The Westminster Confession of Faith and Logic – W. Gary Crampton, Th.D

GaryCramptonSome Aberrant Views of Logic

As important as the proper use of logic is for an understanding of God and His Word, there are a number of modern day theologians and philosophers who deprecate logic. They teach that there is no point of contact between divine logic and human logic. Here we have what Ronald Nash calls “the religious revolt against logic.”[6] And the revolt is not only from the Neo-orthodox camp. One would expect men such as Karl Barth, and Emil Brunner to take such an irrational position. After all, Neo-orthodoxy is known as the “the theology of paradox,” in which faith must “curb” logic. But this pervasive spirit of misology has infected even those who make no claim to Neo-orthodoxy.

Herman Dooyeweerd, for example, avers that there is a “boundary” which exists between God and the cosmos. The laws of logic, of valid inference, which are applicable under the boundary, do not have any application with regard to God. Then there is Donald Bloesch. In his Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration & Interpretation,[7]Bloesch openly denies that there is any point of contact between God’s logic and human logic (121, 293). The truth of Biblical revelation, says the author, can never “be caught through the analytical methods of formal logic” (55). Bloesch frankly acknowledges that “I depart from some of my evangelical colleagues in that I understand the divine content of Scripture not as rationally comprehensible teaching but as the mystery of salvation declared in Jesus Christ” (114). Incredulously, he even goes so far as to say that “revelation cannot be assimilated into a comprehensive, rational system of truth” (289).

Sadly, the “religious revolt against logic” extends into the camp of genuine orthodoxy as well. Edwin H. Palmer, for one, teaches that the doctrine of God’s absolute sovereignty and man’s responsibility is a logical paradox. It cannot be resolved before the bar of human reason. The Calvinist says Palmer, “in the face of all logic,” believes both sides of the paradox to be true, even though he “realizes that what he advocates is ridiculous.”[8]

Then there is Cornelius Van Til. Dr. Van Til is well known for his assertion that the Bible is full of logical paradoxes. John Robbins, in his Cornelius Van Til: The Man and the Myth,[9] cites numerous examples of Van Til’s deprecation of logic. For example, in spite of the fact that the Bible teaches that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), Dr. Van Til maintained that “all teaching of Scripture is apparently contradictory” (25). He frequently spoke of logic (not the misuse of logic, but logic itself) in a disparaging manner. He spoke of “logicism” and “the static categories of logic.” And with references to the Confession’s (1:6) statement quoted above, Van Til commented: “This statement should not be used as a justification for deductive exegesis” (24-25). Yet, deductive exegesis is precisely what the Confessionis endorsing.

Ronald Nash also saw the problem with Van Til and his deprecation of human logic. Nash wrote, “I once asked Van Til if, when some human being knows that 1 plus 1 equals 2, that human being’s knowledge is identical with God’s knowledge. The question, I thought was innocent enough. Van Til’s only answer was to smile, shrug his shoulders, and declare that the question was improper in the sense that it had no answer. It had no answer because any proposed answer would presume what it is impossible for Van Til, namely, that laws like those found in mathematics and logic apply beyond the [Dooyeweerdian] boundary.” In other words, unlike Warfield, Buswell, Augustine, Clark, and the Westminster divines, Van Til, like Herman Dooyeweerd, assumed that the laws of logic are created rather than eternally existing in the mind of God. [You can find Dr. Crampton's entire article here.]

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322 Comments on “The Westminster Confession of Faith and Logic – W. Gary Crampton, Th.D”

  1. JRS Says:

    “… Van Til’s only answer was to smile, shrug his shoulders, and declare that the question was improper in the sense that it had no answer. It had no answer because any proposed answer would presume what it is impossible for Van Til, namely, that laws like those found in mathematics and logic apply beyond the [Dooyeweerdian] boundary.”

    Or, to put it another way,

    “`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.” (apologies to Lewis Carroll).

  2. Charlie Says:

    …”if, when some human being knows that 1 plus 1 equals 2, that human being’s knowledge is identical with God’s knowledge”…?

    How is this question answered appropriately?

  3. Steve M Says:

    Van Til:
    “Christians should NEVER appeal to the law of contradiction as something that determines what can or cannot be true.”

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

    It is not true that, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

    I am trying to determine whether both of the above propositions can or cannot be true. Can someone please tell me what I should appeal to in order to do so if I am a Christian?.

  4. Steve M Says:

    “In other words, unlike Warfield, Buswell, Augustine, Clark, and the Westminster divines, Van Til, like Herman Dooyeweerd, assumed that the laws of logic are created rather than eternally existing in the mind of God.”

    Van Til was too vague to be intelligible on whether.logic was created. I read things from him that led me to believe that was his position. His followers will argue that was not his position. They will argue for two or even three logics. According to them the logic which has existed eternally in the mind of God is just as unknown to us as any truth that has existed eternally in the mind of God. According to these folks the logic we know is created and any “truth” that we “know” is an analogy of what God knows.

    I have a question:
    If the logic that has existed eternally in the mind of God is completely unknown to us, how does anyone know it is not the same as ours (the one we know)?

  5. Denson Dube Says:

    SteveM,
    How do we know our knowledge is an analogy of God’s knowledge? How can we claim something to be an analogy of we know not what? A thing must be known for one to identify its analogy.
    Van Tilian epistemology is incoherent.

  6. Steve M Says:

    Denson
    Bingo!

    Van Tilian epistemology (if it can be called an epistemology at all) is only incoherent according to created human logic, which includes such things as the law of contradiction.,

    Van til:
    “The law of contradiction, therefore, as we know it,is but the expression on a created level of the internal coherence of God’s nature.”

    Even after citing the above quote, Van Tilians will deny that Van Til assumed the laws of logic are created.

    How does Van Til know that God’s nature is internally coherent?

    Discussing either logic or truth with a Van Tilian is like beating your head against the wall. It feels so good when you stop.

  7. Steve M Says:

    …”if, when some human being knows that 1 plus 1 equals 2, that human being’s knowledge is identical with God’s knowledge”…?

    How is this question answered appropriately?

    Charlie, this is where some aberrant views of logic come into play. Van Til: “God is one person and three persons,” therefore, one equals three and thus one plus one equals six. But this is not necessarily so. This statement also leads to the broader conclusion that one equals not one, which opens up the possibility that one plus one equals any possible number with the possible (and only possible) exception of two. It seems to me that this new logic would make math tests easier for teachers to score and certainly for students to take.

  8. Charlie Says:

    Steve M, Thanks for your reply. However, I still do not know how to answer the question.

    …”if, when some human being knows that 1 plus 1 equals 2, that human being’s knowledge is identical with God’s knowledge”…?

    I have a hard time saying yes or no to this question.

    Yes, I understand that one object when placed with another object makes two objects. I know God would say the same thing here mathematically, but is my knowledge of 1 + 1 = 2 identical with God’s knowledge?

    I have a hard time with the idea carried in the word, ‘identical.’ I am sure that when God is trying to communicate merely a math computation with the idea of indicating 1+1=2 then we have the same kind of knowledge regarding the equation.

    However, if God says when individual object is placed next to the other individual object which makes two individual objects that his knowledge of the objects (individually and as a whole in all their various parts) is vastly different then my knowledge of the two objects.

    The issue is not the mathematical computation but the concept of ‘identical knowledge.’ God’s knowledge as Creator is vastly different then my knowledge as a creature. He knows the molecular structure so to know the mathematical difference of the objects we identify as the same (1). He knows if the objects are in fact equal. Further, he knows how and why those objects represent his glory in a way we are barely grasping at.

    Therefore, my issue is not so much as does man know what God knows when the object is 1+1=2 as a mathematical equation. My issue is the concept carried in the word ‘identical’ referring to God’s knowledge and man’s knowledge.

    The answer must be qualified in either case. I think both sides of this issue make too much out of the qualifications that must be given to agree with the statement.

    A case in point is that no one has answered my initial question. You have given qualifications and reasons for your qualifications – as I have done above. However, the question is left unanswered and yet Van Til is bashed for not answering the question. Are we faring any better here?

  9. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    What difference, at this point, does it make?

    If “identical” also means “not identical”, you are quibbling about nothing.

  10. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    I am not quibbling. I asked a question. I asked how someone here would reaspond to the question Van Til avoided. It was avoided.

    I gave some qualifying concerns. Am I now under attack for asking a question and not being answered?

    Do you recognize the distinctions I was making in my qualifications or am I merely disregarded because it “seems” I am defending Van Til on a Clark site?

    I never defended or affirmed the subject of Van Til’s epistemology. I asked a question. I think you assume far too much.

    You can either answer the question or dismiss me.

    I was asked to read an except from the article. I did and followed the excerpt to read the whole article. I returned and read the responses. I had a question.

    Are we allowed to ask questions or is that considered a threat?

  11. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    How do you know what God know’s?

  12. Steve M Says:

    “God’s knowledge as Creator is vastly different then my knowledge as a creature.”

    Unless you know something that God knows, how do you know that God’s knowledge is vastly different? If you are correct that God’s knowledge is vastly different from yours, how can you know whether the difference is qualitative or quantitative? All knowledge has truth as its object or it is not knowledge at all. If you you do not know some truth, you have no knowledge at all. Since God is omniscient, if you know anything, it must be something that God knows. If it is true that one plus one equals two, then God knows it. If you know it too, then you know something God knows.

    If a human being “knows” anything, it must be true to qualify as knowledge and, if so. it is something that God also knows. Truth is perfect. 1+1=2.0000001 is not true. It is not identical to what God knows.

    Your difficulty in saying yes or no to the question you posed is due to your misconception of what truth is.

  13. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    I know what God knows in so far as I am delivered from suppressing the truth and understand His special revelation by the illumination of His Spirit. This I understand from Scripture.

    How do you know what God knows? BTW – you still have not answered how you would answer the question posed to Van Til.

  14. Steve M Says:

    …”if, when some human being knows that 1 plus 1 equals 2, that human being’s knowledge is identical with God’s knowledge”…?

    Charlie
    I most certainly did answer the question posed to Van Til. I wrote. “If it is true that one plus one equals two, then God knows it. If you (a human being I presume) know it too, then you know something God knows.” “truth is perfect”. If what a human being “knows” is not identical to some truth that God knows, it is not knowledge, because its object is not true. There is only true and false.

    The answer is yes, in case you haven’t figured it out.

  15. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    I responded to your post before you answered the question. I assume we were both posting at the same time. I was responding to your question, “How do you know what God know’s?” as you wrote your answer to the question asked to Van Til. I see your answer now but when I wrote my response it was not there.

    Are you a pugnacious man? Do you intend on fighting with me? Or can we discuss an issue as brothers in the Lord? Do you represent God’s Hammer or are you just a follower representing them badly?

    I never said what man knows and what God knows is different. I said what man knows God already knows. I qualified it by saying I am not sure I would say it is ‘identical knowledge.’

    You never asked me what my definition of truth was and I have not said what it is, how can you say I have a problem with it? Let me be clear about my idea of truth…

    1+1=2 is not truth!

    I put that on a line by itself so it will stand out. The equation by itself is not truth. It is suppression of the truth because it is not related to God whom it represents. Any so called truth when it is not rightly related to God may be correct in an earthly sense but it is a suppression of the truth if God is not rightly related to it. All of creation reflects God’s glory. That means 1+1=2 does as well. When you say 1+1=2 if you do not rightly relate it to God’s intended revealed glory then you absolutely do not have ‘identical knowledge’ of that equation as God.

    Now my question to you is, do you wish to discuss or fight? If it is the later, I will merely desist and continue to assume that those who follow Clark are pugnacious and therefore disqualified from holding the position of Elder and thus not qualified to teach what is true at all.

  16. Steve M Says:

    If 1+1=2 is not truth, then it cannot be the object of knowledge for either God or man. A discussion concerning whether the “knowledge: is identical becomes rather pointless.

  17. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    When your idea of logic supersedes Scripture then it is sin.

    Rom. 1:18 – 23 specifically states that men suppress the truth of God out of the material world in unrighteousness. When we suppress the truth of God out of the equation 1+1=2 then it is not the truth about 1+1=2 but suppression of the truth of God revealed in 1+1=2. If you refuse to acknowledge this, the issue is much greater then a logical fallacy. I am not here to discuss logic in isolation from Scripture that is the kind of godless chatter Paul says to avoid (1 Tim. 6:20 – 21). Logic is only true when it is in compliance to Scripture – not the other way around.

    You can have your logic. I will maintain Scripture in a logical manner.

  18. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    You are getting a little pugnacious, aren’t you?

    “You can have your logic. I will maintain Scripture in a logical manner.”

    I have no idea what you mean. You speak gibberish.

  19. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    I did not come here to argue Van Til and Clark. I came to if out more about Clark. I ask a simple question which was avoided for several posts. I was baggered instead of interacted with. I presented Scripture to provide the basis for my claim regarding truth.

    You said, “If 1+1=2 is not truth, then it cannot be the object of knowledge for either God or man. A discussion concerning whether the “knowledge: is identical becomes rather pointless.”

    This completely disregarded the Scripture that I mentioned. At this point I said, “You can have your logic. I will maintain Scripture in a logical manner.”

    Scripture is king. Logic is the handmaid. Further, the logical outcome of this discussion is this…I continue to quote or refer to Scripture and you continue to brow beat until I decide to discontinue. Discussion (so called) ends.

    If you represent God’s Hammer then it is unbiblical. If you represent the views and manner of Clark then it is worthless and I want none of it.

    I entered the discussion for a meaningful dialog and insight into Clark. I have been disappointed and soured by the experience.

  20. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    Yes, you are an innocent victim. You didn’t claim that my sinful idea of logic superseded Scripture (without citing a single I said). You just came to this website looking for information and you have suffered tremendous abuse at the hands of a pugnacious Clarkian. You poor thing.

    I do not represent anything except my own opinion. I believe I am entitled to have one. You are entitled to disagree with my opinion. If you find fault with my position with fallacious logic, I will point out the fallacy. If you decry the use of logic, I will not take you seriously, because I don’t believe those who decry logic are truth-seekers.

  21. Steve M Says:

    (without citing a single thing I said)

  22. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    If you represent merely your own opinion than there is no reason to continue. You misrepresent logic because you refuse to acknowledge the Scriptures which reveal the God you claim is logic.

    I was responding to you as I assumed you represented someone who would speak for the initial post.

    I hope you are a brother in the Lord. If not seek Christ. If you are seek Christ-likeness. Good day.

  23. Steve M Says:

    “You misrepresent logic because you refuse to acknowledge the Scriptures which reveal the God you claim is logic.

    Charlie
    Exactly where did I refuse to acknowledge the Scriptures? Where did I claim that God is logic?

    My position is that Scripture is our only source of truth and that the whole counsel of God includes not only what is explicitly set down in Scripture but also what may by good and necessary consequence be deduced from Scripture. This deduction by good and necessary consequence is the logic that you decry. The reason that we are to believe Scripture is because it is the word of God (who is truth itself). God is truth and logic is an attribute of truth.

    You come to this site and attack me with relatively unintelligent assertions and then claim that you are somehow being mistreated. You have convinced me. One plus one does not equal two.

  24. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    I have mentioned Rom. 1:18 – 23 several times. Here it is if you are not familiar with it.

    Romans 1:18–23 (ESV) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    Suppression of the truth is refusing to acknowledge God in the things which have been made. I mentioned this several times. I also mention 1 Tim 6:20 – 21.

    1 Timothy 6:20–21 (ESV) 20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.

    The main point of Paul is to guard the gospel (2 Tim. 1:8 – 14) by avoiding Godless chatter and the antithesis of knowledge falsely so called (this is any epistemology without God in focus). This is the only time this word ‘antithesis’ is used in Scripture but it is used in Plato, Aristotle, and even Philo in a humanistic epistemology (i.e. thesis, antithesis, synthesis).

    I mentioned both of these passages saying that when a mathematical equation is accepted as truth without mention of God it is actually suppression of truth and therefore less than what God knows about it and definitely not ‘identical’ to God’s knowledge of it. It is also to be guarded against or chance swerving from the faith (maybe that’s the issue here).

    You never acknowledge these Scriptures. Read back and see. The author of the article mentioned Clark’s view of God is logic from John 1. I assumed, maybe wrongly, that you read the article since you were here seemingly defending it against any who had a question regarding it.

    You have been a bully (pugnacious) up to this point and not a person willing to discuss anything. You claim I speak gibberish when I have presented Scripture. I will keep my gibberish according to the Scripture and you keep yours according to a suppression of truth in logic.

  25. Steve M Says:

    “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. (Gal 4:22 NAU)”

  26. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    Thanks for showing a perfect example. When God speaks of one plus one being two that the meaning is always much more than the mere mathematical equation.

  27. Steve M Says:

    Charlie

    Paul affirms the equation. You deny it.

    I have certainly read the Scripture passages you cite and I acknowledge that they are true as are all passages of Scripture. The problem is that they have nothing to do with the inferences you draw from them. You admittedly do not use deductive logic to reach your interpretations of these passages. It is not amazing that your interpretations are irrational.

    Also, I didn’t say that I disagreed with Clark’s interpretation of John 1:1. I simply pointed that I had made no such claim (that logic is God).

    Attempting to interact with someone whose thinking is as sloppy as yours is tedious. So is your whining. I think it is best that we simply end this discussion

  28. Charlie Says:

    I never denied the equation by saying it meant something different than 1+1=2. I suggested that God’s knowledge of the equation and man’s knowledge of the equation is not ‘identical knowledge.’ It is not identical knowledge not because the equation is different but because Gos’s knowledge of the spiritual meaning is more because man suppresses the truth of it in unrighteousness according to Rom. 1:18-23.

    How is that not deductive? How is that sloppy?

    It might be tedious for you if you have been suppressing the truth to now engage with it.

    As for my pointing out your lack of grace and unwillingness to engage in what I am actually saying…it is the truth. You can either admit and begin to discuss the Scriptures with what they say about 1+1=2 or you can deny, defer attention, and disengage with someone who is actually willing to push back without getting angry blasting a retort and leaving.

    So far I have shown that when you disparage Van Til for not answering the question with yes that his answer was the better answer according to Romans 1:18 – 23 and 1 Tim. 6:20 – 21.

    If you would like to stop engaging fine but you have been unable to explain why your disdain for Van Til’s answer is valid. I am not here to defend Van Til. I know enough to know he was not perfect. However, I do see merit in how he answered the question. I have shown from the Scriptures why.

  29. Steve M Says:

    Charlie:
    “1+1=2 is not truth!”

    “I never denied the equation by saying it meant something different than 1+1=2″.

  30. 1WilliamFarel Says:

    Teaching like this simply reconstructs the wall Immanuel Kant erected between the noumenal and phenomenal. One wonders how Dooyeweerd knows that God is on the other side of this “boundary” when, using his own standard, nothing logical, and therefore meaningful, can be predicated about this God. As I recall, K. Scott Oliphint teaches something similar at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. On a related note, one wonders what the proponents of this teaching hold re. the Incarnation of Christ. Would this not surely result in a Nestorian view of the mind of Christ, in His self-understanding as well as His understanding of His Father, the Holy Spirit, and the created universe?

  31. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    Romans 1:18-20 refers to men who suppress the truth by denying the rationality with which God has equipped them. When Paul wrote, “ that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them”, he was referring to the innate equipment that God has given to the mind of every man for the purpose of distinguishing truth from falsity. It is this rationality that leaves man without excuse. It is not his five senses. My dog, Clancy, can see, hear, touch, smell and taste, but he cannot reason. He is not without excuse. He cannot sin. He cannot do math.

    When Paul wrote, “His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood“, he was not referring to man’s eyesight. He was referring to man’s mind. It is the mind of man that “sees” invisible (to the eyes) attributes. Man sees these attributes because of the God-given ability to distinguish truth from falsehood. He has to cast aside this inborn rationality to exchange the truth of God for a lie. He must cast it aside in order to determine that one plus one equals two is not truth.

    “I do see merit in how he (Van Til) answered the question. I have shown from the Scriptures why.”

    Van Til did not answer the question.

  32. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    You quoted me saying,

    “1+1=2 is not truth!”
    “I never denied the equation by saying it meant something different than 1+1=2″.

    Can I hold both to be accurate statements? Have you shown them to be inaccurate statements?

    I said 1+1=2 is not truth but suppression of truth if it is not rightly related to the glory of God he intended to reveal in it. This does not deny the accuracy of the equation but calls into question the idea of ‘identical knowledge.’

    You are not following.

    About Romans 1:18 -23 You said, “he was referring to the innate equipment that God has given to the mind of every man for the purpose of distinguishing truth from falsity.”

    You are wrong. The passage states that what can be known is the invisible attributes of God namely his eternal power and divine nature. It not distinguishing truth from falsity but seeing the invisible God because of the created (material) world. When God is suppressed out of the visible things (Paul called it Godless chatter) then man suppress the truth of God out of accurate assessments of the material order.

    1+1=2 is suppression of truth unless the invisible God is recognized from it. It is not truth on its own.

    The Bible is truth revealed. Christ is truth. The Spirit is truth. The Father is truth. 1+1=2 and any other accurate mathematical equation is only true as it reflects the truth of God.

    William I will address what you said after I reread a few times and digest what you are saying.

  33. Charlie Says:

    William,

    Here is my attempt to address your concerns (if they were aimed at me).

    You ask a series of questions assuming what I am saying (again assuming you refer to me and not Steve), assuming what I am saying agrees with what Kant and Dooyeweerd says.

    I do not agree (if my assumptions about what you are saying are correct).

    Biblically speaking…the noumenal would be the concept of spiritual (when speaking of God) and the phenomenal would be the material world and its laws (created order). Therefore, there is no wall. The spiritual is the foundation and substance of the material – the shadow of the substance (Heb. 8:5, 10:1 – 10; Col. 2:17). The substance is Christ. Therefore, there is no separation between the noumenal and phenomenal, except in the mind of man due to sin.

    This is where Dooyeweed’s boundary comes in and is crossed. The boundry is not normal but brought into the world through suppression and sin. However, through the gospel and the power of God expressed in the gospel the man who is granted belief is given the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:14-16). This believing mind now understands the connection to Christ in the noumenal and phenomenal because he/she has been given understanding (1 John 5:20).

    In this way, there is no need to wonder about the Christological mind for Christ’s mind was not tainted by sin. Therefore, there was never a disconnect to him.

    I hope this answers your concerns (again if they were aimed at me).

  34. Charlie Says:

    Question: IF God is logic (according to Clark’s understanding of John 1:1, 4), does this make logical consistency the test for truth or is it still God’s Word (Scripture)?

    Further, was LOGOS as logic understood by the Greek and Hebrew readers when John wrote? Where would this be confirmed by other Scriptures? The Logic who became flesh did not teach logic; he taught the Scriptures. The Apostles held to the Scriptures not merely logical argumentation; not even John who wrote it.

    My concern is which is king…logic or God’s revelation. I understand we must be logical in our presentation but which do we presuppose as truth and the measure for truth claims?

    As I understand it, Scripture is king and logic is the handmaid. This is not the case if God is logic as Clark claims.

  35. Sean Gerety Says:

    1. I would say, yes, logical consistency is evidence of the truth of Scripture and this is something that is directly affirmed and confessed in WCF 1.

    2. The Logos as the underlying metaphysical reason or logic behind all things was understood by Greek and Hebrew readers, arguably way better than Christians do today. Philo, who as you know was a contemporary of Jesus said: “the Logos of the living God is the bond of everything, holding all things together and binding all the parts, and prevents them from being dissolved and separated.” I haven’t read the book, but that reference to Philo can be found here (http://tinyurl.com/loc9cyd and just do a search for Logos and many of the references are pretty insightful and revealing).

    3. I’m not sure what you mean that Jesus didn’t “teach” logic? Do you mean His teaching and his arguments were illogical? I would have thought that everything Jesus said was a lesson in logical thinking.

    4. To your concern which is king, I don’t see how you can separate Scripture from logic since the laws of logic are embedded in every word of Scripture starting with “In the beginning God …” which was Clark’s and Crampton’s point. I would think if the Scriptures contradicted themselves or if Jesus advanced fallacious arguments we could know that while a revered religious leader, Jesus’ claim that he is the way, the truth and the life would be suspect at best.

    5. You’re right. Clark doesn’t separate Scripture and logic. He doesn’t view logic as merely a handmade to Scripture, but rather the very architecture of God’s mind and in whose image we are made.

  36. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    Thank you for engaging in a discussion. I appreciate your words and manner in which you presented them. I do, however, disagree with points. I will address them under your numbering above without quoting what you said.

    1. I do not agree here. The main test for Scripture was apostolic authorship. Nothing was said about logic being a test or measure of Scripture unless you consider consistency with the OT a demand of logic. But I do not see as Logic determining Scripture. I see the OT as the measure and logic as a tool to determine if the book matched the OT teaching and could be considered a NT book. Known Scripture was the measure and logic was the tool to examine the book under the scrutiny of the OT Scripture. Logic is here a handmaiden not a master. Further, I think the WCF 1 is offering the same thing as just stated. Scripture is the authority and whatever is given in principle or logical inference from the Scripture. Logic is neither a test for Scripture nor does it have demands over Scripture. It is a tool in understanding Scripture, which is itself the authority.

    2. I understand the Greek mind regarding Logos. However, it was always an impersonal force and not a person. The Logos of the Bible is a person not laws of reason. Jesus was not merely a set of logical rules. He was a person with will, intellect, and emotion. He taught the Scriptures and Scriptural fallacy not logic and logical fallacy. Scripture was the authority and logic a means to determine proper interpretation.

    3. I can be logical without teaching logic. Jesus taught the Scripture as the rule of truth. He did not teach the law of non-contradiction as the rule. A person could not contradict the Scripture was the rule. How was that employed? Maybe with the tool of non-contradiction but Scripture was the rule not logic.

    4. Scripture is the Word of God and therefore authoritative. God told Abraham to plunge a knife in the son of promise. This is not logical on a human level. Abraham believed God and altered his humanistic reasoning to imagine God could raise him from the dead. It was not the logical outworking of the problem that caused Abraham to obey. It was that God told him to do so. God’s Word does not need to be tested by humanistic logic to see if it should be obeyed. It should be obeyed because God said it. Logic is not a test for Scripture as truth. Scripture is truth. Logic can be a test for what someone interpreted Scripture to mean. However, that logic is maintained within the confines of the authority of Scripture, not as an authority all its own.

    5. This baffles me. Aristotle, a pagan unbeliever, develops a system of reason devoid of the God of Scripture that Christians today are placing on the same level as Scripture in authority. Wasn’t this Origen’s issue, he placed pagan philosophy on par with the Scriptures – the philosophers were to the Greeks what the prophets were to Israel? I understand that God is internally consistent with himself but does that mean he is confined to Aristotelian Logic. I do not agree that logos was understood by the NT readers as what we understand today as Aristotelian Logic. This limits the Son of God to an impersonal principle. He is so much more.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to consider and discuss. I am still not sold. I do not completely agree with Van Til nor do I completely agree with Clark. I try not to bash either man for what God allowed him to learn. I believe both were believers and now enjoy the presence of the Lord. I hope to join them one day.

  37. justbybelief Says:

    If there were no logic, God’s Word is meaningless and therefore impotent. If God’s Word were impotent nothing would exist. In my mind, the subordination of logic borders on blasphemy. Logic precedes communication. Without logic there is no communication.

    Maybe it is that Aristotle was merely drawing from what always was and is. If an artist paints a picture of a forest we cannot credit him with ‘creating’ trees, he is merely portraying something that already existed.

  38. Charlie Says:

    justbyfaith,

    I did not say there is NO logic. Logic is revealed in general and special revelation. I am not arguing that point. I am suggesting that logic is not equal to Scripture in authority. Scripture is God’s Word and as such is the only authority.

    Logic flows from the character and attributes of God as he maintains his internal consistency. I do not believe that God is Logic as maintained by Clark and his followers. If God is Logic then it is an authority on par with Scripture. I do not accept this notion. Further, I think the John 1 passage is stretched too far in its assertion that…in the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God, and Logic was God. The Logos is the eternal Son, a personal being; not an impersonal system of thought.

    Logic is important to us as beings created in the image of God. The human mind has been given the capacity and ability to think reasonably so to understand the Word of God and the character and attributes of God it reveals so that we worship God.

    Logic is not, however, an authority over nor on par with God’s Word. Logic is the handmaiden to the master, which is Scripture as God’s written Word. Logic exists and is important but it is subordinate to God’s revealed Word.

  39. justbybelief Says:

    As I said before without logic God’s Word would be meaningless and impotent.

  40. Steve M Says:

    “does this make logical consistency the test for truth or is it still God’s Word?”

    “Logic flows from the character and attributes of God as he maintains his internal consistency.”

    Charlie

    As I understand it, you are opining that logic is not God’s nature or an attribute of God, but rather something that “flows” from His character and attributes. For you, logic is something separate from God. You recognize that God (who is truth itself) is internally consistent, yet deny that consistency is a test for truth. Does this consistent God reveal Himself with an inconsistent revelation? Are you allowing for inconsistencies in Scripture?

  41. 1WilliamFarel Says:

    Charlie,

    First of all, no, I was not addressing you in my initial comment. Rather, I was commenting on the teachings of Herman Dooyeweerd as delineated in this post from Sean back in February.

    Second, the corollary that then follows is that I didn’t assume anything about who you agree or disagree with.

    Third, your definitions of the noumenal (as the spiritual) and the phenomenal (as the material) are no doubt well-intended, but do not apply to the issues I was raising. It is true that the Creator and Sustainer of the material universe is God. Against pantheism, we would add that there is a clear separation and ontological distinction between them. That said, I had something else in mind when I spoke of a wall between the noumenal and the phenomenal that I will explain later. More to the point, the definitions of noumenal and phenomenal for Kant meant something very different for him too, with tremendous implications for epistemology. For him, the term “noumenal” referred to the knowledge of a thing, material or spiritual, as it is in itself. The “phenomenal,” on the other hand, referred to what the human mind perceives it to be; i.e., what it is to us.

    Here is an excellent explanation of Kant’s views from Dr. W. Gary Crampton taken from the June, 2001 issue of “The Trinity Review:”

    Kant attempted to go beyond rationalism and empiricism by claiming that all human knowledge begins with sense experience (content), but in itself, sense experience is not sufficient to give us knowledge. The content needs a form or structure. Kant taught that this form is supplied by the mind, in apriori categories of understanding. But since men can never know what cannot first be experienced, knowledge cannot extend beyond the phenomenal world. The real world, Kant’s “noumenal world,” “things in themselves” rather than “things as they appear,” therefore, can never be known. Thus, Kant constructed a “wall” between the immanent and the transcendent, and God is unknowable. It is ironic that Kant believed that this agnosticism was an aid to Christianity. He had “denied knowledge in order to make room for faith.” Belief in God was still possible, but not on rational grounds. Like Hume before him, with Kant there is nothing in common between Christian faith and knowledge.

    Kant argued forcefully that it is impossible for the human mind to know what anything is in itself, i.e. noumenal reality, regardless of whether or not we are talking about God, angels, people, or inanimate physical objects. Just as a liquid takes the form of whatever container it is placed into, just so the phenomenal reality of whatever human beings claim to observe, experience, or know depends upon the intellectual categories and thought-forms of the human beings making those observations, having those experiences, etc. Indeed, it cannot be otherwise because of the limitations and structures of the human mind. So, within the Kantian system there very much is a wall between God and man; indeed, a very high, very thick, insurmountable wall.

    The teachings of Dr. Herman Dooyeweerd referred to in Sean’s initial blog post create a similar wall. He taught, as Dr. W. Gary Crampton noted in his critique, that the laws of logic do not apply beyond the boundary between God and man. If that is true, then it becomes impossible for human beings to predicate anything meaningful about God at all, including His existence. Dooyeweerd and Kant both built a wall, a boundary, a barrier between God and man that is insurmountable – even by God Himself. Human beings cannot know anything meaningful, i.e. logical, about Him, and God cannot tell us anything meaningful about Himself, anymore than a person can watch a DVD on a record player. The human mind and God’s mind are incompatible according to Dooyeweerd and Kant. So, to be clear, in my initial post did I accuse you, Charlie, of creating a wall with your system? No. I wasn’t criticizing you. I was talking about Dooyeweerd and Kant. They are the ones constructing a wall.

    Fourth, the emphatic assertions of Van Til, Dooyeweerd, and others that the laws of logic do not apply to God, that they are not the way or the manner in which God thinks, I believe affect more than our epistemology. I believe they affect our Christology, i.e. our understanding of Christ, as well, because they would apply to our humanity even without the Fall. Therefore, they would also apply to Jesus Christ. I submit that what Van Til and others teach/taught, in saying that the laws of logic do not apply to God in the way and manner in which He thinks, ultimately leans to a Nestorian View of the Person of Christ. Nestorianism teaches that Jesus Christ existed as two separate persons: the man, Jesus of Nazareth, and the Divine Son of God. Nestorianism is heresy. The orthodox view of Jesus Christ teaches that He is one person with two distinct natures: one human and the other Divine. If the Divine mind and the human mind cannot interface at any point, viz. Van Til, then to me we are left with something very much akin to Nestorianism. That was the point I was trying to make in my initial post.

    Fifth, thank you Charlie for your efforts to address my concerns. However, as you can see, my focus was on something else.

  42. justbybelief Says:

    “Does this consistent God reveal Himself with an inconsistent revelation? Are you allowing for inconsistencies in Scripture?”

    Amen, Steve!

    God cannot lie. He is not duplicitous.

  43. Charlie Says:

    Justbyfaith

    God has the power to determine what he wants when he wants. However, due to his nature he acts only in accord with his own nature. His attribute of righteousness (God cannot lie) establishes the Law of non-contradiction as a true law. It a true law as it is representative of God’s attribute of righteousness. God is not logic. God is righteous and just. Do you see the difference in what I am saying?

    Steve M,

    I hope you read my response to justbyfaith above as it speaks to your point as well.

    I said God was not logic. I said logic flowed from the character and attributes of God. God is love. God is not logic in the same way he is love. God is love and is logical because he is righteous. It is not separate from God because it flows from God but it is not God like God is love.

    God is truth and thus is internally consistent. God is the measure of truth. The truth of the mathematical equation 1+1=2 is only true when the equation is understood in the appropriate relationship to God. Here we have in mind “total truth” (identical knowledge) not accuracy (subset of knowledge) in a physical sense but truth in God’s view of truth.

    {SIDE NOTE: In this way, God knows how people suppress the truth and thus God knows the untrue. Therefore, untruth is known by God as a subset of the knowledge of God knowable to man.}

    Back to knowledge in relationship to God…consider this,

    Vernon Bartlet said this in an article titled ‘Teaching of Jesus’ in ‘A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels’ page 704,

    “Christ’s manifestation of the knowledge of God (on which the Kingdom depends) as His essential life, is the ‘truth’ about God and man in their mutual relations,—a truth, therefore, practical in its scope,—and so the ‘light’ of men as regards their special concern, the art of life.”

    Truth must be understood in relationship to God or it is may be accurate as to human understanding but it is suppression of truth in unrighteousness.

    Of course I do not allow for God’s Word (Scripture) to be inconsistent. God is not inconsistent. What I said was the NT Scripture was not put to the test of logical consistency. It was deemed Scripture if it was written by an apostle or a person under the authority of an apostle. The only consistency test was not logical consistency but consistency to what the OT already said. The saint of old did not deem logic to be a test to put Scripture too. Scripture IS the measure for truth not logic.

    Consider this quote from C. A. Beckwith, ‘Rationalism and Supernaturalism,’ in ‘The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge’ page 393,

    “Rationalism in theology has in common with rationalism in philosophy the effort to derive the essential in religious knowledge from reason as an original source, instead of regarding it as something received from some other source. This is in the face of a traditional Protestant theology which maintained that God’s revelation was absolutely given and that the employment of reason (we could say logic) in dealing with it was instrumental and not critical or normative. Human reason was to engage itself with, and apply the accepted good, without addition or subtraction; but was not entitled to subject it to independent proof, to a resultant reduction, or other essential alteration. For in such case, exactly those elements of church belief would be most affected which were not included in universal thought, but rested wholly on divine revelation.” (parenthesis added)

    I point to this not to say I feel Clark or his followers were taking away from Scripture. However, I would say they may be making an addition (God is Logic) and thus elevating logic to a place on par with the authority of Scripture. I disagree and so cannot follow at this point. Further, according to everything I said above when we say 1+1=2 we are accurate to the subset of God’s knowledge but we do not have identical knowledge unto truth (total truth) until God reveals and we understand his representative glory revealed in the equation.

    William,

    I will desist from that particular discussion. Thank you for the response.

  44. justbybelief Says:

    Do you see the difference in what I am saying?

    God is logic par excellence, If He is not, the statement, “God is love,” means nothing at all.

  45. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    You certainly do ramble.

  46. Charlie Says:

    justbyfaith and Steve M,

    Allow me to add to my ramblings.

    God is logical par excellence but He is not logic.

    God, by an act of his will, determines to be internally consistent and thus maintain his character. This decision allows logic to flow from the character of God as he maintains internal consistency. Logic flows per his decision. God is not logic.

    In this way, logic is a decision not natural to fallen man. Logical consistency is dependent on an ontological decision. The atheist determines a naturalistic ontology and thus attempts, unsuccessfully, to maintain an internal consistency to naturalism. It ultimately fails because all of revelation screams out the ontology of God because it reveals his glory.

    Christians determine to remain consistent with the revelation of God (both natural and special preferring the second). Therefore, logical consistency functions within God’s ontology. As such, it is consistent because it is consistent with God’s glory revealed in his character and attributes.

    Logic flows from the character and attributes of God. God is not logic.

