The Presbyterian Philosopher: The Authorized Biography of Gordon Clark

Thanks for the thoughts and recommendations, I'll give it a listen.



The first question I would have for an anti-realist is whether he can consistently affirm that Christ metaphysically is consubstantial with the people He came to save.
I think I would need to know exactly what you mean by Christ being 'metaphysically' consubstantial with people.

Maybe this would help, if you let me know what you think about this:

First a more general example:
(1) This apple is red.
(2) This bus is red.
(3) The apple is red and the bus is red.
(4) There is some property 'redness' which both the apple and the bus instantiate/participate in/insert acceptable realist terminology.

It is that fourth proposition that creates an issue, unless we mean it in a fictionalist sense. Do propositions (1)-(3) commit us to some real entity called 'redness'? The challenge for nominalists is to state what (1) and (2) have in common, if there is not some entity 'redness'. Though I think the realists have many issues of their own.

Back to your Christological point, we can affirm the following:
(1) Jesus Christ is a human.
(2) The sinners he came to save are humans.
(3) Jesus Christ is human and the sinners he came to save are humans.

Now, the question is whether that is sufficient. Or do you require that we also affirm the following:
(4) There is some property 'humanity' which both Jesus Christ and the sinners he came to save instantiate/participate in/etc.

You can let me know what you think. My current position is that both the realists and the anti-realists have problems, but that if we can avoid the commitment to realism, we should be anti-realists by default as it leads to a simpler ontology and avoids problems with God's aseity.
 
To repeat, the statement you replied to and the posts I've written in this very thread make clear I am quite willing to disagree with Clark where I think disagreement is warranted. Let's try to remain balanced.
Fair enough.
I am asking what is Van Til's view of the archetypal-ectypal distinction. If Van Til did accept an archetype-ectype distinction, what else could the citation of Van Til I provided in post 41 refer to? Again, from Van Til's Introduction to Warfield's "The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible" (1948), he says:
Your quote ends with "at no point indentical with the divine mind". No coincidence between the minds if coincidence is in the object.
Is this representative of Van Til's understanding of the archetype-ectype distinction or not? Is it your understanding of the archetype-ectype distinction or not? Also, I just read Horton mention (pg. 135) he is not aware of any instance that Van Til even uses the language of archetype-ectype distinction.
I believe he mentions Bavink on analogy though, which is where Van Til got it from. Unless Vos, Bavink, Kuyper, and Warfield were ignorant of it of course.
I thought I was clear that the Fourth Lateran Council barely even mentions the topic of analogy. In fact, so far as I can tell, the only mention of it is in a context in which the council goes out of its way to reject an intended analogy between God and man made by a certain man. So I am mystified exactly how you interpret that to imply any relevant archetype-ectype distinction to the 1940s debate. Allow me to gently suggest you are rushing to respond too quickly before digesting what I am saying.
Actually it would seem upon investigating it, because I do respect you and your knowledge. It seems to be universally upheld as an early definition of analogy. Being that the "common knowledge" aspect of this applies, it is proof that analogical thinking was part of orthodoxy since at least that time. If you'd like to go against the historical and scholarly consensus, have at it.
Further, neither I nor Clark disagree with analogy as such. For example, as late as 1982, Clark wrote an article in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (Vol. 25 No. 2, Jun. pgs. 201-203). In it, he writes:
Yeah when he says "metaphor, simile, and analogy" if that's what you mean by his theory of analogy. It simply shows his misunderstanding of analogical reasoning and the a/e distinction.
Here's Preus:
"True theology must be considered in an absolute sense or in a relative sense. Here we have to do with the distinction between archetypal theology and ectypal theology, a distinction brought out by all later Lutheran dogmaticians. Gerhard's discussion is worth quoting:
"Archetypal or original theology is in God the Creator. It is the theology according to which God knows Himself in Himself and also knows everything outside Himself by an indivisible and immutable act of knowing. The theology that is in the Creator is uncreated and essential, infinite and original, and differs entirely from ectypal theology."
Robert Preus, "The Theology of Post-Reformation Lutheranism" pg. 112-113."
In fact on 114 he remarks how "The Reformed were more advanced in this area than Lutherans, so they just took the lead of their work." Ectypal theology is our human finite theology.
Now, if you have specific citations of any authors you mention, then as I said, I am open to listening.
Just did. If Rich you could help me out and post that section from Muller's work on the archetypal/ectypal distinction it would be much appreciated. If he does it proves a pan- Protestant understanding of prolegomena. Which means for Clark to claim to be "saying what the Reformed have always said" is naive at best. I think this section should be required reading.
The Fourth Lateran Council is completely irrelevant to this whole issue. It does not have any relevance to the 1940s debate.
See previous comment. It does in proving analogical reasoning being essential to orthodoxy.
Here is why I think you are confused: Van Til has made statements that seem to imply a two-fold theory of truth. I have been asking whether you think said statements are equivalent to Van Til's understanding of the so-called archetype-ectype distinction. If so, Clark and I find that problematic. If not, I am asking you define what is the archetype-ectype distinction is such that you think Clark disagrees with it.

