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Paradox and Truth

Rethinking Van Til on the Trinity

by Comparing Van Til, Plantinga, and Kuyper

by Rev. Ralph Allan Smith


I began to think of the doctrine of the Trinity seriously through reading Van Til and his followers. No doubt it was due to Van Til's influence that I found especially striking the following sentence in James Jordan's The Law of the Covenant:

The covenant is a personal-structural bond which joins the three Persons of God in a community of life, and in which man was created to participate.1

The view of the covenant as an trinitarian relationship sparked my interest and led to years of reading and research. The miracle of email enabled me to study far more effectively by putting me in contact with James Jordan and others who have offered more help than I can fully give thanks for. Jim has been generous with suggestions and corrections throughout my study, both informally through email and through the ministry of "Biblical Horizons" dedicated, among other things, to the development of Trinitarian doctrine and worship. Another friend in the United States, the Rev. Jeffrey Meyers, introduced me to a wide variety of books on the doctrine of the Trinity and has interacted with me through email for some years. Although neither of these men, nor others who helped in various ways, are responsible for the opinions expressed in this paper, my research and writing would have been far poorer without their help.

I also am thankful to be able to acknowledge the encouragement and support of our home church in the United States, the Church of Christian Liberty, and our church here in Japan, the Mitaka Evangelical Church.


1. The Law of the Covenant: An Exposition of Exodus 21-23 (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1984), p. 5.

[ Rethinking Van Til | Introduction | Chapter One ]

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