  47. Sean Gerety Says:

    1. I do not agree here. The main test for Scripture was apostolic authorship. Nothing was said about logic being a test or measure of Scripture unless you consider consistency with the OT a demand of logic.

    Claims to apostolic authorship hardly evidences that what they authored, or what Moses and the prophets authored for that matter, is true. The Confession does site other evidences to be sure, but “the consent of all the parts,” i.e., the logical consistency of the teachings of Scripture is arguably the most important (as Clark notes Paul wasn’t exactly a paragon of style). Also, you keep insisting on some sort of elevation of the one thing over the other, which is a complete misunderstanding of Clark’s argument. If it were as you suggest, then logic would be Clark’s axiom, not Scripture. This is the same reason that Clark doesn’t claim that even God is the axiom for we know nothing of God apart from Scripture.

    2. I understand the Greek mind regarding Logos. However, it was always an impersonal force and not a person.

    I don’t know anyone who claimed that the Logos of John’s prologue was identical to that of the Greeks or of Philo, but if you read Philo his Logos seems pretty personal to me as he refers to Logos as the “word of the eternal God” and the “heavenly Adam.” I think John was very much advancing a Christian Logos doctrine and I think early Greek and Hebrew readers would have understood the thrust of his prologue far more fully and in terms of reason an logic than Christians today. Frankly, Clark’s translation is a big improvement over Jerome’s “Word” which conveys little or no meaning whatsoever.

    person could not contradict the Scripture was the rule. How was that employed? Maybe with the tool of non-contradiction but Scripture was the rule not logic.

    You make it sound like the law of contradiction is one tool of many, but it’s not. It is essential to all rational thought which is why it is embedded in the words of Scripture, the mind of Christ. This is why the Scriptures present to the mind a system of logically interrelated truths or doctrines and is not some disjointed aggregate of conflicting or even contradictory truths that end in some nebulous paradoxical whole. This why Van Til was wrong and modern “Evangelicals” and Charismatics in particular err when they treat Scripture as Rune Stones.

    4. Scripture is the Word of God and therefore authoritative.

    Right, but one of the ways we may be induced to believe Scripture is the Word of God is because it evidences it according the laws of logic. God is a rational being and His word reflects this central aspect of His character. IMO that’s the point of WCF 1.5.

    God told Abraham to plunge a knife in the son of promise. This is not logical on a human level. Abraham believed God and altered his humanistic reasoning to imagine God could raise him from the dead.

    I don’t even know what “humanistic reasoning” is, but I see nothing logic defying in the story of Abraham. As you point out, Abraham believed (and rightly) that God could resurrect Isaac from the dead. Besides his willingness to sacrifice his son make no sense apart from the rest of Scripture. Of course, you could say that every miracle “defies logic,” but that is only if you presuppose cause and effect in a closed system (is that what you mean by “humanistic reasoning”?).

    Logic is not a test for Scripture as truth. Scripture is truth. Logic can be a test for what someone interpreted Scripture to mean. However, that logic is maintained within the confines of the authority of Scripture, not as an authority all its own.

    Again, the Confession disagrees and asserts that logic is a test for the claim that the Scriptures are true. I find it hard to believe we’re arguing about this. Let’s not forget that even the interpretation of Scripture rests on this logical consent of all the parts since the meaning of Scripture is “not manifold but one.”

    5. This baffles me. Aristotle, a pagan unbeliever, develops a system of reason devoid of the God of Scripture that Christians today are placing on the same level as Scripture in authority.

    I’m not sure what is baffling? Unbelievers can and do recognize the laws of right reasoning as part of their natural endowment and as men made in God’s image which is logic. Doesn’t Paul say that which is known about God “is evident within them”? But, Aristotle couldn’t account for the laws of logic within him and held the truths of God in unrighteousness. I think Christians, who can account for the laws of logic in man per John 1 and elsewhere, are in a far better position. Don’t you agree?

    I do not agree that logos was understood by the NT readers as what we understand today as Aristotelian Logic. This limits the Son of God to an impersonal principle. He is so much more.

    Again, I would think the early NT readers had a much fuller and profound grasp of John’s Logos doctrine and it’s implications than Christians do today. Clark tried to rectify this dismal situation in The Johannine Logos, even if less capable Christians derided and even ridiculed him for his excellent if not provocative translation of John 1.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to consider and discuss. I am still not sold. I do not completely agree with Van Til nor do I completely agree with Clark. I try not to bash either man for what God allowed him to learn. I believe both were believers and now enjoy the presence of the Lord. I hope to join them one day

    I know you’re not sold. I also agree that Clark and VT are together in the presence of the Lord, just that Clark was right while he was here. :)

  48. Steve M Says:

    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” is not truth!

    I never denied that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” by saying it meant something different than “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.

    Can I hold both to be accurate statements? Have you shown them to be inaccurate statements?

  49. Ron Says:

    God, by an act of his will, determines to be internally consistent and thus maintain his character. This decision allows logic to flow from the character of God as he maintains internal consistency. Logic flows per his decision. God is not logic.

    Charlie,

    If God chooses to be logical, then wouldn’t it follow that He could choose to be illogical? But, if God can be illogical, then wouldn’t that mean He can think things that are not true? Secondly, allowing for a moment that God chooses to be logical (as opposed to being logical in his very nature), wouldn’t His choice to be logical have to proceed from a nature that is already logical? Or are you suggesting that God aspires to be something that He is not by nature and must, therefore, choose to be logical from a nature that is not logical? From whence would such a logical choice proceed?

  50. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    Thanks again for you attempt to discuss. I do not have the technical ability to box comments like you so I have placed my responses to the numbered items as before.

    1. I am speaking here of how the early church fathers determined what was NT Scripture and what was not NT Scripture (Church History). The test was threefold: 1) apostolic authority, 2) consistent with OT Scripture, 3) universal acceptance by the church. This is how they determined what was Scripture and what was not. They did not hold logical consistency as a rule. Unless you claim that rule two is logical consistency. I do not believe it is. The rule is Scripture and the tool of logic determines what was consistent with it and what was not.

    I do not agree with Clark on this issue. I understand he elevates Logic to a rule unto itself on par with Scripture. I do not see the Biblical mandate to do so (elevate logic) as I do not agree with his interpretation of John 1. I understand God’s word is logical as God has determined to reveal his character and attributes (righteousness, justice) and further to keep them internally consistent (as God cannot lie). Logic is a display of the character and attributes of God as they are held consistently. I do not agree that God is logic.

    2. Clark maintains that Logos means logic, specifically Aristotelian logic. This is an impersonal universal law and maybe further from what Philo maintained as Logos if Philo maintained a personal Logos. The NT developed Logos as personal as he is the Son of God, God come in the flesh as the Christ. This is far afield from Aristotle’s impersonal universal.

    I think Clark is here trying to implant into a text his reason for the elevation of logic to an on par authority with Scripture. I see a separation between Scripture and logic in that I am commanded to follow God’s word whether I understand it logically or not. I do not use the Scriptures as you suggested. However, I do not elevate logic as a rule to be an authority equal to Scripture. I have no biblical mandate to do so. I do have a biblical mandate to obey Scripture. Logic is helpful and maybe even an essential tool in doing so but it is a tool not the authority.

    3. You did not address this number so I assume we are in agreement here.

    4. You said, “one of the ways we may be induced to believe Scripture is the Word of God is because it evidences it according the laws of logic. God is a rational being and His word reflects this central aspect of His character. IMO that’s the point of WCF 1.5.”

    Your first sentence: No I do not agree. The only way a person will successfully be induced to believe the Scripture is through the power of God in the gospel (Rom. 1:16). It is not a logical argument. It is God determining to use a proclamation of the gospel. Paul prays for boldness (Eph 6:19) and clarity (Col. 4:3-4) in the presentation of the gospel but God may use a cowardly unclear proclamation of the gospel as salvation is strictly of grace and his good pleasure. Saving belief is produced by God’s power in the proclamation of the gospel…not a perfect logical presentation.

    This is exactly where the section of the WCF ends, “yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.” Therefore, what I am saying and what the WCF says is similar if not the same. Scripture is the rule – logic is the tool.

    You are looking at the account of Abraham with the full revelation of Scripture. Abraham had the command of God without Scripture.

    Humanistic reasoning is reasoning according to earthly standards (judging according to the flesh – John 8:15, compare John 3:12 heavenly things and earthly things or James 3:15-17). If you do not see a distinction then you do not believe the Scriptures in these places.

    5. what is baffling is how suppression of the truth (Aristotle) is elevated to the revelation of truth (Scripture). Unless Aristotle was a believer he was suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. Yet you and Clark are elevating his suppression to an authority on par with Scripture, God’s revelation of truth. Elevating suppression of truth is error.

    I am not sure which one (Clark or Van Til) was more right or if they were right on opposite sides of the pendulum swing. However, to determine who was right – Scriptural consistency would be the test – who was more consistent in their interpretation of the Scripture’s actual meaning as Scripture interprets Scripture.

  51. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    Unless you actually address what I say, I will no longer acknowledge your immature attempts to banter with me.

    The mathematical equation and the statement that came with it carries a different meaning then what you suggest in Genesis 1:1. This is merely your attempt to bring me into a bad light by comparing apples and oranges.

    1+1=2 is not truth if the person holding it does not acknowledge God’s glory revealed in it. This is what Romans 1:18 – 23 states clearly. If you do not agree with the Bible than the issue is much bigger than logical inconsistency.

  52. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    I am suggesting that the Bible dictates what God is in his character and attributes. The Bible does not say God is logic, especially Aristotelian logic which is suppression of the truth by an unbeliever.

    God’s character of righteousness, truth, justice, goodness, and so on establish God’s decision to be consistent with himself (yes, I agree with you here). However, these characteristics and attributes coupled with his decision makes the law of non-contradiction an actual law. God is not the law of non-contradiction.

    God’s glory revealed establishes the law in the created order. The law represents the glory of God as a reflection of his characteristics, attributes, and decision.

  53. Ron Says:

    1+1=2 is not truth if the person holding it does not acknowledge God’s glory revealed in it.

    You are confusing the truth of a proposition with the state of the person who might believe the proposition.

    1+1 = 2 is either true or false. It is true if God believes it. Accordingly, what you are most likely trying to say is that the person who does not acknowledge God’s glory cannot know this truth.

  54. Ron Says:

    So, what you’re saying is that God chooses to be internally consistent from a nature that is not internally consistent. He aspires to be something He’s not by nature. Got it.

  55. Steve M Says:

    Without the law of contradiction, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” is not truth! If “the beginning” also means “not the beginning”, “God” also means “not God”, “created” also means “not created”, etc., then the sentence is meaningless. A meaningless sentence cannot be true (i.e. truth)

  56. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    I am using categories of Scripture. I am not confusing anything. 1+1=2 is accurate to an unbeliever but it is also suppression of the truth in unrighteousness. What the unbeliever acknowledges about the equation is not the same truth God holds in his mind about it. God knows the accuracy of the equation and the glory he intends to display from the equation. when someone says 1+1=2 is identical to the knowledge God has when he hold it as true then there is confusion in terms.

    You second response is a nice debate trick but it is not what I said. If you would like to couch what I said in that light and dismiss it then you are being illogical in the discussion. Lets discuss and not banter.

  57. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    Your position has been reduced to contradiction by more than a few. Persuasion is God’s job. We’ve done ours.

  58. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    God revealed truth when he said “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This is special revelation (apple). It is true whether anything else is every determined to be truth. It is objective truth as God’s Word.

    A mathematical equation is general revelation (orange). It can be accurate in an earthly sense but suppression of truth in a heavenly sense. The general revelation is not true only because it is accurate to the earthly standard. It is truth only when it is viewed appropriately to how God intended to display his glory.

    What God says, Special Revelation, is always truth and must be held to be so. General Revelation is always suppressed by the unbeliever and is therefore always in question unless confirmed by Special Revelation.

    God’s Word defines and is the sole arbiter of truth – meaning General Revelation must conform to Special Revelation or it is not true.

    Go to your Bible. You are trying to convince me logically but your premises do not match the truths recorded in Scripture. Therefore, even if your argument seems sound and valid, it will be false because it does not accurately reflect the truth of God’s Word. In this way, God’s Word is the judge of truth and logic is merely the tool to discern its truth. Important, essential to human thought…yes…but subordinate to the Scriptures.

  59. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    My position is what the Bible actually says. Therefore, unless what I say is contradicting other Scriptures it is true and you logic is wrong (probably because your premises are not what Scripture actually says).

    Scripture is God’s objective truth. Logic is God’s gift to man to understand that truth. Logic does not carry the authority of Scripture.

  60. Steve M Says:

    God revealed truth when he said….

    Without the law of contradiction, “God revealed truth when he said….”, is meaningless because “God” also means “not God”, “revealed” also means “not revealed”, “truth” also means “not truth”, “when” also means “not when”, etc.

    Charlie
    You employ the law of contradiction at the same time you deny its relevance.

  61. Ron Says:

    My position is what the Bible actually says

    You dd not derive your position from Scripture. You assumed it. Your argument is: Scripture does not teach that God is not logical, therefore, God is not logical. As a proof, you point to what you believe Scripture positively affirms, righteousness, truthfulness, etc., and from those positive affirmations you conclude that God is not what Scripture does not positively say He is. Given your axiom of derivation you’ll also have to say that God did not create out of nothing. After all, Scripture does not positively teach that God created ex nihilo. Rather, we derive that doctrine of creation by eliminating two premises, eternal matter and pantheism!

    Moreover, one does not need to get into John 1 to prove you wrong. (See posts of mine above which you have yet to interact with.) You have God wanting to be internally consistent with himself as the impetus for determining logic; yet this alleged desire to want to be internally consistent presupposes either that He is not by nature consistent (making Him inconsistent and not full of truth) or else this alleged desire must come from a nature that is already consistent within itself (allowing, of course, for the absurd notion of God choosing to aspire to be something He is not by nature, logical),

    Is this Charlie R.? If so, that answers a bunch of questions.

  62. Ron Says:

    Correction in third sentence of my response:

    My position is what the Bible actually says

    You dd not derive your position from Scripture. You assumed it. Your argument is: Scripture does not teach that God is logical</b, therefore, God is not logical. As a proof, you point to what you believe Scripture positively affirms, righteousness, truthfulness, etc., and from those positive affirmations you conclude that God is not what Scripture does not positively say He is. Given your axiom of derivation you’ll also have to say that God did not create out of nothing. After all, Scripture does not positively teach that God created ex nihilo. Rather, we derive that doctrine of creation by eliminating two premises, eternal matter and pantheism!

    Moreover, one does not need to get into John 1 to prove you wrong. (See posts of mine above which you have yet to interact with.) You have God wanting to be internally consistent with himself as the impetus for determining logic; yet this alleged desire to want to be internally consistent presupposes either that He is not by nature consistent (making Him inconsistent and not full of truth) or else this alleged desire must come from a nature that is already consistent within itself (allowing, of course, for the absurd notion of God choosing to aspire to be something He is not by nature, logical),

    Is this Charlie R.? If so, that answers a bunch of questions.

  63. Ron Says:

    Good grief… Correction in third sentence of my response:

    My position is what the Bible actually says

    You dd not derive your position from Scripture. You assumed it. Your argument is: Scripture does not teach that God is logical, therefore, God is not logical. As a proof, you point to what you believe Scripture positively affirms, righteousness, truthfulness, etc., and from those positive affirmations you conclude that God is not what Scripture does not positively say He is. Given your axiom of derivation you’ll also have to say that God did not create out of nothing. After all, Scripture does not positively teach that God created ex nihilo. Rather, we derive that doctrine of creation by eliminating two premises, eternal matter and pantheism!

    Moreover, one does not need to get into John 1 to prove you wrong. (See posts of mine above which you have yet to interact with.) You have God wanting to be internally consistent with himself as the impetus for determining logic; yet this alleged desire to want to be internally consistent presupposes either that He is not by nature consistent (making Him inconsistent and not full of truth) or else this alleged desire must come from a nature that is already consistent within itself (allowing, of course, for the absurd notion of God choosing to aspire to be something He is not by nature, logical),

    Is this Charlie R.? If so, that answers a bunch of questions.

  64. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    You misrepresent me. I did not deny the law of non-contradiction. I said the law of non-contradiction is not an authority equal to Scripture. I never said it was not operative. I said it was important and even essential. I said it was not on par with Scripture. I said God is not logic in the same way he is love. I said God is logical due to his character and attributes. You cannot be misreading me that badly. You must be purposefully misrepresenting me.

    Read back…I said this time and time again. You are now developing a straw-man argument in an attempt to discredit what I am actually saying.

  65. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    You are now back peddling. You now say that God is not logic “in the same way” that he is love. Is He, therefore, logic in at a least some way? If so, then how can His being logic be a matter of choice in any way? :)

    You now say it’s “essential” this logic of His, which also suggests that logic is an attribute and not a matter of choice since “essential” properties seem to imply this sort of thing. And, by the way, God who is love does not have to extend that love but God cannot but be logical. Accordingly, you are unwittingly correct. God is not logical in the same sense that He is love(!), but I’m sure you meant something different than that.

  66. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    If you think I did not derive my argument from Scripture then you did not read back far enough before you began to engage.

    I spoke of Romans 1:18 – 23 regarding suppression of truth. Men in their natural state suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness. I applied this to 1+1=2 in that the equation might be understood as earthly accurate while being suppression of truth when heavenly understood. By this I said God’s knowledge of 1+1=2 is not identical to man’s knowledge of the same equation if God’s glory is suppressed out of it and it is understood without respect to God.

    I also applied Romans 1:18 – 23 to Aristotle as a pagan unbeliever who developed the logic system Clark and you elevate to the authority of Scripture. Aristotle who is an unbeliever and one who suppresses the truth in unrighteousness. But you and Clark say he is actually a prophet who teaches the church with the same authority as Scripture. No, I cannot believe this.

    Scripture is the authority – logic is a tool. It is a good gift provided to man but it is not an authority on par with Scripture.

    Logic at best is general revelation confirmed by Special revelation as it (Scripture) speaks to the character and attributes of God, which is the only proper ontological ground for logic. Aristotle’s ontological ground was deistic at best but naturalistic in function (evolution easily springs from his idea of ontology). This suppression of truth cannot be on par with the authority of God’s special revelation which is truth immediately once spoken by God.

    Premises even when false may develop a sound and valid logical argument. How do we determine if the premise of Aristotle is wrong? Scripture not merely logical argumentation. We can show logical inconsistency in the argument but the ontological structure of the truth he asserted when developing logic is only exposed by Scripture. If it is not Scripture then the choice for ontoloy is arbitrary and mere opinion.

    I never said God is not logical. I said God is not logic. God is not logic but God is love. God is logical because of his character and attributes of righteousness and justice, goodness, and the like. You misrepresent what I am saying as well.

    God is internally consistent with his attributes and character. How many times do I need to say this before someone acknowledges it? He is not logic as he is love but he is logical. His attributes of righteousness, justice, goodness and such establish the impersonal law of non-contradiction as God determines to display his glory in general revelation and maintain his internal consistency. However, logic is a general revelation and not on par with Scripture in authority.

    By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Heb. 11:3 Creation out of nothing (ex nihilo). Your premise was false therefore your argument is as well.

    I do not know Charlie R. I am here because a friend who leans on Clark for a lot of good things asked me to read the article. I took the opportunity to dialog with some who represent Clark to better understand him and the arguments he represents. So far, I am unimpressed with the Scriptural basis for anything said and appalled that Aristotle is assumed a prophet who speaks with the authority of Scripture.

  67. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    I am not back peddling. I have been saying this all along. Read the entire post and stop falsely accusing me.

    Logic is essential to man as a display of God’s glory revealed. The glory is his character and attributes of righteousness, justice, goodness, and the like maintained in internal consistency.

    God who is love extends that love in the Trinitarian relationship. Again you are wrong.

    God’s mercy and wrath is not extended in the Trinity. Creation was essential for God to display his mercy, wrath, and grace. Therefore, he determined to create to display and share his glory with others outside of the Trinity. This determination was to display and maintain his glory revealed. This decision was the impetus for the generally revealed glory of God in logic which represents his righteousness, justice, goodness and the like. I have been consistent. You have been assuming from phrases and not taking the whole of the argument.

    You are in error when you represent me. You are in error when you represent Scripture. Yet you demand you are not in error about God being logic. I am unconvinced.

  68. Steve M Says:

    “You misrepresent me. I did not deny the law of non-contradiction. I said the law of non-contradiction is not an authority equal to Scripture”

    Charlie
    You should know all about misrepresenting people. I have not read anyone here that has written that “logic is an authority.equal to Scripture”, yet you repeatedly make that charge. The point that I have been making is that Scripture is not a revelation at all without logic, especially the law of contradiction. Without the law of contradiction, even Scripture becomes meaningless. The law is assumed in Scripture. You contend that it is irrelevant to understanding Scripture. I did not say you denied its existence, but you do deny its relevance. .

  69. Ron Says:

    “He is not logic as he is love but he is logical.”

    In what way are these essential attributes different?

    Secondly, you have contradicted yourself all over this thread so to say that you are being misrepresented is probably nobody’s fault other than your own arrogant self. At best, you don’t know how to express what you think you believe. So, let’s distill this stupidity once and for all, shall we? Deal with EVERYTHING that is before you, Charlie.

    Are you Charlie Ray?

  70. Ron Says:

    By the way the word IS in a discussion like this does not pertain to how God behaves but who God is by nature. You have said that God is not logic, which is to say that in His essence He is not logic. When I say that you say God is not logical, I mean just that. You say He IS not logical in His essence. Your point is that God chooses to be logical, but you have yet to inform us how that does not reduce God to desiring and choosing to be something that He is not in His very ISness! Your position implies that God need not behave logically since He is not logic by nature.

  71. Ron Says:

    God’s character of righteousness, truth, justice, goodness, and so on establish God’s decision to be consistent with himself (yes, I agree with you here).

    More reckless reading here, Charlie. You do not agree with me here. You didn’t understand what I meant.

    Again, if God decides to be consistent with Himself, the implication is that He need not be consistent with Himself. It also implies that logically prior to His decision to be consistent with Himself, He is not – nor cannot — be consistent with Himself, which is why He must choose to be consistent with Himself. If nothing else, please deal with that, Charlie, and quit impugning everyone with misrepresenting you.

    Watch now how Charlie ignores this post.

  72. Charlie Says:

    Steve M.

    This statement was dirwected at me.

    “You’re right. Clark doesn’t separate Scripture and logic. He doesn’t view logic as merely a handmade to Scripture, but rather the very architecture of God’s mind and in whose image we are made.”

    Not misrepresenting.

  73. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    When I say God is not logic I am refering to John 1 and Clarks assertion that he is logic (Aristotilean logic) based on a forced interpretation of the passage.

    When I say God is logical I say what I mean. God’s character and attributes of righteousness, justice, goodness, and the like when revealed in creation and kept internally consisten displays these different glories of God in general revelation in the logical syatem represented by Aristotle in suppression of the truth of God which ought to have neen revealed.

    God determines to create to display his glory. God determines to maintain his internal consistency in his glory revealed…these decisions produce the generally revealed logical system you say God is in his very nature. I say the system actually represents other characteristics and attributes of God…righteousness, justice, goodness, and the like.

    I did not ignore you or your post.

    Someone, anyone…

    Use Scripture to develop the concept that God is logic (Aristotle’s brand of logical system with logic as an impersonal law) and not just the concept of the triune God being logical.

  74. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    You make it sound as if “Aristotilean logic” didn’t exist before Aristotle. You make it sound as if the logic that was formalized by humans cannot be man finally getting a better grasp on God’s logic.You make it sound as if logic is a mere societal convention.

    In any case, you are long on assertions but you have yet to once interact with the internal critique of your own position, which leads to very heretical conclusions, like God aspiring to behave in a manner that He is not by nature. So, for the nth time, was God internally consistent with Himself prior to His choice to be internally consistent with Himself? Yes or No, Charles.

  75. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    I have said time and time again that God is internally consistent in his character and attributes. The law of non-contradiction is a generally revealed truth which point to God’s internal consistency. However, God’s internal consistency is not the impersonal law of non-contradiction. It is much more.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

    How does this relate to the law of non-contradiction and Aristotle’s logic? I did not choose Aristotle’s idea of logic…Gordon Clark did. I am here trying to understand how it is elevated to the authority of Scripture.

    Someone develop a biblical epistemology that supports Aristotle’s logic. Scripture will not allow it when the verses above are considered.

  76. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    The target keeps moving. I won’t waste anymore time showing you your own blatant contradictions. Let alone will I continue to point out the arguments you have chosen to ignore.

  77. Steve M Says:

    “I said the law of non-contradiction is not an authority equal to Scripture.”

    “Clark doesn’t separate Scripture and logic”.

    According to your imprecise thinking and language, not separating Scripture and logic is the same as considering the law of contradiction as a separate authority equal to Scripture.

    You most certainly do misrepresent the views of others.

  78. louiskbb Says:

    Charlie,
    Help me out here;
    1. @11:13 (March 23): What is a generally revealed truth and where was it revealed?
    2. Are there different kinds of logic? How many?
    3. Could you explain any of the above without using what seems to be Aristotle’s logic?
    Louis Breytenbach

  79. Charlie Says:

    Good…I am glad to be finished with the discussion. Again I came here to discuss Clark’s view and his followers view. But instead of presenting views you have badgered me for the attempt.

    No one here is willing to speak from Scripture why they believe what they believe. They merely claim my imprecise thinking and lack of logical argumentation.

    Scripture gives ontological truth and is the authority for truth.

    The law of non-contradiction is a tool of epistemology. Man gaining his understanding of truth.

    Scripture is the authority…logic is the tool. Clark places logic within the mind of God as an authority equal to Scripture. You have displayed the same by never dealing with Scripture but merely speaking of logic. This is the flaw I will never join.

    Louis,

    Logic is general revelation that represents characters and attributes of God.

    Logic is not equal to God’s character and attributes which are internally consistent. Logic is general revelation that points to the invisible attributes. Logic not rightly related to God is suppression of the truth in unrighteousness. 1+1=2 not rightly related to God is suppression of truth in unrighteousness.

    Romans 1:18–23 (ESV)
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

  80. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    If logic were not an attribute of God, He would be as inconsistent as you are. I have stated that I have read Romans 1:18-23 and believe it to be true along with the entirety of a completely consistent Scripture. The illogical conclusion you draw from this passage does not amount to relying upon Scripture as the only authority. It is a case of making yourself the authority without being subject to criticism for logical fallacies.

    If you are finished, fine. Please take your irrationalism with you when you go. You can have it.

  81. Charlie Says:

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
    Aristotle did not fear the Lord
    Aristotle’s ontology and epistemology is not knowledge

  82. Charlie Says:

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
    Aristotle did not fear the Lord
    Aristotle’s system of logic does not produce wisdom

  83. Sean Gerety Says:

    1. I am speaking here of how the early church fathers determined what was NT Scripture and what was not NT Scripture (Church History). The test was threefold: 1) apostolic authority, 2) consistent with OT Scripture, 3) universal acceptance by the church. This is how they determined what was Scripture and what was not.

    You’re confusing the establishment of the canon of Scripture with the internal evidences by which we may be induced to believe that the Scriptures so received by the church are the Word of God (WCF 1.5).

    I do not agree with Clark on this issue.

    OK, but you haven’t shown that you’ve understood the argument correctly which is why you confuse the establishment of the canon with the evidences by which we might believe the Scriptures are the Word of God and one of those evidences are the logical consent of all the parts of Scripture. Now you may not agree with that, but then your issue isn’t with Clark it’s with the WCF and the divines who wrote it.

    I understand he elevates Logic to a rule unto itself on par with Scripture. I do not see the Biblical mandate to do so (elevate logic) as I do not agree with his interpretation of John 1.

    OK, so what? You haven’t shown how why it is wrong to translate “logos” as “logic” when reason is a common and acceptable translation of the word? Maybe you think the word reason presupposes something other than logic, but I have no idea what that could be?

    I understand God’s word is logical as God has determined to reveal his character and attributes (righteousness, justice) and further to keep them internally consistent (as God cannot lie). Logic is a display of the character and attributes of God as they are held consistently. I do not agree that God is logic.

    I’m guessing this is as good of an example as any as to why Ron and others accuse you of contradicting yourself. If God reveals himself as a rational and logical being, for no contradiction is of the truth, and you agree that logic is an attribute of God, then why on earth do you not agree that God is logic? It’s as if you were to argue; “I agree that God revels himself as a loving God and love is one of God’s attributes, but I do not agree that God is love.” Do you see how absurd that would be?

    3. You did not address this number so I assume we are in agreement here.

    Don’t assume anything. ;) I’m going to skip commenting on the rest as I think if you get the above stuff straight the rest will follow. :)

  84. Charlie Says:

    1. I think you are making a category of evidence that the early church did not use. They saw that the Word of God was the Word of God and did not place it under the scrutiny of human reason (logic) so to determine whether to accept it or not as the Word of God. If God said it (and that was determined by the tests they applied) then it was Scripture (period).

    The WCF is suggesting that “a way to appeal to an unbeliever” that the Scriptures are the Word of God is internal consistency. However, they conclude with the caveat that the logical presentation will not convert…the Holy Spirit does that.

    I have been saying these two things.

    I understand that Clark takes the WCF to mean that logic evidences Scripture as the Word of God and therefore logic is an authority on par with Scripture. This is a misrepresentation of the WCF and a forced interpretation of John 1. This is what I do not agree with.

    Again, the WCF is speaking to “appealing to an unbeliever” – it is not applying logic as a test of Scripture being the Word of God. Next, in the beginning was logic (and Aristotelian logic) violates the Scriptures teaching elsewhere (see the fear of the Lord test applied to Aristotle below). Logos is far more than mere logic. The laws of logic are impersonal – the Son of God is a person of God. The laws of logic from Aristotle are based on a wrong ontology and a warped system of epistemology (suppression of truth).

    Reason is biblical when objects, facts, propositions are understood accurately in an earthly sense and also understood in a heavenly sense…that is in relationship to God as he intended to express his glory in it. Aristotle’s logic is too flat (earthly) an idea to be all John (God) meant to say about the Son as the Logos.

    Again, logic is general revelation. It must point to the Creator behind it because general revelation is an expression of the glory of God. Logic points to the internal consistency of God as he maintains his character and attributes. This consistency is far more and beyond what is understood when we use the word logic merely beginning with the law of non-contradiction. God is not an impersonal law. God is a personal being. His will, intellect, emotions are all involved in his attributes and characteristics and maintaining the internal consistency of them. Logic is general revelation pointing to God. Scripture is God speaking of himself. Scripture is the authority…logic is the tool.

    Explain if the syllogisms are false…

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
    Aristotle did not fear the Lord
    Aristotle’s ontology and epistemology are not knowledge

    and

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
    Aristotle did not fear the Lord
    Aristotle’s system of logic does not produce wisdom

    It ought to at least be alarming that Aristotle’s logic can be used to show Aristotle had no knowledge and or wisdom.

  85. Sean Gerety Says:

    Again, the WCF is speaking to “appealing to an unbeliever” – it is not applying logic as a test of Scripture being the Word of God.

    What are you talking about? WCF 1.5 is not “appealing to an unbeliever” so I don’t know why you have those words in quotes as if you were citing it.

    Next, in the beginning was logic (and Aristotelian logic) violates the Scriptures teaching elsewhere (see the fear of the Lord test applied to Aristotle below). Logos is far more than mere logic. The laws of logic are impersonal – the Son of God is a person of God. The laws of logic from Aristotle are based on a wrong ontology and a warped system of epistemology (suppression of truth).

    I suppose you can say that the Second Person made flesh is more than a mere “word” too, but you miss the point. A person consists of the thoughts they think and the Second Person thinks only true thoughts and those very much conform to the laws of logic otherwise His thoughts would not be true and he would be guilty of contradicting himself as you are. God is not irrational.

    Again, logic is general revelation. It must point to the Creator behind it because general revelation is an expression of the glory of God.

    So if logic is “general rev” then it is created and the God of Scripture then is beyond logic. That certainly seems to what you’re saying.

    Logic points to the internal consistency of God as he maintains his character and attributes.

    What does “points to” mean? Is God a rational being or not? Is logic an attribute of God or not? You can’t have it both ways.

    Explain if the syllogisms are false…

    They’re both false because you assert things in your conclusions that cannot be found in either one of your premises.

  86. Tim Harris Says:

    Louis,
    To (2): certainly there are different logics out there, at least proposed. For example, from predicate logic you can make most, but not all inferences available in Aristotelian logic. Conversely, some inferences granted in Aristotelian are marked as fallacies in predicate logic. Worse yet, many arguments in ordinary language can simply not be expressed in Aristotelian logic. Modal logic is another field with all kinds of disagreements — though I suppose you could say this is because of which commutation relations you choose between “possible worlds,” not the inference rules per se. Nevertheless, the logic of possibility and necessity is in disarray. So I guess when these guys say “God is arithmetic,” “God is abstract algebra,” etc., they must be making purely formal assertions — tantamount to saying, “whatever it is, God is it.”

  87. Charlie Says:

    The Westminster Confession of Faith

    4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God. (2 Pet. 1:19, 21, 2 Tim. 3:16, 1 John 5:9, 1 Thess. 2:13)

    5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverend esteem of the Holy Scripture. (1 Tim. 3:15) And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts. (1 John. 2:20, John 16:13–14, 1 Cor. 2:10–12, Isa. 59:21)

    8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; (Matt. 5:18) so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.

    9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly. (2 Pet. 1:20–21, Acts 15:15–16)

    10. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture. (Matt. 22:29, 31, Eph. 2:20, Acts 28:25)

    I will put an * and number in the different argument sections to hel;p with the flow.

    *1)
    The point of this section is not an appeal to logic. It is an appeal to the sole authority of the Scripture. I put some section above to highlighting this point.

    “The authority of the Holy Scripture … dependeth … wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.” No appeal to logic only the Scriptures. You misunderstand or misrepresent the WCF.

    I put “those words” in quotes so to emphasis them. Who are the “we” in “We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church” (quote)? The Church is giving testimony so to induce movement in order to convince that Scripture is the Word of God? The Church is appealing? The Church is believers. Believers believe this already. So who are we as the church trying to convince? Unbelievers! The WCF is clear. Again, you misunderstand or misrepresent it.

    *2)
    The “true thought” the Son thinks causes the laws of logic. The Son of God does not conform to something. The Son is and what follows in general revelation is the law of non-contradiction and thus the laws of logic. You are saying it backward and thus the confusion.

    Further, his thoughts are more than what is revealed in General revelation and even special revelation. God knows all possible realities (Matthew 11:20 – 24). God has revealed that these thought are in the mind of God without revealing all of what these thoughts are. How do you know what else might be there? You don’t! Neither do I.

    What I am saying here is that God’s thoughts are more than the simple idea of logic or even logical. God made a decision to bring about the reality we see from other possible realities. Is this considered contradictory thought? No, God chose which reality and held that reality over and against any other reality. Therefore, God’s thoughts and decision produced the reality we see and therefore the logic we hold.

    *3)
    You want me to make a logical argument to tell you what God is. God tells you who and what he is in the Scriptures. We deduce from that special revelation thoughts like God is rational.

    God is truth. God is righteous. God is love. These statements I can show from the Scriptures. Even God is a Trinity can be shown from the Scriptures. However, what you are asking, is God’s mind conformed to the law of non-contradiction. There is much in the mind of God he has not revealed. He has determined it as such. He has determined and so I hold it. According to the WCF I am to arbiter all disagreements about God by the Scriptures…not mere logical argumentation. So let’s talk Bible. Convince me from the Bible that God is logic – John 1 doesn’t work.

    *4)
    You said, “They’re both false because you assert things in your conclusions that cannot be found in either one of your premises.”

    Nice try. I’ll add one sentence, which is implied and known to you. You are mincing words to maintain what you cannot.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
    Aristotle did not fear the Lord
    Aristotle developed an ontology and epistemology
    Aristotle’s ontology and epistemology are not knowledge

    The contradiction in this logical ruse is to use Aristotle’s logic to determine a truth while the truth determined voids the idea of determining truth by its use.

    Logic does not produce truth. It evaluates arguments. God’s Word determines truth…logic is a tool used to understand its arguments.

  88. Sean Gerety Says:


    Nice try. I’ll add one sentence, which is implied and known to you. You are mincing words to maintain what you cannot.

    I’m not mincing words. Your arguments were fallacious. You can’t have anything in your conclusions that are not found in at least one of your premises. No wonder you find it difficult to believe “God is a rational being, the architecture of whose mind is logic.”

    However, what you are asking, is God’s mind conformed to the law of non-contradiction. There is much in the mind of God he has not revealed.

    There is much in the mind of God that will never be revealed. Big deal. What you are saying is that there are some things that God has not revealed that does not or even *may not* conform to the law of non-contradiction. Which means you believe God can and may contradict Himself. Now that is a big deal!

  89. justbybelief Says:

    The “true thought” the Son thinks causes the laws of logic.

    In other words, and in Charlie’s mind…in the beginning was confusion and the confusion was with god and the confusion was god.

  90. James Says:

    Tim – interesting.

    Brand Blanshard considered alternative logics in his book ‘Reason and Analysis’ – his conclusion was that there is no alternative to the law of contradiction (as he calls it). Famously, he said, Either this or nothing.

    Also, what do you mean by those things being in disarray?

    btw do you believe that Logic is God?
    Clark:
    “As there is no temporal priority, so also there is no logical or analytical priority. Not only was Logic the beginning, but Logic was God. If this unusual translation of John’s Prologue still disturbs someone, he might yet allow that God is his thinking. God is not a passive or potential substratum; he is actuality or activity. This is the philosophical terminology to express the Biblical idea that God is a living God. Hence logic is to be considered as the activity of God’s willing.