Either way, the question remains: if both systems Van Til talks about above contain "truth" but are at no point identical, then does not Van Til advocate a two-fold theory of truth?
No a two-fold theory of truth has nothing to do with this. I don't see how advocating for truths in philosophy contradicting truths in theology and vice versa relate to this. Could Clark hold to the definitions given above?
I am not hiding any cards. I have no problem with "a doctrine of analogy." Nor did Clark, as shown above. Rather, the question is what doctrine of analogy did the complainants hold to such that they were willing to say, “we dare not maintain that his knowledge and our knowledge coincide at any single point.” Note that if you admit that God's knowledge and our knowledge have the same truth in mind (as you seem to admit below when you say the "point of contact is in the object"), then you admit, contrary to the complainants, that his knowledge and our knowledge coincide at that point.
Yes of the object. But the content of God's thoughts "differ entirely from our thoughts" (per the Orthodox understanding of this subject).
There's no point in such speculation, and speculation certainly is not sufficient grounds for lodging a complaint.



That is Clark's position.
You say that but than in your next quote by implication that we can know what is in the mind of God. If I'm wrong please correct me.
You can by revelation know that the same truth that has been revealed to you was first "in" the mind of God.
See above.
This is an assertion. Where is the accompanying argument? I have already laid out why I think this is problematic: it either leads to human skepticism or a rejection of divine omniscience.
Well, one the proof would require going into analytical and synthetic truths and proofs in mathematics, I'll spare everyone the boring and confusing details.
Clark argued the point of contact is between what is in the minds. The object or content or truth is in the minds. From Clark's Studies in the Doctrine of the Complaint:
I thought it was in the object not the minds.
You are closer to Clark's view than you realize. Perhaps you have just been given false information about what Clark affirmed.
I don't know you keep insisting that he and I hold to a point of coincidence in the object not the minds but then you seem to keep referring to the "content of the minds". It can't be both.
What have I written or Clark said that has given you the impression he "wanted to transgress upon the mind of God"? I would kindly invite you to read Clark charitably and carefully.
I have I believe at least read you carefully and you seem to be overly concerned with the "content of the minds" which according to (it would appear) orthodoxy is a violation of the Creator/creature distinction. Perhaps that's what started this whole badly worded fiasco. If only it had happened post Preus/Muller it may have turned out differently.
As I cited near the end of post 41, Clark thinks the two are one in the same.

