First Things First

clark quote
Graphic courtesy of Justin Wishart

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9 Comments on “First Things First”

  1. Denson Says:

    It seems to me, that, though analogia fidei may go a long way in keeping one’s understanding of the bible, biblically consistent, it alone is insufficient, as one’s epistemology will distort their comprehension of certain passages in scripture. An empiricist as an example, will understand certain passages in scripture as appealing to the senses, whilst a scripturalist reading the same passage will understand it differently. etc etc .

  2. Sean Gerety Says:

    Good point. Even worse is when someone denies any univocal point of contact between God’s thoughts and man’s and because of this wrongly assert that God’s Word naturally ends in antimony even wrapped in a pious bow; “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts… blah, blah, blah.”

    These men are not only unsystematic in their thinking, they are irrevocably Un-Confessional even if self-deluded profs like Scott Clark and self-styled “TRs” like Lane Keister, Alan Strange, Steve Hays, Ron DiGiacomo, Reed DePace and many others think otherwise.

    One cannot hold to WCF 1 and remain a faithful follower of Van Til at the same time. It is a scandal and these men are a blight on the Reformed faith.

  3. Denson Says:

    Behind the pious confusion and blatant errors is a fundamental lack of appreciation of the crucial role of logic in epistemology. If we can proudly contradict ourselves, why bother? For then no meaning can be attached to any discourse except “nonsense”.

  4. Steve M Says:

    Great quote!

  5. Steve M Says:

    I have been thinking about this quote and attempting to determine whether Van Til’s “epistemology” is non-Christian or not an epistemology at all. It seems to me that the latter is the case. A theory of knowledge that never actually arrives at any knowledge can hardly be called an epistemology.

  6. Sean Gerety Says:

    Nope, it’s the former. You’re right and his theory ends in skepticism, but it’s still a theory of knowledge. Of course it is also non-Christian and non-Confessional, but Vantillians don’t care. They are all man pleasers and crass religionis. They ought to know better, but they don’t want to be tarred for bucking the irrational hegemony dominating the P&R world. Any hint of a rejection of VT’s analogical/paradoxical view of truth and Scripture can cost you your job or relegate you to obscurity … the very reason for this blog 😛

  7. Sean Gerety Says:

    Actually, let me reverse that a bit and any acceptance of Clark from his theory of knowledge to his view of faith can cost you your job or relegate you to obscurity. The P&R world is a dark place.

  8. justbybelief Says:

    I could have used that quote during an OPC “Evening Bible Study,” at least that’s what they called it, while arguing with the pastor and one of his stooges about the days of Genesis. They were using their faulty observations of earthly phenomena to argue for their “long day” theory. The pastor went so far as to say that we can understand God’s eternity best in an old-earth paradigm. He deserved to be slapped, IMHO.

  9. mark Says:

    Another gem from GHC : ” Indeed certainty increases in direct proportion to ignorance. The less educated a man is, the more things of which he is certain”


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