    Although Aristotle’s theology is no better (and perhaps worse) than his epistemology, he used a phrase to describe God, which, with a slight change, may prove helpful. He defined God as “thought-thinking-thought.” Aristotle developed the meaning of this phrase so as to deny divine omniscience. But if we are clear that the thought which thought thinks includes thought about a world to be created-in Aristotle God has no knowledge of things inferior to him-the Aristotelian definition of God as “thought-thinking-thought” may help us to understand that logic, the law of contradiction, is neither prior to nor subsequent to God’s activity…..God and logic are one and the same first principle, for John wrote that Logic was God.”

    – from: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/

    Thanks muchly,

  91. Charlie Says:

    I notice you are no longer arguing about the WCF. You erred or purposefully misrepresented it.

    I mentioned that there is much in God’s mind unrevealed and you (both) take that to mean confusion. I never said that. Read what I say in the whole and your Headline fails to represent me.

    WCF asserts – Scripture is the authority for truth. It also asserts that logic is a tool to discover it. It NEVER asserts that logic is an authority over it.

    Scripture reveals the mind of God not logical reductionism. God’s mind is more than intellect. God’s mind has will, and emotion.

    You are mistaken regarding what I am saying, what the WCF says, and worst of all what Scripture says. At this point who cares if your logic is sound or valid.

  92. justbybelief Says:

    At this point who cares if your logic is sound or valid.

    That sounds logical.

  93. Charlie Says:

    Sound bite argumentation. It is good for blogs and posts like this but it is vacuous.

    No one has shown me to be incorrect in what I have said regarding the WCF nor Scripture. God is not logic.

    You attempt to prove that he is through logical argumentation. However, knowledge of the specifics of God are not revealed in this manner. God reveals them in Scripture. Scripture is the authority…logic is a tool to understand Scripture not a means to determine things about God.

    You, those ranting against what I have said, are attempting to prove who God is and what he is like through logic. You fail at this point. Scripture and the WCF say so.

    I have had enough. Good bye.

  94. justbybelief Says:

    OK, it sounded illogical.

  95. Sean Gerety Says:

    WCF asserts – Scripture is the authority for truth. It also asserts that logic is a tool to discover it. It NEVER asserts that logic is an authority over it.

    Isn’t it funny how those who accuse others of not following and argument are often guilty of the same in spades. For the last time NO ONE, not Clark, not me, nor anyone else here in opposition to you has claimed that logic has authority over Scripture.

    Jim’s post above (http://tinyurl.com/qee7hew) sums up the position being defended and the one you still have not grasped. You’re constructing straw men in your mind and you need to put them aside and try and understand what is being argued. Read Clark’s argument again and tell me where in it has Clark placed logic over God or over Scripture or anything else that you’re accusing him of doing? Explain to me where he elevates an “impersonal” law of logic over anything?

    You have a real habit of doing this Charlie. You draw a conclusion and then try and find things that support your conclusion. Only later will you realize you’ve been too hasty. I mean, we all are guilty of this at times, but I’m just asking you to slowdown a bit and just mull over those two paragraphs Jim posted. Notice Clark says; “the law of contradiction, is neither prior to nor subsequent to God’s activity…..God and logic are one and the same first principle, for John wrote that Logic was God.”

  96. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    You are correct. I mis-spoke in the quoted statement.

    Here is what I meant and what I have been saying all along.

    WCF nor Scripture assert that logic is an authority “on par” with Scripture. Scripture is “the sole authority.”

    Thanks for the clarification. I do mis-speak as I too am pinched of from a piece of clay. However, the bulk of what I have said was this…

    Scripture is THE authority as God’s Word to determine truth.

    Logic is a tool to both understand the truth of Scripture and evaluate arguments for or against the interpretation of Scripture. It is not an authority “on par” with Scripture nor does it determine ontological truth. It merely determines accuracy of revealed truth.

    This has been my argument. I mis-spoke above in the quoted statement.

    People here have been disagreeing with the bulk of what I have said in this post.

    Now, do you agree with Scripture and the WCF?

    Or

    Do you continue to wrongly use logic to determine the ontological nature of God, which ought to only be determined by Scripture – God’s revelation of himself.

    We cannot use logic to determine the truth of God’s ontological structure. Scripture is the only avenue to that particular truth. Logic ought to only be employed in the discussion of Scripture to understand what God has said concerning himself.

    Clark and his followers do not do this. They view logic as an authority on par with Scripture and thus an avenue to true revelation of God’s ontological structure (If this is true then Aristotle is equivalent to an OT prophet). This is where I disagree. This is what I have been arguing for all along.

    Thank you for pointing out where I mis-spoke. I hope this post clears it up.

  97. Sean Gerety Says:

    We cannot use logic to determine the truth of God’s ontological structure. Scripture is the only avenue to that particular truth.

    Logic is structure of God’s mind. As Clark demonstrates from John 1, but you reject for some odd reason, Logic was God. It’s absurd to say otherwise unless you want to maintain that God is essentially (ontologically if you prefer) irrational. There is no other alternative.

    Clark and his followers do not do this. They view logic as an authority on par with Scripture and thus an avenue to true revelation of God’s ontological structure (If this is true then Aristotle is equivalent to an OT prophet).

    Again, you fail (or refuse) to even try to understand what Clark’s argument is even in light of Aristotle’s theology and epistemology, something Clark agrees are notably deficient and anti-Christian. So, to say that “Clark and his followers” view Aristotle as the “equivalent to an OT prophet” is simply name calling and not really helping your case.

    As Clark explains, but you evidently either didn’t follow or read it, Aristotle

    defined God as ‘thought-thinking-thought.’ Aristotle developed the meaning of this phrase so as to deny divine omniscience [obviously this is bad and something no Christian would accept - SG]. But if we are clear that the thought which thought thinks includes thought about a world to be created . . . the Aristotelian definition of God as “thought-thinking-thought” may help us to understand that logic, the law of contradiction, is neither prior to nor subsequent to God’s activity.

    I could care less if you agree with Clark, just stop misrepresenting him.

  98. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    Where do you get the idea of “logic is the structure of God’s mind”…? It is not from WCF nor Scripture, except your affirmation of John 1 meaning…in the beginning was logic and your misunderstanding or misrepresentation of WCF. You do not get that idea from the Scriptures, which is the only reliable source for truth about God’s ontological (essential) structure.

    You get that from a logical argument…starting with logic and working to God. This is a mistake. When I bring up other realities in the mind of God…from the Scripture…I am accused of making God irrational. I am showing what God revealed about his mind. I do not have all of what is in the mind of God but alternate realities is one thing He has revealed (Matthew 11:20 – 24).

    This (starting from logic and working to God) is what Clark has done and this is what I cannot and will not agree with. You may claim that by denouncing some aspect of Aristotle that is relieves you of the label of making him into one with the same authority as a Prophet but that is not the case. He is held to on par authority with the Scripture.

    In an article (postscript) titled God and Logic, Clark claims that God is logic (Aristotelian logic). This means Aristotle produced equivalent truth to Scripture from natural revelation, even if he erred in other areas. I think prophets in the OT did this as well. They were inerrant when they spoke for God or wrote the Scripture carried along by the Holy Spirit. However, they erred in other cases (Moses struck the Rock, one prophet disobeyed God to eat with another so called prophet and paid with his life, and so on).

    I refuse to start with a logical assumption working logically to a conclusion where ontological truth of God is made. The Scripture is the only true source of ontological truth of God. We cannot seek it elsewhere.

    Worse yet…(here is where Van Til, Bahnsen, and others claim Clark is a rationalist) Clark does not exegete John 1 to come up with the idea of “in the beginning was logic.” This is a forced translation, which limits God to an impersonal law, in order to have reason to elevate logic to an “on par” authority. I checked every lexicon I have (Hebrew and Greek approx. 20) for the idea of logic for the terms translated from logos and debar. I did not find it when the Bible was in view. I did find in lexicons such as Liddel and Scott when refering to pagan philosophers, the idea of logic.

    However, the idea of “the word of the Lord came” is used often in the OT and never does it carry the idea of conveying logic. It usually carries a command. Therefore, does it have more to do with the will than the intellect? To work from logic back to God is one thing but to force a translation to provide supposed biblical reason is worse.

    Even more, those who claim the “on par authority” will take logically derived conclusions and force those ideas on Scripture as Clark does with John 1. This is the imposition of logic over the Scripture. Show me a passage of Scripture to support your (Clark’s) interpretation of John 1. The support I have seen is the logical argumentation that has been used on me here…not Scripture. Can anyone even show how Clark came to that interpretation from the Scriptures and not a mere logical argument?

    When I question John 1, I am accused of being illogical. It is strange that I am not accused of not rightly handling the Word of God. Your statement is a sample, “It’s absurd to say otherwise unless you want to maintain that God is essentially (ontologically if you prefer) irrational. There is no other alternative.” There is not Bible here. There is logical argumentation that is supposed to make me believe something about God. No! That is the job of Scripture and the Spirit applied by Spirit filled men or women who rightly (even logically) handle the Word of God. Scripture authority…logic tool!!!

    The “functional authority” of the “on par authority” of logic works its way into “an authority over” Scripture, quickly.

    I came here to discuss with others that hold to the position of my friend. I wanted to hear arguments from them as to the reasons they hold these views. I wanted to understand the position better. I have heard nothing to alter my view that Clark is incorrect about John 1 and his on par authority for logic. I am more convinced it is not there.

    If anyone has a Scriptural basis please respond and I will continue to engage. However, I am weary of the logical argumentation that is devoid of the Scriptures. Paul warns against this…

    1 Tim. 6:20 – 21a…O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you avoiding the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

    The main command is…guard the deposit entrusted (the faith delivered by Scripture, specifically the gospel).

    The supporting command and avenue of obedience to it is…avoid irreverent babble (godless chatter) and contradiction (antithesis) of knowledge falsely so called.

    Reason for the commands…for by professing it (this kind of false knowledge) some have swerved from the faith.

    The word ‘antithesis’ is only used here in Scripture. However, Paul would be very familiar with its use. It is used by Plato, ARISTOTLE, Philo, and others of Paul’s time. It is used to develop systems of thought such as LOGIC (thesis, antithesis, synthesis). This is the dialectic method. Paul says to avoid such knowledge systems because they are false and will lead you astray. Paul says to guard God’s revelation against such systems.

    Paul is being logical so do not think he means be irrational. He means Guard Scriture as the athority against other systems of knowledge that would claim authority. Scripture authority…logic tool.

    You, Clark, and those who follow his line of thought are on the wrong side of that Scripture.

  99. Tim Harris Says:

    James — interesting that you should mention Brand Blanshard since I had never heard of him until last night, when I was reading “The Slaughter of Cities” by E. Michael Jones and learned that Brand and his brother Paul were disciples of Dewey who combined his pragmatism with liberal protestantism to become major players in the destruction of Philadelphia, 1920-1960. Quite a fascinating (and horrifying) read.

    Anyhow, back to the real topic. Yes, the law of contradiction. However, that is much less than the “Aristotelian logic” that is bandied about here as if that were comprehensive and non-controversial.

    I prefer not even to call it a “law” so much as just the codification of the fact that being excludes what it is not. Being precedes logic. It is easy to forget, when bandying about variables, that these need to be quantified with existents. Logic has no meaning as a pure abstraction. This is why logic has to be adapted and modified as new conundrums of being are discovered. The very fact that sub-alternation had to be abandoned by Frege (and was already criticized by Bradley in the parallel idealist stream of philosophy) in order to accommodate to predicate logic shows the problem. Moreover, God does not reach truth through deduction, but HAS the truth immanently. As far as the bare non-contradiction: what would that mean within the immanent holy Trinity: “you are the Son, therefore you are not the non-Son”? The mind balks. Some of the people here know more about the “architecture of God’s mind” than they do about the architecture of say their wife’s mind. This is heady stuff. So, to answer your question… no, I do not say logic is God, and in fact regard that assertion as impious. John starts off talking about logos, no doubt tapping into Greek ideas of reason, but quickly shifts the discourse such that logos functions as a “rigid designator” for the Son of God. It is the incarnate son who is affirmed to be God, not logic qua the abstract science.

  100. James Says:

    Tim –
    thanks for the reply – may I ask for clarification?
    so the ‘law’ of contradiction is not God. And, Being precedes the ‘law’ of contradiction – so let me ask what place does the ‘law’ have according to you? Also, what do you mean by ‘codification of the fact’?

    Also – what did you mean when you said that the logic of necessity and possibility was in disarray?

    Thanks,

  101. James Says:

    Charlie –
    may I ask you:
    if, as you wrote, “The Scripture is the only true source of ontological truth of God.”

    Can the Scriptures violate the law of contradiction and still be the ontological truth of God?

    Thanks,

  102. Charlie Says:

    James,

    Would Scripture be truth if God allowed it to have contradictions?

    God is truth. He sets the standard for truth not the law of contradiction. So if he cause Scripture to have contradictions, then yes it would still be truth.

    However, this is hypothetical because I am sure no one here thinks there are contradictions in Scripture.

    Therefore the question becomes…can God through the Scriptures reveal no contradictions without establishing the law of non-contradiction as an authority on par or over the Scripture?

    BTW – do you agree with the Scriptures as I have expounded above?

    I am asking so to know whether you are going to confirm what I said about “functional authority” of logic by not speaking to the Scriptures?

  103. Sean Gerety Says:

    So if he cause Scripture to have contradictions, then yes it would still be truth.

    While nothing more needs to be said and I can’t think of a deeper hole that anyone could possibly throw themselves into, I’m still tempted to ask, you do understand what a contradiction is don’t you? You do understand that one of any two contradictory propositions must be false, right?

    FWIW Van Til and his followers at least realize this which is why they developed their theory of paradox in order to soften and obscure the force of their destructive belief in a contradictory Bible. You on the other hand ….

  104. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    More “sound bite” argumentation. Did you read the whole post with that quote?

    Do not ridicule a hypothetical question. If God, the measure of truth, said that truth was contradiction then contradiction would be truth. God is the authority. We and the law of non-contradiction is not.

    You have not dealt with the Scripture I presented to you nor did you answer the question asked in the post you quoted from.

    Can God through the Scriptures reveal no contradictions without establishing the law of non-contradiction as an authority on par or over the Scripture?

    This is what is suggested by the Scriptures which you fail to see or submit to.

  105. Tim Harris Says:

    James —
    re the necessity and possibility, all I mean is that philosophers of logic are not in agreement on which “model” (Q, T, S4, etc.) is the “right” one, or even if the Kripke formulation is going down the right path. In other words, the field of “logic” is a debatable and controversial one no less than metaphysics, ethics, or any other field of philosophy. The idea that it is just “there,” that everyone knows what it “is,” and that in fact it “is God” seems absurd if you canvass the actual field.
    More to address your other questions later…

  106. James Says:

    Charlie, thanks for the reply,

    since Scriptures are our

    “only true source of Ontological Truth about God”,

    can you please support this,

    “He sets the standard for truth not the law of contradiction. So if he cause Scripture to have contradictions, then yes it would still be truth.”

    from Scriptures,

    Thanks,

  107. Charlie Says:

    James,

    Answer mine and I will answer yours.

    Can God through the Scriptures reveal no contradictions without establishing the law of non-contradiction as an authority on par or over the Scripture?

  108. James Says:

    Charlie,

    Forgive my ‘impiety’, but as clear as I can be,

    If God is to communicate with us intelligibly, then God cannot violate LNC.

    If God is to tell us truths not falsehoods, then God cannot violate LNC.

    If God is both Unity (one) and Plurality (three) then God cannot be both Unity (one) and Plurality (three) in exactly the same aspect; that is to say, God cannot be a violation of LNC.

    In the Beginning was the Logic, and the Logic was with God, and the Logic was God

    Thanks,

  109. Charlie Says:

    James,

    Minor additions…

    If God is to communicate with us intelligibly, then God cannot violate LNC (in his communication).

    If God is to tell us truths not falsehoods, then God cannot violate LNC (when he tells us truth).

    I have no problem with your stated concept of the Trinity.

    Your answer DID NOT, however, answer my question.

    My question was (slightly restated…”Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?

    Is this possible in your mind?

    I believe this is exactly what the Scriptures indicate. This is what I believe WCF states in section 1.

    I do not have an issue with the law of non-contradiction nor logic, IF they do not have equal authority to Scripture and especially authority over the Scriptures.

    Does this make sense? Are you willing to answer the actual question I ask?

    My answer to your question is…

    The Scriptures do not speak to your hypothetical question so no I do not have a specific answer to your hypothetical from the Scriptures.

    What I do have is that what God commands and says he expects us to believe as truth (Do you need a chapter and verse here?). Therefore “if” (your hypothetical) he communicated a contradiction we would be obligated to follow.

    However, as stated he did not communicate contradiction in the Scripture.

    My contention is that God acting in accordance with the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures does not establish the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with what God has stated is truth in the Scriptures. I cited 1 Tim. 6:20 – 21 as a passage which speaks to this point.

  110. James Says:

    Charlie,

    I thought I did answer your question – perhaps I was not clear – I will let Clark answer …

    “… First of all, Scripture, the written words of the Bible, is the mind of God. What is said in Scripture is God’s thought. … we maintain that the Bible expresses the mind of God. Conceptually it is the mind of God, or, more accurately, a part of God’s mind. For this reason the Apostle Paul, referring to the revelation given him, and in fact given to the Corinthians through him, is able to say, “We have the mind of Christ.” Also in Philippians 2:5 he exhorts them,” Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” To the same purpose is his modest claim in 1 Corinthians 7:40, “I think also that I have the Spirit of God.” The Bible, then, is the mind or thought of God. It is not a physical fetish, like a crucifix. And I doubt that there has ever been even one hillbilly fundamentalist ignorant enough to pray to a black book with red edges. Similarly, the charge that the Bible is a paper pope misses the mark for the same reason. The Bible consists of thoughts, not paper; and the thoughts are the thoughts of the omniscient, infallible God, not those of Innocent III.

    On this basis-that is, on the basis that Scripture is the mind of God-the relation to logic can easily be made clear. As might be expected, if God has spoken, he has spoken logically. The Scripture therefore should and does exhibit logical organization. For example, Romans 4:2 is an enthymematic hypothetical destructive syllogism. Romans 5:13 is a hypothetical constructive syllogism. 1 Corinthians 15:15-18 is a sorites. Obviously, examples of standard logical forms such as these could be listed at great length.

    There is, of course, much in Scripture that is not syllogistic. The historical sections are largely narrative; yet every declarative sentence is a logical unit. These sentences are truths; as such they are objects of knowledge. Each of them has, or perhaps we should say, each of them is a predicate attached to a subject. Only so can they convey meaning.

    Even in the single words themselves, as is most clearly seen in the cases of nouns and verbs, logic is embedded. If Scripture says, David was King of Israel, it does not mean that David was President of Babylon; and surely it does not mean that Churchill was Prime Minister of China. That is to say, the words David, King, and Israel have definite meanings. The old libel that Scripture is a wax nose and that interpretation is infinitely elastic is clearly wrong. If there were no limits to interpretation, we might interpret the libel itself as an acceptance of verbal and plenary inspiration. But since the libel cannot be so interpreted, neither can the Virgin Birth be interpreted as a myth nor the Resurrection as a symbol of spring. No doubt there are some things hard to be understood which the unlearned wrest to their own destruction, but the difficulties are no greater than those found in Aristotle or Plotinus, and against these philosophers no such libel is ever directed. Furthermore, only some things are hard. For the rest, Protestants have insisted on the perspicuity of Scripture.

    Nor need we waste time repeating Aristotle’s explanation of ambiguous words. The fact that a word must mean one thing and not its contradictory is the evidence of the law of contradiction in all rational language. This exhibition of the logic embedded in Scripture explains why Scripture rather than the law of contradiction is selected as the axiom. Should we assume merely the law of contradiction, we would be no better off than Kant was. His notion that knowledge requires a priori categories deserves great respect. Once for all, in a positive way-the complement of Hume’s negative and unintentional way-Kant demonstrated the necessity of axioms, presuppositions, or a priori equipment. But this sine qua non is not sufficient to produce knowledge. Therefore the law of contradiction as such and by itself is not made the axiom of this argument.

    For a similar reason, God as distinct from Scripture is not made the axiom of this argument. Undoubtedly this twist will seem strange to many theologians. … The explanation is quite simple: our knowledge of God comes from the Bible. We may assert that every proposition is true because God thinks it so, and we may follow Charnock in all his great detail, but the whole is based on Scripture. Suppose this were not so. Then “God” as an axiom, apart from Scripture, is just a name. We must specify which God. The best known system in which “God” was made the axiom is Spinoza’s. For him all theorems are deduced from Deus sive Natura. But it is the Natura that identifies Spinoza’s God. Different gods might be made axioms of other systems. Hence the important thing is not to presuppose God, but to define the mind of the God presupposed. Therefore the Scripture is offered here as the axiom. This gives definiteness and content, without which axioms are useless.

    Thus it is that God, Scripture, and logic are tied together. The Pietists should not complain that emphasis on logic is a deification of an abstraction, or of human reason divorced from God. Emphasis on logic is strictly in accord with John’s Prologue and is nothing other than a recognition of the nature of God. Does it not seem peculiar, in this connection, that a theologian can be so greatly attached to the doctrine of the Atonement, or a Pietist to the idea of sanctification, which nonetheless is explained only in some parts of Scripture, and yet be hostile to or suspicious of rationality and logic which every verse of Scripture exhibits?”

    http://www.trinityfoundation.org

    You wrote,
    “My answer to your question is…
    The Scriptures do not speak to your hypothetical question so no I do not have a specific answer to your hypothetical from the Scriptures.”

    Actually, it wasn’t my hypothetical at all – it was your assertion that “He sets the standard for truth not the law of contradiction. So if he cause Scripture to have contradictions, then yes it would still be truth.”
    that I asked you to support with Scriptures – but I see now no Scriptures are coming forth – so Charlie – how did you come by this idea?
    Thanks,

  111. Charlie Says:

    .James,

    You are not answering the question I asked. You are in actuality avoiding the question.

    Point #1:
    Clark has answered the question in the way I suggest and not the way you are implying. You inadvertently neglected to see it and thus quoted it.

    He said, “Therefore the Scripture is offered here as ‘the axiom.’ This gives definiteness and content, without which axioms are useless. Thus it is that God, Scripture, and logic are tied together.”

    As I understand him Scripture is THE axiom and as such is THE sole authority. Logic is related to Scripture in that it is used by God throughout making God’s revelation intelligible. Thus, Scripture is the authority…logic is the tool. God thinks…Scripture is God determining what of his thoughts to reveal…Logic is God’s determination to make his thoughts intelligible. Thus logic is not God but the avenue God chose to make his revealed thoughts reasonable.

    Point #2:
    Clark is not correct in some of his exegetical assertions regarding the Scriptures. Here are some:

    1) “For this reason the Apostle Paul, referring to the revelation given him, and in fact given to the Corinthians through him, is able to say, ‘We have the mind of Christ.’” – the mind of Christ is (in the context) the Spirit of God interpreting the Scriptures to the mind of the spiritual man. The Spirit is the mind of Christ not the Scripture.

    2) “Also in Philippians 2:5 he exhorts them, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.’” – the mind of Christ in this passage is humility…not the Scripture.

    3) “To the same purpose is his modest claim in 1 Corinthians 7:40, ‘I think also that I have the Spirit of God.’” – Paul has the Spirit of God and thus his mind which enables him to write Scripture and interpret reality authoritatively.

    4) Clark concludes, “The Bible, then, is the mind or thought of God.” – he did not prove this from the Scriptures for his exegesis of these passages were not what the passages said in context.

    Clark in this passage (your quote of him) did not prove what you say he did. He actually asserted differently (my first point) and his exegesis was found to be inconsistent with the context of the passage (my second point).

    Point #3:
    God has other realities in his mind. He has revealed he has them without revealing the full content of them (i.e. making Moses into a nation after destroying Israel [Ex. 32:10], what history would have been if Moses died for not circumcising his son [Ex. 4:24 -26], what would have happened if Jesus performed his miracles and teaching in Sodom [Matt. 11:20 - 24], and the like).

    God revealed that these other realities are in his mind. Do they contradict the reality we see? Imagine Israel as the Seed of Moses because the Seed of Abraham was destroyed for worshipping the Golden Calf, or Israel without the great prophet Moses because his wife did not circumcise their son and touch Moses’ feet with the foreskin, or Sodom remaining until today.

    These are possible realities revealed in Scripture. Do these other realities contradict the reality we see? Are they in the mind of God? It is God’s decision (will) that determines which reality in his mind comes to pass. Is it, therefore, God’s will that brings the law of non-contradiction into reality and not merely his thinking mind?

    Point #4:
    God reveals ontological truth in Scripture. God determines to create and thereby reveal his glory – the internal consistency of his nature and being. God determines THE reality that will best display his glory – the internal consistency of his nature and being. God determines the law of non-contradiction into the Scriptures (revelation) thus making them intelligible as a display of the internal consistency of his nature and being. God determines a reality (creation) functioning in the law of non-contradiction to make it intelligible as a display of the internal consistency of his nature and being. God, in Scripture, sets the Scripture (his revelation) as the authority and subordinates the law of non-contradiction to Scripture as a display of his determination to display his glory – the internal consistency of his nature and being – in this way.

    As to your question to me:
    I provided no Scripture for believing the contradiction in Scripture because the Bible does not have a contradiction it asked us to obey.

    I said I would submit to contradiction in the Bible “if” it were there because the Bible has statements demanding belief and obedience to the Word’s of Scripture. Do you really need me to supply these verses? Start with Psalm 19, 119, Jesus submission to the Word of God in the gospels, and so on.

    My question again to you is…
    Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?

    I am contending that this is exactly what he has done as revealed in Scripture.

    Further, your asserted position is that your authority is Scripture and as its equal Logic. You do not operate this way. You do not speak to the Scripture I provide. Your authority of function (how you operate) is the authority of Logic alone. You talk about the Scriptures within the context of a logical argument but you do not assert the Scriptures as an authority in your argument. Your argument is assessed to be logical and thus your claim is to be validated. Logic is your functional authority even though you profess Scripture to be at least equal to it. By your fruit I am recognizing you.

  112. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    Question:
    Can God drop consistency as part of His nature and begin contradicting Himself?
    Can God reveal himself by contradicting himself (i.e. lying)

  113. Charlie Says:

    You guys are long on questions and short on answers.

    Steve,

    Answer my question and I will answer yours.

    Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?

  114. Charlie Says:

    Does it appear from the Scriptures that God has other realities in his mind? Yes!

    Do these realities contradict the reality we see? Yes!

    How are these two revelations of God reconciled?

  115. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    Your question does not warrant an answer because it assumes that consistency and truth are separate. God (who is truth itself) does not contradict himself. For Him to do so would be to lie. Scripture tells us that God cannot lie. This is not because there is some law above God telling Him he cannot do so. It is because his very nature is truth. Non-contradiction is also God’s very nature just as it is the nature of truth.

    Christ said in His prayer to the Father for His people, “Your word is truth.” I must have missed the part where he said, “the contradiction of your word is also truth.”

    You may search out another “reality” in which contradicting truth is not lying if that’s what you wish to do, but pardon me if I don’t go along. Your posts are getting a little nutty.

  116. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    So which do you deny?

    1) the Scripture that reveals other realities in the mind of God

    or

    2) that these other realities contradict the one revealed in Scripture and the world around us

    Both are revelations in Scripture. Scripture is the authority (or at least equal to your logic, right).

    Oh yeah, I remember…your “professed authority” is Scripture on par with Logic but your “functional authority” is merely Logic alone. Judging fruit here. This means that your “actual authority” is logic over Scripture.

    You did not assess my exegesis or my use of these passages. You gave a logic inspired post and classified my post as “getting a little nutty,” which basically means they do not fit into your logical presupposition.

    The Scriptures are the authority…logic is a tool not an authority on par with Scripture. Your refusal to deal with Scripture displays to me that your brand of theology is actually what Paul said was swerving from the faith (1 Tim. 6:20 – 21).

    You need to repent to what the Scripture says. I will continue to guard the deposit of the gospel according to the Scriptures by avoiding any other authority which raises itself as equal to or over the Scriptures.

    Your logic is only flawed in your choice of authority. If Scripture was your actual authority what I have said would fall into place.

  117. Charlie Says:

    Steve m,

    You asked,
    Can God drop consistency as part of His nature and begin contradicting Himself?

    No, he cannot which is why he revealed the different realities in his mind which he did not allow into actual reality.

    Can God reveal himself by contradicting himself (i.e. lying)?

    No, which is why you ought to submit to the Scriptures as the sole authority and logic as a tool of understanding God’s revelation for God says so in the Scriptures (1Tim. 6:20-21).

  118. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    Please explain what you mean by the “reality” that we see and by the “other realities” that we presumably do not see. Is there some relationship between “a reality” and truth?

    By the way, thank you for referring to my post as logic inspired. That is quite a compliment.

  119. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    You tell me what you think. Scripture poses a reality that is different than this one, not me. I merely pointed out that…

    God told Moses he would kill off the Israelites and make a nation from him. This had to be some kind of future in the mind of God that would work out salvation in Christ…or was he lying.

    God did not kill Moses but was going to. There was a reality which may have come about without Moses doing what he did in Egypt.

    Jesus said he knew that Sodom would have repented and remained to the day of his speaking if he would have accomplished the miracles he did in them…or was he lying.

    These are “possible realities” that were in God’s mind, God willed NOT to bring about although are in his mind. God willed to bring about the reality we see. However, the other realities are revealed in Scripture and as such are in the mind of God (Clark’s definition).

    I merely pointed out that these other possible realities exist in the mind of God because he revealed them in Scripture (my authority for knowing ontological reality). I further asserted that these other realities contradict the actual reality God brought into existence. This opposes your idea of the law of non-contradiction in the mind of God alone. God’s will must be taken into account as well.

    I would say, God determined a plan or goal – display his glory (this is his highest priority).

    The means he determined to display his glory is a specific created reality…the one we see and which is revealed in Scripture as both physical (what we see) and spiritual (what we do not see).

    His determination makes the best goal a reality by the best means, this reality. However, other realities (mentioned above) were possible at least in the mind of God but he chose to not bring them about but bring this one into actuality. Therefore, his choice produced the non-contradiction we see in this specific reality.

    The point is…the other possible realities were in the mind of God and they contradict the reality God determined to bring about. It was a decision of his will that brought about the law of non-contradiction in the world we see. It is this decision, which allows the law of non-contradiction to reflect God’s glory, which is his internal consistency of character and attributes displayed. God is logical in the he has determined what he wants and has chosen the best goal and means to bring it about (internal consistency revealed). His choice brings the law of non-contradiction into reality.

    It was intended to be a compliment (you are logical). I wish to be more logical but only as I bring my thoughts into a non-contradictory position under the authority of the Scriptures.

    I am pleading with you and others to do the same.

  120. Steve M Says:

    “he revealed the different realities in his mind which he did not allow into actual reality”.

    So these “different realities” are not “actual reality”? It sounds like someone is losing touch with reality whatever that is. Perhaps God just changed His mind. Maybe He is not immutable after all. I think the WCF says he is somewhere.

  121. Charlie Says:

    Is that “sound bite” argumentation an actual quote, as it appears? If so, where from?

    I pointed to Scripture. God revealed these things. I pointed to them. If you don’t like them that is your poragative however sinful that might be.

    Scripture is the authority…WCF and logic are tools…the Bible says so.

    I would rather cling to Scripture, as Luther, against a world of logical people than to submit to logic to the desecration of Scripture.

    Present Scripture logically not Logic Scripturally.

  122. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    The quote is from your 5:29pm post.

  123. Charlie Says:

    Is it a misunderstanding from the Scripture and argument from the Scripture I presented?

  124. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    I have no idea what you are asking.

  125. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    You talk of God’s will as if it is separate from His mind.

  126. James Says:

    Charlie – thanks

    you wrote,
    My question again to you is…
    Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?

    The answer is, as has become clear as to your intent (or strongly seem to intend)- NO
    The Scriptures tell me That Logic is God – John 1:1
    God is the authority over Scripture, Logic is God, ergo….
    So much so is Logic an authority over Scripture that
    If alleged Scripture violates LNC, then it is not from God. God cannot communicate violations of LNC. And by extension I am under no obligation to either believe or obey a violation of LNC (if those things are even possible…).
    All that from John 1:1….

    Now show me in Scripture where you support these:
    “So if he cause Scripture to have contradictions, then yes it would still be truth.”
    “Therefore “if” he communicated a contradiction we would be obligated to follow.”
    “It was a decision of his will that brought about the law of non-contradiction in the world we see.”

    Now, another thing, the upshot of what you intend (or strongly seem to intend), especially by the quotes above, by using the Descartes type language (LNC depends on God’s choice/decision/will) and this talk about different realities, is that God could have chosen some principle other than LNC to work with. I would like to point out that you have no Scriptural support here either. It is mere non-Scriptural conjecture.
    As to different realities in God’s Mind: ever hear of Leibniz and Possible worlds? – That is to say, logically possible worlds. In other words these are not violations of LNC since they are logically possible. The fact that in one world X is A, and in a different world X is not A, means X is A and not A in different -not the same – aspect. So none of the Scriptures you produce concerning your idea of different realities is to the point, nay even those different realities must bow to LNC or they wouldn’t even make an appearance in God’s Mind.

    Now I asked you where you get/support the ideas above from (those quotes)- please answer my question since I indeed have answered yours. Are they from Dooyeweerd? Van Til?

    Thanks so much,

  127. Charlie Says:

    James,

    I see. So the LNC is above Scripture so when Aristotle discerned it from general revelation he actually trumpeted Scripture instead of suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18-23). This is error because you contradict Scripture with you LNC.

    As to John 1, did you not read that only philosophers appeal to logos as logic in lexicons. When logos is spoken of in relation to the Bible you do not find it. Clark imposed it here in John 1 to do what you are doing…making the LNC a rule over Scripture. You said, “God is the authority over Scripture, Logic is God, ergo….So much so is Logic an authority over Scripture that If alleged Scripture violates LNC, then it is not from God.” Again, you are going counter to Scripture (Rom. 1:18 – 23, 2 Cor. 2, and so on).

    John 1:1–18 (ESV)
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    The eternal Logos is a person who was with God. This person created everything and without him nothing was made.

    4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    Notice that the Logos was LIFE and the LIFE was the light of men. Light here is the reason of men. But the darkness of men and angels war against the light…they do not embrace it. Therefore, John 1 confirms Rom. 1:18 – 23. Men suppress the truth. They do not embrace it. The vast amount of unbelievers would love your kind of reasoning because it puts your reason on par with God. This is error.

    Again, there is no Scripture to support following your hypothetical question. My reasoning is that God commands us to believe and obey his word (John 3:31 – 36).

    John 3:31–36 (ESV) 31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

    Notice he is from the earth speaks in an earthly way.

    He who comes from heaven…bear witness to what he has seen and heard, YET NO ONE receives his testimony.

    The Words of God are associated to the Spirit (life NOT Logos).

    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

    Therefore, whatever the Son says (recorded in Scripture) must be believed, even if you do not understand or can wrap you LNC around it.

    I am not speaking from any that you mentioned. I wish I was that well-read. I am speaking from the Scriptures. The Bible identifies different possibilities in the mind of God. Those possibilities did not come into the world because of the will of God bringing this one into reality. I gleaned that from Scripture not as philosopher.

    I see now you do not even profess Scripture to be on par as an authority with the Scriptures. You make it over Scripture. This is why you speak from Logic instead of Scripture.

    I pray that God will change your mind. Scripture is God’s spoken word. He expects it to be believed and obeyed. He does not expect you to scrutinize it with a philosopher’s general revelation tool.

    I will now exit the discussion as I have heard enough to know I want no part of this kind of theology.

    Steve M,

    The Will is in the mind along with Reason. They are not separate.

    I appeal to you to speak from the Scripture first and use logic as a tool to understand.

    Thanks for the help understanding Clark’s position.

  128. Sean Gerety Says:

    Now show me in Scripture where you support these:
    “So if he cause Scripture to have contradictions, then yes it would still be truth.”
    “Therefore “if” he communicated a contradiction we would be obligated to follow.”
    “It was a decision of his will that brought about the law of non-contradiction in the world we see.”

    When are you going to answer this Charlie? You make God out to be a liar, for that is what God would be if He could violate LNC for one of the contradictory propositions MUST be false. But Scripture, in opposition to your misology, states that it is *impossible* for God to lie. Not to put too fine a point on it, but your position, complete with all the feigned piety and self-righteousness, borders on blasphemy.

    Beyond that you continually contradict yourself. You bark incessantly that it is wrong for Clark to translate Logos as Logic, yet you admit that Christ per John 1 is the light that lighteth every man and “is the reason of men.”

    I don’t know if it is just pride and ego at this point or whether or not you are just profoundly and hopelessly confused. Probably both.

  129. Steve M Says:

    “The Will is in the mind along with Reason. They are not separate.”

    I don’t understand what I am to do with Scripture without using my mind, which is inseparable from reason (i.e. logic). Scripture reveals God’s mind (in part), which is inseparable from His reason (i.e. logic). Scripture is meant to reveal God’s mind to my mind. Unless I understand Scripture, it reveals nothing to me. Scripture is not blotches of ink on pieces of paper. Scripture is the meaning of the propositions contained in it. Only rational creatures are are said to be “without excuse” in Romans 1. Creatures lacking rationality are exempt from the condemnation pronounced against mankind.

