Philosophy vs. Theology

Status
Not open for further replies.

JTB

Puritan Board Freshman
You are being obtuse again. Did I not say that knowledge is not the same as omniscience? One does not have to know everything in order to know something. I know that Jesus is the Son of God without knowing everything about the relationship of the Son to the Father. Regardless of that deficiency, I still know that "Jesus is the Son of God" is a true statement, accurately depicting the relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father.

Surely you mean "abstruse." I can't imagine you would deliberately call another person "stupid."

How do you know that Jesus is the Son of God? Because you trust Him and therefore receive His testimony. Your knowledge is therefore dependent on a personal relation not a propositional statement.

No, I mean obtuse. Or perhaps he is just ignoring (consciously or by carelessness) things I've said plainly already.

I know that Jesus is the Son of God because the Bible states that Jesus is the Son of God. Yes, I trust that the Bible is true, but trust isn't anything other than assent to something I've understood.

The "personal relation" is God revealing to my mind what is in His mind--thinking His thoughts after Him. But thoughts, other than exclamations or commands, are propositions to be understood and assented to.

When someone can adequately demonstrate how "personal" can be non-proposition (and by demonstrate, I don't mean assert), then I'll be willing to reconsider.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
No, I mean obtuse. Or perhaps he is just ignoring (consciously or by carelessness) things I've said plainly already.

Then you need to apologise and refrain from using such language in the future.

I know that Jesus is the Son of God because the Bible states that Jesus is the Son of God. Yes, I trust that the Bible is true, but trust isn't anything other than assent to something I've understood.

So what, exactly, in your understanding, brings you to assent that the Bible is true? Do you have an open window into the divinity of God which causes you to know things about the Bible which other men do not know?

The "personal relation" is God revealing to my mind what is in His mind--thinking His thoughts after Him. But thoughts, other than exclamations or commands, are propositions to be understood and assented to.

Does God Deify you? If not, how could you possibly know what is in the mind of an infinite, eternal, and unchageable Being?

When someone can adequately demonstrate how "personal" can be non-proposition (and by demonstrate, I don't mean assert), then I'll be willing to reconsider.

I will demonstrate it by asserting it in the language of holy Scripture -- "thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." Either you believe what Scripture says concerning the gift of Christ, or you do not? If you do, then you must accept a personal element which surpasses human thought and speech to describe it, and yet so fills your heart as you are able to give God true thanksgiving for it.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Certainly, the knowledge we possess is likewise dependent upon the testimony, or the propositional content God delivers as well? Faith is merely the hand that receives the gift. I suppose that the relational aspect would depend on one's definition and usage of faith in this context.

It is the Being Who testifies which makes the testimony credible. There is no other standard by which to receive the truthfulness of what God testifies except the fact that He is supremely trustworthy.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I know that Jesus is the Son of God because the Bible states that Jesus is the Son of God. Yes, I trust that the Bible is true, but trust isn't anything other than assent to something I've understood.

So when you say that you trust Christ, what you mean is that you assent to Him?

When someone can adequately demonstrate how "personal" can be non-proposition (and by demonstrate, I don't mean assert), then I'll be willing to reconsider.

I have given you examples: I know my friend Luke, not because I have known propositions about him, but because I have been with him.

This is as opposed to you: I cannot be said to know you in the same way. This is not because I have fewer propositions about you. I suppose, if I wanted, I could hack, find your IP address, and discover many more propositions about you. However, even then I could not be said to know you personally. In order to know someone personally, one has to interact with that person.

Or let's take Satan: Satan knows many more true propositions about God than any of us do--can we say then that Satan knows God personally in the way that we do? No.

I'm not being inconsistent here--I am a bit confusing mostly because I'm simultaneously switching between refuting your position and thinking out my own.
 

JTB

Puritan Board Freshman
So what, exactly, in your understanding, brings you to assent that the Bible is true? Do you have an open window into the divinity of God which causes you to know things about the Bible which other men do not know?

The Holy Spirit testifies with my spirit that the Bible is God's Word. I have an "open window" as much as any man who has been illuminated by God's Spirit to know the truth.

