by Dr. Robert L Reymond
HT: Nathan Stockwell & Sovereign Grace Baptist Church of Silicon Valley; and posted with permission. Book titled The Justification of Knowledge by Robert L Reymond originally published in 1976 by P&R Publishing Co. P O Box 817, Phillipsburg, N.J. 08865 www.prpbooks.com
This book was originally written as a syllabus for an introductory course in Christian apologetics for students at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis. As I wrote, it was my awareness that it was to perform a classroom function that lay behind my decision to provide a good many quotations from the writings of Benjamin B. Warfield, Cornelius Van Til, Gordon H. Clark, Edward John Carnell, Francis Schaeffer, and others. I felt then it was the quickest way to introduce ministerial students to the apologetic systems of these important thinkers. As this work goes forth to a wider audience, I am still convinced that there is value in permitting an apologist to speak for himself. The reader is assured that the apologist is not being misrepresented, and in turn he gains an immediate firsthand acquaintance with the apologist. Therefore, while I have eliminated some quotations (and comments upon them) from the material which was used in the classroom, I have decided to let other original material remain.
No apologies are offered for the references to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. I am convinced that the system of doctrine contained therein is scriptural. It will help the non–Presbyterian reader, perhaps, to remember that Covenant Theological Seminary is committed confessionally to the Westminster standards, which will explain my readiness to quote from them.
While doubtless I have been influenced, either positively or negatively, to some degree by my reading of all the men mentioned above (and others, no doubt, too), I do not regard myself as an uncritical disciple of any of them, a fact which this book will bear out. I have tried to listen always and finally to the teachings of Holy Scripture and to evaluate each man I analyze in the light of God’s revealed truth. In the interests then of objectivity and of truth, I would request that what I have written not be “categorized” or rejected before the reader has studied the teaching in the many Scripture passages to which I refer. It is by the teaching of Scripture that I am to be judged; if I am wrong on my understanding of Scripture, I will happily rethink my position. On the other hand, if I have understood the teaching of Scripture correctly, then the reader should accede to the suggestions I espouse and not set the book aside as only my own reflections. If there is strength in this book at all, I believe that it springs not from my arguments per se but from the degree that it reflects a right understanding of the revealed Mind of the one living and true God found in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. I would suggest that the reader truly interested in understanding me make the effort to look up the Bible verses to which I refer and to think about them. No matter what he finally concludes, he cannot but be the richer for his labors I would like to express my appreciation to Mr. Charles H. Craig, owner–publisher of the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, for his continuing interest over many years in providing Reformed literature to the Christian and non–Christian reading public. My appreciation also goes to Mrs. June Dare, a seminary secretary for her patience and helpful criticisms throughout the typing of this work. Finally, to the Christian apologists mentioned and analyzed herein I must express the tremendous debt I owe them. All of them have been my teachers in one sense or another, though none of them should be held responsible for what I write here.
One final word to readers new to the subject of Christian apologetics: I would urge you to read in addition to this book the following books (as do my students in the seminary): Varieties of Apologetic Systems by Bernard Ramm, An Introduction to Christian Apologetics by E. J. Carnell, Jerusalem and Athens, edited by E. R. Geehan, The Philosophy of Gordon H. Clark, edited by R. H. Nash, and The God Who Is There, Escape From Reason, and He Is There and He Is Not Silent, all three by Francis Schaeffer. They are indispensable reading in the field of apologetics.
Dr. Reymond was associate professor of theology and apologetics at Covenant Theological Seminary, Saint Louis, Missouri. His other published works include Introductory Studies in Contemporary Theology and several monographs in the Biblical and Theological Studies series which he edits for the International Library of Philosophy and Theology, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company. He is an ordained minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, and has pastored churches in Tennessee, Georgia, and Missouri.