Scripturalism vs. Historic Reformed View(s)

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Elisha, Aug 24, 2017.

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  1. Elisha

    Elisha Puritan Board Freshman

    What is the historic Reformed view of epistemology? How does Scripturalism (as taught by Gordon H. Clark) differ from the historic Reformed view of epistemology?
     
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    A lot of Reformed principia and prolegomena were open to the idea of knowledge gained via natural revelation (if not a full orbed natural theology). And they probably allowed for the possibility of knowledge gained via sense experience.
     
  3. Elisha

    Elisha Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you for your reply. Could you provide me any references or quotations?
     
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Google Richard Muller and Reformed scholasticism. Our fathers used Aristotelian terminology (if not fully endorsing the content). They were okay with using natural theology at times, though they weren't as excited about it as, say, an Arminian apologist would be.
    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/28/28-2/28-2-pp183-193_JETS.pdf
     
  5. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

  6. Elisha

    Elisha Puritan Board Freshman

    The reason I am asking this question is that I have recently discovered Gordon H. Clark (two or more weeks ago) and the Trinity Foundation. I knew of Mr. Clark before this discovery, but I had not studied or researched his thought. I had been to the Trinity Foundation website once or twice before, but I had no understanding of it and did not read anything.

    I find myself in much greater agreement with Mr. Clark than with Mr. Van Til, but reading the Rev. Matthew Winzer's debates with the resident Scripturalists in old threads has increased the nagging doubts and hesitation I had, especially since I hold Mr. Winzer to be a very biblical, godly, consistent, confessional, and traditional minister.

    From the start, something seemed wrong and off about Scripturalism. It seemed very contrary to what I understood to be Reformed thought.
     
  7. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    Good that you are taking a long look at the issue. It sounds like you are on the right track, too.

    We Reformed are usually known for our intellectual approaches to matters. Unfortunately when a person "discovers" Gordon Clark, much resonating sounds tickle our studious ears. Not a few never escape the clarion call to all things logical and easily stated propositionally. It's proven. It's not a matter of debate, for, in the beginning was "Logic"...

    The devotion to the man by some borders upon the cultic:

    "Gordon Haddon Clark was one of the most profound and brilliant scholars God has ever given his church. Even the eighteenth-century American prodigy, Jonathan Edwards, must defer to Clark as the greatest American theologian and philosopher. "
    "...No one in modern times has as competently defended the faith against both the world and the wolves as Gordon Clark. Indeed, one must return to the works of Augustine to find anything comparable in the history of Christian thought, and even Augustine did not see so clearly the implications of the Bible."

    Src: A Christian View of Men and Things An Introduction to Philosophy The Works of Gordon Haddon Clark Volume I, The Trinity Foundation, pg. 423-424

    Sigh.

    I am not saying that there is nothing to be gained from reading his efforts. There is a smart mind at work therein. Just be discerning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  8. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

  9. Elisha

    Elisha Puritan Board Freshman

    I should note I do not know much of Van Til's thought (or Clark's really), but I still agree with Clark on at least some of the issues they fought over.
     
  10. Elisha

    Elisha Puritan Board Freshman

    Update: I now have a small understanding of Vantillianism and I reject it.
     
  11. Goodcheer68

    Goodcheer68 Puritan Board Freshman

    So quickly and with a "small" understanding you reject it?? That's a bold statement!
     
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Which works by Van Til, Bahnsen, Oliphint, and Frame have you read? Mind you, I am not a Van Tillian.
     
  13. Elisha

    Elisha Puritan Board Freshman

    Is it unreasonable to reject a system of thought if one finds the foundations to be corrupt?

    No, I have not read any Vantillian works; I have not read any works of Jeremy Bentham, Karl Marx, or Ayn Rand, yet I can confidently reject their systems of thought (Utilitarianism, Marxism, and Objectivism).

    [I do not think the same of Vantillianism as I do of those infidel systems.]
     
  14. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    No, but Van Tillianism has a lot of nuances to it.

    I guess I can ask the question this way: where do you see the corruption as presented in Bahnsen's writings? Or rather, where do Bahnsen and Frame fail to make the case?

    No, you don't have to read all of those guys, but if you haven't read any of the major sources (and some of them are short), then I question if one really knows the system.
     
  15. Elisha

    Elisha Puritan Board Freshman

    Could you direct me to the short major sources, then?
     
  16. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

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  17. Elisha

    Elisha Puritan Board Freshman

  18. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    And mind you, I have some concerns about modern Van Tillianism.
     
  19. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    I'm by no means anykind of expert on any of this, especially not historic Reformed Epitemology. But I do know something about Clark and philosophy. Two things I'm not a Clarkian but a Vatillian but I know that Clark was a brilliant man. I think it is all too common in our world to go with simple critiques of philosophers. For example Pragmatism beleives whatever works is true, so if murder works than its true. Or Derrida said "there's nothing outside the text", so only language exists. Or Clark denied any knowledge cam come from the senses only scripture, so how do you know what scripture says without reading it? Philosophers are rarely that stupid you always need context not slogans. That said it seems to me, from reading Gary Crampton's book on Clark (which I can't reference now because i just moved and it's in box somewhere) that what Clark beleived that our senses provide "impressions" to our mind that then form "propositional" truth (which is what Clark considered actual knowledge). He did this to avoid falling into Hume's arguments against sensation. Although I don't really know what the difference is between what Clark says and calling some stuff we get through our senses as "knowledge" other than some semantical difference. But I do see a methodological advantage to what he said, anytime someone makes an empirical claim against the faith you can just wipe it away. If i'm wrong than someone correct me.
     
  20. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    I'd also like tto point out that Van Til on at least one occasion said "Clark was a better philosopher than he was". That was later on his life, so it shows us how he felt about him.
     
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