  130. Charlie Says:

    Sean and Steve M,

    Do you hold James’ position that Logic is an authority over the Scriptures? I thought at least Steve M, said no one here even said such a thing. Well, James just did. This is against WCF section 1 and the Scriptures themselves.

    I have been saying all along that God is internally consistent with his characteristics and nature. This internal consistency is the glory of God reflected in the created order as the law of non-contradiction. However, the law of non-contradiction is a general revelation which point beyond itself to the truth of God’s internal consistency.

    This general revelation is an epistemological truth (how to understand). However, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, this general revelation which establishes our epistemology is not on par or over Scripture because to fear God is to believe his revealed word as the foundation. Without the fear of the Lord the general revelation of LNC is not true knowledge even when it is accurate to the created order. It is not because it is not rightly related to God.

    Scripture is special revelation. It is God speaking truth (ontological truth) and therefore must be believed and obeyed without question. The law of non-contradiction (epistemology) is not an authority on par nor over the Scriptures (ontology).

    James is, now for all intents and purposes, a professed rationalist. LNC is an authority over the Scriptures. Aristotle trumps Scripture.

    He said, “God is the authority over Scripture, Logic is God, ergo….So much so is Logic an authority over Scripture that If alleged Scripture violates LNC, then it is not from God.”

    I said, “Again, you are going counter to Scripture (Rom. 1:18 – 23, 2 Cor. 2, and so on).”

    He did not nor has anyone else dealt with the revelation from God that God holds alternate possible realities in his mind…realities that contradict each other. God wills to bring one reality into existence as it is the best means to achieve his ultimate goal – the display of his glory in creation.

    Therefore, God determines to be consistent with his purpose. In doing so, he establishes the LNC as a law in the created order. This law is not God and is not an authority on par or over Scripture. Scripture is God’s special revelation regarding the specific means to display his glory.

    Sean…you keep demanding I come up with Scripture to support your hypothetical question. YOUR QUESTION WAS HYPOTHETICAL…there is no contradiction in Scripture. I have provided Scriptures for why we are to believe and obey God’s word (Psalm 19, 119; John 3:31- 36). I have answered your question. Scripture is to be believed and obeyed without question.

    I never said the light that enlightens everyone was not reasonable and that the light he enlightens with was not reason. I said he, the logos, was not merely logic but much more as a personal being. He is life, he became flesh, he is full of GRACE and truth, and he is the exposition of the Father (ontological truth). He is much more than mere logic (epistemology). This is what I have been saying all along. When are you going to admit this?

    Steve M,

    Here is what you are to do…You are to study Scripture as the authority of ontological truth according to the law of non-contradiction (epistemology) so that Scripture (ontological truth) interprets Scripture (ontological truth) logically (epistemology – so you can know). However, logic and the LNC (epistemology) does not become an authority on par or over Scripture (revealed ontological truth).

    What you gentlemen profess (if you all agree) is rationalism. This is not what Scripture presents.

    I have gained the understanding I was looking for. I have heard the critiques of Clark being a rationalist and heard the arguments against that claim. However, if you are a consistent sample of his ideas and purpose then I agree…you are rationalists who place human reason gained through logic and LNC over God’s special revelation. This is error and I must now desist.

    Please, reread your Bibles, Christ would say…have you never read, thus using Scripture as the arbiter over the argument (not LNC). You men error. Please read your Bibles and repent.

  131. Sean Gerety Says:

    I have been saying all along that God is internally consistent with his characteristics and nature. This internal consistency is the glory of God reflected in the created order as the law of non-contradiction.

    Internally consistent according to WHAT?

    You SAY God is “internally consistent with his characteristics and nature” and that nature is “reflected” in LNC. So, it would seem to follow that the LNC in man (I assume that is what you mean by “created order” since only man thinks in terms of the LNC) is a reflection of God’s nature which also conforms to LNC. This would make sense of if Logic was God as John says. However, you don’t say that, but inconsistently deny it and then assert incoherent and nonsensical things like:

    However, the law of non-contradiction is a general revelation which point beyond itself to the truth of God’s internal consistency.

    Do you see how silly and absurd you sound? You say that God’s glory is reflected in LNC, but then you assert that God is beyond LNC and LNC is a “pointer” to “God’s internal consistency.”

    Again, consistent according to WHAT?

    It can’t be internally consistent according to LNC because that is only a pointer to some greater measure of internal consistency which seemingly has no name and leaves God beyond logic. Where do you get any of this from Scripture? Where do we learn that the God of Scripture is beyond reason? Beyond logic? You still haven’t produced a single passage to support your mystical flight into the unknown.

    James is, now for all intents and purposes, a professed rationalist. LNC is an authority over the Scriptures. Aristotle trumps Scripture.

    He said, “God is the authority over Scripture, Logic is God, ergo….So much so is Logic an authority over Scripture that If alleged Scripture violates LNC, then it is not from God.”

    Charlie, this is why people tire of you so quickly. You don’t read what your opponents say even when you quote them. James doesn’t say LNC is an authority over Scripture; in fact he starts out by stating that God is the authority over Scripture [do you deny that?] and that Logic is God. They are one in the same first principle.

    Therefore, God determines to be consistent with his purpose. In doing so, he establishes the LNC as a law in the created order. This law is not God and is not an authority on par or over Scripture. Scripture is God’s special revelation regarding the specific means to display his glory.

    Sean…you keep demanding I come up with Scripture to support your hypothetical question. YOUR QUESTION WAS HYPOTHETICAL…there is no contradiction in Scripture.

    If God is beyond logic as you insist, even claiming that God may speak in contradictions and we are to believe them, then the question is not hypothetical at all.

    I have provided Scriptures for why we are to believe and obey God’s word (Psalm 19, 119; John 3:31- 36). I have answered your question. Scripture is to be believed and obeyed without question.

    What do you mean “without question.” Many, many people, even those calling themselves Reformed, believe that God desires ALL men everywhere to be saved and not just the elect. Their doctrine is a clear violation of LNC. Should we or should we not embrace and obey the Well Meant Offer without question? It would seem per you the answer is a resounding YES. But on what basis should we reject it if LNC is created and not a reflection of God’s true nature?

    I never said the light that enlightens everyone was not reasonable and that the light he enlightens with was not reason.

    Here’s what you wrote: “Light here is the reason of men.” So, light both is and is not the reason of men. Oh, the wonderful things you can do when you are free from the confines of logic. You can speak out of both sides of your mouth and your Yes can be NO and YES at the same time. I’m really starting to wonder about your sanity Charlie, this is getting way too bizarre for me.

    However, if you are a consistent sample of his ideas and purpose then I agree…you are rationalists who place human reason gained through logic and LNC over God’s special revelation. This is error and I must now desist.

    OK with me. Do you want me to ban you again to save you from the temptation of keep posting on a “rationalists” blog?

  132. Denson Dube Says:

    I am forever amazed at people who confuse being a moron with being a Christian.

  133. Charlie Says:

    Logos is far beyond mere logic/LNC.

    Logos is personal. LNC is impersonal.

    Logos has became man as the highest point of special revelation. LNC is general revelation.

    Logos is full of grace and truth. LNC has no grace.

    Logos came to exegete the Father. LNC does not reveal truth it merely evaluates argument.

    Logos has in his mind other possible realities that contradict the reality he determine to create and bring into being. LNC cannot allow contradiction or it ends being a law.

    Every single one of the comparisons above displays why John 1 CANNOT merely mean “in the beginning was logic…”

    You error and by that error impose upon Scripture a restriction it, by its own profession, does not allow.

    2 Tim. 3:16…All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness…

    Scripture is infused with the Spirit of life. Logic is not. Scripture is determined profitable above all else.

    Scripture teaches. Scripture reproves. Scripture corrects. Scripture trains.

    Therefore…2 Tim 4:2…commands one to Proclaim Scripture. Reprove with Scripture. Rebuke with Scripture. Exhort with Scripture.

    Why Paul?

    2 Tim. 4:3 – 4 (ESV) For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    People do not like the Scriptures taught because of their own passions.

    The passion I see here is a passion for Logic. Therefore, Scripture has been displaced. Paul said Scripture is profitable for everything you need to teach, expose error, show from the error how to correct, and finally discipleship training. Paul said Scripture was sufficient to make the man of God “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:17).

    Since Scripture is sufficient God through Paul commands that we proclaim, reprove, rebuke, and exhort with it. You men have not done so. You have not because you have gathered for yourselves teachers who will tickle your ears with Logic instead. Logic has so become your idol that the teaching of Scripture is deemed foolish, moronic (thanks Delson Dube), illogical, irrational, and so much more.

    No one here has denounced my presentation of the Scriptures. No one has really dealt with the Scriptures I have presented. By their fruit you will recognize them. Your fruit exposes that you worship Logic and not the God revealed in Scripture.

    I am finished. You may ban me if you wish.

    I appeal to you to return to the Scriptures understood logically from your position of Logic understood scripturally. Scripture itself and so God demands it.

  134. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    “Logos is personal. LNC is impersonal.

    You don’t understand what logic is if you say it is impersonal. Logic deals with propositions. A proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence. A sentence with no meaning is not a proposition and, therefore, no part of logic. Meaning implies intellect. It is the intellect that understands the meaning. Intellect implies personality. Your statement that logic (and in particular the law of contradiction) is impersonal ignores the very nature of it. Logic is intellectual and,therefore. personal.

    Keep making the same points over and over if you wish, but they are not well thought out. You attempt to argue your positions logically at the same time denying logic’s existence and then denying that you are denying its existence. It is tiresome. You hold up your own confusion as piety, but it is hiding from the truth rather than seeking it.

  135. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    Nice strawman you built there.

    Scripture authority…logic tool.

    Never denied logic. Denied the Logos is merely logic.

    What about the rest of what I said, especially the Scripture? Ignored it.

    Oh, I get it speak to what you think you can dismiss and make enough noise to distract from the rest.

  136. Sean Gerety Says:

    Logic is intellectual and,therefore. personal.

    Spot on. Nice chain of reasoning BTW. Too bad Charlie couldn’t follow it. :)

  137. Charlie Says:

    I understood that part. I did not address it. I addressed the fact that he built a straw-man and that everything else I said was ignored, especially THE SCRIPTURE.

    Too bad you didn’t address that.

  138. Sean Gerety Says:

    I have no problem with THE SCRIPTURE. I just don’t know why you think it supports your misolgoy?

  139. Charlie Says:

    Here is the post again. I placed {{…}} around what was addressed. The majority of the argument still stands. Further, the straw-man he made seems to be condoned by everyone but me.

    Logos is far beyond mere logic/LNC.

    {{Logos is personal. LNC is impersonal.}}.

    Logos has became man as the highest point of special revelation. LNC is general revelation.

    Logos is full of grace and truth. LNC has no grace.

    Logos came to exegete the Father. LNC does not reveal truth it merely evaluates argument.

    Logos has in his mind other possible realities that contradict the reality he determine to create and bring into being. LNC cannot allow contradiction or it ends being a law.

    Every single one of the comparisons above displays why John 1 CANNOT merely mean “in the beginning was logic…”

    You error and by that error impose upon Scripture a restriction it, by its own profession, does not allow.

    2 Tim. 3:16…All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness…

    Scripture is infused with the Spirit of life. Logic is not. Scripture is determined profitable above all else.

    Scripture teaches. Scripture reproves. Scripture corrects. Scripture trains.

    Therefore…2 Tim 4:2…commands one to Proclaim Scripture. Reprove with Scripture. Rebuke with Scripture. Exhort with Scripture.

    Why Paul?

    2 Tim. 4:3 – 4 (ESV) For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    People do not like the Scriptures taught because of their own passions.

    The passion I see here is a passion for Logic. Therefore, Scripture has been displaced. Paul said Scripture is profitable for everything you need to teach, expose error, show from the error how to correct, and finally discipleship training. Paul said Scripture was sufficient to make the man of God “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:17).

    Since Scripture is sufficient God through Paul commands that we proclaim, reprove, rebuke, and exhort with it. You men have not done so. You have not because you have gathered for yourselves teachers who will tickle your ears with Logic instead. Logic has so become your idol that the teaching of Scripture is deemed foolish, moronic (thanks Delson Dube), illogical, irrational, and so much more.

    No one here has denounced my presentation of the Scriptures. No one has really dealt with the Scriptures I have presented. By their fruit you will recognize them. Your fruit exposes that you worship Logic and not the God revealed in Scripture.

    I am finished. You may ban me if you wish.

    I appeal to you to return to the Scriptures understood logically from your position of Logic understood scripturally. Scripture itself and so God demands it.

  140. Steve M Says:

    “The majority of the argument still stands.

    Charlie
    Are you contending that the numerous disjointed assertions that you made in that post amount to an “argument”? If so, is it a logically valid argument? Is it free of contradiction? If so, why? If not, are you suggesting that I should find the inconsistencies? What would that accomplish? It is your position that truth can be contradictory. If I demonstrate the inconsistency or contradictory nature of your “argument”, I accomplish nothing.

  141. Charlie Says:

    Deal with the passages I deal with.

    John 1:1 – 18 describes logos as I have.

    The passages where different possible realities exist in the mind of God,

    and

    2 Tim. 3:16 – 4:2 which establishes Scripture as the only sufficient authority for all needs.

    Oh yeah…logic is your God…you could care less about the Scriptures.

  142. Sean Gerety Says:

    Deal with this Charlie; Not one passage of Scripture you’ve marshaled to your cause supports the ludicrous and anti-Christian notion that the laws of logic (yes, Aristotelian logic to include the laws of identity, contradiction, and excluded middle) are created and point to some God who is beyond logic. Not one verse from 2 Tim, Rom. 1, 2 Cor. 2 or any other verse supports your atrocious beliefs which include:

    “So if he cause Scripture to have contradictions, then yes it would still be truth.”

    “Therefore “if” he communicated a contradiction we would be obligated to follow.”

    “It was a decision of his will that brought about the law of non-contradiction in the world we see.”

    Further, John 1:1-18 doesn’t speak a word to “different possible realities” existing in the mind of God. The passage does speak to the ministry of John the Baptist, that the Second Person is the creator of all things and who is the divine Logos or Logic of God who became flesh, who is the light that John was pointing to that “lighteth every man,” and that’s just for starters. Not one word about alternate realities.

    So, it appears you are the one who not only could care less about Scripture. Worse, in your hands the Scriptures have been brutally mangled and you have fashioned for yourself an irrational and contradictory God who has no resemblance at all to the Lord God of Truth of Scripture for whom it is impossible to lie. Yours seems quite capable of lying, speaking both YES and NO and who is quite beyond reason.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  143. Steve M Says:

    Sean
    Thank you. Well put!

  144. Charlie Says:

    The more angry your responses get the more I realize you want me to leave because you have no basis for your facts in Scripture. Once it is proved that: 1) the logos is NOT logic in John 1, 2) other realities that contradict this one are in the mind of God, and 3) Scripture is proved to be an authority over Aristotle’s logic that your whole system falls and you are exposed as anti-biblical.

    First, John 1…

    In the Logos was LIFE and this LIFE was the Light of men. Logos’ LIFE grants reason to man. (John 1:4)

    The darkness of men has not overcome (understood) the Light (John 1:5) – this is suppression of the truth. This indicates that whatever Aristotle gained without Christ was not the light but darkness.

    The Light came into the world and was not known in the world (non-Jews Aristotle included here) and his own (this is Jews) did not receive him (John 1:9 – 11).

    The ones who receive (know) him are born of God (Aristotle was not) – John 1:12 – 13.

    The Logos has became man as the highest point of special revelation (John 1:14a).

    Logos is full of grace and truth (John 1:14b). LNC has no grace.

    From the fullness of the Logos we receive GRACE UPON GRACE (John 1:16)

    Logos came to exegete the Father (John 1:18). LNC does not reveal truth it merely evaluates argument.

    These points taken directly from the text of John 1 show that the Logos is not mere logic but much more. Logos is LIFE, is not understood by the unbeliever, not accepted by the unbeliever, full of grace, from Him we receive grace upon grace, and He is revelation not argument.

    The Logos of John 1 is much more than mere logic beginning with the LNC.

    Second, several passages…

    Exodus 4:24 – 26 (ESV) 24 At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.

    The Lord was going to put Moses to death without delivering Israel from Egypt. Therefore, in the mind of God there was another way to deliver Israel (the whole history of the Jewish nation). This other reality contradicts the one we know and it is in the mind of God.

    Exodus 32:7 – 10 (ESV) 7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”

    There is in the mind of God a reality where Israel is a nation attributed to Moses instead of Abraham. This other reality in the mind of God contradicts the reality we know from history and revelation.

    Matt. 11:20 – 24 (ESV) 20 then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

    Here we have Jesus speaking of a reality that did not come into history but he knows of that could have happened. This again indicates a contradictory reality in the mind of God.

    These three passages (there are more) indicate that God holds in his mind contradictions in reality. Therefore it is not mere intellect (epistemology – LNC) that is in the mind of God. There must be something else in the mind of God that takes these contradictory realities and determines which one to bring into reality.

    Third,
    2 Tim. 3:16 – 4:4 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    This passage indicates that Scripture is THE sufficient means to make the man of God complete, equipped for every good work. Therefore, Paul strictly charges that because the Scripture is profitable for teaching…proclaim it, profitable for reproof…reprove with it, profitable for correction…rebuke with it, profitable for training…exhort with it.

    If you ignore this charge and place logic OVER the Scriptures or even ON PAR with the Scriptures, you are those who have gathered teachers to tickle ears. This is God speaking through Paul. Scripture alone is sufficiently profitable. Logic was derived by Aristotle and is extra-biblical. It is general revelation. If you place it on par or over Scripture, as you men indicate is your purpose, then you contradict the clear teaching of Scripture.

    1) Logos is much more than mere logic as you and Clark assert.

    2) There are alternate contradictory realities in the mind of God. He willfully maintains his internal consistency not his mere nature controlled by LNC.

    3) You elevate LNC/logic on par or over Scripture when the Scripture commands not to.

    You men error. My logic may not be pristine but the Scriptures are. Listen to what God has said…believe and obey him. My pressure is not heavy on you; I am as you before God…pinched off from the same piece of clay. My words cannot bring you to repentance. That is the work of God through the proclamation of the Scriptures empowered by the Holy Spirit (whether I am logical in my presentation or not).

  145. Steve M Says:

    “1) Logos is much more than mere logic as you and Clark assert.”

    You continue to argue as if logic were impersonal. Your disdain for it is apparent from your use of the adjective “mere.”

    “2) There are alternate contradictory realities in the mind of God. He willfully maintains his internal consistency not his mere nature controlled by LNC.”

    Unintelligible. Has anyone other than you argued that God’s “mere” nature is controlled by some separate entity? You are sure a great one to talk regarding straw men.

    “3) You elevate LNC/logic on par or over Scripture when the Scripture commands not to.”

    You are the one who separates logic from Scripture. You, then. project your own view on others and the accuse them of doing something that would be impossible according to their view. If I do not separate logic from Scripture as you do, how can I elevate it above or place it beneath Scripture? You first make logic something which is no part of Scripture and then denigrate it as a completely separate impersonal entity. You who denigrate logic wish to obscure the truth rather than to seek it.

  146. louiskbb Says:

    Many thanks Sean, James and Steve.

  147. Denson Dube Says:

    The laws of logic are the order the mind of God imposes on thought, without which there would be no thinking or meaning. The scriptures cannot be understood without logic. .

  148. Charlie Says:

    Denson,

    I agree with you but the others do not.

    To them the order of God’s mind IS the laws of logic.

    It is NOT “the order the mind of God imposes on thought.”

    This is what I have been saying. You better watch out. You sided with the outsider (inadvertantly maybe – be kind to the guy he is one of your own).

    This is what I mean when I say the will of God determines the LNC in the mind of God to produce the reality according to the best aim in His own determination. The best aim is the full display of his glory.There is one reality which best displays the glory of God to man. God thwarts all other possibilities “in his mind.” This is what I would agree with what I think you intended to say, “the order the mind of God imposes on thought.”

    Setve M,

    1) Logos is full of GRACE…from the fulness of Logos we recieve GRACE UPON GRACE…Logos is LIFE. These are beyond the logic you imply. LNC has no grace merely law. You pervert the Scripture to gain your god, which is not the Biblical God.

    2) Unintelligible to a mind that does not submit to the Scriptures. These were Scriptures, correct? Deal with the Scriptures if you think I have not represented them correctly. Deal with them how you think they ought to be interpreted. I could care less what you say about intelligablility. The Fear of the Lord (not logic) is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.

    3) Paul separates Scripture from logic, especially Aristotle’s godless chatter and antithesis falsely so called knowledge (1 Tim. 6:20 – 21). Paul asserts that the Scripture is the sufficiently profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training (2 Tim. 3:16 – 4:2).

    You do not teach from the Scriptures. You teach from the standpoint of mere logoc/LNC. You do not reproof from the Scriptures but from Logic. You do not correct from the Scriptures but from logic. You do not train in the Scriptures but in Aristotle’s logic. Your Scriptures are man’s understanding of logic. Your God is merely Logic understood kinda scripturally but I don’t hear much Scripture from you so it is probably merely man’s understanding of logic or logic arsitotlely.

  149. James Says:

    Since the subject is aberrant views of logic, and since the subject of alternative logics has come up, I must say one of the most interesting things in Clark is his defense of the traditional square of opposition in the face of modern logic’s rejection of subalternation. Clark not only critiques Russell’s definition of All, but also reveals a different definition (from HB Smith of UPenn) that saves subalternation. Clark also rejects existential import and quantification. A very nice read is in the last chapter of his book “William James and John Dewey” as well as in Clark’s “Logic”.

  150. justbybelief Says:

    The scriptures cannot be understood without logic.

    This cannot be stated to many times. Thanks, Denson.

    In times of ignorance it is the duty of noble men to restate the obvious.

  151. Denson Dube Says:

    Charlie,
    “God imposes logical order on thought” is the same as “Logic is the way God thinks”. It is His will to be logical and His thoughts are logical.
    Logic is no more Aristotelian than Gravity is Newtonian or Einsteinian. The Bible tells us that there are things that men know about God though they deny Him. God himself has revealed these to the mind of man. These things condemn man in his unbelief.

  152. justbybelief Says:

    “Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of *doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, [TO USE LOGIC AGAINST LOGIC], to repudiate morality while laying claim to it,…, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word “doublethink” involved the use of doublethink.”

    –George Orwell (1984)

    *Reality Control

  153. louiskbb Says:

    Denson @ 20 March 11:52 am:

    The Bible tells us that there are things that men know about God though they deny Him. God himself has revealed these to the mind of man. These things condemn man in his unbelief.

    This neatly sums up John Robbins’ remarks on special and “general” revelation in The Trinity Review, “The White Horse Inn: Nonsense on Tap”.

  154. Charlie Says:

    Everyone’s refusal to speak to the Scripture supports the accusation that rationalism is your true philosophy.

    The Bible is unwanted and unnecessary to your views as you do not try to reconcile your views (logic) to the Scriptures.

    Thank you for confirming to me why I do not follow this kind of theology (non-theology).

  155. justbybelief Says:

    Everyone’s refusal to speak to the Scripture

    What is scripture?

    Is it a mountain, a valley or a dog?

    Again, you use logic against logic.

  156. Sean Gerety Says:

    I know Charlie was asked a while back if he was Charlie Ray. I noticed he didn’t respond, but I don’t think it’s Charlie Ray as that Charlie just posted this on his FB (admittedly I think he meant God is Logic, but you get the point):

    Charlie J. Ray shared a link.
    4 hours ago
    god is logic. John 1:1.

  157. Steve M Says:

    “Is it a mountain, a valley or a dog?”

    JBB
    That would depend on which of the many different “realities” you dwell in. It would be one thing an the “actual reality”, but in one of the other realities it could be anything.

  158. Tim Harris Says:

    James — Now a question for you: you seem to acknowledge that many aspects of Aristotelian logic are now controverted, and that Clark took a stand for Aristotle. But are you willing to go the whole hog with this theologizing, and say that the “aristotelian/clarkian [version of] logic is God,” or do you restrict the divinity of logic to just the “law” of pure contradiction per se?

  159. justbybelief Says:

    During a torture session, his imprisonment in the Ministry of Love is explained: “There are three stages in your reintegration … There is learning, there is understanding, and there is acceptance,” i.e. of the *Party’s assertion of reality.

    1984 Wiki

    *Church or state

  160. Denson Dube Says:

    Charlie,
    Logic is embedded in scripture. It is the architecture of scripture. Logic cannot be removed from scripture.

  161. James Says:

    Tim –

    At this point in my life, I admit I still agree with Clark as much as I can understand him on these issues.

    oh, and I agree with Clark’s defense of subalternation and his critique of quantification, etc…

    Personally, I am not sure I believe that Being precedes LNC. Why do we say that God cannot be one and three in the same exact aspect/sense? Because such cannot possibly be.

    For an interesting take on this –
    SeanG pointed out above concerning Van Til and the like that,

    “Van Til and his followers at least realize this which is why they developed their theory of paradox”

    Now, I’m nowhere near sold on Van Til himself as per this quote, but indeed the VTs I have irritated over the years do indeed ultimately defend that God is not a *real* contradiction. Despite affirming that the Scriptural paradox is insoluble to us – VTs (at least the ones I’ve talked to) take it on blind faith that “person” is used in different senses in the formula “God is both one person and three persons” even though Scripture does not hint at/nor can we know or spell out the different senses. But, really then, what is this blind faith in? LNC. VTs have such blind faith in LNC that even when (as they believe) the Scriptures (or Van Til) teach that God is one and three in what appears to be a real contradiction, they ultimately bow to LNC as they affirm one in a different sense than three and claim that the violation is only apparent and that it is resolved “in God” quite in accord with LNC. I call it “blind” faith because it is a faith in LNC apart from/despite the Scriptures which, as it turns out on their view, is the source of the “apparent” insoluble contradiction.

    Thanks,

  162. Denson Dube Says:

    James,
    Your comments on van Tilians are spot on.
    Misologists and those who advocate for other logics, use Aristotelian logic to oppose Aristotelian logic and to try and formulate other logics. Other logics can be shown to be subsets or truncations of Aristotelian logic, where one of the strictures of Aristotelian logic has been relaxed. The result of course will be something inferior to Aristotelian logic.

  163. Denson Dube Says:

    “Being precedes logic” ? Which “being”? Certainly not God. God is spirit. He is His mind, His thoughts, and His thoughts are logical. Other “beings” were created by God, by His Mind and they conform to His Mind, His logic.

  164. Tim Harris Says:

    Denson — I’m surprised to hear you say that they use “Aristotelian logic to oppose Aristotelian logic.” May I ask, have you read any of the important essays in modern logic, such as Frege’s “Sense and Reference,” or B. Russell’s “On Denoting?”

  165. Charlie Says:

    Denson,

    I am leery of reentering this fray as I am misrepresented when I speak. Please try to understand what I am saying and not what you expect to hear from your encounters with others in the past.

    You said, “Logic is embedded in scripture. It is the architecture of scripture. Logic cannot be removed from scripture.”

    I have never said otherwise. I accept that it is. I would also say the LNC and thus logic is revealed in nature (general revelation). General revelation is where Aristotle discerned his system.

    What is Aristotle missing that we have in the Scriptures? What is it that mere LNC and logic did not reveal to Aristotle?

    He and Plato saw three eternals (matter, forms, and god). Plato saw them as three separate eternal entities and Aristotle pushed the forms into matter thus combining these two. Both Plato and Aristotle had the wrong God and thus matter was eternal. This being the case their ontological structure of the cosmos and God were incorrect.

    Scripture affirms the LNC and a logic much like Aristotle’s. However, the LNC and logic flow from a completely different ontological structure – the eternal Trinitarian God who spoke the cosmos into existence.

    How do we become aware of the ontological structure of the cosmos? It is not through the LNC and logic alone. These were not enough to get us to the actual God of the cosmos. How do we get the ontological structure of actual reality?

    God reveals it in Scripture and most specifically in the revelation of his Son as the Christ in the message of the gospel. The Trinity and the fact that matter is not eternal are not logical inductions or deductions by themselves. They are specifics revealed in the Scripture. If we did not have the revelation of them in the Scriptures we could not and would not know them.

    LNC would ultimately be meaningless to our mind as everything would be up for opinion. Man could not truly know the eternal reality of God and the temporary structure of matter without revelation (this is not even taking into account depravity). Thus man, unless men became omniscient, would have to settle for opinion and relativism and thus pragmatism and survival of the fittest.

    What keeps us from such meaningless vanity? The revelation God makes in the Scriptures. Thus what he reveals about the world is information we needed to maintain the LNC and logic instead of abandoning it as the Post-moderns have done.

    In this way, Scripture, as revelation, is superior to LNC and logic. Scripture is God’s revelation about realities we could not find from mere LNC and logic. This is what I mean by Scripture is the rule (authority) and logic is the tool. Logic is only as good as its ontological ground. Don’t get me wrong the LNC still functions because it is in the mind of man as an image bearer. However, without the ontological truths of the Scripture Hume, Nietzsche, and the Post-moderns are right. Knowledge is meaningless.

    Thus, Scripture is the rule and logic (LNC) is the tool.

  166. Denson Dube Says:

    Tim,
    Everyone without exception, including Tim Haris use Aristotelian logic even as they rail against it. Human speech/communication including written books are Aristotelian. A book on Boolean logic is written in Aristotelian logic to communicate ideas of Boolean logic. I am surprised that something so obvious is hidden from you.

  167. Tim Harris Says:

    Well Denson, perhaps you should “wade in” and see for yourself. To show the problem with sub-alternation, for example, you don’t have to use sub-alternation. If you simply mean “non-contradiction,” ok, but that’s hardly a sufficient summary of “Aristotelian.”

  168. louiskbb Says:

    Charlie @ 6:12 pm (March 22) stated:

    “I would also say the LNC and thus logic is revealed in nature (general revelation). General revelation is where Aristotle discerned his system.”

    Where in nature is such revealed? How may I also discern such a system?

    Thanks

  169. Charlie Says:

    louiskbb,

    Are you suggesting it is not in nature?

    Aristotle suggested that causes are apprehended through the particulars. (Metaphysics book 1)

    Do you disagree with Aristotle here?

  170. Charlie Says:

    All begin, as we have said, by wondering that things should be as they are, e.g. with regard to marionettes, or the solstices, or the incommensurability of the diagonal of a square; because it seems wonderful to everyone who has not yet perceived the cause that a thing should not be measurable by the smallest unit. But we must end with the contrary and (according to the proverb) the better view, as men do even in these cases when they understand them; for a geometrician would wonder at nothing so much as if the diagonal were to become measurable. Thus we have stated what is the nature of the science which we are seeking, and what is the object which our search and our whole investigation must attain. It is clear that we must obtain knowledge of the primary causes, because it is when we think that we understand its primary cause that we claim to know each particular thing.

    Aristotle – Metaphysics

  171. louiskbb Says:

    Charlie,

    I deny that anything is revealed in nature or that Aristotle has any authority in religion or science for that matter.
    And if he really suggested that causes are apprehended through the particulars: I cannot disagree more. But that is beside the point.

    “[P]ropositions, that is truth, cannot be derived from something non propositional. Unless one starts with propositions (that is, declarative sentences), one can arrive at no truth whatsoever. Propositions – and truth is always propositional – can only come from propositions. This poses an unsolvable problem for all empiricists, for they begin with something called sensations. But the problem is completely avoided by Christians, for they believe, as Scripture says, that God is truth itself, and he reveals truth to men in propositions, not sensations. The Second Person of the Trinity is the Logos, the Reason, the Wisdom, the Logic of God. He created the world.” (John Robbins, “The white Horse Inn: Nonsense on Tap).

  172. Charlie Says:

    louiskbb

    Psalm 19:1 – 6 (ESV)
    1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
    2 Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
    3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
    4 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
    In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
    6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

    This is God’s Word in propositions telling you that he reveals knowledge of his glory in nature (general revelation).

    Romans 1:18 – 21 (ESV)
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    Here is another passage confirming in propositions that the created order provides knowledge of God. There are more.

    My question to you is do you believe the Bible and so God?

  173. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    To whom does the “created order” reveal God’s wrath and to whom do the heavens declare His glory? To my dog, Clancy? I don’t think so, but he can see, touch, taste, smell and hear. However, he cannot reason. He can, through his sensations take in all the truth that creation sets before him, but he is, never-the-less, not without excuse. He does not have the light, which coming into the world, lights every man, the light of reason. He is not the image of God. The heavens declare and God’s wrath is revealed only to rational beings, not to rocks, polar bears, trees, oceans and zebras. Corporeal things serve only as reminders of what God has already revealed directly to the mind of man when He breathed the breath of life into him at his creation.

  174. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    So we agree. Manikind is communicated the truth of ther glory of God in general revelation because they are created in the image of God.

    You can read the passage as well as I (I think).

    The heavens declare the glory of God…

    what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. … in the things that have been made.

    Aristotle, who is created in the image of God, descerned from general revelation the glory of God revealed in the LNC and logic.

    Thanks.

  175. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    I think we can agree that you read neither my post nor the Bible carefully and thoughtfully. If you want to come to the conclusion that Aristotle discerned the laws of logic from his observation of the world around him, that is up to you. But please don’t accuse me of sharing that confused view. I think the last sentence of my post is clear enough.

  176. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    You disagree with David and Paul? They did not say creation remind us of the glory of God (Plato did).

    David said the heavens reveal knowledge (Ps. 19:2).

    Paul said what can be known of God is revealed in the things that have been made (Rom. 1:20).

    I am not coming here to declare my opinion. I am merely stating truths revealed in Scripture which you claim to believe, right?

    If there is something in the passages I am misunderstanding then please explain.

    If there is some other passage that shed light on these, then please share them.

    Otherwise, we have your opinion agaist what God has revealed as truth in the Scriptures.

    You do not trump God no matter how logical you believe you are being.

    Thanks.

  177. James Says:

    Tim –

    can you help me with this – according to the modern logic what is the truth value of these:

    Some dodo birds are extinct

    Some dodo birds are dodo birds

    Some hobbits are not oliphaunts

    Some Allosaurs are not Brontosaurs

    Thanks,

  178. Steve M Says:

    Romans 1:19
    “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”

    W. Gary Crampton:
    The Bible teaches, as stated by John Calvin, that the Spirit of God has implanted an innate idea of Himself, a sensus divinitatis, in all men, which is propositional and ineradicable. This is due to the fact that all men are created in the image of God. When man interacts with God’s creation, which demonstrates His glory, power, and wisdom, man, as God’s image, is forced, in some sense, to “think God.” The visible creation itself does not mediate “knowledge” to man (as in the epistemology of Thomas Aquinas), for the visible universe sets forth no propositions. Rather, it stimulates the mind of man to intellectual intuition (or recollection), who as a rational being is already in possession of apriori, propositional information about God and His creation This apriori information is immediately impressed upon man’s consciousness, and it is more than adequate to show that the God of the Bible is the one and only true God. Yet, without the “spectacles” of special revelation, all of the evidences speak in vain. One must not attempt to prove God; He is the necessary premise for all proof.

    Since all knowledge must come through propositions (which are either true or false), since the senses in interacting with creation yield no propositions, knowledge cannot be conveyed by sensation. Rather, as noted above, the senses apparently stimulate the mind of man to intellectual intuition, to recollect the God-given innate ideas that man already possesses. Gordon Clark used the illustration of a piece of paper on which is written a message in invisible ink. The paper (by illustration, the mind) might appear blank, but in actuality it is not. When the heat of experience is applied to the mind (as when heat is applied to the paper), the message becomes visible. Human knowledge, then, is possible only because God has endowed man with certain innate ideas.

    The Christian view of epistemology has its roots in the Logos doctrine. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ is the cosmological Logos (1:1-3), the epistemological Logos (1:9, 14), and the soteriological Logos (1:4, 12-13; 14:6). He is the Creator of the world, the source of all human knowledge, and the giver of salvation. As to the epistemological Logos, which is the focus of the present study, Christ is the “true light which enlightens every man coming into the world” (1:9). Apart from the Logos, the “inward teacher,” knowledge would not be possible.

    – See more at: http://trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=276#sthash.cxasE0nD.dpuf

  179. louiskbb Says:

    Charlie,

    1. Psalm 19 is Revelation from God and not from nature. Dawid, being inspired, received these propositions from God the Holy Spirit. Also, Dawid was surely acquainted with the Pentateuch, including the first chapters of Genesis and Exodus 20. The truth that God created the heavens and the earth and that He saw that it was good was know and believed long before the time of Dawid. But God revealed that. Not the heavens as you claim.
    2. The section from Psalm 19 you quoted abounds with figurative speech; it is a poem: The heavens ‘count up’ or even ‘put to writing’ the glory of God. The expanse are said to ‘proclaim’ the work of His hands. In this poem a day is said to ‘gush forth’ nothing less than a ‘statement > proposition’ and so forth. We learn that the heavens is a tent and the sun a bridegroom (Others who use their senses seem to have ‘discerned’ that the sun is a ball of fire which originated in a big bang).
    3. But there is more: First, whatever the propositions gushed forth by the days are, they are for the benefit of other days. They were not meant for Dawid. Ditto for the ‘knowledge’ the one night proclaims to the next (verse 3).
    In the second place, the Bible explicitly states that the voice of the heavens is ‘inaudible’; ‘there is no word’ and ‘there are no propositions’. [If you doubt that the Hebrew for ‘word’ can mean a proposition, please look up Deut 4:13, 10.4 and Ex 34:28 where the commandments are called the ten words. A New Testament example would be Joh .]2:19-22
    3. Dawid heard nothing. But this is important: Since he never states that he ‘discerned’ anything from God’s creation (which is inaudible), he could only know that it is glorious from previous Revelation in the Word of God and from the inward Teacher, the Logos. 4. Verse 5 confirms this, since the ‘voice’ (ESV) that goes out through all the earth is properly ‘unitelligent speech’; the same unintelligent speech heard in Is 28:10-13. [You can look this up in one of your dictionaries (HALOT for instance, with reference to Donner VTSupp. 11 (1964) states:
    “QW [the Hebrew consonants] perhaps means sinewy strength, but more probably an onomatopoetic lallation or babble, to denote a foreign unintelligible language cf. Is 2810f.”
    In any event, Paul (1 Cor 14:21) refers directly to the drunken babble of Is 28:10-13 when he calls the glossalia at Corinth unintelligible.
    5. In contrast to all this, please read the rest of the Psalm where the grace and beauty of propositional revelation is set forth in all its glory (verses 8-12).

