rome on the question of the point of contact. Both forms of theology are colored by elements of an underlying naturalism. Both are therefore unwilling to challenge the natural man’s basic presupposition with respect to himself as the ultimate reference point in interpretation. Both are unwilling to prove the existence of such a God as controls whatsoever comes to pass. The great textbook of Evangelical apologetics is Bishop Butler’s famous Analogy…

Butler holds to an Arminian view in theology. He therefore assumes that the natural man by “a reasonable use of reason” can interpret aright “the course and constitution of nature.” If only the natural man will continue to employ the same “reasonable use of reason” with respect to the facts presented to him in Scripture about Christ and his work there is every likelihood that he will become a Christian.”

(Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, 78-79)


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