Scripture, Reason, and Presuppositional Apologetics

Paperback. 320 pp. $23.95.

The twentieth century was unkind to classical Reformed theology. While theological conservatives often blame liberals for undermining traditional Protestant doctrines, the staunchest conservatives and neo-Orthodox also revised several key doctrines. Although Cornelius Van Til developed presuppositional apologetics as an attempt to remain faithful to timeless Christian truth as the Reformed tradition expresses it, he sacrificed the catholic and Reformed understanding of the use of natural revelation in theology and apologetics in the process.

"The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made...so that they are without excuse," writes the Apostle Paul. Without Excuse seeks to grapple with this indictment and show how Van Til's presuppositionalism fails as an account of natural revelation in light of Scripture, philosophy, and historical theology. It argues that these three sources speak with one voice: creation reveals itself and its God to the believer and unbeliever alike.

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Joseph Minich, M. Dan Kemp, Kurt Jaros, John DePoe, Nathan Greeley, J. T. Bridges, Winfried Corduan, Thomas Schultz, Manfred Svensson, David Haines, J. Andrew Payne, John R. Gilhooly, Bernard James Mauser, Travis James Campbell.


DAVENANT RETRIEVALS seek to exemplify the Davenant Institute’s mission of recovering the riches of the Reformation for the contemporary church, offering clear and collaborative expositions of a doctrinal topic key to the Protestant heritage and defending its relevance today.


“Without Excuse: Scripture, Reason, and Presuppositional Apologetics is an important contribution to the ongoing presuppositionalism-evidentialism debate. Particularly impressive is the depth of historical scholarship represented by many of the included essays . . . This book is a 'must' read for serious Christian apologists, whatever their school of thought.”

—John Warwick Montgomery

Professor emeritus of Law and Humanities, University of Bedfordshire

“Recent work in Protestant theology and apologetics has often assumed that in order to be truly Protestant or Reformed one must be suspicious of older Christian conceptions of the relationship between faith and reason or nature and grace. Under the influence of figures like Cornelius Van Til, this has sometimes led to misguided theological conclusions and misguided views of how Christian theology should be done in the first place. But Reformed Protestants are increasingly pushing back against narrow (and novel) ideas of what it means to be Reformed. This set of essays makes a significant contribution to that effort, covering a wide range of topics in ways that are sure to help us think more carefully about how to expound and defend the catholic faith in the twenty-first century."

—Steven Duby

Associate Professor of Theology at Grand Canyon University


1 The Bible, Verification, and First Principles of Reason  M. Dan Kemp
2 Faith and the Natural Light of Reason   Kurt Jaros
3 The Place of Autonomous Human Reason and Logic in Theology   John DePoe
4 The Structure of Knowledge in Classical Reformed Theology: Turretin and Hodge   Nathan Greeley
5 Moderate Realism and the Presuppositionalist Confusion of Metaphysics and Epistemology   J. T. Bridges
6 Presuppositions in Presuppositionalism and Classical Theism   Winfried Corduan
7 Presuppositionalism and Philosophy in the Academy   Thomas Schultz
8 The Use of Aristotle in Early Protestant Theology   Manfred Svensson
9 The Use of Aquinas in Early Protestant Theology   David Haines
10 Classical Theism and Natural Theology in Early Reformed Doctrines of God   J. Andrew Payne
11 Van Til’s Transcendental Argument and Its Antecedents   John R. Gilhooly
12 A Tale of Two Theories: Natural Law in Classical Theism and Presuppositionalism   Bernard James Mauser
13 Van Til’s Trinitarianism: A Reformed Critique  Travis James Campbell


The Davenant Institute endeavors to restore wisdom for the contemporary church. We seek to sponsor historical scholarship at the intersection of the church and academy, build friendships and facilitate collaboration within the Reformed and evangelical world, and equip the saints with time-tested resources for faithful public witness.

Below are some of the works we've published towards that end.