Does God Deify you? If not, how could you possibly know what is in the mind of an infinite, eternal, and unchageable Being?

If by deify you mean does God make me equal to Himself, then no. If you simply mean that He shares His thought with me, then yes, in that sense, all Christians are partakers of divinity. How could any Christian be a Christian and NOT know God? As I've said before, knowledge is not to be equated with omniscience. The Bible says that we have the mind of Christ. How could we have the mind of Christ and not know God?

I will demonstrate it by asserting it in the language of holy Scripture -- "thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." Either you believe what Scripture says concerning the gift of Christ, or you do not? If you do, then you must accept a personal element which surpasses human thought and speech to describe it, and yet so fills your heart as you are able to give God true thanksgiving for it.

Funny. Demonstration by assertion. Not quite a demonstration.

And besides, you quoted a proposition, so that supports what I'm saying. What is the gift that is received? Can you articulate it without stating a proposition? The intellect isn't opposed to giving praise and thanksgiving. Indeed, the intellect is indispensable for giving thanksgiving and praise. Without a mind to know, you couldn't know to what you offered praise in the first place.

What good is it to cling to such irrationalism?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The Holy Spirit testifies with my spirit that the Bible is God's Word. I have an "open window" as much as any man who has been illuminated by God's Spirit to know the truth.

And what proposition has the Holy Spirit testified with your spirit to assure you that the Bible is true? If you say, the Holy Spirit simply testifies the Bible is true, then your acceptance of the proposition is based on a personal relation to the Holy Spirit, not on a proposition.

If by deify you mean does God make me equal to Himself, then no. If you simply mean that He shares His thought with me, then yes, in that sense, all Christians are partakers of divinity. How could any Christian be a Christian and NOT know God? As I've said before, knowledge is not to be equated with omniscience. The Bible says that we have the mind of Christ. How could we have the mind of Christ and not know God?

This is your dilemma, not mine. If you simply accepted the fact that knowledge contains a personal element you would be delivered from this dilemma. While you insist that all knowledge is propositional you are bound to Deify yourself in order to know God.

Funny. Demonstration by assertion. Not quite a demonstration.

It is if you believe the Scripture cannot be broken. In the end, however, it appears that your philosophy requires you to propositionally demonstrate the truthfulness of Scripture before it can be received as true. This is sad!

And besides, you quoted a proposition, so that supports what I'm saying. What is the gift that is received? Can you articulate it without stating a proposition? The intellect isn't opposed to giving praise and thanksgiving. Indeed, the intellect is indispensable for giving thanksgiving and praise. Without a mind to know, you couldn't know to what you offered praise in the first place.

You are confusing the proposition with the thing to which the proposition refers. As soon as I allow for something unspeakable to affect the Christian life I am acknowledging an area of non-propositional, personal influence upon my Christianity. There is something about Christ I cannot understand for which I give thanks. Regrettably, you can only give thanks for a Christ you can contain within the propositional content of your mind.
 

JTB

Puritan Board Freshman
So when you say that you trust Christ, what you mean is that you assent to Him?

I assent to what is testified concerning Christ in the Scriptures. One cannot assent to something that isn't stated. If someone walks up to you and stares you in the face, what exactly would you be able to assent to simply by virtue of their presence?

I have given you examples: I know my friend Luke, not because I have known propositions about him, but because I have been with him.

His presence doesn't communicate anything to you. You may infer many things by his presence, such as, "Luke must think well of me because he hasn't left me," or "Luke has brown hair," or even "I must not smell bad, since Luke hasn't pointed it out to me." It isn't presence that gives you knowledge of Luke, but what you infer from his presence, or by means of his communication (verbal or nonverbal) with you.

This is as opposed to you: I cannot be said to know you in the same way. This is not because I have fewer propositions about you. I suppose, if I wanted, I could hack, find your IP address, and discover many more propositions about you. However, even then I could not be said to know you personally. In order to know someone personally, one has to interact with that person.

