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Henry Van Til Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description





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Henry Van Til Collection, 1929-1960 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: Henry Van Til Collection, 1929-1960

ID: COLL/304

Primary Creator: Van Til, Henry (1906-1961)

Extent: 6.0 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Minister of the Christian Reformed Church and professor of Bible at Calvin College. Papers consisting of addresses; class lectures; correspondence, 1944-1960; sermons; a manuscript, entitled 'The Calvinistic Concept of Culture'; student notes; outlines; and various copies of the periodical Perspectives.

Detailed Notes:

The papers of Henry Van Til were received in late 1980 from his widow, Elizabeth.  They consist of some five and one-half feet of shelf space in twelve (12) Hollinger boxes.

Highlights of his collection include the following:

* Manuscripts of his addresses, given from 1940-1961

* Material of his college courses in Bible while he served as Associate Professor of Bible at Calvin College from 1946-1961

* Outlines and notes of courses taken at Calvin Seminary under Professors C. Bouma, G. Stob, S. Volbeda, and M. Wyngaarden

* Articles and talks given while he was Army chaplain (undated)

* Correspondence with Prof. Dooyeweerd of the Free University of Amsterdam

* Several of his Dutch sermons

* Outlines and notes of classes in philosophy under Prof. Dooyeweerd of the Free University

* Articles on and by Abraham Kuyper, 1895-1957

* Manuscript of his own book The Calvinistic Concept of Culture

* Clippings on a wide range of topics from Mohammedanism to psychiatry

* Quotes from CRC ministers on Calvinism and the church, taken during the period between WWI and WWII

* English language sermons

* Two folders on the subject of sin

* Outlines and notes of courses taken at Westminster Seminary, including those with his uncle, Dr. C. Van Til

Biographical Note

Henry Van Til was born 28 September 1906, in Griffith, Indiana.  He studied at Ferris Institute in Big Rapids and at Calvin College, receiving his AB degree from the latter school in 1934.

For the next two years he studied at Westminster Seminary but completed his seminary training at Calvin Theological Seminary in 1937.  He then returned to Westminster for two more years receiving a Master of Theology degree in 1940.  After being ordained to the ministry, he served the Sumas, Washington, Christian Reformed Church for three years.  Feeling called to the Army chaplaincy, he left Sumas and served as chaplain until the end of the war.

Post-war years found him at the University of Chicago briefly, but for fifteen months at the Free University of Amsterdam where he studied theology and philosophy under Professor Dooyeweerd.

In 1946 he became associate professor of Bible at Calvin College where he remained until his death in 1961. He was survived by his wife, Elizabeth née Zandstra, and their seven children.

While at Calvin he served as president of the Calvinistic Culture Association in 1955, as well as vice-president of the Evangelical Ministerial Union in Grand Rapids.  He was a charter member of the Reformed Fellowship, Inc., serving on the Board for several years.  He was also book-review editor of the Reformed Fellowship's paper, Torch and Trumpet.  In 1959 he completed a scholarly book, entitled The Calvinistic Concept of Culture (in this collection) which received considerable attention in many periodicals.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Papers],
[Series 2: Papers],
[Series 3: Papers],
[Series 4: Papers],

Series 1: Papers
Box 1: Index to in-coming and out-going correspondence in red plastic cover
Folder 1: Addresses given --- 1940-1944
Folder 2: Addresses given --- 1944-1949
Folder 3: Addresses given --- 1950-1960
Folder 4: Articles written 1940-1956 published and unpublished.  Many --- undated
Folder 5: Augustine.  Bibliography.  Report on present status of Augustinian thought --- August
Folder 6: Bible, material
Folder 7: Bible, material on College courses
Folder 8: Bible, Syllabus of Calvinism course
Folder 9: Bible, Syllabus of Old testament History course
Folder 10: Bible, Syllabus of Reformed Doctrine course
Folder 11: Bismarck and Socialism notes (no dates
Box 2
Folder 1: Book outline of John Dewey's "The Quest for Certainty." (no dates)
Folder 2: Book reviews and analyses. (no dates)
Folder 3: Burns, Robert; poet - notes
Folder 4: Calvin College as faculty member.  Materials --- 1948-1960
Folder 5: Calvin College as Student Philosophy Paper for Jellema
Folder 6: Calvin Seminary Student
Folder 7: Calvin Seminary Student
Folder 8: Calvin Seminary Student
Folder 9: Calvin Seminary Student
Folder 10: Calvin Seminary Student
Folder 11: Calvin Seminary Student
Box 3
Folder 1: Calvin Seminary Student
Folder 2: Calvin, John and Calvinism - Bibliography and papers
Folder 3: Calvinistic Culture Association Publications; Principles --- 1954-1956
Folder 4: Capitalism - notes
Folder 5: Chaplaincy (army). Articles an talks --- undated
Folder 6: Chapel bulletins 7-11-43 to 11-22-45
Folder 7: General correspondence 8-4-44 to 2-5-46
Folder 8: Correspondence with other Chaplains --- 1943-1947
Folder 9: Military correspondence and records
Folder 10: Post-war articles on veterans
Folder 11: Christian Education - articles and lectures
Folder 12: Christian Schools - Grand Rapids Christian High School - Lynden, WA- Oakdale Christian
Box 4
Folder 1: Christian Social Action in the U.S. - --- 1955
Folder 2: Common Grace Articles.  Some with reference to case --- 1924
Folder 3: Christian Univ. Association of America.  Constitution, minutes, reports. --- 1944-1953
Folder 4: Clippings
Folder 5: Clippings
Folder 6: Correspondence - incoming --- 1955-1960
Folder 7: Correspondence - outgoing --- 1953-1959
Folder 8: Correspondence - with sons in military service

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Papers],
[Series 2: Papers],
[Series 3: Papers],
[Series 4: Papers],

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