Van Til vs. Bahnsen
We say that Christ rose from the grave. We say further that this resurrection proves his divinity. (The Defense of the Faith, p. 7-8)
How can this be? Van Til explicitly states that Jesus’ “resurrection proves his divinity,” while Bahnsen says that Jesus’ “miracles and resurrection do not in themselves imply deity.” If Jesus’ resurrection itself does not “imply deity,” how can Van Til say that it “proves his divinity”?
Why should anyone believe that Jesus was in fact “very God of very God”? Could any mere man’s evaluation establish such a claim? Even the estimation of a large percentage of people would be insufficient to establish that Jesus was more than a man. Even his miracles and resurrection do not in themselves imply deity (think of the other miracle workers in Scripture); they constitute evidence of divine status only because He authoritatively interprets them as such. So the only authority by which the identification of Jesus as God could be warranted would have to be the authority of Jesus Himself, taken as the one whom He claims to be. Such self-identification or self-authorization is, in the very nature of the case, “circular.” (Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings & Analysis, p. 201)
by Dawson Bethrick