    But you seem to have it the other way around.

  180. Sean Gerety Says:

    Tim, is “After Thought” your blog?

    I wouldn’t recommend anyone searching it out unless they have a good virus detection program since the site is infected with a malicious virus, and that’s just not the stuff being posted on that blog, but it makes Drake Shelton’s racist, kinist and white supremacist screeds look mild in comparison.

    This is from my history, are you the harris in butler-harris?

    After Thought » The Padded Room butler-harris.org

  181. Sean Gerety Says:

    Sorry, I meant “First Word.us”. Is that your site Tim? (And, yes, the site is infected with a nasty bit of maleware).

    It would seem “After Thought” is the sanitized site. This is from a recent post by “T” (Tim?):

    No one — and I mean no one — would “have a dream” that Marty would be honored this way if everything were exactly the same as it is, except that Marty was not a Negro. It is all about the fact that he was a Negro, and above all, not White. He is defined by negation. He is… the Other. And it is appropriate to apply a completely different standard of greatness to an Other.

    Really?

  182. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    “Since all knowledge must come through propositions”

    This assumed “truth” is not what Calvin was saying in his commentary on Psalm 19:1 – 6 nor his commentary on Rom. 1:18 – 23 nor his Institutes book 1 chapter 2 or 5. Calvin does not use the concept of “propositional knowledge” in the mind of man gained from the created order. It may be assumed in his language by those who like this “kind” of epistemology. However, Calvin does not use that language. He used language quite the opposite. Here are some examples:

    Romans 1…..
    “though the structure of the world, and the most beautiful arrangement of the elements, ought to have induced man to glorify God,” (Rom. 1:18)

    “And by this expression he intimates, that God in his greatness can by no means be fully comprehended by us, and that there are certain limits within which men ought to confine themselves, inasmuch as God accommodates to our small capacities what he testifies of himself. Insane then are all they who seek to know of themselves what God is: for the Spirit, the teacher of perfect wisdom, does not in vain invite our attention to what may be known, τὸ γνωστὸν; and by what means this is known, he immediately explains. And he said, in them rather than to them, for the sake of greater emphasis: for though the Apostle adopts everywhere Hebrew phrases, and ב, beth, is often redundant in that language, yet he seems here to have intended to indicate a manifestation, by which they might be so closely pressed, that they could not evade; for every one of us undoubtedly finds it to be engraven on his own heart, By saying, that God has made it manifest, he means, that man was created to be a spectator of this formed world, and that eyes were given him, that he might, by looking on so beautiful a picture, be led up to the Author himself.” (Rom 1:19)

    “Since his invisible things, etc. God is in himself invisible; but as his majesty shines forth in his works and in his creatures everywhere, men ought in these to acknowledge him, for they clearly set forth their Maker: and for this reason the Apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrews says, that this world is a mirror, or the representation of invisible things.” (Rom. 1:20)

    “So that they are inexcusable. It hence clearly appears what the consequence is of having this evidence — that men cannot allege any thing before God’s tribunal for the purpose of showing that they are not justly condemned. Yet let this difference be remembered, that the manifestation of God, by which he makes his glory known in his creation, is, with regard to the light itself, sufficiently clear; but that on account of our blindness, it is not found to be sufficient. We are not however so blind, that we can plead our ignorance as an excuse for our perverseness. We conceive that there is a Deity; and then we conclude, that whoever he may be, he ought to be worshipped: but our reason here fails, because it cannot ascertain who or what sort of being God is. Hence the Apostle in Hebrews 11:3, ascribes to faith the light by which man can gain real knowledge from the work of creation, and not without reason; for we are prevented by our blindness, so that we reach not to the end in view; we yet see so far, that we cannot pretend any excuse.” (Rom. 1:20)

    BTW – did you notice in the quote above Calvin indicates a knowledge to be gained by General Revelation, which condemns, and “real knowledge” which is apprehended by faith in Special Revelation. This is what I have said all along.

    Psalm 19…..
    he heavens declare the glory of God. I have already said, that this psalm consists of two parts, in the first of which David celebrates the glory of God as manifested in his works; and, in the other, exalts and magnifies the knowledge of God which shines forth more clearly in his word. (Ps. 19:1)

    This manner of speaking more powerfully moves and affects us than if he had said, The heavens show or manifest the glory of God. It is indeed a great thing, that in the splendor of the heavens there is presented to our view a lively image of God; but, as the living voice has a greater effect in exciting our attention, or at least teaches us more surely and with greater profit than simple beholding, to which no oral instruction is added, we ought to mark the force of the figure which the Psalmist uses when he says, that the heavens by their preaching declare the glory of God. (Ps. 19:1)

    BTW – did you notice that Calvin indicates that the “teaching” needs “no oral instruction.”

    “When we behold the heavens, we cannot but be elevated, by the contemplation of them, to Him who is their great Creator; and the beautiful arrangement and wonderful variety which distinguish the courses and station of the heavenly bodies, together with the beauty and splendor which are manifest in them, cannot but furnish us with an evident proof of his providence. Scripture, indeed, makes known to us the time and manner of the creation; but the heavens themselves, although God should say nothing on the subject, proclaim loudly and distinctly enough that they have been fashioned by his hands: and this of itself abundantly suffices to bear testimony to men of his glory. As soon as we acknowledge God to be the supreme Architect, who has erected the beauteous fabric of the universe, our minds must necessarily be ravished with wonder at his infinite goodness, wisdom, and power.” (Ps. 19:1)

    “David, therefore, with the highest reason, declares, that although God should not speak a single word to men, yet the orderly and useful succession of days and nights eloquently proclaims the glory of God, and that there is now left to men no pretext for ignorance; for since the days and nights perform towards us so well and so carefully the office of teachers, we may acquire, if we are duly attentive, a sufficient amount of knowledge under their tuition.” (Ps. 19:2)

    “David, therefore, by making a tacit comparison, enhances the efficacy of the testimony which the heavens bear to their Creator. The import of his language is, Different nations differ from each other as to language; but the heavens have a common language to teach all men without distinction, nor is there any thing but their own carelessness to hinder even those who are most strange to each other, and who live in the most distant parts of the world, from profiting, as it were, at the mouth of the same teacher.” (Ps. 19:3)

    ‘heir writing has gone forth, etc. Here the inspired writer declares how the heavens preach to all nations indiscriminately, namely, because men, in all countries and in all parts of the earth, may understand that the heavens are set before their eyes as witnesses to bear testimony to the glory of God.” (Ps. 19:4)

    “If, however, we render קו, kav, writing, these two things will very well agree, first, that the glory of God is written and imprinted in the heavens, as in an open volume which all men may read; and, secondly, that, at the same time, they give forth a loud and distinct voice, which reaches the ears of all men, and causes itself to be heard in all places. Thus we are taught, that the language of which mention has been made before is, as I may term it, a visible language, in other words, language which addresses itself to the sight; for it is to the eyes of men that the heavens speak, not to their ears; and thus David justly compares the beautiful order and arrangement, by which the heavenly bodies are distinguished, to a writing.” (Ps. 19:4)

    Calvin’s Institutes…. Henry Beveridge translation

    “Thus he declares not only that the human race are a bright mirror of the Creator’s works, but that infants hanging on their mothers’ breasts have tongues eloquent enough to proclaim his glory without the aid of other orators.” (pg. 67)

    “And here we must observe again, (see chap. ii. s. 2,) that the knowledge of God which we are invited to cultivate is not that which, resting satisfied with empty speculation, only flutters in the brain, but a knowledge which will prove substantial and fruitful wherever it is duly perceived, and rooted in the heart. The Lord is manifested by his perfections. When we feel their power within us, and are conscious of their benefits, the knowledge must impress us much more vividly than if we merely imagined a God whose presence we never felt. Hence it is obvious, that in seeking God, the most direct path and the fittest method is, not to attempt with presumptuous curiosity to pry into his essence, which is rather to be adored than minutely discussed, but to contemplate him in his works, by which he draws near, becomes familiar, and in a manner communicates himself to us.” (pg. 74-75)

    I could multiply the quotes but these will suffice to show that Calvin expected that General Revelation was a teacher of knowledge. Yes, it is coupled with an internal mechanism (sensus divinitatis). Calvin expected that neither the external work of General Revelation nor the internal work (sensus divinitatis) was independent of the other. They both operated in unison. Man created in the image of God is placed in a cosmos which teaches the glory of God. Thus both are in operation simultaneously.

    The error exhibited by the thoughts represented here is that the whole weight of knowledge is placed onto the sensus divinitatis and declare them this to be propositions given to the mind which is not taught it by General Revelation but merely “remembers” what the Sensus divinitatis knows. This is not what Calvin teaches because it is not what the Scriptures teach.

  183. Sean Gerety Says:

    Charlie, why are you still here?

    Anyone who thinks God can and may speak in contradictions and that if His word were to teach 2+2=5 we are just to accept it, is someone who has rendered the Christian faith a complete farce. I don’t even know of any atheists who would say something so dumb. You are a great example of the dark age we live in.

    Also, you do realize that Calvin is often criticized by people like you as being too logical, if such a thing were possible. I have no idea why you would even quote him.

  184. Charlie Says:

    louiskbb,

    I will take your points and speak to them point by point.

    1. The Spirit of God is not mentioned as the teacher. God through Dawid said, “The heavens declare.” You cannot read into the text your idea. You have to read the text and say what it says. God through the writer told us what declares his glory and it is the heavens. You err.

    2. Read Calvin on Psalm 19. He is clear, “If, however, we render קו, kav, writing, these two things will very well agree, first, that the glory of God is written and imprinted in the heavens, as in an open volume which all men may read; and, secondly, that, at the same time, they give forth a loud and distinct voice, which reaches the ears of all men, and causes itself to be heard in all places. Thus we are taught, that the language of which mention has been made before is, as I may term it, a visible language, in other words, language which addresses itself to the sight; for it is to the eyes of men that the heavens speak, not to their ears; and thus David justly compares the beautiful order and arrangement, by which the heavenly bodies are distinguished, to a writing.” (Ps. 19:4)

    3. Thank you for pointing out that the voice of the heavens is inaudible and non-propositional. This is what I have been saying. The heavens declares to image bearers knowledge of a non-propositional nature. Your idea of knowledge is communicated only in propositions should be in question…not the Bible’s language about General Revelation communicating knowledge non-propositionally.

    4. You numbered as 3 again. You again are trying to read into this passage something you think is in another passage instead of reading this passage for what it says. General Revelation communicates (teaches) in an inaudible non-propositional language to the sensus divinitatis of man so that knowledge is conferred.

    5. Verses 7 – 11, speak to special revelation. Special revelation is different than General Revelation. General Revelation provides knowledge of the glory of God while Special Revelation revives the soul, make wise the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightening the eyes, endures forever, is righteous altogether (7 – 9). General Revelation does none of this. They are different.

    The main issue is that you seem to nearly equate General Revelation and Special Revelation. They are not the same. General Revelation is non-audible and non-propositional and merely communicates the knowledge of the glory of God. Special Revelation is propositional and communicates eternal benefits to the soul. I am not mistaken about this passage.

  185. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    Thanks for the concern for my soul which you seem to believe is in jeopardy.

    I am still here because Denson asked a question and I responded. Although he has not responded back others have. Do you wish me to go so you can continue to assume your concept of knowledge goes unchallenged by the Scripture itself?

    I said in response to you hypothetical question that “IF” God communicated contradiction I would be obligated to accept it. Your hypothetical question bated my answer which you now project is the truth of the situation. You built your own straw-man in an attempt to quiet me. You failed. When you actually consider what I said you find that I SAID GOD DID NOT COMMUNICATE CONTRADICTION!!!

    Are you going to add to the actual discussion or do you wish to attempt to insult me enough to leave your little kingdom alone and unchallenged?

  186. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    You write a great many propositions in an effort to argue for non-propositional truth. I think if you are serious about defending the notion of non-propositional truth, you should do it without using propositions.

  187. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    I do as a creature when another is looking on. When declaring especially revealed truth propositions are necessary or did you not read the whole of the propositions I wrote.

    Further, my presence does not revives the soul, make wise the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightening the eyes, endures forever, and is not righteous altogether. My propositions, when subject to the Scripture’s authority, do. They are able to teach, reproof, correct, and train in righteousness. This is why I am using them to proclaim, reprove, rebuke, and exhort.

    But thanks for your encouragement.

  188. Charlie Says:

    When Calvin speaks of General Revelation he says it is non-propositional language attained through the eye gate. He uses the language of beauty of symmetry and intricacy.

    When a person looks at an object and says that it is beautiful they are describing a feeling elicited from the object. The object might be the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the vastness of the stars of the heavens, or the curve and expression of your wife’s face as she looks at you. The objects as immensely different but the expression is the same…beautiful. This beauty is what Calvin says teaches of the glory of God. The reception of such a vision communicates…”God.”

    This is similar to what Jesus says when he asserts, “They will know you are my disciples when you have love for one another.” (from John 13). The love expressed to one another are acts of service. These acts of service communicate truth to the witness. Notice it is not a saving truth that is communicated. It is an assurance of being a disciple. The saving faith comes through hearing (Rom. 10 and 1 Cor. 14).

    As image bearers we have an internal witness. As creatures who live in God’s creation we also have an external witness (General Revelation). General Revelation communicates “God” so that when the witness does not worship this God appropriately the person is justly condemned. However, it is the truth of the gospel communicated through the Scriptures (propositions) that saves.

    General Revelation communicates non-propositional truth regarding “God” and “God’s people.” This knowledge condemns.

    Special Revelation communicates propositional truth regarding the gospel. This knowledge also condemns but will save the elect.

    General Revelation is confirmed and finds it ground in the truths of Special Revelation. General Revelation may be and is usually misapplied by the person receiving it unless it is acknowledge in accordance (under the authority) of Special Revelation. LNC and logic fall under General Revelation…Aristotle.

  189. Steve M Says:

    Sensus divinitatis (“sense of divinity”), also referred to as sensus deitatis (“sense of deity”) or semen religionis (“seed of religion”), is a term first used by John Calvin to describe a hypothetical human sense. Instead of knowledge of the environment (as with, for example, smell or sight), the sensus divinitatis is alleged to give humans a knowledge of God.

    In Calvin’s view, there was no reasonable non-belief. The sensus divinitatis is sometimes used to argue that there are no genuine atheists.

    “That there exists in the human mind and indeed by natural instinct, some sense of Deity [sensus divinitatis], we hold to be beyond dispute, since God himself, to prevent any man from pretending ignorance, has endued all men with some idea of his Godhead…. …this is not a doctrine which is first learned at school, but one as to which every man is, from the womb, his own master; one which nature herself allows no individual to forget.”
    (from Institutes of the Christian Religion)

  190. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thanks for the concern for my soul which you seem to believe is in jeopardy.

    Whether your soul is in jeopardy or not I have no idea. I only said that your position expressed here is so intellectually vacuous that it really doesn’t deserve any further consideration.

    Do you wish me to go so you can continue to assume your concept of knowledge goes unchallenged by the Scripture itself?

    I don’t mind a good challenge, when are you going to bring one? What I object to is your belief in a God who can teach falsehoods and yet think you’re somehow defending the Christian system of doctrines.

    I said in response to you hypothetical question that “IF” God communicated contradiction I would be obligated to accept it. Your hypothetical question bated my answer which you now project is the truth of the situation. You built your own straw-man in an attempt to quiet me. You failed. When you actually consider what I said you find that I SAID GOD DID NOT COMMUNICATE CONTRADICTION!!!

    Nobody has “baited” you. The correct response is not God did not
    communicate contradictions, but rather He could not because the God of Scripture is the Lord God of Truth for whom it is impossible to lie. The correct answer would be no contradiction is of the truth. The fact that you think it is even hypothetically possible for God to speak both Yes and No isn’t a sign of piety, it’s a sign of a deficient and false view of who God is. To put it another way, it is to take the Lord’s name in vain.

    Are you going to add to the actual discussion or do you wish to attempt to insult me enough to leave your little kingdom alone and unchallenged?

    Probably not. I don’t think you have anything important to say.

  191. Charlie Says:

    Well, there you have it. I present Scripture and quote Calvin. It is ignored, I am insulted, and Sean does not wish to engage with whatever I say because of his hypothetical question.

    He asked IF God were to communicate contradiction would I believe it. I said IF God did then I would be obligated. I qualified that with God has not communicated a contradiction. To which he has accused me of intellectual suicide and deems me not worthy of speaking to. Nice conversation. Baited…yes…he got the answer he needed to avoid anything else I said. Nice sound bite debate tactic but lousy argumentation.

    You men have diluted yourselves in your proclaimed intellectual theology (rationalism dressed up in theological verbage) which places LNC and logic above the Scripture as an authority. You therefore take God’s word and subject it to human reasoning. Finally, you peg me, one who says God’s word is an authority over LNC and logic, as an intellectual vacuum.

    Let me say again, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. You men fear LNC and logic over the Lord. There is no knowledge or wisdom being dispensed here. God says so.

    Thank you for again confirming to me that my friends view of Clark and his branch of apologetic and theology is mere rationalism masked as true theology. As he has been following I am sure our next conversation will be interesting.

    Denson, I am sorry you did not engage again. My answer stands. Insults do not make for evidence against any statement I made. Read the quotes of Calvin, even Steve’s, they support what I have been saying all along. These men are deluded, rude, argumentative, and pugnacious. This disqualifies them from the position of Elder which removes any authority for their teaching in the church.

    No matter of Scripture I presented was ever dealt with!

  192. Charlie Says:

    A quote by R.C. Sproul,

    “Both Augustine and Aquinas believed that all truth is God’s truth, and that all truth meets at the top. God reveals His truth not only through the Bible, but also through what we call “natural revelation.” Genesis 1–2 shows us that God is the Creator of all things, but also, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).

    In his epistle to the Romans, Paul tells us that God’s invisible attributes—they’re invisible in the sense we cannot see them—can be perceived through the things that have been made (Rom. 1:20). In other words, a knowledge of the invisible God is revealed to us through that which is visible. The creation itself screams out the reality of the Creator. Therefore, there should be no conflict in our understanding of the nature of the universe and our understanding of the origin of the universe, which no one has seen.”

    R. C. Sproul, What Is Faith?, vol. 8, The Crucial Questions Series (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2010), 13–14.

  193. Sean Gerety Says:

    He asked IF God were to communicate contradiction would I believe it. I said IF God did then I would be obligated. I qualified that with God has not communicated a contradiction. To which he has accused me of intellectual suicide and deems me not worthy of speaking to. Nice conversation. Baited…yes…

    Save the victim act for your fellow liberals and Christ denying mislologist. You really are embarrassing yourself.

    You men have diluted yourselves in your proclaimed intellectual theology (rationalism dressed up in theological verbage) which places LNC and logic above the Scripture as an authority.

    Dilute ourselves? Huh?

    Besides making no sense, if you read virtually every response to you, including Jame’s various and excellent replies which you mutilated. not one person has placed the laws of logic, or LNC (which is certainly one of them), above Scripture. You are a liar and should be ashamed. Yet, you whine as if you were wrongly attacked instead of taking the correction that has been repeatedly given to you like a man. You are incorrigible which is why I believe those who engage you are wasting their time. .

    You therefore take God’s word and subject it to human reasoning.

    Human reasoning? There is no such thing. Christ, the Logos or Logic of God is “the light that lighteth every man.” Nothing human about it.

  194. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    You are a moving target. At one point you will agree that Scripture is consistent and logic is set forth in and inseparable from Scripture. At another point you will accuse others of placing logic and the law of contradiction above Scripture. You don’t even realize that you can’t have it both ways.

    “Read the quotes of Calvin, even Steve’s, they support what I have been saying all along.”

    Of course, in your mind, everything supports what you have been saying regardless of what it says.

    “The error exhibited by the thoughts represented here is that the whole weight of knowledge is placed onto the sensus divinitatis and declare them this to be propositions given to the mind which is not taught it by General Revelation but merely “remembers” what the Sensus divinitatis knows.”

    This is not very clearly stated, but you seem to be denying that the created order stimulates the sensus divinitatis to recollect what is already known, but the language of Calvin says otherwise.

    “one which nature herself allows no individual to forget.”

    Nature herself (i.e the creation) allows NO individual (human being) to forget (i.e. causes every human being to remember). When a human being is caused to remember or not allowed to forget, both being essentially the same thing, the thing remembered or not forgotten must be something already known. I hope I am not going too fast for you here, Charlie. I seems that Calvin is not supporting what you have been saying, but in your mind I am sure he is.

  195. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    You change the definition of God in the question and continue to call me names by it. IF God…you said…and then you refute my answer with the God who would say a contradiction is not God. In short, you went from the bated question if God (meaning God of the Bible) to a non-God. Be consistent. If God determined to communicate in contradiction you would have to submit. God has not so you do not. STOP YOUR PLAYGROUND ANTICS.

    You have never brought up Christ nor do you know what I think of Christ, except that I understand him to be much more than mere logic or LNC. You are losing your cool.

    God is Logic. God is above Scripture. This is what was said by one person (James). Logic is on par as an authority has also been said. You ought to be ashamed of name calling.

    You said, “Human reasoning? There is no such thing. Christ, the Logos or Logic of God is “the light that lighteth every man.” Nothing human about it.”

    John 1:4–5 (ESV)
    4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    John 1:9–13 (ESV)
    9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Men who are enlightened are viewed as darkness (1:4) and darkness has not overcome (understood vs. 5). Further, the true light (Logos) who enlightens everyone was not known (1:10) by the world and not received (1:11) by his own. I guess the enlightenment men get does not help them understand the Logos, which is probably the problem here. You have been using logic attained through the initial enlightenment instead of belief of God’s word, which is what is required. In short, the human understanding rejects Logos.

    You are again incorrect.

    Steve M,

    I said, Scripture (Special Revelation) confirms the logic (LNC) we gain through General Revelation. However, it (Special Revelation) corrects the wrong ontological truth asserted by Aristotle or Plato, who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness. Scripture rule…logic tool. I have been consistent.

    Calvin said NOTHING of propositions communicated by General Revelation. This is what I said. I quoted Calvin several times showing this. No one pointed out a misquote or quoted another place where he did. This does, in my mind, give evidence that I represented him correctly and what he said is in line with what I have said.

    You on the other hand provide nothing but a forced concept into John 1 and build your whole epistemological structure off of it. In this way, you set aside the authority of Scripture as on par with your so called “logic” or even over Scripture (James) as God is logic and he is above Scripture (His Word).

    General Revelation “teaches” is the language of Calvin (look again at the quotes above). Please find one quote of Calvin where says the sensus divinitatis remembers what it already knows.

    Your quote by Calvin is immediately followed by this statement, “Moreover, if all are born and live for the express purpose of learning to know God, and if the knowledge of God, in so far as it fails to produce this effect, is fleeting and vain, it is clear that all those who do not direct the whole thoughts and actions of their lives to this end fail to fulfil the law of their being.”

    We are “born and live for the expressed purpose of learning to know God.” This is the created purpose of beings…learning to know God. How?…through the implanted sensus divinitatis “the knowledge of God, which may “fail to produce the effect” of learning to know God.

    Sensus divinitatis is an internal witness that scream out from the inside “God!” It is coupled with the external witness of creation which communicates the glory of God (Ps. 19). Therefore, the internal witness works with the external witness to produce a firm witness against every person who continues to deny our Creator. This is what Calvin and I have been saying.

    “Nature herself” is external creation. It reminds every person of what his internal sensus divinitatis already says, “God.” Both of these witnesses are non-propositional teachers. They teach the same thing which is why nature will not allow a person to forget what his internal sensus divinitatis is saying. It is not that his sensus divinitatis causes us to remember God in some Platonic notion. It seems you have mistaken Calvin.

    You men here have elevated LNC and logic to an improper position of authority either on par with Scripture and some even asserting it is above Scripture. Both are error.

    Scripture is profitable (beneficial) for teaching therefore proclaim it. Scripture is beneficial for reproof therefore reprove with it. Scripture is beneficial for correction therefore rebuke with it. Scripture is beneficial for training therefore exhort with it.

    The only Scripture you declare is John 1. You do so to insert an authority of your choosing, LNC and logic. You then leave off Scripture and speak of LNC and logic and thus leave what God has said is profitable. I too have spent far too much time attempting to show why this is error instead of proclaiming the Scriptures.

    Paul was called a babbler and mocked for declaring the truths of Scripture with the philosophers of his day (Acts 17). I count it a privilege to suffer the same at the hands of so called philosophers who claim Christ yet do not submit to his Word but to what they wish to tickle their ears with.

  196. louiskbb Says:

    Charlie @ March 26, 5:44 pm:

    “No matter of Scripture I presented was ever dealt with!”

    Perhaps this is true in your strange and wonderfull world, but not on this blog. Your statement is simply not true.

  197. Charlie Says:

    louyskbb,

    Maybe I overstated this point. No matter of Scripture has been shown to be a wrong interpretation in the language and grammar.

    People have said no Charlie you are wrong. But no one has shown from the passage context, language, or grammar that it is wrong. People have taken their position and interpreted the passage according to it. When I have shown from the context of the passage that their interpretation is not actually what the passage says they drop Scripture and begin to speak of how illogical I am, foolish, incoherent, and such.

    No one here has show from the language or their exegetical process why their interpretation of Scripture is correct. When I attempt to do so it is ignored. This is what I mean by no matter of Scripture has been dealt with.

    Sorry if that was an overstatement in your mind.

    I am speaking to up to five people who have been hostile to me from the moment I first entered the discussion. One or two people tried to maintain an actual discussion but that deteriorated shortly after I disagreed.

    Tell me what is so bad in my position?

    Scripture is the rule or authority for truth…logic is the tool to understand truth rightly.

    Why is this position violently opposed to the point of being called a Christ denier?

  198. Sean Gerety Says:

    If God determined to communicate in contradiction you would have to submit. God has not so you do not. STOP YOUR PLAYGROUND ANTICS.

    This is the difference between us. For you it possible for God to speak in contradictions. This is a complete denial of what the Scriptures teach which include the fact that it is *impossible* for God to lie.

    God is Logic. God is above Scripture. This is what was said by one person (James).

    As already pointed out to you, James never said that and you’re repeating the charge does not make it true. It’s no my fault if you can’t follow a simple argument. Although it’s probably due to your misology and rejection of God as Truth and who cannot lie and the Second Person as the Logic of God who became flesh. Now, I’m not saying your a “non-Christian” but your view of God and Christ is precisely that.

    Men who are enlightened are viewed as darkness (1:4) and darkness has not overcome (understood vs. 5). Further, the true light (Logos) who enlightens everyone was not known (1:10) by the world and not received (1:11) by his own. I guess the enlightenment men get does not help them understand the Logos, which is probably the problem here. You have been using logic attained through the initial enlightenment instead of belief of God’s word, which is what is required. In short, the human understanding rejects Logos.
    You are again incorrect.

    Nice try, but not only am I correct you even agree with me. You agree that Christ is the Logic of God enlightens every man universally considered. The fact that men cannot account for the logic so evident within them renders them without excuse. The most ardent atheists can’t avoid the laws of logic, even if some like Dewey believed that even the LNC was malleable and could one day be supplanted. Actually, a failure to account for logic has been the downfall of all non-Christian philosophies.

  199. JRS Says:

    Maybe the Van Tillian argument re: logic could be better stated as: God simply allowed logic … but in such a way that He could not be considered the Author of Logic. ;-)

  200. Charlie Says:

    I was not asked IF God could communicate a contradiction…I was asked IF GOD communicated a contradiction would I believe it. If you do not see the difference it is no wonder why you are confused on the issue. Ask the question you want answered! I was asked a question and answered it. I am being cast in a bad light as if I answered a different question than what was asked.

    This is a bait and switch. You condemn me as if I answered your unasked question when I answered the question you asked. Bait…Switch…sound bit argumentation. This makes for nice applause from those who already agree but will not convince anyone who is actually paying attention to what you are doing.

    As to “the Lie” I am being accused of…here are his very words from James on 3/18/14 at 8:48 PM

    I asked him…
    “Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?”

    He said,
    “The answer is, as has become clear as to your intent (or strongly seem to intend)- NO
    The Scriptures tell me That Logic is God – John 1:1
    God is the authority over Scripture, Logic is God, ergo….
    So much so is Logic an authority over Scripture that
    If alleged Scripture violates LNC, then it is not from God. God cannot communicate violations of LNC. And by extension I am under no obligation to either believe or obey a violation of LNC (if those things are even possible…).
    All that from John 1:1….”

    Stop accusing me of a lie.

    After the above exchange, we discussed “IF” logos in John 1 should be considered logic. I showed from John 1 how Logos MUST mean much more than mere logic that it is absurd to force this limited definition into the passage (i.e. Logos became flesh, Logos is full of grace, from the fullness of Logos we have received grace upon grace). No one countered this from the passage but jumped to other accusations. This is par for the course. No lie…no establishment of belief from the actual passage of Scripture but merely an assertion it is there. Not good argumentation on your part here.

    I have stated that God cannot lie. I do, however, have issue with your assumption that the Son (Logos) is the logic of God and that logic is LNC and logic according to Aristotle.

    Since we agree that God cannot lie and God has said in the Scriptures that He has other contradictory realities of possible future events in his mind (Moses dead before the Exodus, Israel dead and a new Nation comes from Moses, Sodom repenting at the work of Jesus and remaining to the time of Jesus) how does your precious LNC deal with them? No one has answered this one. It has been avoided and I have been attacked personally instead.

    You said, “You agree that Christ is the Logic of God enlightens every man universally considered.”

    You are incorrect on two accounts. First, I do not agree that the Logos is mere logic (as stated above). Second, the enlightenment here in John 1 is more likely the sensus divinitatis as supported by Rom. 1:18 – 23 rather than mere logic and LNC. When men consider “God” from sensus divinitatis they come up with a universal idea of truth with God suppressed (i.e. LNC and logic as Plato and Aristotle). This is general revelation (internal and external) being suppressed in unrighteousness but clinging to an epistemology derived from General Revelation (internal and external) that makes sense out of the world while denying God. This is basic presuppositionalism. Scripture is a necassary authority over these ideas deveoped from the depravity of man as they suppress the truth of God.

    You continue to force logic and LNC (General Revelation) into John 1 in an attempt to justify your desire to make LNC and logic an on par authority with Scripture or, as in James, over Scripture.

    You only have to keep up with one person’s argument yet you continue to misrepresent me. This does not bode well for you.

    Again, why is Scripture as the authority over logic an issue with you men? If what you say is true and logic is God and Scripture is the revelation of the mind of God to man then Scripture ought to reveal that logic is an authority, right?

    Prove your position from the logic God revealed in Scripture. You have not. You assert it without proof. John 1 has not worked for you. Aside from showing how John 1 Logos MUST mean more than mere logic and LNC I have shown several passages that contradict your assertion (2 Tim 3:16 – 4:2, Rom. 1:18 – 23, Ps. 19:1 – 6, 1 Tim. 6:20 – 21, and others).

    Develop your argument from the Scriptures…not proof texting but from the context, language, and grammar. If not NO ONE ought to listen to your position developed from what your tickling ears want to hear.

  201. Charlie Says:

    You have misrepresnted WCF, Calvin, and the Scriptures. It is no wonder you misrepresent me.

  202. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    Are you a pugnacious man?

  203. Sean Gerety Says:

    I have stated that God cannot lie. I do, however, have issue with your assumption that the Son (Logos) is the logic of God and that logic is LNC and logic according to Aristotle.

    If God cannot lie then it also means that God cannot contradict Himself, for no contradiction is of the truth. As for your irrational hang up on Aristotle, the fact that he correctly identified the innate forms by which all rational thought is possible should be no more shocking than Paul favorably quoting Epimenides who said in God we “live and move and have our being.”

    Wait, Epimenides was a pagan poet, therefore by your “reasoning” it must be that in God we don’t live and move and have our being. Got it.

  204. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    Wait…no oh okay Charlie I see how you could see that as bait and switch…oh okay Charlie you were not lying.

    God cannot lie. That is the character of his nature as he is internally consistent. That is not LNC. LNC is a general Revelation of the fact that God’s character is such that he cannot lie. The LNC points to the character of God, which is far more than LNC. I am still consistent with what I have been saying.

  205. Steve M Says:

    “I am still consistent with what I have been saying.”

    Consistently unintelligible.

  206. Roger Says:

    I showed from John 1 how Logos MUST mean much more than mere logic that it is absurd to force this limited definition into the passage (i.e. Logos became flesh, Logos is full of grace, from the fullness of Logos we have received grace upon grace). No one countered this from the passage but jumped to other accusations.

    Charlie, I don’t think anyone is saying that the divine Logos is “mere” logic in the sense of an abstract concept or impersonal law. They are simply saying that “logic” or “reason” is an essential attribute of the divine nature that Jesus possesses (“logic” and “reason” are both legitimate translations of the Greek word logos). In this sense, saying that Jesus is “the logic [logos] of God” is no different than saying He is “the wisdom [sophia] of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24; cf. Colossians 2:3). This isn’t reducing Him to a “mere” abstract concept or impersonal law, but rather emphasizing the rational nature of His very being as God (see Psalms 104:24-26; Proverbs 3:19-20; 8:22-31; Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15-16). Thus, “logic” or “reason” isn’t an abstract concept that God merely created or uses when He so desires; it’s rather an essential property of His divine nature in the same way that “wisdom” is.

  207. Roger Says:

    Charlie, if you take the time to read what Gordon Clark has actually written on this subject, you may find that you don’t disagree with his position as much as you think you do. You can find a brief article here: The Logos

  208. Ron Says:

    Maybe Charlie might agree that God is logical, rather than logic.

    However, I’m pretty sure he already suggested that God chooses to be logical, which would mean that He is not logical by nature.

  209. Sean Gerety Says:

    They are simply saying that “logic” or “reason” is an essential attribute of the divine nature that Jesus possesses (“logic” and “reason” are both legitimate translations of the Greek word logos).

    And this is precisely what Charlie (not Ray) has denied. Even right above he asserts again that the character of God’s “nature as he is internally consistent. That is not LNC. LNC is a general Revelation ….”

    Normally one would think that if someone was internally consistent that, at the very least, it would imply that that their thoughts do not contradict one another. Consistency would require the non violation of the law of contradiction. But Charlie says “that is not LNC.” Therefore, it would seem to follow that per Charlie God may violate the law of non contradiction internally yet still remain internally consistent.

    A while back I asked him if “internal consistency” is not in conformity to LNC what does this “internal consistency” consist of? I never got an answer, but Charlie has made it painfully clear that if the Scriptures were to teach contradictions he would be obliged to believe both sides of any given contradiction are both true. To him this is a sign of piety and obedience. To me this is a sign of a confused mind and a false sense of piety.

  210. Sean Gerety Says:

    However, I’m pretty sure he already suggested that God chooses to be logical

    Along with suggesting that God could just as easily choose not to be logical.

  211. justbybelief Says:

    God was not God in the Beginning; He is on a progression toward God-hood–like man. This sound just like Mormonism: “God the Father was once a man…” Absurdity!

    If this “god” could choose logic (over contradiction) it would mean that ‘he’d’ have to know which was which. How could he choose logic, or ‘illogic’ for that matter, without logic?

    “Choosing logic” presupposes a logical mind.

  212. Steve M Says:

    I accused Charlie of being unintelligible. I will explain why I say that. I have inserted the Law of Non-Contradiction in place of LNC in his statements. He argues both that logic and the law of non-contradiction are part of God’s nature, which would make them eternal and that they are part of the general revelation, which would make them temporal. First they are part of God’s nature and then that they only point to God’s nature. Created or eternal which is it? It cannot be both.

    ”God CANNOT(my emphasis-S.M.) lie. That is the character of his nature as he is internally consistent.”

    Character: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
    Nature: the basic or inherent features of something, esp. when seen as characteristic of it.

    Shorter translation: “God is internally consistent.”

    ”That (God’s internal consistency) is not (the law of Non-Contradiction).”

    God’s internal consistency is eternal (uncreated). It is not, according to Charlie, the Law of Non-Contradiction.

    ”(The Law of Non-Contradiction) is a general Revelation (therefore created or part of creation-S.M.) of the fact that God’s (eternal-S.M.) character is such that he cannot lie.”

    ” (The Law of Non-Contradiction) points to the character of God, which is far more than (the Law of Non-Contradiction).”

    Charlie concludes that the law of non-contradiction (merely-S.M.) points to some part of God’s character and is not an eternal part of that very character. I repeat, “unintelligible!”

  213. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    I have said in the discussion that God is not logic but logical. I was told they were the same thing. Gordon Clark says that God is logic and Aristotelian logic in his Article God and Logic. In the article you suggested, Gordon Clark mentions the Greek influence over John in both a positive light and negative apologetic. He also briefly mentions the obvious connection to Genesis.