You are interacting with me. You read my expressed thoughts, and I read yours. I don't know what you look like, so I lack that information, but I believe certain things about you based upon what you've said, things that perhaps Luke doesn't know about you (unless you've had a conversation about the topic we're discussing with him as well as me).

Or let's take Satan: Satan knows many more true propositions about God than any of us do--can we say then that Satan knows God personally in the way that we do? No.

The difference between Satan and you and me is a difference in what we believe about God. Satan cannot know God as his savior as we can. But knowing that God is our savior requires us to know certain propositions to be true, such as Christ is the propitiation of God's wrath on our behalf. Satan cannot know that truth for himself, because God has not offered it to him. That is a difference that is propositional and, if you wish, personal. But it isn't personal without being propositional, as you wish to claim.

I'm not being inconsistent here--I am a bit confusing mostly because I'm simultaneously switching between refuting your position and thinking out my own.

If you haven't thought enough about your own position to the point at which it cannot be stated without constant change, then you don't really have a position yet. You are just confused. It isn't very wise to argue that something is wrong when you are confused about what is correct.

-----Added 10/27/2009 at 09:16:32 EST-----

And what proposition has the Holy Spirit testified with your spirit to assure you that the Bible is true? If you say, the Holy Spirit simply testifies the Bible is true, then your acceptance of the proposition is based on a personal relation to the Holy Spirit, not on a proposition.

How exactly is a testimony devoid of a proposition? The testimony of the Spirit is the impartation of belief that the proposition, "The Bible is God's Word" is true. The belief is imparted, but the belief is an assent to a revealed proposition. You don't get one without the other.

This is your dilemma, not mine. If you simply accepted the fact that knowledge contains a personal element you would be delivered from this dilemma. While you insist that all knowledge is propositional you are bound to Deify yourself in order to know God.

It isn't my dilemma because you cannot provide a valid distinction between "personal" knowledge and "propositional" knowledge. Assert all you will, but assertions are not proofs.

It is if you believe the Scripture cannot be broken. In the end, however, it appears that your philosophy requires you to propositionally demonstrate the truthfulness of Scripture before it can be received as true. This is sad!

Quoting a verse from the Bible isn't the same thing as proving an argument from Scripture. Thousands of years of heretical proof-texting should convince you of that much. It is sad that you cannot make such a simple distinction.

You are confusing the proposition with the thing to which the proposition refers. As soon as I allow for something unspeakable to affect the Christian life I am acknowledging an area of non-propositional, personal influence upon my Christianity. There is something about Christ I cannot understand for which I give thanks. Regrettably, you can only give thanks for a Christ you can contain within the propositional content of your mind.

Reread my previous reply to you, carefully please. I do not deny a distinction between the thing itself and knowledge of the thing. Nor do I disallow the unknown to impact the Christian life. God has hidden many things from us that He does not wish us to know. But all that God has revealed He has revealed in order that we may know, without doubting. I haven't argued that one must have exhaustive knowledge of Christ, or of God. You and Philip are the ones who are failing to make a distinction between knowledge and omniscience.

And to clarify my position a bit more: I do not believe that the propositions of my mind that a truths about God are derived from myself or any special cognitive ability. God, who is the fountainhead of Truth, is the only source by which Truth may be known. If I know anything at all, it is because God has graciously revealed it to my mind, not because I have conjured it in some autonomous fashion.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
How exactly is a testimony devoid of a proposition? The testimony of the Spirit is the impartation of belief that the proposition, "The Bible is God's Word" is true. The belief is imparted, but the belief is an assent to a revealed proposition. You don't get one without the other.

But you believe it for a reason other than a proposition supporting it. It is on the basis of the Person testifying the proposition that you believe it.

It isn't my dilemma because you cannot provide a valid distinction between "personal" knowledge and "propositional" knowledge. Assert all you will, but assertions are not proofs.

It is your dlilemma, because you don't worship a God Who exceeds your propositional knowledge of Him. Your very refusal to accept the distinctiopn between personal and propositional binds you up to rational idolatry.

Quoting a verse from the Bible isn't the same thing as proving an argument from Scripture. Thousands of years of heretical proof-texting should convince you of that much. It is sad that you cannot make such a simple distinction.