I would sincerely recommend you pause and reread our discussion.
Fair enough. I would sincerely recommend that you pause and reread historic orthodoxy on this point and ask was Clark even close to understanding analogical reasoning?
To recap my case. Analogical reasoning has historically been an essential element of orthodoxy since at least the fourth Lateran Council (common knowledge and scholarly consensus apply). This developed in the medieval ages through the Reformers into Protestant Scholasticism which took it up, the archetypal/ectypal distinction and used it.
Bavink, Vos, Kuyper, and Warfield took it up and at least Bavink introduced it to Van Til as analogical knowledge. Common knowledge applies.
The 1940's happen, well documented by you (publish it please, get payed for your hard and impressive work) and it seems to me an old outdated (but essential doctrine) doctrine was re-introduced in the worst way. Now we can forgive everyone involved because Muller and Preus hadn't happened yet. But it's still a rehashing of that old debate.
It's no wonder Clark thought, as you point out, "he's just saying what the Reformed have always said" because he didn't know any better. But that seems to me to be a fair interpretation of the event.
Now think about it for a second, what are the chances that Clark noticed this inconsistency in orthodoxy and provided a necessary corrective to avoid us all from remaining in skepticism or did the Orthodox already understand this and avoided it and Clark is mistaken?
 
Even with analogy, though, and this is the crucial point, we have to be clear as to what the similarity is. But when we are clear about what the similarity is, then we can point to that thing and say 'it is the same as that in this respect'. Which is what I have meant in a previous thread that analogical language ultimately reduces to univocal language, once we pinpoint the similarity. Without this, then it seems we are at a standstill regarding our ability to communicate. I stress again that this has to do with language, and that we cannot read ontology directly off of language.
It seems this a definitional confusion of univocal vs analogical. No one to my knowledge has ever made that argument. Clark made the argument that analogical equals equivocal but the other way around. Analogical as I've argued has a long pedigree in Christian orthodoxy, I would go consult that pedigree.
Just so that I can give a clear response, what do you mean by 'on this'? The debate on univocal vs analogical language? On a general level, I think it forces us to be precise about what we mean, for a start. Ideally we can formalise what we say so that all parties in the debate know exactly what the premises are, whether the conclusion follows, and which premise(s) can be challenged. I do think that continental philosophy prizes itself more in its ability to speak metaphorically, along with a willingness to embrace paradoxes and the like. Maybe theology is more suited to that, but then I would argue that it makes it less amenable to those who do value rationality (which is not the same as rationalism, nor should valuing rationality be seen as a bad thing).
Oh "on this" meant his knowledge of analytical theology. He, if I remember correctly, made a point about analytical theology not being invented yet. So I wanted to see if it could come at this in a new way, that's all.
 
It seems this a definitional confusion of univocal vs analogical. No one to my knowledge has ever made that argument. Clark made the argument that analogical equals equivocal but the other way around. Analogical as I've argued has a long pedigree in Christian orthodoxy, I would go consult that pedigree.
The point is that people have tried to understand what exactly analogical language is and whether it stands scrutiny when we formalise it. Scotus, I believe, was the first to raise a formal objection against Aquinas' view of analogy and yes, he thought that what we really ended up with was equivocal language and thus we are completely lost when it comes to speaking of the divine. I'm assuming that Clark makes the same kind of objection.

On the other hand, people like Swinburne and Leftow have argued the position I outlined above. I urge you to read, if you can get access to it (you can probably find the PDF through googling it), Swinburne's Coherence of God, second edition, chapter 5, where he explicates his view of analogy and univocity as used by the mediaevals.
Oh "on this" meant his knowledge of analytical theology. He, if I remember correctly, made a point about analytical theology not being invented yet. So I wanted to see if it could come at this in a new way, that's all.
Analytic theology is quite new as a movement/research group, but what I meant was that Clark seems to have been schooled in the analytic philosophical tradition from what little I have read about him and how he goes about tackling these problems. I am guessing that's also why he is charged with being rationalistic.
 
On the other hand, people like Swinburne and Leftow have argued the position I outlined above. I urge you to read, if you can get access to it (you can probably find the PDF through googling it), Swinburne's Coherence of God, second edition, chapter 5, where he explicates his view of analogy and univocity as used by the mediaevals.

Which Leftow work are you talking about?
 
