Van Til on Rushdoony, North. (Theonomy)

I reference this letter enough in conversations that I figured it would be convenient to have it posted here for reference. Notably, Van Til writes:

“Then too I am frankly a little concerned about the political views of Mr. Rushdoony and Mr. North and particularly if I am correctly informed about some of the views Gary North has with respect to the application of Old Testament principles to our day. My only point is that I would hope and expect that they would not claim that such views are inherent in principles which I hold.”

Van Til (on Rushdoony, North)


About douglasdouma

I am a husband to beautiful wife, an ordained minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church - Hanover Presbytery, and founder of Sola - Appalachian Christian Retreat ( In addition to blogging at this site I am the author of The Presbyterian Philosopher - The Authorized Biography of Gordon H. Clark (Wipf&Stock, 2017) and compiling editor of Clark and His Correspondents: Selected Letters of Gordon H. Clark (Trinity Foundation, 2017). I have a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering (University of Michigan), a master's in business administration (Wake Forest University) and a master of divinity (Sangre de Cristo Seminary). I'm an avid hiker, having completed a northbound thru-hike of the Appalachian trail in 2013 and the first 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016.
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2 Responses to Van Til on Rushdoony, North. (Theonomy)

  1. I am leavening under a different users name – Ben

    For those who do not know the title of the book that Dr. Van Til is referring, It is “Foundations of Christian Scholarship” edited by Dr. Gary North. It contains essays written by Rousas John Rushdoony, Gary North, C. Gregg Singer, Vern Poythress, Greg Bahnsen, John Frame, and others. “Jerusalem and Athens” was another festschift that was more critical of Van Til’s ideas just like the festschift – The Philosophy of Gordon H. Clark – was more critical of Clark’s ideas. It is interesting that Van Til would view “Jerusalem and Athens” as more than enough since it had contribution from his critics. I really like this post because provides evidence that Van Til did not completely endorse theonomy. In a lecture on apologetic, Ronald Nash stated that there was little difference between Dr. Gordon Clark in his later year and some of Van Til’s followers. This lecture was Lesson 9 titled methodology. You can listened to this lecture through a link at

    • douglasdouma says:

      Interesting lecture.

      Nash says Clark and Van Til were not that far apart in apologetics and then he speaks of the listeners surprise on this because of the controversy between the two men. I can somewhat agree with Nash on the proximity between Clark and Van Til on apologetics. The controversy, however, wasn’t directly about apologetics. So there shouldn’t really be any surprise at Nash’s statement.

      Nash says Van Til “and his groupies at Westminster” accused Clark of heresy. This isn’t true; at least the word “heresy” is nowhere found in the record.

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