Unless you have an actual interpretative problem with the way I am applying that text of Scripture then what the heretics do with Scripture is irrelevant. What is the chaff to the wheat? If my application is relevant, then the Scripture stands without need of demonstration; unless of course you reject the testimony of Jesus.

Nor do I disallow the unknown to impact the Christian life.

Mystics allow the unknown to impact the Christian life. Christians should not give themselves up to the unknown, 1 Corinthians 12:2, 3. This is yet another problem created by your commitment to rationalism.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I assent to what is testified concerning Christ in the Scriptures. One cannot assent to something that isn't stated.

So in other words, to ask a person to trust you is a meaningless question. It would be better to ask them to assent to the proposition that you will not do them wrong.

I once heard of a student of Clark's whose proposal to his wife consisted of "I have decided to adopt a policy of love toward you." Naturally, she refused to accept the ring until he said "I love you."

But honestly--trust is more than assent--it involves action (or at least a will to action).

It isn't presence that gives you knowledge of Luke, but what you infer from his presence, or by means of his communication (verbal or nonverbal) with you.

It's interaction and connection of spirit. I know my friend in a way that I do not know Barack Obama even though I might be in the same room with the President and have seen him on television.

That is a difference that is propositional and, if you wish, personal. But it isn't personal without being propositional, as you wish to claim.

I'm not necessarily claiming that the two are mutually exclusive, just that mere intellectual knowledge is not enough.

You are interacting with me. You read my expressed thoughts, and I read yours. I don't know what you look like, so I lack that information, but I believe certain things about you based upon what you've said, things that perhaps Luke doesn't know about you (unless you've had a conversation about the topic we're discussing with him as well as me).

Possibly a bad example. However, let's examine your knowledge of Luke. I may tell you all sorts of information about him, but unless you have an actual interaction with him, you cannot, in any real sense, be said to know him. Knowledge of persons is quite different, I would say, than knowledge of facts because this kind of knowledge requires experience.

If you haven't thought enough about your own position to the point at which it cannot be stated without constant change, then you don't really have a position yet. You are just confused. It isn't very wise to argue that something is wrong when you are confused about what is correct

What I'm saying is that truth happens on two levels--personal and propositional. While I reject Kierkegaard's irrationalist attempt to elevate the personal to the exclusion of the propositional, I also reject the rationalist attempt to eliminate the personal.

We have here two categories: The propositional and the non-propositional. In the second category are two subcategories: the nonsensical and the personal.

I was tempted to put irrationality in there somewhere, but I realized that even logic can be nonsensical. As I have pointed out before, Jabberwocky is perfectly logical, and also absolute nonsense (albeit delightful nonsense). Irrationality may happen in any of the three categories.

You and Philip are the ones who are failing to make a distinction between knowledge and omniscience.

Seeing as I define knowledge differently than you do, I'm just trying to figure out where your definition of knowledge leads. If to know a proposition is to understand it exhaustively, that would mean understanding its relation to every other proposition.
 

JTB

Puritan Board Freshman
But you believe it for a reason other than a proposition supporting it. It is on the basis of the Person testifying the proposition that you believe it.

The testimony of a person is a proposition.

It is your dlilemma, because you don't worship a God Who exceeds your propositional knowledge of Him. Your very refusal to accept the distinctiopn between personal and propositional binds you up to rational idolatry.

How can I accept a distinction that has not been demonstrated? Until you demonstrate that something personal can occur apart from something propositional, then I have no basis to accept a distinction.

Unless you have an actual interpretative problem with the way I am applying that text of Scripture then what the heretics do with Scripture is irrelevant. What is the chaff to the wheat? If my application is relevant, then the Scripture stands without need of demonstration; unless of course you reject the testimony of Jesus.

I did disagree with your interpretation. I said the verse supported my position rather than yours. The gift given is saving knowledge of God. Until you prove that saving knowledge is personal without being propositional, the verse offers you no support in the argument, but rather begs the question.

Mystics allow the unknown to impact the Christian life. Christians should not give themselves up to the unknown, 1 Corinthians 12:2, 3. This is yet another problem created by your commitment to rationalism.

