Van Til most often appears as the author of Happy Monday. He was introduced in 2014 as the editor of The Master’s Table. HIs bio suggests he is a golden retriever, possibly a blond lab, with a Master’s degree in English. I may or may not have mentioned that Van Til is a figment of my imagination. The reason I bring it up now is that we have started re-posting episodes of the Internet Monk Radio podcast. Sooner or later you may hear Michael Spencer reference Van Til. The idea that Van Til works in my employ is a tribute to my late mentor who referenced a dog named Van Til that served as engineer of his radio program. Before he was a figment of my imagination he was a figment of his imagination.
Before I ever mentioned Van Til on my blog I checked with Denise Spencer to make sure there wasn’t a real Van Til that might not think it was funny. As far as she knew Michael did not have a friend in real life nor a seminary professor by that name. I discovered a Dutch-American theologian named Cornelius Van Til who lived from 1895 until 1987. He is noted as being the originator of modern presuppositional apologetics. We have reasoned this to be where the name came from. I went ahead and gave him the full name Van Til Spencer. At first I would mention what he had been up to recently at the end of each Happy Monday post, often posting a pic of a yellow dog engaged in some activity that was supposed to be him. Case in point. I thought it would be a stroke of genius for Van Til to publish Happy Monday but in some ways that ruined the joke. I couldn’t keep sharing his story if the posts were created in his persona. A commenter once told Van Til that he was doing a great job and to keep up the good work. Was this person playing along or totally unaware? I never found out because I decided to say nothing.
Sometimes I comment on a Happy Monday post as myself and occasionally Van Til replies. You can send him email, firstname.lastname@example.org, but he doesn’t check his mailbox very often since on one ever writes. Possibly because he doesn’t really exist but who can say? Okay, I’m going to wrap this up before it gets weird. I don’t want to end up in a little room someday carrying on a conversation with myself in different voices like Smeagol and Gollum. If you hear Michael say something about Van Til, and I don’t know where that happened in the chronology, that’s what’s going on. It was his idea and I borrowed it later. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, or so I’m told.