    However, the concept of logic used to translate logos is only ever used by philosophers (according to Lexicons – Liddell and Scott for one). Logos is not used as logic when the Bible is in view. Further, Clark does not mention the Hebrew usage of dabar, especially when used as “the word of the Lord.” John was a Jew writing in Greek. The dominant influence over John was the Hebrew Scriptures not Greek philosophy. Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum in his book Discovering the Mystery of the Unity of God: A Theological Study on the Plurality and Tri-Unity of God in the Hebrew Scriptures shows from the Hebrew Scriptures the theology of “the Word of the Lord.” He says,

    “For the first 50 years of this author’s life, only the term Logos from John 1:1 was known to him. However, in the last 14 years he has discovered that John was not referencing Logos as much as he was referencing the Aramaic word Memra [meaning “word”] or the Hebrew word Davar (which also means “word”). Being taught the Greek emphasis of Logos which implies “reason” (the idea of God) and “speech” (the expression of God) was not necessarily wrong, just inadequate as it came from the wrong source. John was not using Greek for the purpose of spreading Greek Hellenized philosophy, but as a Hebrew fisherman he was emphasizing Hebrew theology from a Jewish perspective. He was putting together (John 1:1–18) at least five and perhaps six things that the rabbis had been emphasizing in John’s day.

    First, the Memra [Word] was recognized as God yet was distinct from God (John 1:1–2; Genesis 18; Exodus 21). However, they did not go very far with this, but they did see it.

    Secondly, the Memra [Word] was the agent of creation (John 1:3, 10; Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 48:12–16; Zechariah 12:1, 10).

    The third was the Memra [Word] the agent of salvation (John 1:12).

    Fourth, the Memra [Word] was the means whereby God became visible (John 1:14; Exodus 3:1–5 and 24:9–11; Joshua 5:14–15).

    Lastly, the Memra [Word] was the agent of revelation (John 1:18; Hebrews 1:1–2; 1 Samuel 3:19–21; 1 Kings 17:2, 8; 18:1; 21:17; Jeremiah 1:1; Ezekiel 1:3; Hosea 1:1; Joel 1:1; Jonah 1:1; Micah 1:1; Zephaniah 1:1; Haggai 1:1; Zechariah 1:1; Malachi 1:1).

    So John is making a concerted effort to tie together theological teaching of the Tanakh that the rabbis of his day were emphasizing and connecting it to Yeshua as the incarnation, not only as God (plural unity of Elohim) but as the Word (Memra) of the LORD who was God and yet distinct from God.” (pg. 617)

    He concludes this section with,

    “What becomes clear as the issue of “the Word of the LORD” is viewed from the Tanakh and the Targums is that Moses and the Prophets spoke of the Word as a divine person, a member of the plurality of Elohim. Yes, many times the term is used in the context of the revelatory nature of the Scriptures and the personality of the Word is not clearly seen, but at other times it is clearly seen as a person, a member of the plurality of Elohim. Whether reading the Hebrew Scriptures or the Aramaic (or English translation) Targums, the identity of the Word of God is the personification of the Word as the Second Person of the plural unity of Elohim before His incarnation in Bethlehem.
    What becomes equally clear is that John was not referencing Greek Hellenistic logos in the opening chapter of his gospel. He had something else in mind when he wrote those verses, as this author reflects:

    In John 1:1–5, in what appears to be a midrashic interpretation of Genesis 1:1–5, the pre-incarnate Jesus is called “the Word” and identified with God. The claim that this Word is the means whereby the universe was created (John 1:3) appears to be a development of the notion that the heavens were created “by the word of God” (Heb 11:3; 2 Pet 3:5), that is by the command of God. In 1 John 1:1 (probably an interpretation of John 1:1–3), the incarnate Jesus is designated “the Word of life.”

    Even though Jacob Neusner is not a believer in Yeshua, his honest evaluation of the origin of John’s material is close to being correct. This author would not give Midrash the credit, for John predates the Midrashic literature. John’s original material came from the Tanakh, the Targums which were very popular at that time, and from the oral teachings of the rabbis in the first century C.E. The simple conclusion is that the Word of God spoke, acted and interacted with individuals throughout the Tanakh. The Word of the LORD as John expressed in his gospel is God, and even today His own people do not yet know Him.” (pg. 656 – 657)

    Therefore, the Word of the Lord has far more to do with revelation than logic. The Word reveals God in the same manner as my words reveal me and your reveal you. Jesus declares that what defiles a person is the words that come out of the person because the words come from the heart (Matt. 15:19). The Word of the Lord comes out from the heart of God and thus reveals God. Is he reasonable? Of course he is! Is he logic? Not in the way discussed here or by Clark so to make logic an on par authority or authority over the Scriptures. God’s revelation in his Word (written and Christ) is the authority over everything else.

  214. Charlie Says:

    Roger and Ron were addressed in the last post.

  215. Charlie Says:

    Sean,

    Because you are unable to follow what I say does not by necessity make me unintelligible. It may mean you do not have the intellectual capacity or ability to follow the complexity of my words. In the same way, the unbeliever cannot hold God ultimately accountable for his ignorance.

    God is an eternal being with numerous characteristics and attributes. He cannot be reduced to LNC. Sorry that is so difficult for you to follow.

  216. Charlie Says:

    God is an eternal being. As an eternal being there is no “first” with God. Therefore, in trying to explain the eternal God we fail in language because our language contains sequence. So to say God choose first, knew first, and so on is to introduce error (even a logical first). Therefore, take what God has revealed in his Word and understand he knew and choose in the same eternal moment.

    God determined to create. He determined to display his glory in creation. Knowing all possible creations and happenings throughout each creation, God choose the one creation and one set of happenings in that creation that was the best means to the best goal – that goal being a display of his glory. Of the options in creation’s happenings God has revealed some of the other ways creation could have happened and yet determined to maintain this one. This is the one that will happen according to his Word (revelation).

    In this way, God has chosen to reveal himself. However, in that revelation we see options in the mind of God that he chose not to act upon. God maintained a consistency in his determination to create. God’s determination to maintain consistency this way is the best means by which to display the glory of God. The glory of God is his character and attributes on display. Again, this cannot be reduced to merely LNC.

  217. justbybelief Says:

    Therefore, take what God has revealed in his Word.

    In the beginning was Logic.

  218. Sean Gerety Says:

    Because you are unable to follow what I say does not by necessity make me unintelligible.

    I’ve never said you were unintelligible and I have had no problem following you even when you’ve repeatedly contradicted yourself.

  219. Charlie Says:

    Sorry Sean that last post was for Steve,

    I am having trouble keeping up with who is who as I am questioned from several people.

    This post was meant for Steve M.

    “Because you are unable to follow what I say does not by necessity make me unintelligible. It may mean you do not have the intellectual capacity or ability to follow the complexity of my words. In the same way, the unbeliever cannot hold God ultimately accountable for his ignorance.

    God is an eternal being with numerous characteristics and attributes. He cannot be reduced to LNC. Sorry that is so difficult for you to follow.”

    justbyfaith,

    John’s idea of logos is not from Greek philosophers but the Hebrew Scriptures. Analysis of several lexicons supports this. Unless you are able to show from the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures that logos is logic in the context of the passage then you have no ground to demand it.

    I have asked before is there any other passage where you men consider logos to be understood as logic? If not, this one passage with a forced definition is more eisegesis than exegesis.

    I have shown why logos MUST mean more than LNC and the Aristotelian concept of logic. I have provided Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s biblical exegesis of “the word of the Lord” from the Hebrew Scriptures in association with John 1. There is no reason to force the limited idea of logic into the context of John 1.

    All of this argument because you men would like to make logic an on par authority or for some an authority over the Scriptures. Further, you have asserted it in light of being shown from the context of several passages why nothing is above the Scriptures.

    You men ignore the Scriptures to maintain what your tickling ears like to hear – LNC and logic in place of biblical truth. When I am not convinced, I am not accused of mishandling the Scriptures but of logical mis-steps, unitelligablility, and the like thus showing the fruit of your position. You do not fear the Lord or his revelation in the Scriptures. You elevate a general revelation (in function if not in profession) over the Scriptures.

    I tire of the endless questions and accusations. No one has or seems to be willing to search the Scriptures for the actual concept of logos. I submit to your unwillingness to speak to the Scriptures and again resign from the fray.

  220. Ron Says:

    I have said in the discussion that God is not logic but logical.

    Charlie,

    For you God is logical not by nature but because he chooses to be logical, which you say here:

    God, by an act of his will, determines to be internally consistent….

    Yet in the same quote you say that God determines to be internally consistent in order that He might “maintain his character.”

    So, God’s determination to be internally consistent is so that He can maintain his character of being internally consistent (which implies a character that is logical by nature).

    And you find it hard to understand why people think that you are being internally inconsistent? At the very least, when is God determining to be self-consistent and when is God’s self consistency a matter of His character?

  221. justbybelief Says:

    There is no reason to force the limited idea of logic into the context of John 1.

    There is no reason to deny the idea of logic in the context either.

  222. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    I said, “God is an eternal being. As an eternal being there is no “first” with God. Therefore, in trying to explain the eternal God we fail in language because our language contains sequence. So to say God choose first, knew first, and so on is to introduce error (even a logical first). Therefore, take what God has revealed in his Word and understand he knew and choose in the same eternal moment.”

    You must have missed that part.

    God revealed other possible realities he chose not to bring into reality. Is that a contradiction in the mind of God as these other realities contradict the one we have? God revealed his character and attributes. God revealed that he determined to create. God revealed that he determined to created as an expression of his glory. All of this is God’s revelation. I am trying to make sense of it.

    What the men here seem to be doing is taking the LNC and applying it without much regard for the Scripture to a first cause in God. Where is that procedure revealed in Scripture? It is not. It is man through the gift of reason trying to make sense of God without Scripture, his revelation of himself.

    Therein is the difference. This is why we cannot find a common ground. I refuse to believe something merely because it makes sense according to the LNC. I believe what God has revealed even if I can’t make complete sense out of it.

    Scripture is the authority…logic is the tool.

    Can someone refute Dr. Fruchtenbaum or provide any passage of Scripture where God is logic? It is not in John 1 unless it is read into it because you want it there.

  223. Charlie Says:

    justbyfaith,

    Did you read Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s analysis of “the word of the Lord?” John was a Jew influenced by the Hebrew Scriptures – not Greek philosophy. It is not there, especially as asserted here by the men represented in this discussion.

  224. justbybelief Says:

    John was a Jew influenced by the Hebrew Scriptures…

    John was also raised under Roman rule where the predominate language was Greek which was also influential on him; however, The Holy Spirit used Greek words to convey an idea. Though, it is in the context of the Bible that word meaning are to be determined…

    …–not Greek philosophy.

    …greek philosophy does not necessarily contradict the scriptures, and this principle has already been addressed by Sean.

    Logic is a universal principle. Words mean ‘something.’ If a word means one thing, whether in Hebrew or Greek, it cannot at the same time mean another thing, i.e., that which contradicts it.

    God does not lie. The Father does not lie. The Son does not lie. The Spirit does not lie. God is not contradictory. This is taught in the Old, as well as the New, Testament and is every bit as true whether spoken in Greek or Hebrew.

  225. Sean Gerety Says:

    Therefore, in trying to explain the eternal God we fail in language because our language contains sequence.

    The refuge of hucksters, charlatans and papists; God is beyond our language to explain Himself. I guess if your idea of a God who is beyond logic, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear you now say He is incapable of explaining who He is in mere human language too. So much for your doctrine of revelation (which is odd coming from someone who pretends to revere Scripture).

    I believe what God has revealed even if I can’t make complete sense out of it.

    Got it. You would believe God if He told you 2+2=5.

    Scripture is the authority…logic is the tool.

    Logic is embedding in Scripture because it was written by a logical being who cannot lie and who is Truth itself. Truth, as the WCF rightly states,is evidenced by the logical consent of all the teaching of Scripture. Logic is not something in addition to Scripture. As Clark explains,

    …we maintain that the Bible expresses the mind of God. Conceptually it is the mind of God, or, more accurately, a part of God’s mind. For this reason the Apostle Paul, referring to the revelation given him, and in fact given to the Corinthians through him, is able to say, “We have the mind of Christ.” Also in Philippians 2:5 he exhorts them,” Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” To the same purpose is his modest claim in 1 Corinthians 7:40, “I think also that I have the Spirit of God.” The Bible, then, is the mind or thought of God. It is not a physical fetish, like a crucifix …On this basis-that is, on the basis that Scripture is the mind of God-the relation to logic can easily be made clear. As might be expected, if God has spoken, he has spoken logically. The Scripture therefore should and does exhibit logical organization. For example, Romans 4:2 is an enthymematic hypothetical destructive syllogism. Romans 5:13 is a hypothetical constructive syllogism. 1 Corinthians 15:15-18 is a sorites. Obviously, examples of standard logical forms such as these could be listed at great length.

    …Even in the single words themselves, as is most clearly seen in the cases of nouns and verbs, logic is embedded. If Scripture says, David was King of Israel, it does not mean that David was President of Babylon; and surely it does not mean that Churchill was Prime Minister of China. That is to say, the words David, King, and Israel have definite meanings.

    And, this concluding paragraph:

    Thus it is that God, Scripture, and logic are tied together. The Pietists should not complain that emphasis on logic is a deification of an abstraction, or of human reason divorced from God. Emphasis on logic is strictly in accord with John’s Prologue and is nothing other than a recognition of the nature of God. Does it not seem peculiar, in this connection, that a theologian can be so greatly attached to the doctrine of the Atonement, or a Pietist to the idea of sanctification, which nonetheless is explained only in some parts of Scripture, and yet be hostile to or suspicious of rationality and logic which every verse of Scripture exhibits?

    It would seem Clark has you in his sights. :)

    Can someone refute Dr. Fruchtenbaum or provide any passage of Scripture where God is logic?

    That’s already been done repeatedly. Most completely and devastatingly in Crampton’s piece above and in the articles and references to Clark already provided. What? Does someone now have to refute Fruchtenbaum’s premil dispensationalism too? Actually, that’s already been done too and I would recommend Robert Reymond’s piece, “Who Really Owns the ‘Holy Lands.'”

  226. Ron Says:

    I said, “God is an eternal being. As an eternal being there is no “first” with God. Therefore, in trying to explain the eternal God we fail in language because our language contains sequence.

    Charlie,

    Not only is this wrong, I doubt you even agree with your own statement. Before I flesh that out, let’s not lose sight of the context. You made that remark in response to my pointing out to you that you have said that God chooses to maintain his internal consistency, which presupposes he is what he chooses as opposed to his character being ontologically necessary. It also presents a whole hosts of other problems like is the choice to be logical a logical choice and if it is, then wouldn’t the logic of that logical choice have to preceded the choice and, therefore, be a non-chosen attribute of God?

    There is something called logical order that transcends temporal order. For instance, in an eternal sense God both knows the future and determines the future, but that doesn’t mean that one doesn’t precede the other. Did God’s determination of the future logically precede his foreknowledge? Or did God determine the future because he first foreknew the future? Obviously the latter is absurd but the first is not. God knows the future because he first determined it; yet his determination and foreknowledge are equally eternal. We are limited by words in one sense but not in this sense. It’s know different with us on a creaturely scale. I don’t believe I am going to the store until I resolve to be going to the store. Once I resolve (determine) to go to the store I can then “know” I’m going to the store. (Please allow room for the analogy with respect to our inability to determine our future, etc.)

    With that dross hopefully aside, your position reduces either to God choosing his nature or that logic is not part of his nature. You also say that God is logical but not logic. Would you say that God is loving but not love? If not, then why the problem with God behaving logically and being logic in the same way that he his loving and love?

  227. Charlie Says:

    Both of you do not read to understand me. You take sound bites and misrepresent me.

    Knowing a language does not by necessity mean one is influenced by the philosophy. The argument was “the word of the Lord” doctrine from the Hebrew Scriptures standing against the Logos doctrine of the Greeks. Huge difference and a logical fallacy on your part.

    justbyfaith, you completely missed this point, which (Sean) has nothing to do with eschatology (logical fallacies from those who revere logic).

    God does not lie is not the same thing to the LNC. A lie has a moral connection; LNC does not. This is why the LNC points to (or Calvin said reflects) God’s character of not lying and is not equal to it.

    Sean, you equate not understanding to not right or contradictory. So you have a complete and accurate understanding of the whole of God and his ways or in what you do not understand is it a contradiction? See the point (you commit another logical fallacy).

    Scripture is God revealing ontological truths. If I my epistemology is grasping at the ontology it does not mean the ontology is error or my epistemology is error. It may just be beyond me until God through his Spirit illuminates my mind or yours.

    BTW – Scripture is ontological truths. Logic is epistemological method. They are not the same and the ontology revealed is superior.

    You have a short memory…I refuted this passage by Clark already.
    “We have the mind of Christ.” 2 Cor 2:16 speaking of the Spirit not Scripture.

    Also in Philippians 2:5 he exhorts them,” Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Speaking to humility not Scripture.

    To the same purpose is his modest claim in 1 Corinthians 7:40, “I think also that I have the Spirit of God.” Apostolic ability to reveal truth. This is the closest in principle to what Clark said but it is not. Paul is carried along by the Spirit to write Scripture. This is direct revelation not equating the mind of Christ with Scripture.

    The Bible, then, is the mind or thought of God. This is a conclusion not supported by the passage he used. It fails.

    It seems Clark had his mind set on reading into the Scriptures proof of what he wanted to be there and you took it hook line and sinker. You did not check the context of the passages he claimed supported his position. Since we already discussed this passage you again pointed out authored by Clark. I assume you are now ready to discuss his biblical eisegesis of these passages.

    This entire discussion is not a discussion. It is your attempt to maintain Clark’s bad position and your acceptance of it. You mean to attack anyone who questions it. Remember I asked a question and was attacked for 7 or 8 posts before anyone was willing to try and answer the question. The whole of the discussion has been the same. No one is willing to try and understand what I am saying. People merely attack. This has not stopped and we are now going over the same ground covered before WITHOUT showing how my claim that Clark read into the passage what was not there.

    You men are now grasping at straws.

  228. Roger Says:

    Ron wrote:

    You also say that God is logical but not logic. Would you say that God is loving but not love? If not, then why the problem with God behaving logically and being logic in the same way that he his loving and love?

    I really hope that Charlie answers these questions, as they are spot on and get to the heart of the disagreement in my opinion. Charlie has no doubt contradicted himself a few times, but he is right for opposing any view that would “reduce” God to “merely” an abstract set of impersonal rules called “logic” or the “LNC.” If that’s what he thinks is being promoted here, then it ought to be opposed. However, if can agree that God is “logical” by nature, then the problem is more a matter of semantics than substance. At least I hope that’s the case…

  229. Ron Says:

    Also, maybe Charlie is confusing “is” with “equals”. To say that God is logic doesn’t mean that God = logic.

    I deal with the difference between equals and is here in an attempt to debunk paradox as it relates to the Trinity.

  230. Sean Gerety Says:

    I really hope that Charlie answers these questions, as they are spot on and get to the heart of the disagreement in my opinion.

    Don’t hold your breath. I brought up the same point back on 3/14 and Charlie dodged the point ever since.

  231. Ron Says:

    God does not lie is not the same thing to the LNC. A lie has a moral connection; LNC does not.

    This too is terribly wrong. The LNC does indeed have a moral quality to it. Not to reason according to the LNC is to violate the ninth commandment because to think irrationally (due to the noetic effects of sin no less) is to misrepresent truth at least to oneself. We are to think Christ’s thoughts after Him.

  232. Sean Gerety Says:

    The Bible, then, is the mind or thought of God. This is a conclusion not supported by the passage he used. It fails.

    Then whose thoughts do we find in Scripture? Man’s? Paul says all Scripture is “God breathed.” Maybe you think Paul is referring to God’s actual breath instead of God’s actual thoughts. Further, and to the point of Philippians, we can know nothing about the mind of Christ in order to imitate it apart from Scripture. The examples we are to follow are not some mystical deliverance but are derived from the propositions of Scripture and nowhere else.

    This entire discussion is not a discussion.

    I agree. It’s nothing more than you making blind assertions and ducking questions like Ron’s above because to answer them truthfully would be to admit defeat. Maybe if you had the mind of Christ you would humble yourself and admit that to say logic is God is no different, or even any more abstract, than admitting God is love.

    No one is willing to try and understand what I am saying. People merely attack.

    I think we all understand exactly what you’re saying. But when the contradictions in your position are exposed instead of admitting your error you just whine and complain that nobody understands you.

  233. Roger Says:

    Also, maybe Charlie is confusing “is” with “equals”. To say that God is logic doesn’t mean that God = logic.

    Bingo! That’s what I was getting at in my last post. I believe Charlie is reacting against God equals logic, when that’s not what anyone here means by God is logic.

  234. Roger Says:

    Neither does anyone mean that the Second “Person” equals logic…

  235. Charlie Says:

    Roger,

    Yes, I may have contradicted myself in the conversations I have been having with the individual men who have been “taunting” me instead of discussing with me. Yes I said taunting. As soon as I asked a question (how would you answer the question asked Van Til?) the men here were aggressive and hostile toward me. Not one has attempted to understand me or try to figure out what I think. They believe they know where I am coming from and opposed me from the asking of the question.

    What I see represented here in this discussion is on par with those who represent God as love and neglect that God is just. The men here represent God as LNC Logic not as internally consistent with his nature meaning LNC and logic reflect the character and attributes of God.

    The stress on Logic neglects the word of God and places what should not be an authority on par with or especially not over the Scriptures. The Scriptures are not discussed unless they have meaning read into them which is not in the context and this to support logic. The Scriptures are to be understood logically not in support of logic as if the Scriptures were given to provide a ground for logic.

    One of God’s characteristics is never placed over another in emphasis to the neglect of others. What is represented here is just that. God is logic and therefore, in practice if not in profession, logic is placed over the Scriptures as an authority over it.

    Aristotle is deemed (as to his LNC and logic) an on par authority with Scripture. This is wrong! The prophets never claimed this for themselves. Their authority was derivative in that when they were carried by the Spirit to speak the word of God they had such authority. God is always the authority never a generalized concept or a person other than God. Apostles were held accountable to the word of God that is why Paul called the Bereans noble. Paul was not the authority Scripture was.

    Logic, logical, LNC are reflections of the character and attributes of God as he revealed them (his character and attributes) in the Scriptures; logic, logical, LNC are NOT his character and attributes but reflections of them. The men here are attempting to generalize God into a bite sized sound bite to flaunt their desire to press the LNC and study of logic. They do not submit to the revelation of God.

    NO ONE has answered me about God’s revelation of contradictory possible happenings in creation. NO ONE!!! They accuse me of not answering questions yet they do not answer them when asked.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge not the LNC.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom not logic.

    What these men profess is the error.

    Sean,

    I said Clark did not from his passages of Scripture show that “the mind of Christ” as used in the passages is “the Scriptures” themselves. The passages he used did not say such. What the passages said was that the Scriptures carried along by the Spirit in illumination allows us to have the mind of Christ. You need both. You and Clark expect the Scriptures to work alone and not in tandem with the Spirit. You error in making the Scriptures alone the mind of Christ from the passages quoted. In short, you do not say enough.

    Ron,

    People are never held to judgment for an error in logic. If I am wrong show one to me from the Scriptures. People are held under judgment for purposefully suppressing the truth of God and the sins they are released into instead (Rom. 1:18 – 23). You are terribly wrong. People may be shown error in thinking without a moral judgment pending because of it. People are considered by Jesus as sheep without a shepherd to teach them what they need. The Scriptures are beneficial for teaching so people may come to know righteousness. Error in logic in not the same as error against the law of God. Again this is an elevation of logic to an unworthy status.

    Sean,

    I have admitted error. You have not.

    You were the one calling me a liar, right. Did you admit you were wrong when I reposted the facts that showed I was not lying but you were slandering me…NO!!!

    I showed how you baited me and changed the question I answered to condemn me for a different question you did not ask. Did you admit it…NO!!!

    People have misrepresented the WCF and Calvin. When I show that misrepresentation no one has admitted a thing.

    I am speaking to 6 or 7 men and trying to keep up with the arguments, attacks and flat out lies propagated against me. Have I admitted error…YES!!!

    A hypocrite is someone who holds others to a standard he is unwilling to be under himself. You are one who expects behavior you are unwilling to do yourself. Have I corrected all my thoughts as pointed out? NO. I see some sense in what is being said (I do not disparage logic as I have been accused of) but I am left unsatisfied as no one responds to what I have said, especially when speaking to the Scriptures themselves.

    Everyone,

    What I am reacting against is the aggressive nature of your idea of discussion. This is a hostile debate.

    Sean has no interest in looking at what I said about Clark not showing from the Scriptures that Clark misrepresented what he was saying to see what the passages really say. He responds in sound bite argumentation.

    I am falsely accused of being a liar. I am accused of being irrational, unintelligible, and the like.

    No one has addressed the Scriptures passages I have spoken to. No one is willing to address the contradictory realities in the mind of God that he chooses not to bring into actual reality. But I am asked question after question and called account for not addressing them all. Hypocrites.

    Someone speak to the fact that God could have killed Moses before the exodus and left us with a reality different than the one we have or God could have killed Israel and made Moses into a nation at Mt. Sinai or Jesus speaking of Sodom repenting and remaining unto the time of Christ. These are contradictory ideas about reality revealed to be in the mind of God. Someone speak to it. You have demanded I speak to “all” your questions, even when they come from several different people all at once.

    How does God have contradiction in his mind and yet maintain consistency?

    Two things I am opposing here:

    1) First, I oppose that God’s knowledge of 1+1=2 is exactly the same (“Identical” is the word used in the question asked Van Til) as what we think when we understand 1+1=2. God knows how he intended 1+1=2 to relfect his glory. I am not sure anyone of us could say they know that perfectly. We understand the accuracy of the equation the same as God but that is not identical knowledge of everything God means in 1+1=2.

    2) Second, I oppose that logic is an on par authority (or even an authority over) Scripture. Support for this idea was made from a rediculously bad misunderstanding of the WCF section 1.

    Much of what is said I can agree with. But these in two ideas I remain unconvinced.

  236. Ron Says:

    Not one has attempted to understand me or try to figure out what I think.

    Not true. If people were out to accuse you falsely, then they would have taken the “worst of Charlie” and refuted it. Rather, people showed you your own contradictions – contradictions you did not notice. People have labored with you a couple of weeks. That shows an attempt to help you rather than just win an argument with you. I believe it was Roger who said that he “hopes” you mean this rather than that… and others tried to make sense of your position, cast it in the best possible light if you will, so to best show you your inconsistencies and contradictions so that you might turn from them.

    People are never held to judgment for an error in logic.

    You think faulty reasoning existed pre-fall? So much for being created in God’s image.

    Charlie, not just the sins that proceed from our fallen nature but our fallen nature itself is sin, which includes all our mental foibles. Again, to reason badly is to think contrary to God’s character. It’s all sin – a violation of the Ninth. We’re all one ball of sin saved by grace. God redeems our minds too. What, do you think we’ll contradict ourselves in heaven? Being perfected in Christ is more extensive than you realize.

  237. Tim Harris Says:

    Well James, I don’t understand some of your examples, but I guess the point of existential import is ask what one could possibly mean by saying “some unicorns have one horn.” This would be falsified by “no unicorn has one horn” — but that is in fact true, no? I suppose you could say, “I mean Dixie and Trixie in the children’s story I just read.” But the logic of fictional contexts, it seems to me, only makes sense in an “as if” way. It can’t be the foundation.

    Take the more traditional example, “Trespassers will be prosecuted.” Yet if there are no trespassers, then it is both true that “all trespassers are being prosecuted” and “no trespassers are being prosecuted,” and NOT the case that “some trespassers are being prosecuted.”

    We could go on to discuss Frege’s and Russell’s contributions, but perhaps that is enough. The issues are not just sub alternation, but rather noticing that many assertions cannot be expressed formally in Aristotelian canonical form such that all fallacies are averted and all true implications made possible.

    What would it MEAN to still insist, “no, Aristotelian logic is divine, so those that propose modifications must be godless.” The whole discussion of the last 150 years has not had an agenda like that — as if someone might secretly be thinking, “with Frege and Russell, we can now prove that the Bible is wrong.” There are valid questions that must be faced by anyone seriously doing logic.

  238. Roger Says:

    Charlie wrote:

    As soon as I asked a question (how would you answer the question asked Van Til?) the men here were aggressive and hostile toward me. Not one has attempted to understand me or try to figure out what I think. They believe they know where I am coming from and opposed me from the asking of the question.

    That “sword” cuts both ways, Charlie. I agree that you have been treated unfairly at certain points during this debate, but I also believe that you have been unfair with others at times. I have also been guilty of being less than charitable to others during debates like these in the past, as I’m sure Sean and Ron can attest to! “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, his is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:2). I certainly hope I haven’t been unfair toward you so far. I surely haven’t intended to be. Nevertheless, can’t we forgive each other these types of faults and discuss things calmly and rationally going forward?

    The Scriptures are to be understood logically not in support of logic as if the Scriptures were given to provide a ground for logic.

    But why are the Scriptures “to be understood logically”? Is it because God has voluntarily chosen to be logical in His self-revelation, or is it because God is necessarily logical by nature? There’s a HUGE difference between these two positions. You now seem to agree with the second position, while earlier in this discussion you seemed to agree with the first position (which is one of the reasons why you have been accused of contradicting yourself). So which is it? If you agree with the second position, then we ought to chalk this up to one big misunderstanding and call a truce amongst ourselves.

    Logic, logical, LNC are reflections of the character and attributes of God as he revealed them (his character and attributes) in the Scriptures; logic, logical, LNC are NOT his character and attributes but reflections of them.

    If the laws of logic accurately “reflect” God’s character and attributes, then in what sense could His essential character and attributes not be logical? This seems to be a distinction without a meaning.

    NO ONE has answered me about God’s revelation of contradictory possible happenings in creation. NO ONE!!! They accuse me of not answering questions yet they do not answer them when asked.

    That’s simply not true. Perhaps you innocently missed it, but James correctly refuted your challenge on March 18th.

    “As to different realities in God’s Mind: ever hear of Leibniz and Possible worlds? – That is to say, logically possible worlds. In other words these are not violations of LNC since they are logically possible. The fact that in one world X is A, and in a different world X is not A, means X is A and not A in different -not the same – aspect. So none of the Scriptures you produce concerning your idea of different realities is to the point, nay even those different realities must bow to LNC or they wouldn’t even make an appearance in God’s Mind.” March 18, 2014 at 8:48 am

    The whole point is that these other worlds are “logically” possible worlds that God could have (i.e., hypothetically) decreed and created if He so desired, not “illogical” or “contradictory” worlds that He has actually decreed and created.

  239. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Tim Harris. Is this your site: FirstWord.us? Before I continue to allow you to post here, I would like to know Is this an example of your work:

    “It is genocide. If every white woman married a Negro, the white race would cease to exist. We need to face that fact. We must not let even a single one of our beauties go without a fight.”

  240. Steve M Says:

    God cannot lie. That is the character of his nature as he is truthful. That is not truth. Truth is a general revelation of the fact that God’s character is such that he cannot lie. Truth points to the character of God, which is far more than truth.

    You people have elevated truth as an authority on a par or even above Scripture. I am not against truth, but I think it should not be made an authority on a par with Scripture. Scripture is the rule. Truth is the tool.

  241. Tim Barach Obama Harris Says:

    Sean, to answer your questions would violate two of my rules — off topic of the OP, and personal. Naturally, you will probably interpret that as an “admission,” but that would be bad logic. We must get out of the habit of blurting out “no” when the nazis ask if we are hiding Jews, when we aren’t; for then the evasions, when we are, will lack credibility.

    This is not how the internet works. If I signed “Barack Obama,” I suppose you would jump all over me for Obamacare. It’s touching, in a way. I think it shows you have an honest streak. Yet you need to face the fact that many posters on your site use pseudonyms.

    Nevertheless, I am amazed at your statement: anyone that desires that the Celts not perish from the earth, and is willing to fight for it, is not worthy to post on God’s Hammer? Is this too a consequence of propositionalism? Is it the idea that the “propositions” of Celts differ in no wise from those of anyone else, and thus it would be no big deal at all if these “bundles of propositions” were breeded out of existence? Why don’t you do a post on this — I would gladly weigh in, no matter who I am.

    But what does it have to do with subalternation?

  242. Sean Gerety Says:

    Nevertheless, I am amazed at your statement: anyone that desires that the Celts not perish from the earth, and is willing to fight for it, is not worthy to post on God’s Hammer?

    Be amazed.

    Is this too a consequence of propositionalism?

    It certainly is a consequence of the propositions of Scripture and my desire to defend my bothers and sisters in Christ who are not of your preferred race.

    But what does it have to do with subalternation?

    How do I know? Maybe your racism finds it’s justification in your misology. This blog is not a forum for bigots and racists.

  243. Steve M Says:

    Sean
    Bravo!

  244. Roger Says:

    I agree. Bravo! As a white man who’s been happily married to a godly and beautiful black woman for the past 28 years, I’m glad that you won’t allow your blog to be a forum for bigots and racists! Thank you, Sean.

  245. Ron Says:

    If every white woman married a Negro, the white race would cease to exist. We need to face that fact. We must not let even a single one of our beauties go without a fight.

    It’s no less true that if every man did not marry and have children out of wedlock, the entire human race would expire. Does that mean we should fight to keep all men from being single? The point being, whether a more wide spread practice of an anomaly can be seen as undesirable to most or even all does not imply that those who practice the anomaly shouldn’t.

    Interracial marriage is not the norm and neither is celibacy. I suspect the status quo will run true to form through the end of the age; though celibacy would usher in the end more quickly.

    In any case, I don’t find the observation racial as I do curious. Maybe the context from which it was lifted might shed light on its meaning.

  246. Steve M Says:

    Ron
    The context is that the author was offended by a picture of an interracial couple in an advertisement. In context, it is racial.

  247. Charlie Says:

    Roger,

    You are correct in your assessment of both sides (me / everyone else) have been unfair at times. When it has been pointed out to me, I have admitted as much. You are the only person standing in opposition to me who has admitted any fault (as I recall).

    I pointed out a misrepresentation of WFC and Calvin. There was no admission of the misuse. The misrepresentation was dropped and people went on the attack without granting that they had been mistaken at all.

    I was accused of lying in several posts. I pointed out the facts showing I was not. However, there was no admission of wrong.

    I was baited with one question and held accountable for a different question (bait and switch). When I pointed it out there was no admission.

    When I am correct in this discussion, it is glossed over and I am assaulted on a different front as if I am never correct and I am held as if I am completely in error. Further, I am held accountable if I do not admit a wrong immediately when it is pointed out. There is a huge double standard, which you are asking me to forgive and forget when you were not involved in the offenses.

    How am I assured those who were shown to be wrong even acknowledge that they were? How do I know that their use of the ground that they asserted yet shown was no ground at all is acknowledge at all? In short, how do I know that they admit that their asserted evidence has been corrected at any point? And this especially as my thoughts are held in constant contempt.

    I am asked to admit wrong and thus give ground from my position while no one gives ground for theirs even when I have shown they should. This a double standard. It is no wonder the people here always assume they are right for they are not held to admit when they are wrong, even when shown to be. If the sword cuts both ways where is the evidence?

    God’s character is internally consistent. The reflection of this internal consistency is grasped in the concept of LNC and logic. However, logic and LNC are generally revealed concepts. They CANNOT be made to be an authority on par with the Scriptures because it is merely a logical conclusion working from logic back to God and not a revelation of God from the Scriptures. Steve M’s argument below shows an argumentative spirit and not an attempt to understand. He terribly misrepresents what I have said throughout this discussion. I will address that below.

    My position is that God chose to reveal himself. He chose the manner by which to reveal himself. What we know about God is from his revelation (this is what Scripture says). Scripture is most specific about his revelation and general revelation is less specific. Special revelation is an authority over general revelation. We must go as far as Scripture says to go without going beyond.

    I do not agree that logos from John 1 is equal to logic. I believe it is better understood as “revelation” because of “the word of the Lord” concept in the Hebrew Scriptures. We simply do not know what is left unrevealed about God. To submit him to the rules of logic as understood from general revelation without a reason from the Scriptures is error.

    God’s revelation of himself never equates himself to the universal LNC or logic. However, passages in Scripture do warn us against Greek philosophy and knowledge systems that flow from them (1 Tim. 6:20 – 21). There is too much unrevealed about God to limit him to the human concept of logic as revealed in general revelation.

    Eternity has no sequence; logic assumes sequence in chronology and even logical firsts. This is not the concept of eternity. The eternality of God has everything about God at once…no firsts at all. We cannot limit him to our concept of logical first nor chronological first. We must understand him only by the limits of Scripture but in the fullness of Scripture. Scripture is the authority.

    James did address the question from the position of philosophers. No one has dealt with the biblical data in a biblical fashion. The best possible reality from a philosophical stand point is not the same as different realities in the mind of God according to the Scriptures. My response to him was,

    “I am not speaking from any that you mentioned. I wish I was that well-read. I am speaking from the Scriptures. The Bible identifies different possibilities in the mind of God. Those possibilities did not come into the world because of the will of God bringing this one into reality. I gleaned that from Scripture not as philosopher.”

    It was in the same post (the one you cited) that James placed LNC and logic as an authority over the Scriptures, which speaks to why he quotes them and understands them more than the Scriptures themselves.

    Why do we have the reality we have instead of one of the others revealed in the mind of God? The answer to this question is God chose it! It is not merely some logical conclusion based on the LNC!

    Why did God choose it? Because the one he chose was governed by his desired goal to display his glory and this reality was the best one to do that. Therefore, God’s decision to display his glory and his decision to display it in this specific way is what made the epistemological system starting logically with LNC a part of creation.

    See, I begin with what God has said in Scripture and work to the LNC. The men here start with the LNC and work to God and thus foist LNC on God when God has not done so in what he reveals.

