Clark Quick Quote

. . . The law of contradiction cannot be sinful. Quite the contrary, it is our violations of the law of contradiction that are sinful. Yet the strictures which some devotional writers place on “merely human logic” are amazing. Can such pious stupidity really mean that a syllogism which is valid for us is invalid for God? If two plus two is four in our arithmetic, does God have a different arithmetic in which two and two make three, or perhaps five?

The fact that the Son of God is God’s reason, for Christ is the wisdom of God as well as the power of God, plus the fact that the image in man is the so-called “human reason,” suffices to show that this so-called “human reason” is not so much human as divine.

Of course, the Scripture says that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways not our ways. But is it good exegesis to say that this means his logic, his arithmetic, his truth are not ours? If this were so, what would the consequences be? It would mean not only that our additions and subtractions are all wrong, but also that all our thoughts, in history as well as in arithmetic, are all wrong. If, for example, we think that David was King of Israel, and God’s thoughts are not ours, then it follows that God does not think David was King of Israel. David in God’s mind was perchance Prime Minister of Babylon.

To avoid this irrationalism, which of course is a denial of the divine image, we must insist that truth is the same for God and man. Naturally, we may not know the truth about some matters. But if we know anything at all, what we must know must be identical with what God knows. God knows all truth, and unless we know something God knows, our ideas are untrue. It is absolutely essential, therefore, to insist that there is an area of coincidence between God’s mind and our mind. One example, as good as any, is the one already used, viz., David was King of Israel.

~ Gordon H. Clark – An Introduction to Christian Philosophy

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6 Comments on “Clark Quick Quote”

  1. raykikkert Says:

    Pious stupidity? Clark should be ashamed 🙂

    Yet such are they that seem to take pride on just how well they can execute “apparent contradictions” and “paradox” in their vain attempts at explaining that the Lord really did not “hate” Esau … for example … the Lord simply “loved Esau less”.

    Let’s call a spade a spade. Those offering up this vanity are hedging a love of God for all men, a grace of God for all men, and a well meant offer of salvation for all men.

    Pious stupidity … indeed … doctrinal idiots … sadly.

    “We ought diligently to be aware of sophistry, which not only consists in doubtful and uncertain words, that may be construed and turned as one pleases, but also, in each profession, in all high arts, as in religion, covers and cloaks itself with the fair name of Holy Scripture, alleging to be God’s Word, and spoken from heaven. Those are unworthy of praise who can pervert everything, screwing, condemning and rejecting the meanings and opinions of others, and, like the philosopher Carneades, disputing in utraque parte, and yet conclude nothing certain. These are knavish tricks and sophistical inventions. But a fine understanding, honestly disposed, that seeks after truth, and loves that which is plain and upright, is worthy of all honor and praise.” Martin Luther – Tabletalk – Of Offences

    Salutations Sean 🙂

  2. qeqesha Says:

    When doing an audit of some accounts or even balancing a simple cheque book, nobody ever pronounces that their accounts or cheque book is ¨beyond mere human arithmetic¨, when difficulties are encountered. It is assumed quite correctly that some money is missing/not accounted for or some further information is needed to balance the math or someone did not add up the numbers correctly. And nobody suggests we believe contradictions about our cheque book or our business accounts, ever!
    On second thought, perhaps Anderson should be encouraged to write a book for the benefit of the Tax Revenue Service, on how to believe contradictions. A lot of people could end up with a little extra cash in their pockets!!! lol!!!

    Denson

  3. justbybelief Says:

    “We ought diligently to be aware of sophistry, which not only consists in doubtful and uncertain words, that may be construed and turned as one pleases, but also, in each profession, in all high arts, as in religion, covers and cloaks itself with the fair name of Holy Scripture, alleging to be God’s Word, and spoken from heaven. Those are unworthy of praise who can pervert everything, screwing, condemning and rejecting the meanings and opinions of others, and, like the philosopher Carneades, disputing in utraque parte, and yet conclude nothing certain. These are knavish tricks and sophistical inventions. But a fine understanding, honestly disposed, that seeks after truth, and loves that which is plain and upright, is worthy of all honor and praise.” Martin Luther – Tabletalk – Of Offences

    Wow! Thank you for that quote from Luther, Ray.

    Praise God for his decrees and his people including Luther. It is marvelous that Christians centuries before us have had battles, such that, it causes them to articulate nuggets of gold,
    like this, suitable for our encouragement which speak directly to our own predicament.

    Since Luther was, I think, speaking of the Romish ‘doctors of the church’ in this quote it causes me to wonder if these ‘doctors’ haven’t infiltrated the ranks of Reformed churches since I had been hearing the same ambiguity Luther is speaking of here. The ambiguous teaching confused me at first and I couldn’t quite put my finger on the problem. Finally, it dawned on me, ambiguity is false teaching!

    Great site Mr. Gerety

    Thank you!

    Christopher

  4. magma2 Says:

    Thanks Christopher. And, no need to wonder. The ‘doctors’ have very much infiltrated the ranks of P&R churches and very few if any of these churches are willing to actually do anything about it. Also, I don’t know if I would say that ambiguity is necessarily false teaching per se, although it can be a very effective tool to disguise it.

  5. justbybelief Says:

    Mr. Gerety,

    “Also, I don’t know if I would say that ambiguity is necessarily false teaching per se, although it can be a very effective tool to disguise it.”

    I was hoping for some criticism on this statement. I intended to say, “Ambiguous teaching is false teaching.” I agree with you that ambiguity is an effective tool for disguising false teaching. Will you explain how it may not necessarily be false teaching? Thanks!

    “And, no need to wonder, the ‘doctors’ have very much infiltrated the ranks of P&R churches”

    I see we agree here.

    Next, how deep does the worm hole go?

    Now, I don’t want to be considered a conspiracy nut, but at a certain point in my progression through more than a few reformed churches a thought occurred to me which I find difficult to even say it sounds so bizarre. Bizarre or not here goes. I’ve actually thought that Jesuits have been trained to infiltrate protestant churches in order to teach in such a way (ambiguously) so as to avoid detection and to prepare the undiscerning hearers to transition to Rome. I can’t even believe I’m saying this; however, the thought on more than one occasion has occurred to me. I have been under teachers that were so subtle that I wondered if they hadn’t received training in the art. It seems the laity in these churches have been slowly conditioned because they are hostile when you speak the truth or counter a statement made by a teacher. When I preach the imputed righteousness it’s as if I were presenting some foreign doctrine. Anyway, these are just some secret thoughts that manifested themselves for the first time, as it so happens, in a blog.

    Christopher

  6. magma2 Says:

    Will you explain how it may not necessarily be false teaching? Thanks!

    In one sense to be ambiguous is to equivocate which is fallacious. So in that sense speaking ambiguously is false teaching. Even here not all examples rise to the level of we see in the FV or in Rome and not everyone guilty of equivocating is a “false teacher” or else we’d all be in trouble at one time or another. The other sense has to do with uncertainly. So it might be the case that someone is speaking ambiguously about something or other they are uncertain about. In which case it is not necessarily false teaching. Also, sometimes things that seem ambiguous to one person are perfectly clear to another.

    In any case, no Christian elder should be at all ambiguous about the doctrine of justification by belief alone.

    As for you conspiracy theory, have you read Toplady’s Arminianism: The Road to Rome? There is a short section on the Jesuits and predestination that you might find interesting. I have no doubt that Rome is very encouraged by the work of Norm Shepherd, Doug Wilson, Steve Wilkins, John Kinnaird, Dick Gaffin and others. It’s all leading in the same direction and even if Jesuits have not infiltrated the church, a number of fellow travelers have.


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