Which Leftow work are you talking about?
His 2006 article titled 'Divine Simplicity' for Faith and Philosophy, volume 23, issue 4, which he defends using an Augustinian model. Let me know if you are able to get access to it. He has a section titled 'Univocity' if you want to get straight to that point but the whole article is good (and he engages a lot with Plantinga's Does God Have a Nature?).

I was actually primarily speaking with this article in mind, as it is the one I used for my dissertation, and he pointed to that Swinburne chapter I referenced for more detail.
 
The point is that people have tried to understand what exactly analogical language is and whether it stands scrutiny when we formalise it. Scotus, I believe, was the first to raise a formal objection against Aquinas' view of analogy and yes, he thought that what we really ended up with was equivocal language and thus we are completely lost when it comes to speaking of the divine. I'm assuming that Clark makes the same kind of objection.

On the other hand, people like Swinburne and Leftow have argued the position I outlined above. I urge you to read, if you can get access to it (you can probably find the PDF through googling it), Swinburne's Coherence of God, second edition, chapter 5, where he explicates his view of analogy and univocity as used by the mediaevals.

Analytic theology is quite new as a movement/research group, but what I meant was that Clark seems to have been schooled in the analytic philosophical tradition from what little I have read about him and how he goes about tackling these problems. I am guessing that's also why he is charged with being rationalistic.
I'll look for it. I'm initially skeptical though. I don't really see how philosopher's are going to step into a 2 thousand, at least, year old pedigree and correct it when the definitions of those words seem so fixed. But thank you I'll check it out.
 
This thread is a good example of what I love and dislike about philosophy all at the same time. I appreciate the depths that some go to in order to provide language for and to examine the way we think.

However, I do think that there is something to be said about where philosophy stops. I am uncomfortable with language that speaks of God's "mind" as if we have the language to describe it.

One friend mentioned this to me: "Propositional knowledge is clearly limited to human knowledge because what is proposed is created. God does not know this way. His knowledge is infinite and intuitive.'

To my knowledge, I'm not aware of any Creeds that talk about how God's "mind" operates. By that I mean that Creeds and Confessions are very guarded in describing God's attributes, many by way of negation.

To ask, for example, if God's mind and my mind hold the same proposition is to satisfy a philosophical question. What if the answer is that, as some have offered, it suffices that God and I both "know" about the same objects and ideas, but it's enough to understand that we apprehend something in a way that is analogous to what God does and leave it at this?

I know we're, in part, debating whether Van Til or Clark was right and I'm less interested in that question than establishing what the limits of creaturely knowing are. Is it appropriate to say: "I've got to know that God holds this proposition in His mind for me to be convinced that I should be thinking about this." What if the answer is that ectypal knowing is the most we can ever express and that, respecting the Divine mystery, we need not rush into statements about the mind of God and leave it at the point that what God has revealed to us in Scripture and nature is sufficient for the creature?

To my thinking, this is part of the reason why the Incarnation is so important and the Reformed Orthodox even spoke about Christ the Man having a perfect ectypal theology. I see in Paul's writingt that in Christ are hidden all the riches of wisdom and knowledge, is that, if we wish to know God, then we don't try to penetrate the Divine majesty, but we have Christ as the end of Ectypal theology. Theology, considered in Him, is not an "unsatisfying" end of contemplation, but insofar as we understand God as man, then we understand as much as we'll ever apprehend.
 
One friend mentioned this to me: "Propositional knowledge is clearly limited to human knowledge because what is proposed is created. God does not know this way. His knowledge is infinite and intuitive.'

This collapses two things: content and mode. Propositional knowledge is not simply created. True propositions are eternally true. 2+2 =4 isn't created, if by creation we mean contingent upon me. I think it was in On the Teacher that Augustine worked through this issue, which Clark would later capitalize on. Your second and third sentences are correct.
What if the answer is that, as some have offered, it suffices that God and I both "know" about the same objects and ideas, but it's enough to understand that we apprehend something in a way that is analogous to what God does and leave it at this?

