The Metaphysics of Van Til in Pen and Paint




Cornelius Van Til was a professor at Westminister Theological Seminary for 43 years.  These art pieces attempt to give visual reference to his metaphysical views regarding theism and atheism.

“Van Til . . . always taught that a Christian worldview should be represented by two circles (for Creator and creature), clearly distinct from one another, with the larger one (representing God) on top.  One circle alone referred to the non-Christian worldview, in which man and God (if he exists) are on the same level, part of one reality.”
— John Frame, Cornelius Van Til:  An Analysis of His Thought, (Phillipsburg, NJ:  Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1995), p. 27.


Here is my attempt to show Van Til’s “Creator-Creature” distinctions in paint and pen.  And if you’re thinking they are nothing more than extravagant flash-cards, you’re right! I can say one thing for creating art about philosophical concepts: It helps me remember them for class!
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4 thoughts on “The Metaphysics of Van Til in Pen and Paint

  1. Hi Scarlett – how fascinating … wonderful to read about and then to see your creations – almost stained glass like … so glad you’re enjoying the course, and sharing some of it with us – cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks so much, Hilary. I can only imagine what it must be like to hop over here to my site as a long time viewer. Once, it was only one forlorn drawing after the next, and now onto such academic minutiae! You are a sweetheart to put up with such bizarre variety over this span of time (now 5 years?) . I’ll be over to visit soon!

  2. How did you keep the paint in such a perfect circle, without going over the edges?? Did you cut the circles out afterwards? Really love this! X

    1. Hi Sasha,
      I used a stencil to keep the paint in the circle. But your idea of cutting it out afterwards would work, too! Thanks so much, have a blessed day!

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