Howard Van Till's Intellectual Journey

Howard Van Till wrote the book The Fourth Day, which was one of the books that put me on a course of study that eventually led me away from the Christian faith. On page 79 in a footnote he listed several works on Genesis 1-11 that I proceeded to read. These initial books led me to still others, and others. After reading them I came to deny Genesis 1-11 was historical. I concluded these chapters were mythical. Anyway, Van Till has now been led down the same path as I. He has moved away from his Calvinism, and taken a much more ambiguous position on religion. That too is where I was for a time in my intellectual journey. But it eventually led me to atheism. I wonder where he will eventually end up? William Dembski comments on it here. [Update: I noticed that the link to Van Till's paper no longer works. I wonder what's up?]


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Pretty recent since Till departed from Calvinism.

Anonymous said...

This does seem to happen fairly often, as some of the DC members can attest...the more deeply you study Christianity, the less sense it makes.

Anonymous said...

The problem people have with the bible is in trying to solve the paradoxical nature of God. What seems impossible in our four dimensions becomes resolvable in extra dimensions. God's ways are not our ways and God's thoughts are not our thoughts.
You cannot fully comprehend God.

Emiliano M said...

I don't think that a Christian reasonable intelectual journeys must lead away from Christianity... Merely away fundamentalism, american evangelicalism and Crationism and ID... I wanted to see where Van Till is now in his intellectual journey! I really like him!

Nice blog by the way, even though I'm a Christian i might show up here from time to time

Paz de Cristo

Lamar Boll said...

I'm not at all surprised by the unfortunate outcome of either Van Till's intellectual journey or yours. It's nothing new. Having studied these issues pretty deeply myself, I could have predicted it. The intellectual options are, after all, limited. While I've never read "The Fourth Day", I have read portions of his later "Science Held Hostage" and all of his more recent essay "Partnership: Science and Christianity as Partners in Theorizing." Van Till's writing is always graceful, subtlely nuanced, and informative, but, having compiled 20 pp. of notes and analysis on the latter essay, as well as having read his responses to Phillip Johnson's work, I find his position intellectually untenable for a variety of reasons. I've always said, however, I have more intellctual respect for an honest atheism than I do for any form of "middle ground" theistic evolutionism.

Lamar Boll