That is Gordon Clark's position.
 
Now, the question is whether that is sufficient. Or do you require that we also affirm the following:
(4) There is some property 'humanity' which both Jesus Christ and the sinners he came to save instantiate/participate in/etc.

You can let me know what you think. My current position is that both the realists and the anti-realists have problems, but that if we can avoid the commitment to realism, we should be anti-realists by default as it leads to a simpler ontology and avoids problems with God's aseity.

Good question. I would think it is not sufficient, but I'm going to pivot my focus for a moment (if you don't mind) to original guilt to explain my background in coming to accept some form of realism. The following is found on pg. 7 in George P. Hutchinson's The Problem of Original Sin in American Presbyterianism:

Briefly, the Nominalist doctrine is as follows: Original sin consists solely in the liability of punishment (reatus poenae) for the sin of Adam. William of Occam defines it as "the guilt of a foreign sin without any inherent demerit of our own" (reatus alieni peccati sine alique vitio haerente in nobis). Thus men are born subject to the punishment of Adam's sin but without any inherent depravity of nature. The Nominalists, while admitting that men are born in a state of moral degradation on the sole judicial ground of Adam's first sin, refused to call this degradation truly and properly sin since it is not the result of volitional activity. We could not have really sinned in Adam because we were not there to do so. Therefore, we are simply regarded as having done so though we are not really guilty, but only nominally so.

I've found this difficult to reconcile with divine justice. The best solution of which I am aware - and, therefore, which I accept - for how to account for original guilt is the traducianism of Samuel Baird (link, link). Despite having one or two points of disagreement with him, his view generally presupposes realism, as outlined in Hutchinson's book.

The more I thought about it, the more I also thought that if a person and his nature or essence are not metaphysically distinct, then in the context of Christology, either metaphysical monophysitism (Christ is one real person; therefore, Christ has/is one real nature) or metaphysical Nestorianism (Christ has/is two real natures; therefore, Christ is two real persons) seems to follow. I suspect this is why W. L. Craig opts for Neo-Apollianarianism?

Speaking of Richard Cross, he mentions that Ockham abandoned nominalism about metaphysical universals on this very point of Christology (“Nominalism and the Christology of William of Ockham,” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale, Vol. 58, pg. 155):

It has been shown that, for Ockham, in Christ alone is there held to be a real - and not merely a nominal - distinction between nature and person, such that the proposition 'homo est homo humanitate' is true if and only if it is said of Christ...

Scotus and Ockham agree on the theologically based conclusion that there is no real distinction between an individual nature and its personation except in the case of Christ.

As you know, there are other, related issues (Trinitarianism, alethiology), but I personally find myself attracted to realist options in those context as well, much more so than I see the need to reconcile abstract objects and divine aseity. But to be fair, I do need to read more material by anti-realists themselves to make a fair judgment, so I have just ordered Craig's book God Over All. I think he also has a book on original sin that I might need to look at.
 
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Good question. I would think it is not sufficient, but I'm going to pivot my focus for a moment (if you don't mind) to original guilt to explain my background in coming to accept some form of realism. The following is found on pg. 7 in George P. Hutchinson's The Problem of Original Sin in American Presbyterianism:



I've found this difficult to reconcile with divine justice. The best solution of which I am aware - and, therefore, which I accept - for how to account for original guilt is the traducianism of Samuel Baird (link, link). Despite having one or two points of disagreement with him, his view generally presupposes realism, as outlined in Hutchinson's book.

The more I thought about it, the more I also thought that if a person and his nature or essence are not metaphysically distinct, then in the context of Christology, either metaphysical monophysitism (Christ is one real person; therefore, Christ has/is one real nature) or metaphysical Nestorianism (Christ has/is two real natures; therefore, Christ is two real persons) seems to follow. I suspect this is why W. L. Craig opts for Neo-Apollianarianism?

