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Cornelius Van Til, Defender of The Faith;

102 Limited Edition Etching Prints; Signed by Dr. Van Til

October 31, 2018 marked the 501st anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. Or so we historically consider one definitive act—an act that did not have the intention, or the motivation, or the vision of its historical consequences. Yet the results of this one act with all of its surrounding providential orchestration created a pivotal point in history. It was a transition from one era to another—from one religious construct to another; from one cultural dynamic to another; perhaps most importantly, the move from bondage to the church/state to the sole liberty of conscience of the individual before God, based solely on His revelatory Word. It paved the way from the Medieval Age and the Renaissance to the future…for good and ill.

We tend to celebrate and commemorate and remember significant historical events and their import on definitive years…e.g. 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100…500…and then we don’t think much about them or their significance or application to our lives until the next celebration.

Yet that one act and what it spawned in spawning the Reformation and all of its historical consequences have flowed into the future for 501 years to today. Yet it has significance and meaning for us today. It is not just history. It is life. It is faith. It is culture. It essentially touches everything in our lives.

That is why this project is so vitally important to me…

Reformation 501 is a legacy project. For me it has it’s roots back in 1979 and the early 1980s. It has bearing on my life today—40 years later—and for you…

September 1979 I married. My wife, a writer and I an artist…we had great dreams for the creative work we would do individually and together as a team. And so the summer before our wedding we began to work on a project for an illustrated calendar on the Reformation. We had studied its history; its characters and theology at Cedarville University the past four years and it seemed a logical place for us to start. Where it would take us, and our work, we could not have foreseen.

Our prototype/proposal consisted of two drawings of Martin Luther with narrative scripts. Having planned to honeymoon in England, Wales and Scotland, I contacted Ian Murray, editor and chief of The Banner Of Truth Trust Publishing Company in Edinburgh, Scotland. He agreed to meet us and review our work and proposal…the stage was set.

Bear in mind this all happened before the Internet, email, smart phones, social media—all the technology that we depend on daily. Our correspondence was on those thin blue airmail letters depending on snail-mail “across the pond”. To show our work, we carried the original art and printed documents with us.

During our two visits to Edinburgh we had several meetings with Ian Murray, Sinclair Furgeson and the Banner’s production manager, Humphrey Milfred. What a tremendous privilege for two young people in their early 20s just married to meet with these men. And while we did not go forward with our proposed Reformation project, what came out of it was our children’s book on creation, AND GOD SAID—published 10 years later by Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers, Inc. (This is another story in and of itself, which I will tell at another point.)

Another result of these meetings was an abiding sense of the abiding import of the Reformation and its theology for faith and life. But most fundamentally it was meeting men of amazing intellect, with deep theological understanding, but who were most impressive for their humble piety and charity. So this story and all its related stories have been part of my story for 40 years.

Some things abide in the soul—they cannot be shaken or left behind. And surely not taken for granted.

THE SIGNIFICANCE
Not only 40, but 501 years later the meaning of the Reformation and the need to keep reforming… are of abiding urgency. This motivates and informs the Reformation 501 project for me.

The Meaning Of The Reformation

Was this just an historical event, a time period in the past or is it also a life-transforming principle, example and practice? How do we in the 21st Century apply The Reformation and reformation to our lives, the church and culture?

Definition Of Reformation

General: To make changes in something in order to improve it. Change so as not to act in immoral, bad or destructive behavior.

Personal: Change oneself for the better—to improve.

Reformation—Beyond Resolution

The spirit and intent of reformation is change—change for the better, to improve. In some cases that means returning to a previous state and in other instances it may mean moving as far away from the past as possible to achieve reformation. Often it may be a combination to achieve the needed and desired improvement.

Whatever the case, it begins with an awareness of the need to change and insight to improve. Second it’s the motivation to act so that change can actually take place to achieve improvement.

REFORMATION 501—Keep Reforming

My three main concerns with ongoing reformation—which are the motivators for me doing the Reformation 501 project—

· Personal Reformation

· Church Reformation

· Cultural Reformation

I recently listened to a discussion with Ian Murray and John MacArthur on YouTube. MacArthur stated that he believes there are two main lessons of the Reformation.

  1. Evil can become massively entrenched, sophisticated and complex. So powerful that
    it can dominate a culture and history for a millennium.

  2. God can triumph over that evil through a handful of men.

God uses a few faithful men to triumph over evil—He has in the past, and He can and will do it again.

Our Historical Context: Post-Christian; Post-Modern; Post-Truth

Personal: It starts with me…

The meaning of my life, my chief-end is to love God and enjoy Him forever. The greatest command is to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. And to love your neighbor as yourself.” These should be my guiding lights.

I have come to understand this from the Bible, and perhaps more significantly from my own life experience. I lived a life, which I now refer to as my “wilderness wanderings”.

Like Israel, however not for 40 years, I wandered…

More on this and the topics below coming soon...

Church

Culture

YOUR REFORMATION—
The Reformation 95 Challenge

Martin Luther, 95 Theses; Pen & Ink On Board, 11” x 13.75” © Copyright Daniel Hill Riedel, Riedel Creative Group, LLC, All Rights Reserved

Martin Luther, 95 Theses; Pen & Ink On Board, 11” x 13.75”
© Copyright Daniel Hill Riedel, Riedel Creative Group, LLC, All Rights Reserved

PORTRAITS OF DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH

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Cornelius Van Til
1895 - 1987

Oil on Canvas, 30” x 40”

© Copyright Daniel Hill Riedel
Riedel Creative Group, LLC
All Rights Reserved

In the first phase of this project in the early 1980s, each of the five portraits went through a process of creating the image initially as a pencil drawing. The drawing was then transferred to a copperplate with a process of drawing and eating the drawn lines into the copper in acid baths. The each print was individually pulled one at a time on an etching press.

The new editions are those etching prints that I pulled on my press, and then enhanced with pen & ink drawing.

Cornelius Van Til, Portrait Etching
Mixed Media on Archival Paper
Image Size: 5.75” x 6.75”


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B. B. Warfield
1851 - 1921

Mixed Media on Archival Paper
Image Size: 5.75” x 6.75”

© Copyright Daniel Hill Riedel
Riedel Creative Group, LLC
All Rights Reserved


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Geerhardus Vos

Mixed Media on Archival Paper
Image Size: 5.75” x 6.75”

© Copyright Daniel Hill Riedel
Riedel Creative Group, LLC
All Rights Reserved


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J. Gresham Machen

Mixed Media on Archival Paper
5.75” x 6.75”

© Copyright Daniel Hill Riedel
Riedel Creative Group, LLC
All Rights Reserved


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John Murray

Mixed Media on Archival Paper
5.75” x 6.75”

© Copyright Daniel Hill Riedel
Riedel Creative Group, LLC
All Rights Reserved