I wonder if you are trying very hard to understand my words charitably. God's secret council is unknown, yet that council determines much about my life, and yours, and everyone else's life too. It is simply absurd to accuse me of limiting God to known propositions, when you argue against what is a plain acknowledgment on my part that God knows things that we don't, and never will--and those things still impact my life, though without my knowledge of how or in what specific case.

If you wish to knock down imagined specters and straw men, then don't let me interrupt you. When you grow weary you can begin interacting with what I'm actually articulating.

-----Added 10/27/2009 at 10:38:20 EST-----

So in other words, to ask a person to trust you is a meaningless question. It would be better to ask them to assent to the proposition that you will not do them wrong.

It isn't a meaningless question. To trust me is to trust what can be known about me. Saying, "I trust you," is identical to assenting to the proposition, "Joshua is trustworthy." The former is simply a different way of saying the latter, both of which are propositions (one about you, the other about me).

I once heard of a student of Clark's whose proposal to his wife consisted of "I have decided to adopt a policy of love toward you." Naturally, she refused to accept the ring until he said "I love you."

But honestly--trust is more than assent--it involves action (or at least a will to action).

There is a sense in which assent is an action, a will to believe. There is also a sense in which it is entirely passive, the most apt analogy being that of light striking the eye, which causes us to see. But God has created us in such a way that what we know determines what we do. When someone acts contrary to an expressed belief (assent) it isn't because belief doesn't lead to action, but because they did not truly believe (assent). Assent always leads to action.

It's interaction and connection of spirit. I know my friend in a way that I do not know Barack Obama even though I might be in the same room with the President and have seen him on television.

You're going to need to define what you mean by "spirit" here. When I say "spirit" I mean the mind. Do you mean an emotion? I'll grant that I feel a different emotion in the presence of my wife than I would in the presence of Barak Obama, but that's because what I believe about my wife is more satisfying to me than what I believe about Barak Obama.

I'm not necessarily claiming that the two are mutually exclusive, just that mere intellectual knowledge is not enough.

Well claiming doesn't do you much until you've demonstrated how knowledge can be other than intellectual. I'm still waiting for something other than question begging, bald assertions, and irrelevant and unsupportive examples.

Possibly a bad example. However, let's examine your knowledge of Luke. I may tell you all sorts of information about him, but unless you have an actual interaction with him, you cannot, in any real sense, be said to know him. Knowledge of persons is quite different, I would say, than knowledge of facts because this kind of knowledge requires experience.

If you tell me that Luke has brown hair, why can I not say that believe Luke has brown hair? What is the difference between your belief about Luke's hair and mine? I haven't seen Christ, but I know He is risen. I know this because it has been stated in Scripture. The eye witnesses knew it because it was demonstrated to their eyes. But they still inferred from the experience the meaning, and the meaning is a proposition that constitutes knowledge of what actually occurred. Throughout this entire exchange I've not denied that "personal" is a meaningful concept, or that is lacks value. All I've denied is that something "personal" is believed or known apart from the propositions that express whatever one marks as "personal."

What I'm saying is that truth happens on two levels--personal and propositional. While I reject Kierkegaard's irrationalist attempt to elevate the personal to the exclusion of the propositional, I also reject the rationalist attempt to eliminate the personal.

I haven't eliminated the personal. I've simply defined it in such a way that doesn't appear to make sense to you. I cannot help the fact that it doesn't make sense to you, but it isn't true that I've eliminated it in some way.

We have here two categories: The propositional and the non-propositional. In the second category are two subcategories: the nonsensical and the personal.

You really do make things up as you go, don't you?

I was tempted to put irrationality in there somewhere, but I realized that even logic can be nonsensical. As I have pointed out before, Jabberwocky is perfectly logical, and also absolute nonsense (albeit delightful nonsense). Irrationality may happen in any of the three categories.

Logic is not nonsensical. Only people's improper use of logic is nonsensical. Jabberwocky isn't nonsensical. It is a name of a fictional being in a poem. That makes perfect sense, don't you think?