Speaking of Richard Cross, he mentions that Ockham abandoned nominalism about metaphysical universals on this very point of Christology (“Nominalism and the Christology of William of Ockham,” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale, Vol. 58, pg. 155):



As you know, there are other, related issues (Trinitarianism, alethiology), but I personally find myself attracted to realist options in those context as well, much more so than I see the need to reconcile abstract objects and divine aseity. But to be fair, I do need to read more material by anti-realists themselves to make a fair judgment, so I have just ordered Craig's book God Over All. I think he also has a book on original sin that I might need to look at.
You raise many good points. I think a crucial aspect of philosophy and theology is that in trying to solve one problem, it almost always raises a bunch of other problems to be solved. I wonder, though, if we could somewhat alleviate the problem by adopting a realist view of universals (existing in the mind of God as archetypes) but an anti-realist view of abstract objects (as thoughts are not abstract objects). So then the archetype 'humanity' would be real in a concrete sense as a thought in a divine mind but not as an abstract object.

I think Leftow might hold a view more akin to this. I'm hoping to read his book on the topic soon. I'll have to think it through. However, I do stand by the view that we should not be realists regarding abstract objects unless we absolutely must. I want to affirm that God is the Creator of all things, but if abstract objects exist, which seem to be atemporal and necessarily existent, then this becomes almost impossible to affirm.
 
Your quote ends with "at no point indentical with the divine mind". No coincidence between the minds if coincidence is in the object.

You have misquoted Van Til, as he says "God's revelation... is... at no point identical with the content of the divine mind." Is God's revelation true? If so, is the content of the divine mind true? If you answered "yes" to both questions, then if God's revelation is at no point identical with the content of the divine mind, that entails a theory of two-fold truths which comprise distinct systems.

Here's Preus:
"True theology must be considered in an absolute sense or in a relative sense. Here we have to do with the distinction between archetypal theology and ectypal theology, a distinction brought out by all later Lutheran dogmaticians. Gerhard's discussion is worth quoting:
"Archetypal or original theology is in God the Creator. It is the theology according to which God knows Himself in Himself and also knows everything outside Himself by an indivisible and immutable act of knowing. The theology that is in the Creator is uncreated and essential, infinite and original, and differs entirely from ectypal theology."
Robert Preus, "The Theology of Post-Reformation Lutheranism" pg. 112-113."

I was able to skim the book you mention here. From a later statement in the book (pg. 172), we read that "archetypal theology is not only in God but is God Himself." If "archetypal theology" is taken to just be "God Himself," then it's difficult for me to imagine that an archetype-ectype distinction was the subject of the 1940s OPC debate. As I mentioned earlier, such language was not used in 11th or 12th General Assemblies, in the bimonthly editorials of the Presbyterian Guardian, in my rather thorough compilation of Clark's papers, in the original Complaint, etc. And I don't think I am committing a word-concept fallacy, either. Van Til and the complainants weren't complaining that Clark conflated God Himself with God's revelation of Himself. Clark himself distinguishes them in The Answer (which may serve as mitigating evidence that he held a pure, coherence theory of truth at the time of these remarks):

Later in the Complaint they offer a reason for their concern over what may seem arid logical technicalities. They assert (P. 7, 3; O. 28) “This knowing of propositions cannot, in the nature of the case, reflect or inspire any recognition by man of his relation to God, for the simple reason that the propositions have the same content, mean the same, to God and man.” If this pronouncement be applied to a concrete case, it means that the truth “Christ died for our sins” cannot reflect or inspire recognition of man’s relation to God. Why propositions, such as “Christ died for our sins” cannot reflect the truth of God, the complainants do not explain. They simply make an ex cathedra statement. One may ask, of what use are all the propositions of Scripture, if they do not reflect God and his relation to man? And if propositions cannot inspire any recognition by man of his relation to God, why should anyone preach the gospel? Dr. Clark believes that the preaching of the gospel, not without there generating or illuminating power of the Holy Ghost, is for the express purpose of teaching man what to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man. Since Scripture is in propositional form, the assumption of the Complaint that no statement in the Bible can reflect or inspire any recognition by man of his relation to God is both absurd and unscriptural.

