Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Book Review: Reforming Apologetics by J.V. Fesko

Dr. John Fesko was one of my professors when I was at WSCAL. He is a learned professor deep into historical sources and Reformed doctrine. He has however wrote a book on apologetics last year entitled Reforming Apologetics: Retrieving the Classic Reformed Approach to Defending the Faith, which stirred up some controversy due to its attack specifically on Cornelius Van Til and Vantillian presuppositionalism. Due to the subject nature, I decided to check it out when I can. I have finally read it and wrote a review of it, here. An excerpt:

With the resurgence of interest in Aristotelianism within the Reformed community, it should not come as a surprise that the topic of apologetics would come under the spotlight for ressourcement. Presuppositionalism after all is a novel system that began in the 20th century with Cornelius Van Til and/or Gordon H. Clark, whereas classical apologetics was the system utilized in the Medieval, Reformation, and Post-Reformation era.

In this light, Dr. John Fesko has taken on the task of “reforming” apologetics. According to Fesko, the 20th century turn to presuppositionalism is flawed and contrary to the Reformed tradition. While not necessarily against all aspects of presuppositionalism, stating for example his position that the TAG (Transcendental Argument for God) “can be a useful argument” (p. 137), Fesko rejects presuppositionalism as a whole.


As a Clarkian presuppositionalist, I reject this approach to apologetics. And while I do respect Dr. Fesko's scholarship, on this issue I'm afraid he is way out of his depth.

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