Seeing as I define knowledge differently than you do, I'm just trying to figure out where your definition of knowledge leads. If to know a proposition is to understand it exhaustively, that would mean understanding its relation to every other proposition.

Seeing as you've never, to my knowledge, defined knowledge, I have no idea what you are trying to do. I've never maintained that knowledge of a given proposition implies a knowledge of all propositions. Nor has anything I've said implies such a conclusion.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The testimony of a person is a proposition.

We have already been around this merry-go-round once. You obviously don't believe the proposition, "the Bible is true," on the basis of the proposition, "the Bible is true," because when I ask you why you believe "the Bible is true," you say it is because the Holy Spirit testifies it to your spirit. It is no longer the fact being attested to, but the act of testifying and specifically the One Who testifies, which is your court of appeal. Hence your faith is not dependent on the proposition so much as the One Who testifies the proposition.

How can I accept a distinction that has not been demonstrated? Until you demonstrate that something personal can occur apart from something propositional, then I have no basis to accept a distinction.

You continue to create a rationalist dilemma to substantiate your rationalism. You will only accept propositional demonstration therefore you will not accept personal demonstration. On numerous fronts I have pointed out to you where the propositions points to realities known beyond the propositions. E.g., the worship of God, the testimony of the Spirit, the gift of Christ. You simply refuse to accept these personal demonstrations because you are a rationalist. But insofar as you are a rationalist you deny the superlative greatness of Christianity.

I did disagree with your interpretation. I said the verse supported my position rather than yours. The gift given is saving knowledge of God. Until you prove that saving knowledge is personal without being propositional, the verse offers you no support in the argument, but rather begs the question.

The gift is actually Jesus Christ; but even allowing your definition, you yourself have now claimed that saving "knowledge" is unspeakable. By your own words you stand corrected and are bound to accept a non propositional aspect to knowledge.

It is simply absurd to accuse me of limiting God to known propositions, when you argue against what is a plain acknowledgment on my part that God knows things that we don't, and never will--and those things still impact my life, though without my knowledge of how or in what specific case.

Here you make yourself your own worst enemy -- you have things you do not know which impact your life, but apparently you know they impact your life. How do you know? Demonstrate it propositionally? You can't; and yet you accept it, or should I say, in your words, you assert it. Time to wake up to the absurdity of your rationalism, don't you think.
 

JTB

Puritan Board Freshman
We have already been around this merry-go-round once. You obviously don't believe the proposition, "the Bible is true," on the basis of the proposition, "the Bible is true," because when I ask you why you believe "the Bible is true," you say it is because the Holy Spirit testifies it to your spirit. It is no longer the fact being attested to, but the act of testifying and specifically the One Who testifies, which is your court of appeal. Hence your faith is not dependent on the proposition so much as the One Who testifies the proposition.

I'm not denying that God's being is something other than God's testimony, nor am I denying that some forms of revelation are non discursive. But that doesn't negate the fact that knowledge is the result of understanding and assenting to a proposition. Knowing Jesus Christ is knowing that Jesus is the Christ. You cannot know one without the other.

You continue to create a rationalist dilemma to substantiate your rationalism. You will only accept propositional demonstration therefore you will not accept personal demonstration. On numerous fronts I have pointed out to you where the propositions points to realities known beyond the propositions. E.g., the worship of God, the testimony of the Spirit, the gift of Christ. You simply refuse to accept these personal demonstrations because you are a rationalist. But insofar as you are a rationalist you deny the superlative greatness of Christianity.

You won't tell me what is a personal demonstration. So far all you've provided are propositions. That beings are there without the propositions that make them known doesn't constitute a knowledge of those beings. The worship of God, the testimony of the Spirit, and the gift of Christ are labels, or names. Names, in order to be understood, and therefore known, require definitions. Definitions are propositions. You cannot receive the gift of Christ without also knowing who Christ is, that is, without knowing something stated about him that is true: a proposition.

The gift is actually Jesus Christ; but even allowing your definition, you yourself have now claimed that saving "knowledge" is unspeakable. By your own words you stand corrected and are bound to accept a non propositional aspect to knowledge.