    Scripture supports the concept that the LNC came about due to the decision of God. LNC dedicates that this was God’s only possible way to do it because God is subject to the LNC (cirular arguement). This is why I consider it an error. God is subject to nothing and he has not subjected his character and attributes to the LNC in Scripture. Therefore, I do not. Scripture is the rule…logic is the tool.

    BTW – the question I asked James to elicit the response he gave was,

    “Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?”

    My position is that this is not only possible but it is exactly what He has revealed in Scripture. Therefore, since he has revealed this in Scripture it is an error to elevate LNC and logic to the position(s) held here.

    I hope you take time to try to understand what and why I am saying what I am saying.

    Steve M Says:

    You build what you believe to be an illogical argument to represent what you have not taken the time to understand (my position).

    God has revealed in Scruipture that he himself is truth. It is not merely a logical deduction that he is truth. God has revealed that Scripture is truth, Christ is truth, and the Spirit of God is truth. I assert and contend that God has not revealed himself to be Logic LNC. It is merely a logical deduction. You build straw-man after Straw-man in an attempt to disprove what you do not understand (my position). You err but I bet you won’t admit it.

  248. Ron Says:

    Steve M.,

    Thanks for the input. I just couldn’t connect the dots and I don’t like drawing inferences to that degree of severity without a fuller picture. That’s not to suggest that I don’t ever see smoking guns. I do. If the picture was from an advertisement then I’m quicker to assume that something manipulative was going on that is not good for anyone (black or white).

    As for the allegation of racism, I suspect Tim would applaud a black person making the same observation just in reverse. Accordingly, I don’t think what drives Tim’s thinking is the protection of a superior race but rather the protection of all tribes of people. That doesn’t answer many questions for me but it does answer the main one regarding hatred without cause.

  249. Sean Gerety Says:

    Accordingly, I don’t think what drives Tim’s thinking is the protection of a superior race but rather the protection of all tribes of people.

    Must be why he refers to blacks as “Negroes” and can’t seem to capitalized the letter “J” when referring to Jews even while denying the holocaust. Kinism and racism go hand in hand and it is certainly one of the uglier offshoots of Vantillianism. But, if you doubt how deep Tim’s racism goes, spend some time on his blog firstword.us.

  250. Ron Says:

    Sean,

    “Negro” used to be the polite term as opposed to Archie Bunker’s “colored.” Ironically to some, “black” was at one time highly offensive. It wasn’t until the civil rights movement that terms got rearranged. Even MLK referred to the black people as Negros. I’m happy, within reason, to allow a race of people define their “lablel” if they are so compelled. Also, I do think it’s at least unwise and at most unnecessarily inflammatory to use the term “negro” today. But, having said that I trust that Tim has non-racial reasons for employing the term. Maybe he’s tired of catering to the populace that feel the need to redefine terms at every turn. Maybe he thinks that’s just pandering. *shrug*

    With that aside, are all errors due to Van Til? How in the world did prejudiced people adhere to paradox before CVT? :)

  251. Steve M Says:

    Ron
    I didn’t say anything about Tim. Tim does not admit to being the author. Admitting to authoring that blog would take more courage than the anonymous author has. I will say that the author is a bigot and a racist.

    I learned something I did not know from this author:
    1. Pictures of inter-racial couples are offensive.
    2. Posting a picture of an inter-racial couple is genocide
    3. Hitler’s goal in the holocaust was not genocide.

    I want to be careful not to jump to any hasty conclusions, but someone has a screw loose.

  252. Ron Says:

    I want to be careful not to jump to any hasty conclusions, but someone has a screw loose.

    LOL

  253. Sean Gerety Says:

    Also, I do think it’s at least unwise and at most unnecessarily inflammatory to use the term “negro” today. But, having said that I trust that Tim has non-racial reasons for employing the term.

    This isn’t 1962 and the use of “Negro” by Tim is intended to be derogatory and demeaning not to mention lowercase “jew.” Outside of wearing a white hood, it’s hard to find a more racist website.

    Maybe he’s tired of catering to the populace that feel the need to redefine terms at every turn. Maybe he thinks that’s just pandering. *shrug*

    And, maybe he’s just a hate filled racist.

  254. Ron Says:

    Sean,

    I understand where you are coming from but I believe you are wrong in your conclusions.I can’t blame you though because I’m not sure Tim doesn’t share in what I believe to be your wrong conclusions, as his rhetoric is I think unnecessarily caustic at times. If I may say, my own wife has struggled with Tim in my home yet she has always loved Tim and we’re all fond of him here. I’m pretty sure though she understands him now as I think I always have, and that although she and I don’t agree with the manner in which he sometimes says things, she doesn’t attribute his language to racism anymore whereas I never did. In any case, at the very least your propositions are not revealed nor deducible from Scripture so I can’t know you are correct and neither can you. :)

    Seriously though,Tim has much to say on many sociopolitical matters and I often find his commentary at least stimulating. I don’t always agree with Tim but I do appreciate how rigorously he has thought about things. Much more than I have, surely. As always, I wish he would tone down his rhetoric for I do think he has much to offer in many areas and I hate to see anyone’s good spoken evil of. I have not been to his website in years but I just took a look. His point about DGH and MLK was spot on, but again the rhetoric detracts from his overall thesis I think. However, having spoken to Tim in some detail about his approach (and his views) he does have his reasons for the words he uses and they are not racist in my estimation. I’m not inclined to get into all that other than to say, he does not hate in the way you might think but I can certainly see how he can be taken that way; I hope he weighs those impressions in the balance as he continues to put things out there for public consumption. Regarding the Jews, he does have a holy hatred toward blasphemers but he rejoices when one gets saved.

    Anyway, Tim’s a big boy and can defend himself but I know what it’s like not wanting to have to come to one’s own defense.

  255. Sean Gerety Says:

    I’m not inclined to get into all that other than to say, he does not hate in the way you might think but I can certainly see how he can be taken that way;

    Particularly if you are black or a “jew.”

    Regarding the Jews, he does have a holy hatred toward blasphemers but he rejoices when one gets saved.

    Maybe he should call his site “Bigots for Christ.”

    Anyway, Tim’s a big boy and can defend himself but I know what it’s like not wanting to have to come to one’s own defense.

    I’m surprised anyone would come to his defense at all.

  256. Steve M Says:

    “although she and I don’t agree with the manner in which he sometimes says things, she doesn’t attribute his language to racism anymore whereas I never did.”

    “The inter-racial couple pictured on the front page is offensive.”

    I am trying to figure out how not to attribute the above statement to something other than racism. The only reason given for the offensiveness of the picture is that its subject was an interracial couple. Is the author against all couples? Do all couples offend him? My son is married to an Asian woman. Is a picture of my son and daughter-in-law offensive? I don’t find it so. I am rather fond of my “half-breed” granddaughter. Is this genocide? I never thought of it that way. Perhaps there is something wrong with my thinking, buy I don’t find the author’s views benign.

  257. Steve M Says:

    not “not”.

  258. Steve M Says:

    Charlie:
    “God has revealed in Scripture that he himself is truth. It is not merely a logical deduction that he is truth.”

    Where is it explicitly set down in Scripture that God himself is truth?

    Is truth eternal?
    Is truth immutable?
    Is truth non-contradictory?
    Has truth been non-contradictory from all eternity?
    Is non-contradiction an eternal attribute of truth?

    Identity:
    Exodus 3:14
    God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”;

    Contradiction:
    Genesis 2:17
    “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

    Genesis 3:4
    The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!

    Excluded middle:
    Matthew 5:37
    But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

    Mark 9:40
    For he who is not against us is for us.

    Matthew 12:30
    He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

  259. Roger Says:

    Charlie wrote:

    God’s character is internally consistent. The reflection of this internal consistency is grasped in the concept of LNC and logic. However, logic and LNC are generally revealed concepts. They CANNOT be made to be an authority on par with the Scriptures because it is merely a logical conclusion working from logic back to God and not a revelation of God from the Scriptures.

    Charlie, this has been one of the major sticking points in this debate. You have continually asserted that logic is merely “generally reveled” in nature and not a specific “revelation of God from the Scriptures.” But the fact that logic is “specially revealed” in the very structure of God’s thoughts “in Scripture” has been amply demonstrated already, quite aside from John 1:1. In fact, it was clearly pointed out in Gary Crampton’s article that Sean linked to in his initial blog post:

    Further, logic is embedded in Scripture. The very first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” necessitates the validity of the most fundamental law of logic: the law of contradiction (A is not non-A). Genesis 1:1 teaches that God is the Creator of all things. Too, it says that He created “in the beginning.” It does not teach, therefore, that God is not the Creator of all things, nor does it maintain that God created all things 100 or 1,000 years after the beginning. This verse assumes that the words God, created, beginning, and so forth, all have definite meanings. It also assumes that they do not mean certain things. For speech to be intelligible, words must have univocal meanings. What makes the words meaningful, and revelation and communication possible is that each word conforms to the law of contradiction.

    This most fundamental of the laws of logic cannot be proved. For any attempt to prove the law of contradiction would presuppose the truth of the law and therefore beg the question. Simply put, it is not possible to reason without using the law of contradiction. In this sense, the laws of logic are axiomatic. But they are only axiomatic because they are fixed or embedded in the Word of God.

    Also fixed in Scripture are the two other principle laws of logic: the law of identity (A is A) and the law of the excluded middle (A is either B or non-B). The former is taught in Exodus 3:14, in the name of God itself: “I AM WHO I AM.” And the latter is found, for example, in the words of Christ: “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Luke 11:23).

    Logic, then, is embedded in Scripture. This is why Scripture, rather than the law of contradiction, is selected as the axiomatic starting point of Christian epistemology.

    Therefore, your non-stop assertion that logic is merely derived from “general revelation” and then impiously read back into Scripture has already been proven false. You really should stop repeating the same refuted point over and over again; it only makes you look foolish.

    Moreover, the fact that Aristotle formally recognized the laws of logic from general revelation is no different than a pagan recognizing the laws of morality from general revelation (see Romans 1:19, 32; 2:14-15). The laws of logic and morality may indeed be perceived through general revelation, but the fact remains that they are both “specially revealed” in Scripture as the very structure of God’s thoughts.

    I do not agree that logos from John 1 is equal to logic… God’s revelation of himself never equates himself to the universal LNC or logic… There is too much unrevealed about God to limit him to the human concept of logic as revealed in general revelation.

    Once again, Charlie, you’re merely repeating a point that has already been refuted (here, March 29, 2014 at 11:07 am, here, March 29, 2014 at 11:56 am and here, March 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm). Not a single person in this debate has claimed that the Logos is “equal” to logic, or that God “equates” Himself to the universal LNC or logic. So why are you setting up this straw man and valiantly knocking it down? If you’re going to oppose us, then at least oppose the actual position that we hold.

    Why do we have the reality we have instead of one of the others revealed in the mind of God? The answer to this question is God chose it! It is not merely some logical conclusion based on the LNC!

    Whoever claimed that God didn’t freely choose to decree our present reality? I’m not aware of anyone who did. But even those other logically possible worlds in the mind of God (e.g., Matthew 11:21, 23) do not violate the law of contradiction, as you falsely claim. As James has already pointed out, the fact that X is A in one world (e.g., the world that God has decreed), and X is not-A in a different world (e.g., a world that God has not decreed), means that X is A and not-A in different respects in the mind of God. Thus, they do not violate the law of contradiction. You really need to give that canard a rest.

    Scripture supports the concept that the LNC came about due to the decision of God.

    Where? I haven’t seen you cite a single verse to support that claim.

    God is subject to nothing and he has not subjected his character and attributes to the LNC in Scripture. Therefore, I do not. Scripture is the rule…logic is the tool.

    Is God “subject” to His own nature or character? Or can He change willy-nilly and contradict Himself? Can the God of truth contradict Himself and lie at will? Can the only wise God contradict Himself and act foolishly at will? Or is He constrained by His own character to always tell the truth and act wisely? The answer is obvious, for God is true and wise and self-consistent (i.e., rational or logical) by nature – not by a choice of His will. That’s all that is meant when we say that “God is logic.”

  260. justbybelief Says:

    Command and control = Multiculturalism

    Multiculturalism = Social engineering

    Social engineering = divide and conquer.

    divide and conquer = the destruction of all the races (and gender). We should be upset when anyone wants to destroy any race (or gender).

    The motive of those behind Nutrisystem’s objectionable pictures IS NOT UNITY. I believe the pictures on their web site are intended to align with the doctrine of political correctness–a descendant of the above totalitarian principles

    Many on this site SEEM to be ignorant of this totalitarian weapon. WTS certainly seems to be as was pointed out on ‘that questionable’ site.

    From the questionable site:

    Are Negroes human? Of course! We know it from Genesis, plus some facts about reproduction, plus a certain — je ne sais quoi — intuition. We know it.

    Hmmm…this doesn’t align with the charge of racism.

    There are those who post here (and their loved ones) who NATURALLY ‘gravitated’ toward members of other races in marriage and this is how it ought to be. Your relationships were most likely not engineered. Social engineering is a sin and ought to be condemned by the church.

    Christian unity is antithetical to Multiculturalism. Christian unity is REAL unity not the FEIGNED unity of Social Engineering.

    Multiculturalism is in my face every day and it makes me sick to my stomach because it is from Satan the father of lies. Christian unity is not so prevalent, it makes me rejoice because it is from God.

    Since it is the duty of the Church to confront the world in its sin in hopes that there be repentance and faith, I would relish a post on the evils of Multiculturalism and would gladly participate in any discussion that followed.

    Eric

  261. justbybelief Says:

    Correction:

    “Christian unity is antithetical to Multiculturalism.”

    Should be:

    “Multiculturalism is antithetical to Christianity unity.”

    Christianity = Thesis

    Multiculturalism = Anti-Thesis

    Don’t commit a face crime!

  262. Denson Dube Says:

    Ron,

    If Jesus laid down his life to redeem your life from darkness and eternal death, how can it be hard for you to walk in love and be compassionate to others? But then, contradictions are par for the course for van Tilians.
    If Jesus so loved the world, that he gave his own life for the sheep, how can anyone dare think in the way Tim thinks about people? And you Ron, do not be partaker in other man’s sins. The word of God is clear, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

  263. justbybelief Says:

    Christians should be deconstructing the modern day Tower of Babel.

  264. Steve M Says:

    “The motive of those behind Nutrisystem’s objectionable pictures IS NOT UNITY. I believe the pictures on their web site are intended to align with the doctrine of political correctness–a descendant of the above totalitarian principles.”

    The motive behind Nutrisystem’s “objectionable” picture is selling a product in order to make a profit. Obviously, if enough potential customers find the picture offensive, it will not help their cause. The anonymous author does not site any reason for finding the picture offensive other than it being of an interracial couple.

    Your “1000 words” to paint the author as a hero in the fight against totalitarianism leave me unconvinced.

  265. Steve M Says:

    cite

  266. justbybelief Says:

    “Your “1000 words” to paint the author as a hero in the fight against totalitarianism leave me unconvinced.”

    Whether 1000 or 1 it makes no difference. We are charged with making valid and truthful arguments. And who painted anyone as a “hero,” Steve.

    “The motive behind Nutrisystem’s “objectionable” picture is selling a product in order to make a profit”

    There you have it–unprincipled, or ignorant men. Lenin called them useful idiots. You’ve made my point.

    if enough potential customers find the picture offensive, it will not help their cause.

    Hopefully so, but then again, this whole country is full of useful idiots, even in the Church.

    2 Corinthians 11:14
    And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

  267. Ron Says:

    Steve,

    Actually, I didn’t interpret the picture as a “couple.” For one thing, who was the third person, their daughter? I don’t think so. I took the picture as merely a marketing scheme. Also, I wouldn’t have used the term offensive, at least in the literal sense. But, I’m not easily offended by those who would like to put forth as common that which is uncommon. It’s fabricated and misleading in my estimation. It’s all about political correctness and manipulation. Maybe I should find such manipulative tactics offensive.

    What’s irksome to me is the prevalent naiveté out there that thinks there are no valid considerations to be given to marrying outside one’s anything. This fabricated unity that pretends strata doesn’t exist or that it shouldn’t be given any consideration whatsoever actually causes people to suppress legitimate instincts.That’s a problem. The populace has become manipulated by a twisting of what the equality of people means. For instance, there are no distinct hurdles for an extremely wealthy person marrying one who has only known poverty their entire life. If hurdles are recognized at all they’re indexed to our sin, which is a lie.

    We should all have x percentage of all sorts of profiles in our phone directory. (Wasn’t Promise Keepers quota oriented at least in some respect?) To think otherwise is passé, and to try to get one’s mind to align with their God-given instincts is not to get on board with the agenda that all that matters is what’s on the inside. What people don’t realize is that what’s on the inside has a great deal to do with what is on the outside. (And I’m not referring to skin color either or the shape of one’s eyes. But, the shape of one’s eyes or skin color can be an indication of one’s history i.e. what’s on the outside.)

    Perspective is formed by one’s history and although two people might have true perspectives, they don’t have the full picture or the same perspective. We are being forced to complement our own perspectives in more extreme ways as opposed to aligning ourselves with those who share our perspective (our backgrounds, etc). We have to be stretching ourselves all the time. Indeed, there is liberty for the either but what is being celebrated is only the former manner of life. Celebrate the latter and you’ll be called something pejorative for sure. One’s social gatherings better be multicultural, include the aged and the young; and if you’re going to adopt a child, well, you better consider all options equally fine or else there’s something wrong with you.

    I have friends whose marriages are Black-White and Asian-White. Clearly there is liberty here as long as couples don’t enter into marriage unequally yoked. Notwithstanding, is this paradigm to be equally palatable for all people? Is it sin not to pursue such options? I think the social media would say yes it is sin, but of course they wouldn’t use the S word.

  268. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    Again you ask a lot of question without responding to what I said. You pick one sentence out of the whole of what I said and ask a series of questions about that one sentence without responding to anything else I said.

    Nope. I refuse to play your game by your rules. When I respond to a post I attempt to respond to the whole of the post. If you refuse to do the same, I will not engage with what you have to say.

  269. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    I’m not following your exchange with Steve, but it can be legitimate to do that sort of thing when an entire thesis hangs on one premise and the rest of the post simply follows from that single premise. There are many other reasons too isolate a single point and only deal with it, like when all the other things being said are irrelevant. Again though, I’m not following the exchange but let’s not dismiss an attempt to focus in on the real issues as playing by a faulty set of rules.

  270. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    I appreciate your comments. This is a recurring theme between Steve M and me. Since the beginning of this discussion, he has assumed I am dead wrong and assaults fragments of what I say without discussion of what else I have said.

    It is not an isolated event.

    Steve M,

    Are you claiming that what I said, “God has revealed himself to be truth” is less clear in Scripture than what you have produced about Identity, contradiction, and excluded middle?

    Are the passages you cite actually teaching these logic rules so that the rule of logic is on par as an authority with what God actually said?

    What are these passages teaching in the context, according to the grammar and historical setting?

    Is Ex 3:14 teaching the law of identity or is there something else being taught to Moses and the Israelites who are in captivity?

    Are Gen. 2:17 and Gen 3:4 merely teaching the law of contradiction or is there something else that God is teaching through revealing this account to Moses?

    Are Matthew 5:37, Mark 9:40, and Matthew 12:30 teaching the law of excluded middle or is there something else Christ is teaching here?

    Scripture is Truth
    Psalm 119:160 (ESV)
    160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

    God of Truth
    Isaiah 65:16 (ESV)
    16 So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth, and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten and are hidden from my eyes.

    Jesus is Truth
    John 14:6 (ESV)
    6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Spirit of Truth
    John 16:13 – 15 (ESV)
    13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

    It appears then that God is not spoken of as the truth. Scripture and Christ are the truth.

    How then do you define truth?

  271. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    You do not have to convince me that God is truth itself. I believe it. My point was is that it is not expressly set down in Scripture. It is one of those many doctrines which must be deduced by good and necessary consequence from what is expressly set down.

    Now will you answer my questions about truth?

    Is truth eternal?
    Is truth immutable?
    Is truth non-contradictory?
    Has truth been non-contradictory from all eternity?
    Is non-contradiction an eternal attribute of truth?

  272. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    Jesus is the truth and Scripture is the truth. Thus truth must be as eternal, immutable, non-contradictory as Jesus and Scripture are.

    You did not answer mine.

    Are the passages you cite actually teaching these logic rules so that the rule of logic is on par as an authority with what God actually said?

    What are these passages teaching in the context, according to the grammar and historical setting?

    Is Ex 3:14 teaching the law of identity or is there something else being taught to Moses and the Israelites who are in captivity?

    Are Gen. 2:17 and Gen 3:4 merely teaching the law of contradiction or is there something else that God is teaching through revealing this account to Moses?

    Are Matthew 5:37, Mark 9:40, and Matthew 12:30 teaching the law of excluded middle or is there something else Christ is teaching here?

    How do you difine truth?

  273. Steve M Says:

    “Are the passages you cite actually teaching these logic rules?”

    Unless every word in the passages has a meaning, they teach nothing. In order for a word to mean something, it must also mean not something. The laws of truth are assumed throughout Scripture. You even assume them when you ask me a question and expect me to understand it.

    “What are these passages teaching in the context, according to the grammar and historical setting?

    Charlie
    Are you placing context, grammar and historical setting on a par with Scripture?

  274. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    You said, “The laws of truth are assumed throughout Scripture.”

    So the passages themselves (the ones you quoted) were not teaching them!

    You did not answer my other questions, so you are unable to tell me what the passages were actually teaching!

    Therefore, I do not accept what you say the passages were teaching about your logic rules because it is not clear that these passages were teaching anything close to what you claim them to be teaching.

    You proof text passages to come to conclusions for things you already believe to be true. Error!

    I do not accept your assertions.

  275. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    How do you define truth?

  276. Steve M Says:

    I have already written God is truth itself.

    J. Oliver Buswell, Jr. says,
    “When we accept the laws of logic, we are not accepting laws external to God to which he must be subject, but we are accepting laws of truth which are derived from God’s holy character … The Bible as a book written in human language claims to speak the truth. If the word truth is not meaningless, it implies the laws of truth, that is, the laws of logic.”

    I don’t think I can say it any better than that.

  277. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    I found your quote of Van Til (February 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm). You quoted Van Til as saying, “Christians should NEVER appeal to the law of contradiction as something that determines what can or cannot be true.”

    He did say that but in the following context.

    “The distinguishing characteristic between very non-Christian theory of knowledge on the one hand, and the Christian concept of knowledge on the other hand, is, therefore, that in all non-Christian theories men reason univocally, while in Christianity men reason analogically. By this distinction we mean that every non-Christian theory of method takes for granted, that time and eternity are aspects of one another, and that God and man must be thought of as being on the same plane. God and man must be thought of as correlative to one another. God and man work under a system of logic that is higher than both, and that exists in independence of both. The law of contradiction is thought of as existing somehow in independence of God and man or at least as operating in both God and man on the same level.
    In contrast to this, Christianity holds that God existed alone before any time existence was brought forth. He existed as the self-conscious and self-consistent being. The law of contradiction, therefore, as we know it, is but the expression on a created level of the internal coherence of God’s nature. Christians should therefore never appeal to the law of contradiction as something that, as such, determines what can or cannot be true.”

    Van Til’s position in a nut shell is that God is not confined by the LNC. It sounds as though you agree at this point per your quote of J. Oliver Buswell, Jr.

    Further, your “sound bite” presentation of Van Til’s quote makes it sound as if Van Til did not use, appreciate, or adhere to the LNC as a created and necessary tool. He said it was not an independent entity over God; it is “the expression on a created level of the internal coherence of God’s nature.”

    Your positions are much more similar than your post of his quote communicates.

    Basically, you believe LNC is a force IN God’s character and Van Til (and I) believe it is a REFLECTION of his character on a created level. This is because of the eternality of God; the eternality of God does not allow for firsts (logical or chronological).

    Further, your claim that God is truth itself does not follow from the passages cited about truth. Truth (biblically) is asserted to be Jesus and the Scriptures. It is interesting that God (Father, Son, nor Spirit) are attributed in the Scriptures to be “the truth.”

    “The truth” is attributed to Jesus and Scripture and both are the revelation of God in time. Scripture, as a revelation of God, teaches how all things are rightly related to God. Jesus, as the perfect man, teaches how man specifically is rightly related to God and how to understand the Scriptures. Therefore, we can infer from this that truth is anything understood in it’s right relationship to God. In this way, truth also reveals God. Thus truth and revelation are tied together.

  278. Ron Says:

    Basically, you believe LNC is a force IN God’s character and Van Til (and I) believe it is a REFLECTION of his character on a created level.

    Charlie,

    What is the analog to this LNC? If you don’t know, then why do you suppose that the LNC is not a characteristic of God rather than a reflection of His character?

  279. Steve M Says:

    Non-contradiction is both an eternal attribute of truth and created. I see.

  280. Steve M Says:

    “The law of contradiction is thought of as existing somehow in independence of God and man or at least as operating in both God and man on the same level.”

    Has anything I have written led you to believe that I think of the law of contradiction as existing in independence of (i.e. separately from) God? I am not the one who separates logic and God. That would be you and Van Til. Van Til applies his own view to his opponents and then refutes himself. Amazing! I have no idea what “operating in both God and man on the same level” means and Van Til does not explain it. Van Til is unclear, but his followers postulate two or even three different logics (God’s being unknowable and different from man’s). I believe in one truth and one logic. You wine about straw men. Van Til is the king of straw man arguments.

  281. Sean Gerety Says:

    I took the picture as merely a marketing scheme… It’s all about political correctness and manipulation. Maybe I should find such manipulative tactics offensive.

    OK, but that’s not your buddy Tim’s point. He thinks it’s “genocide.” His problem is not with PC, but with the thought that a white might marry a black.

    What’s irksome to me is the prevalent naiveté out there that thinks there are no valid considerations to be given to marrying outside one’s anything. This fabricated unity that pretends strata doesn’t exist or that it shouldn’t be given any consideration whatsoever actually causes people to suppress legitimate instincts.That’s a problem.

    Legitimate instincts? You’re starting to sound more and more like Tim who in his parting shot to me referenced my “Celtic” heritage “hoping it might stir some natural affection in your soul.” What sort of anti-Christian tripe is this? What about cultivating our unnatural affection for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are from other races? Can’t have that because we can’t let our “beauties” marry a “Negro.” What happened to neither Jew nor Greek?

    BTW, what are our “God-given instincts”?

    I have friends whose marriages are Black-White and Asian-White. Clearly there is liberty here as long as couples don’t enter into marriage unequally yoked.

    Have you read Tim’s blog? There is no liberty to marry outside of one’s race. It is sin.

    BTW, I have no problem with Tim’s tone. It’s his content that is the problem.

  282. Steve M Says:

    Sean
    Bravo again! Yes, it is the content, not the tone, that is the problem.

  283. Ron Says:

    Legitimate instincts? You’re starting to sound more and more like Tim who in his parting shot to me referenced my “Celtic” heritage “hoping it might stir some natural affection in your soul.”

    Sean,

    Starting to sound more and more like Tim? Wake me up when you think my views have crossed the line into racism. :)

    That I would counsel one to count the cost of marrying outside his anything and to reconcile instincts with view point seems good to me. Suppressing instincts is never under good regulation. Rather, what I recommend in cases such is to scrutinize instincts in an effort to bring them into subjection to one’s thinking. In the process one might begin to clarify his thoughts if not formulate them for the first time. Maybe one’s instincts are unfounded, born of irrational fear and should be abandoned. Maybe not though.

    Last evening I was with two mixed couples in a pub in Philadelphia discussing theology pertaining to God’s existence. The older couple was married and retired while the other couple was engaged to be married and quite young. My suspicion is that the older couple had to deal with racial issues that are not even on the younger couple’s radar screen. In one respect that is a very good thing. In another respect not so good. It’s likely they have both lost any connection to their respective rich heritage. That’s sad to me. However, I delight in the barriers that have been erased so they might learn a bit more about different backgrounds and cultures. It’s a mixed bag in many respects. It’s sad that we don’t experience horse and buggy travel anymore but also a very fine thing! What I loathe is the manipulative engineering that goes with cultural change, but I would like to think that I receive it as providential. In any case, the younger couple I suspect is color blind in many respects. However, if they were coming to me for marriage counseling I’d be remiss if I didn’t probe into family dynamics, etc., simply out of love for them. (I digress)

    Can’t have that because we can’t let our “beauties” marry a “Negro.” What happened to neither Jew nor Greek?

    Working backwards, I don’t think Jew nor Greek is a verse I’d go to first to defend the liberty to marry anyone in the Lord, but since we agree on the question of liberty there’s no need to get into exegesis.

    Regarding the first remark, if it softens the blow at all for you I think Tim would applaud a black man who said “we can’t let our beauties marry a white man.” This all reminds me of Anita singing to Maria in West Side Story: “Forget that boy and find another. One of your own kind. Stick to your own kind.” Even aside from the Romeo-Juliet tragedy at the end, Anita’s counsel was worth considering given the racial tensions in New York at the time. Anita’s instincts were legitimate, but again there is liberty to marry anyone in the Lord (or outside the Lord if both couples qualify). Notwithstanding, and here’s the material point – having a positivity bias is not a Christian virtue. John Prentice Sr. and Matilda (Tillie) (both black) can hardly be considered racist in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” just instinctive.

    Lastly, I have had to remind myself with Tim that he is not just a math and electrical guy; he is given to playwrights and literary style that he refuses to forgo. Epimenides was a poet. To say that Cretans are always liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons is hyperbolic.Whether Tim gives himself too many allowances in this area given the liberty he finds in Paul’s reference to Titus is indeed questionable but I cannot forbid it categorically.

  284. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    As far as I can tell (from the Scriptures) is that the LNC (a first principle) is analogous to the internal coherence of God in the eternal state. God does not have a first principle (LNC). God is all of who he is currently and consistently in eternity. This includes will, intellect, emotions, character, attributes, basically the whole of God. This cannot be reduced to the first principle of LNC.

    Steve M,

    Either provide a summary of your argument or I will continue to dismiss your dismissive statements – namely, “Non-contradiction is both an eternal attribute of truth and created. I see.”

    I brought Van Til into the conversation at this point to show how you misquoted him not to argue his point, exactly (althought it seems we agree). You misrepresented him earlier. I provided the context of the quote you provided and he said what you are now agreeing with. You provide a quote and bash Van Til but in the context of that statement agree with him…amazing and somewhat contradictory.

    Where have I written anything that would separate logic and God? I have consistently said that logic is a reflection of God’s character and attributes which are internally consistent. You create the disconnect between God and logic in your own mind not my words.

    If you do not understand “operating in both God and man on the same level” then you should go back to English and grammar. Van Til may not explain it here in the excerpt I quoted to show you misquoted him but are you sure he never explains it in his writings? Have you read all of Van Til to back up what you have asserted here? Would you like to pull back a bit or should I read more of Van Til to see if you are again mistaken? So far we have you misrepresenting Van Til and Calvin yet you claim to be accurate in everything else you say…amazing and somewhat contradictory.

    Sean misrepresents Calvin and provides a “bait and switch” question to try to quiet me. This also is amazing and somewhat contradictory.

    Have I postulated any different logics? You continue to sling mud without any evidence. Are you so used to throwing stones that it does not matter who you throw them at (i.e. whether they are guilty of what you say or not)?…amazing and somewhat contradictory.

    You stated that your definition for truth is God himself but where does that come from? Is that what Scripture says or what your logic and LNC says. Remember you asked me if Scripture says God is truth. I looked and said no. Scripture says Scripture and Christ are THE TRUTH. This truth (Scripture and Christ) is revelation as it is appropriately related to God. This is analog (reflective) not univocal (operating in both God and man on the same level).

  285. Steve M Says:

    Charlie
    I have read a lot of Van Til and it is not unusual for him to be ambiguous. It also is not unusual for his followers to attempt to clarify some of the ambiguous things he wrote about.

    Did Van Til hold the view that logic was created?

    You tell me.

  286. Ron Says:

    As far as I can tell (from the Scriptures) is that the LNC (a first principle) is analogous to the internal coherence of God in the eternal state. God does not have a first principle (LNC). God is all of who he is currently and consistently in eternity. This includes will, intellect, emotions, character, attributes, basically the whole of God. This cannot be reduced to the first principle of LNC.

    Seems to me that if an attribute of internal coherence is not identical to an attribute of logic it must presuppose it in some sense. In other words, one’s internal coherence would seem to result from being logical, as opposed to the attribute of being logical resulting from internal coherence. In other words, I am consistent in so far as I’m logical. I fail to be consistent when I fail to be logical. The reverse is not true. I am not logical because I’m internally consistent. Consistency is the result of logic, not its source.

    The idea of “first principle” as being employed here is vague so there’s not much I can say other than I would like to think God’s “intellect” is logical. Wouldn’t you like to think so? What other option is there – God’s intellect is illogical? How about a-logical, whatever that is?

    Not sure what more I can say.

  287. Charlie Says:

    Steve M,

    So are you taking back what you said about Van Til? Are you taking back what you said about me? I pointed out how you misrepresented both of us.

    Where have I written anything that would separate logic and God?

    Have I postulated any different logics?

    I do not know what Van Til said about logic being created. The only book I have read from Van Til that I have read all the way through is A Survey of Christian Epistemology (5 years ago approx.). I have read more Bahnsen than Van Til. You tell me what he said (providing a citation as I am unconvinced you represent him well).

    He did not seem very ambiguous in the paragraph I cited. He definitely was clear in the sentence you misrepresented him from or else I am sure you would not have quoted him at that point – even though you misrepresented what he said.

    Did you take that back yet?

    BTW – do you now understand the distinction I am making between logic (LNC) and the eternality of God being internally consistent in all (every one) of his characteristics and attributes in that eternal moment? There is an analog not univocal relationship between God and LNC and logic (I love learning new words to say what I am saying in a shorter space).

    You stated that your definition for truth is God himself but where does that come from?

    You always (always) seem to avoid the questions I pose to you yet expect me to answer each one of yours (double standard).

    Ron,

    That is a nice logical argument for why you think that God and logic (LNC) are univocal (love this word) instead of analog (love this one too). However, logic is both the beginning and conclusion of your argument restated (circular argument). Further, this is not what Scripture says about the way things are. Logic is never spoken of in Scripture to be an on par authority with Scripture.

    God is God. Each and every characteristic and attribute in motion eternally; you cannot reduce God’s eternal internal coherence with LNC and logic.

    When you says a woman is beautiful and a Niagara Falls is beautiful, you have the same word attributed to them. However, beautiful does not mean the exact same thing in both cases although both objects are actually beautiful. Logical when attributed to God in eternity and to LNC and logic within space and time apply to both but have different semantic meanings.

    You are attempting to take the semantic meaning of “in time” logical and make it the same as the “eternal” meaning of logical. Both are logical but they are logical in vastly different ways due to the drastic difference between “time” and “eternity.” The gulf is in the difference between “time” and “eternity” not the concept of logical as the word may be applied to both yet be considered different in its semantic range of meaning.

    Here we go I will be accused of saying a word means the same but not the same. However, read carefully as the meaning shifts based on “time” and “eternity” not in semantic range.

  288. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    That ball of twine is just too entwined for me. .

    Sincerely – all the best,

    Ron

  289. Steve M Says:

    Ron
    Yes, it is a rather tangled mess.

  290. Ron Says:

    Well Steve, I have a little discretionary time this morning.:)

    However, logic is both the beginning and conclusion of your argument restated (circular argument).

    Charlie,

    My argument isn’t circular at all. I’ve asked you, is God’s consistency illogical? I’ve asked you, is consistency a result of being logical or does logic result from consistency? I demonstrated that consistency presuppose logic, for what is it for a person to be consistent without being logical? You don’t answer these questions. (Just like you didn’t address logical order earlier in the thread.) You just launch into false analogies regarding two things that are beautiful. You don’t argue anything but rather you assert that logic is different in time than eternity. Tell me, what is eternal logic? Look at it this way. Were God’s eternal thoughts about the logic that was to exist in time not logical?! Of course they were, hence temporal logic is eternal logic. This is not difficult, Charlie. Your axiom reduces you to absurdity when taken to its logical end. Give up the ghost, Charlie.

    Logic is never spoken of in Scripture to be an on par authority with Scripture.

    That logic isn’t on “par” with Scripture (whatever that means to you) doesn’t mean that God is not logical by nature. Holiness isn’t recorded for us as being on par with Scripture, but do you deny God is holy? Accordingly, your point is refuted on the basis of your own inconsistency for you do think that God is holy. Your arguments make no sense. It doesn’t bother you that your acid tests fail you at ever turn. It doesn’t bother you that something not being “on par” with Scripture does not preclude God being that something. All you do when such things are pointed out to you is move on to the next assertion.

    When you says a woman is beautiful and a Niagara Falls is beautiful, you have the same word attributed to them. However, beautiful does not mean the exact same thing in both cases although both objects are actually beautiful. Logical when attributed to God in eternity and to LNC and logic within space and time apply to both but have different semantic meanings.

    That Niagara Falls and a woman are both beautiful means that they are both stunning. That their respective reference points are different doesn’t make your case that logic has a different referent in eternity than it does in time. Frankly, you’re just making this stuff up as you go along.

    Both are logical but they are logical in vastly different ways due to the drastic difference between “time” and “eternity.” The gulf is in the difference between “time” and “eternity” not the concept of logical as the word may be applied to both yet be considered different in its semantic range of meaning.

