I realize that it’s back to back Clark Quick Quotes (can you really get enough), but I was recently in a very short and not very productive discussion/debate with one of the more thoughtful Vantilians I’ve met and never got around to sharing this excellent quote from Clark below. So I thought I would do so here. I should add that by “thoughtful Vantilian” what I mean is that he, among other things, rejects VT’s indefensible rejection of any univocal point of contact between God’s thoughts and man’s and even agrees with Clark that the conclusions of inductive arguments are not cognitive; i.e., they don’t provide knowledge. Yet, in spite of the significant common ground I have with this particular Vantilian, and given his rejection of most of Van Til’s epistemological errors, he still maintains that sensation is a medium by which we come to know any number of things and that sensation plays a role in the acquisition of knowledge.
Now, while it may be the case that we were simply talking past each other, most who are familiar with Clark will immediately recognize that Clark was a thorough going anti-empiricist and assigned no role whatsoever to sensation in the acquisition of knowledge. For whatever reason this is an unfathomable position to the minds of many who believe that sensations, whatever they may be, are reliable and are means to knowledge. Admittedly a common problem, but not a view that should be associated with Clark. I mean, how many times did Clark have to address in one form or another the question, “don’t you know you have a bible in your hands?” Among a number of other references where Clark answers this objection, I pointed out Clark’s reply to Robert Reymond in his posthumously published, Clark Speaks From The Grave. In response to this reference, and after insisting that he was completely familiar with Clark’s reply to Reymond, my interlocutor replied:
Clark’s writing the book actually presupposes that he believes that the senses play a role in knowledge acquisition! His issue with the role of sensory perception was that it is not what some make it out to be. It’s a medium and no more. Again, I’ve pointed this out above so I won’t rehearse it again here. Even if we disagree on Clark, you might want to decide for yourself whether your senses played any role in your salvation. Remember the verse: “How can they hear without a preacher?” Did your ears or eyes play no part in your coming to know your savior lives?