I didn't say it was unspeakable. I said it wasn't revealed. God knows the secret council of His will, but He hasn't given that knowledge for us to know, although His secret council determines the world, therefore impacting our lives apart from our knowledge of how or in what particular case. It isn't that such knowledge is non-propositional, but rather that it is unknown because it has not been revealed.

Here you make yourself your own worst enemy -- you have things you do not know which impact your life, but apparently you know they impact your life. How do you know? Demonstrate it propositionally? You can't; and yet you accept it, or should I say, in your words, you assert it. Time to wake up to the absurdity of your rationalism, don't you think.

Scripture testifies that there are hidden things of God that He has not chosen to reveal. One of the the frequent examples of God's hidden council is why He chooses to take a life precisely the moment he does. I do not know why God chose to take my grandmother's life when He did, but certainly his reason impacts my life, for He took my grandmother out of my life! Therefore something I do not know (why God took my grandmother when He did) impacts my life (my grandmother is no longer living) despite my lack of knowledge of God's secret council.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I didn't say it was unspeakable. I said it wasn't revealed.

Joshua, at the risk of being obvious, it was the Apostle Paul who said it was unspeakable. And you accepted the proposition.

It is pretty obvious that the passage is not saying that God withheld knowledge, but, rather, this particular knowledge is unutterable. Similar to the unutterable words in 2 Cor. 12:4.


I think this has been an edifying thread, but it is close to time to take a breather and give the discussion some good thought. It's going in circles at this point.

Moderation

I'm going to shut it down after 15 or 20 minutes.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
nor am I denying that some forms of revelation are non discursive.

Yes, that is precisely what you were denying. Your first response to me was, "trust isn't anything other than assent to something I've understood." If you would like to repudiate that assertion now that you have contradicted it with the acknowledgment of non discursive forms of revelation this discussion might advance in a profitable direction.

You won't tell me what is a personal demonstration. So far all you've provided are propositions.

You have demanded propositions, so I have propositionally directed you to things about the Christian life that are non propositional which we know -- the testimony of the Spirit, the worship of God, the gift of Christ. In each instance you have all but admitted that these things are known and yet cannot be put into propositional statement. It is only self-justification which hinders you from adding a "yes" to what you have already affirmed.

I didn't say it was unspeakable. I said it wasn't revealed. God knows the secret council of His will, but He hasn't given that knowledge for us to know, although His secret council determines the world, therefore impacting our lives apart from our knowledge of how or in what particular case. It isn't that such knowledge is non-propositional, but rather that it is unknown because it has not been revealed.

You are confusing paragraphs. This section of our discussion revolves around the biblical statement, "thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." You did not introduce the decree until the next paragraph. You defined "unspeakable gift" as "saving knowledge." For the sake of argument I went with your definition, and insisted that you must accept this "saving knowledge" to be unspeakable, in accord with what the Scripture states. Now you are saying that this saving knowledge is unknown. That is a contradiction.

Scripture testifies that there are hidden things of God that He has not chosen to reveal.

Well, if Scripture says it, it must be true. Hence you are bound to accept the Scripture testimony that there are things you know that affect your life that you cannot put in propositional form, e.g., what is going to happen to you tomorrow. You don't know what the future holds but you know Who holds the future. Your knowledge of future certainties depends upon the personal knowledge of God even though it defies propositional explanation. (Please do not send us on another merry-go-round by confusing the proposition with the thing proposed.)
 

Brian Withnell

Puritan Board Junior
One does not have to know everything in order to know something.

Actually, either you know everything, or are basing what you know on someone that does know everything, or you are sure of knowing nothing.

If you don't know everything, then the information that you don't know could show everything that you think you know to be false ... unless you are basing what you think you know upon an authoritative source that does have all knowledge. Without a source that is omniscient, then all knowledge is without certainty at best (from a philosophical point of view). Of course once you have an omniscient source that supplies knowledge, then you have confidence to build upon what that source testifies. We do have such a source, and that source gives us confidence to know that what he has revealed cannot be false.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top