    Tell me how logic is different in eternity than it is in time. Tell me how one can be internally consistent without being logical.
    Charlie, you neither argue your points nor interact with the points of others. When you’ve tried you’ve contradicted yourself. When people try to make sense of your contradictions you play the not nice caring card. It’s not that people aren’t trying to understand you. The problem is you’re making no effort to be understood. You’re a moving target who is long on assertions but short on engagement.

    This post is not too severe Charlie. For weeks you have bobbed and weaved.

  291. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    I used the term “beauty” to show that beauty has a semantic range so that when we speak of beauty it does not mean the exact same thing depending on what is considered beautiful – stunning does not cover it sorry – what if the woman is beatiful not for looks but for the love she expresses to kids or husband. You are thinking materialistically. I took that analogy and showed that the difference between logical “in time” and logical “in eternity.” These are necessarily different due to the vast difference between objects constrained by time and God who is not constrained by time but is eternal.

    We speak of sequence in time and even logical firsts; these are not “necessary” nor do they exist in eternity. There are no firsts (sequentially or logically) in eternity. There is God, all of God, in motion all at once without change. No beginning of sequence and no logical first. Therefore, there is a difference in the term “logical” when we speak of God being logical and our thinking being logical. God – no sequence or logical first. We – sequence and logical first. This is considered a difference not identical.

    God being logical is analogous to us being logical. God being logical is not univocal to us being logical. We were created by God to reflect (image) his glory. An image is a replica not an identical match. Part of the glory we reflect is the internal consistency of God as he maintains his nature and character in eternity, when we are logical. LNC and logic as an epistemological system reflects the character and attributes of God as he maintains them in eternity. Again the difference is “constrained by time” and “eternal (not constrained by time).”

    You asked, “Were God’s eternal thoughts about the logic that was to exist in time not logical?!”

    If you mean were they internally consistent than yes I agree with you. If you mean do they follow the rules of logic and logical first in sequence than no. God is not constrained by the sequence of logical first or sequence in time.

    Do you mean give up the Holy Ghost? No thank you, then I would be left with the principles of man and not thinking according to Christ.

    You said, “That logic isn’t on “par” with Scripture (whatever that means to you) doesn’t mean that God is not logical by nature.”

    You are correct. I have been saying this all along. Here is a question I asked and I assume the answer is yes. “Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?”

    James says no that because God is logic that logic is an authority over the Scriptures. Steve and Sean seem to say logic is an on par authority with the Scriptures, yet in practice they expose that their functional authority is logic and not the Scriptures as they speak of logical issues and never Biblical ones. Where do you stand here? This is a separate issue as you can now (hopefully) see.

    I am not suggesting God is not logical and therefore he is an authority over logic. I am saying logic reflects his character and attributes yet Scripture has been set over logic as an authority by God in the Scriptures themselves. Therefore, when you argue against me at this point you will find I agree that God is logical and thus we have logic. Yet I also maintain that Scripture is an authority over logic (which should not concern these men if Scripture is logical as they claim – however, they fight me on this because they need to maintain logic as an authority on par with the Scriptures so they can appear biblical even when they function in the authority of logic and not the authority of the Scriptures.)

    You said, “That Niagara Falls and a woman are both beautiful means that they are both stunning. That their respective reference points are different doesn’t make your case that logic has a different referent in eternity than it does in time. Frankly, you’re just making this stuff up as you go along.”

    Am I really just making stuff up? Are you familiar with the difference between Van Til and Clark? This is directly linked to what their differences were (I have been reading some about it since I engaged here – thus where I learned the words univocal and analog). If you do not follow the difference it does not mean I am making it up.

    Here is a quote in an article I read about this very thing.

    “If I am reading this correctly then the problem for Van Til and his disciples is that the Creator creature distinction becomes a barrier that no language can get through. On the other hand the problem for Clark and his disciples is, as Leithart notes concerning Scotus, the Creator – creature distinction is flattened out and the mind of man and the mind of God become one at every point of univocity in analogy.
    Obviously a Creator-creature distinction that cannot be overcome by language and a Creator-creature distinction that really isn’t a distinction because it is conquered by the univocal in the analogical are both fraught with serious problems. The former is going to lean towards a unwholesome rationalistic theology while the latter is going to lean towards a unwholesome mysticism in theology.” (http://ironink.org/2009/01/analogical_univocal_equivocal_creator_cr/)

    I agree with what this author is suggesting. He does not offer an answer in this article but merely points out the issue.

    I am not the least bit offended at your message. I explained when I came here that I wanted to learn more about the sides – Clark and Van Til. I explained that I had a friend who loves Clark who gave me this article. I engaged here to find out what people who defend Clark believe and what they accuse Van Til of. You may call me a moving target (bob and weave). I probably am as I am learning as I go. Are you? Or are you set in your thinking and no longer willing to learn. I started with some knowledge but it has grown during the discussion – for that I thank you all – however, it has been in spite of the arguments presented not that I am learning and so conforming my thought to them.

    I have been unconvinced by the arguments presented here. I have been engaging and learning why I think the way I do. I have been trying to conform my thoughts to the Scriptures I know. I have been looking up citations and reading the context to see if the context supports the claim. They have not. Van Til was misrepresented. Calvin was misrepresented. The WFC was misrepresented. Scripture has been misrepresented. All of this from these guys who jumped all over me for asking how they would answer the question posed to Van Til. No one has admitted the misrepresentation and thus give up the ground they claim to hold in the misrepresentation.

    I have taken this discussion as an opportunity to learn, engage and develop my thoughts. I have and I now strongly disagree that Logos is logic in John 1. I disagree that logic in eternity and in time are univocal instead of analog. I still disagree that when I understand 1+1=2 that I have identical knowledge of the equation as God. His understanding as a mathematical equation and mine are the same, meaning 1+1 does equal 2. However, to say I understand how that statement represents the glory of God in the identical way as God is a bit too much.

  292. Roger Says:

    Tell me how one can be internally consistent without being logical.

    I would also ask, how can “the only wise God” (Romans 16:27) not be rational or logical by nature? Doesn’t “wisdom” presuppose rationality or logically sound thinking?

    By the way, here’s a great quote from Robert Reymond’s Systematic Theology. I agree with him wholeheartedly here…

    “By affirming that God is infinitely, eternally, and unchangeably ‘true,’ the [Westminster Shorter] Catechism declares that he is logically rational, ethically reliable, and covenantally faithful, and that he always has been, is, and always will be unchangeably so. When Scripture declares that God is the ‘true’ God, it intends to affirm, first, that God is metaphysically speaking, the only God who is ‘really there’… Then because he is rational, neither in his own understanding nor in what he declares is there any inherent contradiction. In other words, as the God of truth, for him the laws of logic, which are the laws of truth, are intrinsically valid because they are intrinsic to his nature. I would even contend, with John M. Frame, that ‘logic is an attribute of God.’” (Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, p. 201)

  293. Roger Says:

    Therefore, there is a difference in the term “logical” when we speak of God being logical and our thinking being logical. God – no sequence or logical first. We – sequence and logical first. This is considered a difference not identical.

    Charlie, you seem to be confusing logical sequence with chronological sequence. While there’s no chronological sequence in God’s mind, there is indeed logical sequence in God’s mind – or else there couldn’t be any order to any of his decrees.

  294. Ron Says:

    Yes, Roger!

    If I may add, Reymond’s reference is to Frame’s Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, where Frame says: “Logic is an attribute of God, as are justice, wisdom, mercy…We, as his image…are to be noncontradictory.” Frame affirms that logic is an attribute in his new systematic theology (page 342, footnote 9). I find it remarkable that this can be in any way controversial to the Christian.

  295. Roger Says:

    Ron, I’m glad to see us agreeing for once! ;-)

    I’ll have to get Frame’s systematic theology next…

  296. Charlie Says:

    Roger,

    Please forgive me for not responding to you yet. I did not see your last post until I was looking back through the discussion while answering Ron.

    Is logic taught in the Scriptures? No, it is not one of the topics of formal instruction. Is Scripture logical? Yes. Why? Scripture is logical because man was created to understand in a logical fashion. Why? Because man was created in the image (replica – resemblance) of God. Is God then logical? Yes. In the same sense? No. God is the true object man is the replica. God is eternal and man is not. God is all of who he is eternally (no logical or sequential firsts). Man has a beginning (sequential first) and thinks in time (logical first). In this way, there is a Creator / creature distinction.

    You said, “Is God ‘subject’ to His own nature or character? Or can He change willy-nilly and contradict Himself? Can the God of truth contradict Himself and lie at will? Can the only wise God contradict Himself and act foolishly at will? Or is He constrained by His own character to always tell the truth and act wisely? The answer is obvious, for God is true and wise and self-consistent (i.e., rational or logical) by nature – not by a choice of His will. That’s all that is meant when we say that ‘God is logic.’”

    Your obvious answer is only obvious if sequence or logical first is necessary. This is not true in eternity. The men here place intellect as first in God yet in eternity there are no firsts. Will, intellect, emotion, character, and attributes are operative at once eternally.

    We reason in sequence and logical firsts. We cannot foist that on God who is not limited as we are.

    Scripture does not teach logic but is logical because God created us as logical beings as a reflection of his glory. Scripture teaches to love and hate. Scripture teaches to choose good and not choose evil. We are created in the image of God and thus have emotion and will yet which is first in God. Why arbitrarily choose intellect as first? Why not choose will or emotion? Scripture actually tells us what to do first…believe and this not of ourselves.

    How would you answer this question?

    “Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?”

    I say the answer is yes. How does a yes answer hurt your position if logic is embedded the way you say? Oh that means I have to speak from Scripture logically instead of logic scripturally. This is what I think you mean when you say,

    “Logic, then, is embedded in Scripture. This is why Scripture, rather than the law of contradiction, is selected as the axiomatic starting point of Christian epistemology.”

    What I mean is you used a logical argument based on beliefs about Scripture (not teaching of Scripture) to logically defend that logic is embedded in the Scriptures and thus Scripture is the axiomatic starting point for a Christian epistemology because it (Scripture) supports logic. Thus logic is an on par authority with Scripture? No, in function it is an authority over Scripture because this was merely a logical argument not based on what Scripture says but what you believe it is.

    What does Scripture say?

    1 Tim. 6:20 – 21a (ESV)
    O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

    Paul appeals to Timothy to guard the deposit by avoiding irreverent babble and contradictions of knowledge falsely so called because by professing it some have swerved from the faith. The deposit is the gospel message of Christ found in the Scriptures. It is to be guarded by avoiding two things. First, irreverent babble is Godless chatter or conversations without God as revealed in Scripture as the ultimate reference. The second type of conversation to avoid is contradictions of knowledge.

    The word contradiction is the Greek word “antithesis.” This is the only place in Scripture it is used. However, it is used by Plato, Aristotle, and Philo when speaking of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis or what is called the dialectic method. The Merrium Webster’s Dictionary online defines dialectic as 1: Logic and 2: discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investigation; specifically: the Socratic techniques of exposing false beliefs and eliciting truth. What Paul is saying is to avoid systems of knowledge based on this kind of antithesis in the dialectic method and not the gospel of Christ in accordance with the Scriptures.

    Do you not see that Paul has in mind Greek epistemology based on his logic? To raise this kind of logic to an on par authority with Scripture is to dismiss Paul’s command here. Scripture is the authority logic is merely a tool. When we elevate logic in profession or function to an on par authority we dismiss this command in Scripture. I am unclear why this has been dismissed when mentioned before nor why it is such an offense even now.

    I am not coming to you demanding something counter to Scripture. I am showing you from the Scriptures why I believe and therefore think the way I do.

  297. Charlie Says:

    Roger,

    You said, “Tell me how one can be internally consistent without being logical. I would also ask, how can “the only wise God” (Romans 16:27) not be rational or logical by nature? Doesn’t “wisdom” presuppose rationality or logically sound thinking?”

    Revelation may presuppose that God communicates rationally and logically sound. Truth as Scripture says is Scripture and Christ, which is rational and logical. These two are God’s revelation of himself and thus truth is God revealed. Revelation may necessitate rational and logical communication but we must consider God in his eternal state. God is. All of God is. There is no logical first or sequential first (time).

    You say I am confusing logical first and sequence in time. I am not. I included both in my post so I would not be mistakenly thought to be confused. You must be confused. I asserted that there are no logical firsts or sequential firsts in eternity. There is only God as he is.

    God as he is, in order to reveal himself, created man to be rational so they could understand. God also made his revelation rational so we could understand it. He is all at once there in eternity. How is that rational as we understand rational to be in time or logical first?

    God is internally consistent which is what he says about himself. This internal consistency includes will and emotions which are left out of discussions about logical firsts. Therefore, how could we reduce God or make the claim that logical firsts are eternal. This is error.

  298. Ron Says:

    Scripture does not teach logic but is logical because God created us as logical beings as a reflection of his glory.

    Let me see if I have this. The communicable attribute we have of being logical, being made in God’s likeness and recreated in Christ’s image, is not really an attribute of God’s. It’s an attribute we have that reflects God’s glory but does not reflect who he is by nature. So God’s glory as reflected in humans is not really a true reflection. Got it. Thanks!

    Roger, we agree on much more than we disagree on, but I realize you are just jesting and I appreciate that (as well as you)!

  299. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    Are you stooping to sound bite argumentation as well? You pull one sentence out of everything I said and try to make it sound ridiculous.

    Here is what I said in the context. First,

    ”Is logic taught in the Scriptures? No, it is not one of the topics of formal instruction. Is Scripture logical? Yes. Why? Scripture is logical because man was created to understand in a logical fashion. Why? Because man was created in the image (replica – resemblance) of God. Is God then logical? Yes. In the same sense? No. God is the true object man is the replica. God is eternal and man is not. God is all of who he is eternally (no logical or sequential firsts). Man has a beginning (sequential first) and thinks in time (logical first). In this way, there is a Creator / creature distinction.”

    Later I said,
    “Scripture does not teach logic but is logical because God created us as logical beings as a reflection of his glory. Scripture teaches to love and hate. Scripture teaches to choose good and not choose evil. We are created in the image of God and thus have emotion and will yet which is first in God. Why arbitrarily choose intellect as first? Why not choose will or emotion? Scripture actually tells us what to do first…believe and this not of ourselves.”

    Your sound bite misrepresents what I actually said.

    We are created in the image of God not as a duplicate but an image – replica, resemblance. In this way we reflect the character and attributes of God as he is in his eternal state – internally consistent in every part at the same moment (no sequence in time or logical first but everything including the three persons in fellowship at once).

    God’s decision to reveal himself to created beings necessitate time and logical first in order to communicate. Therefore, we have both creating in the image of God meaning a reflection of his being and revelation needing sequence in time and logical first. This is the difference between ontology (how we were created) and epistemology (revelation of how we are to know). Sorry that was difficult for you to follow.

    Please don’t stoop to sound bite argumentation. It will limit what we can actually discuss.

  300. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    You contradict yourself at every turn. Based upon history I must infer it is literally impossible to have a rational discussion with you, at least about this matter.

    Blessings,

    Ron

  301. Sean Gerety Says:

    Your sound bite misrepresents what I actually said.

    My sound bite says no he didn’t.

  302. Ron Says:

    God’s decision to reveal himself to created beings necessitate time and logical first in order to communicate.

    This quote deserves a separate response. God is logical only because it is necessary to use logic to communicate to humans otherwise God would not need logical? Tell us about the logic that the three Persons possess apart from creation. Again Charlie, please disclose this other-logic God has that transcends time and creation. Quit dancing and explain yourself. Tell us all you know about eternal logic and its vast difference from temporal logic.

    Is this where your understanding of Van Til leads you? Goodness, I could wish the man was never born if this is where it leads people.

  303. Ron Says:

    I give up, Sean.

  304. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    How hard is it to see that eternity (without logical first or sequence of time) is different then creation (in time and logical firsts)?

    God knows every possible end and every possible beginning simultaneously while in that moment has also known the end he wants and the beginning for that specific end.

    Do you mean to tell me this is how your intellect works? You can start at the end and from there know the beginning and every specific step along with every possible mis-step to get you to the end you want? If not, your reasoning is not the same as God’s reasoning. I guess we are doomed to never know what and how God knows because our ontological make up cannot know the way his ontological make up can (eternally).

    Oh, but God did not decide that (to make us eternal). He decided for us to know in time. So he created us (our ontology) rational as an expression of his nature of knowing. He also created the means to know (epistemological revelation) so we could know what he determined to reveal (this involved sequence of time and logical firsts). We know (epistemology) through sequence and logical firsts.

    God’s ontology and epistemology are different then ours. But in his purpose he established our ontology to reflect his so we could know and developed a revelational epistemology as that way our intellect (ontological intellect) could know (epistemology).

    God is and knows different as to his eternal state.

    God know our ontology and epistemology, which he determined to create.

    God created to reveal himself through creation (general revelation) and Scripture with the perfect revelation being Christ (special revelation).

    Are you telling me you unable follow that?

  305. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    Deal with anything from any of my previous posts and I might consider entertaining these recent musings, which are just a capitulation of your other musings. Until you deal with the arbitrariness and inconsistencies that have been pointed out already, there really is no purpose responding to your posts.

  306. Ron Says:

    God knows every possible end and every possible beginning simultaneously while in that moment has also known the end he wants and the beginning for that specific end.

    One last question. If there is no logical order with God, what is it for Him to distinguish the end from the beginning let alone the telos of the eternal decree, which you say defies logical order in God’s mind? How can there be eternal purpose apart from logic?

    You’re a slave to an ideology of paradox, which makes you a walking contradiction. Have some dignity, Man.

  307. Roger Says:

    You say I am confusing logical first and sequence in time. I am not. I included both in my post so I would not be mistakenly thought to be confused. You must be confused. I asserted that there are no logical firsts or sequential firsts in eternity. There is only God as he is.

    Charlie, if you’re not confusing “logical firsts” in eternity with “sequential firsts” in time, then I’m not sure why you believe there’s no “logical” order within God’s mind. The eternality of God doesn’t rule out “logical” firsts or sequence to His thoughts and decrees; it only rules out “temporal” firsts or sequence to His thoughts and decrees. This isn’t some sort of strange notion created within the fertile imaginations of “rationalistic” Clarkians, but rather mainstream Reformed theology:

    “The eternity of the decree also implies that the order in which the different elements in it stand to each other may not be regarded as temporal, but only as logical. There is a real chronological order [i.e., “temporal” order in time] in the events as effectuated, but not in the decree respecting them.” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology)

    Moreover, God Himself has clearly revealed a “logical” order to His thoughts and decrees – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined” (Romans 8:29). Foreknowledge necessarily precedes predestination in God’s decree – that is, it is a “logical” first in God’s mind. For even our omnipotent Lord can’t predestinate individuals for glory that He doesn’t already foreknow.

  308. Charlie Says:

    Roger,

    You quoted Berkof as saying,
    “The eternity of the decree also implies that the order in which the different elements in it stand to each other may not be regarded as temporal, but only as logical. There is a real chronological order [i.e., “temporal” order in time] in the events as effectuated, but not in the decree respecting them.” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology)

    However, he said just prior,

    Decree (both page 104)

    “The wisdom of the decree also follows from the wisdom displayed in the realization of the eternal purpose of God.”

    “The decree, however, while it relates to things outside of God, remains in itself an act within the Divine Being, and is therefore eternal in the strictest sense of the word. Therefore it also partakes of the simultaneousness and the successionlessness of the eternal, Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9. The eternity of the decree also implies that the order in which the different elements in it stand to each other may not be regarded as temporal, but only as logical. There is a real chronological order in the events as effectuated, but not in the decree respecting them.”

    And he said this about God’s being eternal

    Being of God incommunicable attributes: (page 60)

    “He is the eternal “I am.” His eternity may be defined as that perfection of God whereby He is elevated above all temporal limits and all succession of moments, and possesses the whole of His existence in one indivisible present. The relation of eternity to time constitutes one of the most difficult problems in philosophy and theology, perhaps incapable of solution in our present condition.”

    And he said about God’s knowledge,

    Knowledge of God (page 66)

    “The Knowledge of God. The knowledge of God may be defined as that perfection of God whereby He, in an entirely unique manner, knows Himself and all things possible and actual in one eternal and most simple act.”

    “Its nature. The knowledge of God differs in some important points from that of men. It is archetypal, which means that He knows the universe as it exists in His own eternal idea previous to its existence as a finite reality in time and space; and that His knowledge is not, like ours, obtained from without. It is a knowledge that is characterized by absolute perfection. As such it is intuitive rather than demonstrative or discursive. It is innate and immediate. and does not result from observation or from a process of reasoning.”

    Did you catch that last phrase, God’s knowledge “does not result from … a process of reasoning.” You men always seem to quote what seems helpful for your cause even if it means you misrepresent what the theologian actually said. Therefore, I add Berkof to the list of misrepresented people (included here are Calvin, Van Til, WFC, and Scripture).

    God reveals knowledge in logical order and sequence of time. However, God knows in neither because his knowledge is one present act. This present act contains the order of logical and temporal sequence but God does not come to know it this way. He merely knows at once. He reveals in logical and temporal sequence so that we may know.

  309. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    The issue is not me contradicting myself. It is that you are not following what I am saying and thus accuse me of contradiction. This is why I am explaining myself instead of trying to show I am not contradicting myself. First, you fail to understand the eternality of God and how that speaks to his knowing. Further, there is the point of qualifying identical knowledge. Third, there is the issue of authority.

    Eternality of God as Related to His Knowledge:

    Shedd speaks to God being eternal and how eternality relates to his knowing in his Dogmatic Theology pages 279 – 284. He says,

    “there is no succession of thoughts in his mind. The form and manner of God’s consciousness is totally different in respect to succession, from that of man’s consciousness. He does not think sequaciously as man and angel do: “My thoughts are not as your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8).” (280)

    “God “declares the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10) and that “known unto God are all things from the beginning of the world”(Acts 15:18). Both extremes of that unlimited series which make up the history of the created universe, together with all the intermediates, are seen at once by the eternal Creator of the universe.” (280)

    “Says Charnock (Eternity of God): Though there be a succession and order of things as they exist, there is no succession in God in regard to his knowledge of them. God knows the things that shall be wrought and the order of them in their being brought upon the stage of the world; yet both the things and the order, he knows by one act [of knowledge]. The death of Christ was to precede his resurrection in the order of time; there is a succession in this; both at once are known by God; yet the [one] act of his knowledge is not exercised about Christ as dying and rising at the same moment; so that there is a succession in things, when there is no succession in God’s knowledge of things. (280 – 281)

    “Not only is God’s act of knowledge eternal and successionless, but his act of power is so likewise. God creates all things from eternity by one act of power, as he knows all things from eternity by one act of knowledge and as he decrees all things from eternity by one act of will. As we must employ the singular, not the plural, when we speak of the eternal decree, so we must when we speak of the eternal causation. There is one eternal all-comprehending decree and one eternal all-creating cause. For God there is no series in his action any more than in his cognition or in his purpose. God’s energy as the cause of the creation is one and successionless, like his decree; the creation itself, as the effect of this eternal cause, is a successive series. The cause is one; the effect is many. The cause is eternal; the effect is temporal.” (281)

    “whole of his knowledge is simultaneously and perpetually present.” (282 – 283)

    Thus God does not have a succession in time nor in knowledge (logical first). God merely in one act knows all (sequences and logical outcomes and this without them). He expresses some of that in his revelation to us. However, that revelation is in time and in logical order because he created us to know the revelation of his knowledge in that way.

    Identical Knowledge:

    This speaks to “identical knowledge” that began this discussion. When we “know” 1+1=2 do we possess “identical” knowledge as God? I qualified that answer and have been dragged through the ringer for it. The answer is both yes and no depending on how you define “identical knowledge.”

    If you define identical knowledge as “to knowledge of the accuracy of the mathematical equation” then yes we know the accuracy of the equation identically with God. Yes answer.

    However, if you define identical knowledge as “everything God knows about 1+1=2” then the answer is no. We do not have identical knowledge unless we know how 1+1=2 reflects God’s glory. God purposed mathematics, that specific equation, and its relation to other bits of knowledge to reflect His glory. Unless we can say we know for sure all that this entails then no we do not have identical knowledge of the equation.

    Van Til and his followers fall on the NO side of this qualification while Clark and his followers fall on the YES side of this qualification. However, when the distinction is recognized we should all come into agreement. Unless we just love to debate.

    Authority:

    For this I will repost what has not been addressed.

    1 Tim. 6:20 – 21a (ESV)
    O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

    Paul appeals to Timothy to guard the deposit by avoiding irreverent babble and contradictions of knowledge falsely so called because by professing it some have swerved from the faith. The deposit is the gospel message of Christ found in the Scriptures. It is to be guarded by avoiding two things. First, irreverent babble is Godless chatter or conversations without God as revealed in Scripture as the ultimate reference. The second type of conversation to avoid is contradictions of knowledge.

    The word contradiction is the Greek word “antithesis.” This is the only place in Scripture it is used. However, it is used by Plato, Aristotle, and Philo when speaking of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis or what is called the dialectic method. The Merrium Webster’s Dictionary online defines dialectic as 1: Logic and 2: discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investigation; specifically: the Socratic techniques of exposing false beliefs and eliciting truth. What Paul is saying is to avoid systems of knowledge based on this kind of antithesis in the dialectic method and not the gospel of Christ in accordance with the Scriptures.

    Do you not see that Paul has in mind Greek epistemology based on his logic? To raise this kind of logic to an on par authority with Scripture is to dismiss Paul’s command here. Scripture is the authority logic is merely a tool. When we elevate logic in profession or function to an on par authority we dismiss this command in Scripture. I am unclear why this has been dismissed when mentioned before nor why it is such an offense even now.

    I am not coming to you demanding something counter to Scripture. I am showing you from the Scriptures why I believe and therefore think the way I do.

    Conclusion:

    On March 7 at 7:44 AM I said, “Scripture is king. Logic is the handmaid. Further, the logical outcome of this discussion is this…I continue to quote or refer to Scripture and you continue to brow beat until I decide to discontinue. Discussion (so called) ends.”

    There has been more discussion than I predicted but this discussion followed the general outline here. Paul is clear Scripture is the authority for knowledge not man’s ability to reason. This is because what we can reasonable know (even in Special Revelation) is not the fullness of knowledge as God knows. This is due to the eternality of God and the temporal creation of man. There is a Creator / creature distinction in knowledge while there remains a Creator / creature similarity in knowledge. The difference is insurmountable but the similarity guarantees certain knowledge.

  310. Ron Says:

    To raise this kind of logic to an on par authority with Scripture is to dismiss Paul’s command here.

    Once again you prove yourself inadequate to discuss these things. That God is holy does not put holiness on par with Scripture. Accordingly, it’s inadequate to argue that logic is not an eternal attribute because Scripture is authoritative. The form of your argument undermines any claim of yours that God has any attributes whatsoever. Hence you’re a walking contradiction.

  311. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    You prove yourself inadequate to speak to the Scriptures and therefore its logical outcome.

    I did not come up with 1 Tim. 6:20 – 21. I merely exegeted it.

    God through Paul wrote it. You either believe it and thus God or call God a lair.

    Hence you are the walking contradiction as a man who professes God to be true but unwilling to submit to what he says.

    Either show how I mis-handled the text (if you consider that I did) or believe it.

  312. Roger Says:

    Did you catch that last phrase, God’s knowledge “does not result from … a process of reasoning.”

    Charlie, of course God’s knowledge doesn’t result from a temporal “process of reasoning” or temporal “succession of moments” (which is what Berkhof is referring to here), for God is not subject to time as we are. He possesses all knowledge as an eternal “intuition.” But how does that argue against a non-temporal “logical” order of thoughts in God’s mind? I doesn’t, period. So I’m not sure what you’re going on about.

    Moreover, none of the citations you listed contradict what I quoted Berkhof as saying: “The eternity of the decree also implies that the order in which the different elements in it stand to each other may not be regarded as temporal, but only as logical.” This is what I’ve been saying all along. There isn’t a “temporal” order to God’s thoughts and decrees, but there is indeed a “logical” order to His thoughts and decrees. So I hardly “misrepresented” Berkhof. Nice try, though.

    Finally, you completely ignored Romans 8:29 – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined.” Do you deny that foreknowledge “logically” (not “temporally”) precedes predestination in God’s decree; that it is a “logical” (not a “temporal”) first in God’s mind? If so, then please explain how God knows who to predestine for glory.

  313. Ron Says:

    Charlie,

    Roger is correct. 1) The negation of temporal succession does not undermine non-temporal logic. 2) You did not overturn the use of Berkhof. 3) You did not address the logical order of the decree of man’s salvation.

    Frankly, you don’t understand what is being discussed.

  314. Charlie Says:

    Roger,

    To maintain no sequential time in eternity and maintain God’s knowledge is an eternal intuition also necessarily asserts there is no logical first (process of reasoning). God’s knowing is in the present now logically as well. To deny this is to suggest God had to go through a reasoning process starting with being to logic of non-contradiction. How does eternal knowing mandate logical process in the mind of God. Does God work through logical processes to arrive at proper conclusions? No, God is presently at a proper conclusion without process; this is what is meant by eternal – no process.

    As to Romans 8:29. To suggest a process (logical or sequential) in God’s thinking is to take him from eternity into time. It is to make God’s thinking on par with ours. You maintain logical firsts because you do not know how to think without them. However, you do not know how to think without sequence of time either. Why do you let go of one in eternity and not the other? God’s knowing is not necessitated on anything in motion logically or sequentially. God reveals in sequence and logical order but this is not in eternity. There is no process.

    Are you suggesting that God could not start with the logical end of his plan of salvation instead of the beginning? How about God’s entire plan being in understood in his mind without logical steps? God merely knew. Further, God’s knowing, willing, decrees, affections all one eternal act simultaneously is what formed the outline for logic, communication, revelation, the image we were created in and such. The process of Romans 8 merely points to what God eternal present knowledge, will, and affections were to reveal when space and time were made.

    God does not work through a logical process to come to conclusion. The conclusion is in place at the moment of God’s knowledge. God reveals that moment of knowledge, will, affections according to the process of revelation (general and special) which is by way of sequence and logical firsts.

    I will address Berkof below with Ron.

    Ron,

    1) Both are negated by the eternal moment as explained above to Roger.

    2) I did not need to overturn Berkof. I explained what Berkof was saying in a way that differs from Roger. Roger asserts logical firsts in Berkof. I suggest that he (Berkof) is not claiming logical firsts due to the wider context of his writing.

    First Roger quotes Berkof “The eternity of the decree also implies that the order in which the different elements in it stand to each other may not be regarded as temporal, but only as logical. There is a real chronological order in the events as effectuated, but not in the decree respecting them.”

    However, immediately prior to this quote (no sentence break) Berkof states, “The decree, however, while it relates to things outside of God, remains in itself an act within the Divine Being, and is therefore eternal in the strictest sense of the word. Therefore it also partakes of the simultaneousness and the successionlessness of the eternal, Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9.”

    This eternal (in the strictest sense of the word) qualifies what follows (which may be why it is left out). Eternal in the strictest is without process of time or reason. It merely is in the present now. I am not sure why that is so hard to comprehend and maintain. Eternity has no process therefore there is no process. Process would include logical process and sequential.

    Second, Berkof speaks to God’s knowledge in relationship to eternity and says,

    “Its nature. The knowledge of God differs in some important points from that of men. It is archetypal, which means that He knows the universe as it exists in His own eternal idea previous to its existence as a finite reality in time and space; and that His knowledge is not, like ours, obtained from without. It is a knowledge that is characterized by absolute perfection. As such it is intuitive rather than demonstrative or discursive. It is innate and immediate. and does not result from observation or from a process of reasoning.”

    Note: God’s knowledge differs from the knowledge of men. It is archetypal – meaning the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies (Merrium Webster online dictionary). Roger suggests that process of reasoning here means sequence in time. I disagree. Berkof addressed that when he said it is “immediate.” Process of reasoning means exactly what it sounds like. God’s knowledge did not come through the process of reason or logical process such as logical firsts.

    Roger, It is more than a mere nice try. I showed how you misrepresented Berkof and therefore your quote to support your statement fails.

    3) The logical order found in Romans 8 conforms to the manner in which God determined to create man and communicate revelation. That process is a created category of thinking and must not be foisted back into eternity to suggest that God must conform to logical or sequential processes of revelation.

    Let me point out something. I am not suggesting that God is not logical. I am suggesting his eternal knowledge is reflected in logic. It is both similar and dis-similar. Simlar in that what God knows we were created to know. Dis-similar in that the logical process and the sequence of time limit how we know but not God.

    I suggest instead of fiting for Clark or fighting for Van Til we ought to recognize where both were correct and where both slide too far when they opposed each other.

    I have asked several times and this question was only answered by James,

    “Can God communicate truth via the law of non-contradiction in the Scriptures while not establishing the law of non-contradiction as an on par authority with the Scriptures or an authority over Scripture?”

    If the answer is yes than Scripture is the authority. If no because Scripture reveals the mind of God who is himself logic than Scripture reveals that logic and ought to conform to what logic says. However, as noted in 1 Tim. 6:20 – 21. Paul; commands that Scripture is the rule and Greek logic by the dialectic method is to be avoided as a profession for danger of swerving from the faith.

    I really am finished. I have learned a ton in reading outside of here when you guys quote who you quote to support what you assert. I have learned a ton in how you present your assertions. I have not however been swayed from my position: Scripture rule – Logoc tool as Scripture demands it (even if what you men say is true of eternal logical first and therefore process of reason in eternity).

    I hope I have not been too much of a burden on any of you.

  315. Ron Says:

    Roger,

    To maintain no sequential time in eternity and maintain God’s knowledge is an eternal intuition also necessarily asserts there is no logical first (process of reasoning).

    Logical-first does not imply process of reasoning. Logical order pertains to how things relate. God’s decree to regenerate someone is subordinate to His decree to glorify that someone. Apart from the obvious, even allowing for the absurd notion that there is no eternal logical order, the preclusion of logical order may not properly be transferred to the proposition that God Himself is not logical. God doesn’t exhibit mercy in eternity. Does that mean God is not eternally merciful?

    As I’ve pointed out several times, if Charles were to apply his arbitrary strictures to the rest of what he’d like to embrace he’d end up having to forgo many of his leanings that are actually orthodox.

  316. Charlie Says:

    Ron,

    Did you not read Shedd,

    “Not only is God’s act of knowledge eternal and successionless, but his act of power is so likewise. God creates all things from eternity by one act of power, as he knows all things from eternity by one act of knowledge and as he decrees all things from eternity by one act of will. As we must employ the singular, not the plural, when we speak of the eternal decree, so we must when we speak of the eternal causation. There is one eternal all-comprehending decree and one eternal all-creating cause. For God there is no series in his action any more than in his cognition or in his purpose. God’s energy as the cause of the creation is one and successionless, like his decree; the creation itself, as the effect of this eternal cause, is a successive series. The cause is one; the effect is many. The cause is eternal; the effect is temporal.” (281)

    Here is an excerpt again,

    “There is one eternal all-comprehending decree and one eternal all-creating cause. For God there is no series in his action any more than in his cognition or in his purpose.”

    I never said God was not logical. I said he was eternally logical and we were made in that image to be logical in time. The difference in our logical and his is we have logical first and sequence in time while God does not,

    We resemble God in time in his attributes the same – God eternally and we temporally (in time). It is not arbitrary and it is orthodox.

    Further Scripture subordinates LNC, logic and logical to the Scriptures (1 Tim. 6:20-21).

  317. Charlie Says:

    Bahnsen points out why philosophy is subordinate to God’s Word.

    “Faith is given in conjunction with hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Thus this Word of God, not vain philosophy, should be the foundation of our apologetical appeal to the unbeliever. Unless the unbeliever is challenged with God’s Word, and unless the unbeliever is graciously given faith from God, he will continue with a darkened mind which is unable to discern the truth. Of himself the rebel against God cannot hear the Word of Christ or receive the Spirit of Truth (John 8:43; 14:17), since he by nature desires not to stand in the truth (John 8:44). Such is the epistemological inability of the one who follows after the disobedient mind-set of the world.”

    Greg L. Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended, ed. Joel McDurmon (Powder Springs, GA;Nacogdoches, TX: American Vision;Covenant Media Press, 2008), 53.

  318. Charlie Says:

    “Our response to the Scripture, then, is the measure of our response to God (e.g., John 14:23 f.; 8:47; 10:27). When we call the Bible into question, we call God into question. When we subject Scripture to a test for verification, we presume to subject God to verification. If God’s Word is subjected to a criterion of reasonableness, then God is being barred from the universe of man until He meets the creature’s requirements. This is a terrible mistake, a reversing of the proper order of things. Who can presume to rise in daring manner in judgment of God? Christ declared, “You shall not subject the Lord your God to testing” (Matt. 4:7; Luke 4:12); to do so is a sign of disapprobatory unbelief, such as characterized the Israelites at Massah (Deut. 6:16; cf. Ex. 17). A consistently biblical apologetic cannot capitulate to such unbelief by venturing out to verify the truth of God’s Word taken as a hypothesis; to do so would be to suppress God’s rightful authority in all areas and over all men. Clark should have maintained that man’s reasoning must be defined, circumscribed, and judged by the inscripturated Word of God, and not that this self-attestingly authoritative revelation can be verified by the independent jurisdiction of reason.”

    Greg L. Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended, ed. Joel McDurmon (Powder Springs, GA;Nacogdoches, TX: American Vision;Covenant Media Press, 2008), 157.

  319. Ron Says:

    As I said, you don’t understand what this discussion is about otherwise you wouldn’t argue by false disjunction at every turn.

  320. Sean Gerety Says:

    Ron,

    Did you not read Shedd,

    Looking at his responses I would say yes he did and you didn’t understand either Shedd or Ron. Logical order does not imply a succession of thoughts. Not sure why this is difficult for you but I think this thread has come to an end.


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