Note: Clark believed that true propositions (Scripture) reflect God and takes the complainants as rejecting this. I'm not so sure Clark interprets them correctly here, but nonetheless, his view appears strikingly similar to the following from Preus on pg. 185:

The “subject,” or content (objectum), of revelation is God. God reveals Himself. We may say the same thing by asserting that God reveals His essence and will. When the dogmaticians speak of “divine things” or “revealed things” or “the things of God,” they have in mind either things that can be said about God or things that God has done or God Himself, and sometimes they mean all three. But strictly speaking, God does not reveal things, He reveals Himself.

Yes of the object. But the content of God's thoughts "differ entirely from our thoughts" (per the Orthodox understanding of this subject).

I have already quoted Clark as affirming that "Truth is the object and content of knowledge." You seem to distinguish object from content. Is that right? So what is "the object" if not "the content"?

I thought it was in the object not the minds.

That's what I said. See the interaction between Rich and Jacob.

I don't know you keep insisting that he and I hold to a point of coincidence in the object not the minds but then you seem to keep referring to the "content of the minds". It can't be both.

Maybe it would help if you define "object" and "content," since you seem to disagree with Clark's definition above that "Truth is the object and content of knowledge." Otherwise, we will keep talking past one another.

At this point, I should probably follow your advice and shift my attention towards efforts that will facilitate publication. I will try to keep to that... unless you further tempt me! I've enjoyed the conversation, so thank you.
 
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You raise many good points. I think a crucial aspect of philosophy and theology is that in trying to solve one problem, it almost always raises a bunch of other problems to be solved. I wonder, though, if we could somewhat alleviate the problem by adopting a realist view of universals (existing in the mind of God as archetypes) but an anti-realist view of abstract objects (as thoughts are not abstract objects). So then the archetype 'humanity' would be real in a concrete sense as a thought in a divine mind but not as an abstract object.

I think Leftow might hold a view more akin to this. I'm hoping to read his book on the topic soon. I'll have to think it through. However, I do stand by the view that we should not be realists regarding abstract objects unless we absolutely must. I want to affirm that God is the Creator of all things, but if abstract objects exist, which seem to be atemporal and necessarily existent, then this becomes almost impossible to affirm.

If you find anything you think is helpful in Leftow, let me know. Quick question: regarding the bold what do you make of footnote 21 here? Particularly:

They therefore infer that we ought to think of divine ideas and thoughts as abstract objects (Gould and Davis, “Response to Greg Welty,” p. 100). It seems to me that the correct inference to draw is that God’s thoughts are therefore not universals and therefore not properties. For, as Welty points out, it makes no sense to think of God’s thoughts as multiply located (Welty, “Response to Critics,” in Beyond the Control of God?, p. 108). What we have here is a good argument, not for the abstractness of divine thoughts, but, pace Welty, against the conceptualist claim that divine thoughts play the role normally ascribed to properties.
 
If you find anything you think is helpful in Leftow, let me know. Quick question: regarding the bold what do you make of footnote 21 here? Particularly:
You might like WLC's review of Leftow's book here: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/wri...iew-article-god-and-necessity-by-brian-leftow.

As for the footnote, again I think WLC is on the right lines. If Gould and Davis are right, there are necessarily existing atemporal abstracta that God is, so to speak, stuck with, whether he likes it or not. If Welty is right, then it is hard to see how the conceptualist can claim God's thoughts play the role of properties. I wonder with the 'archetype' or 'blueprint' idea we can avoid these errors. Just as an analogy, the idea would be that just as an architect has a blueprint for a set of houses, and builds the houses according to that blueprint, you wouldn't say that the blueprint was instantiated by the houses. So it wouldn't be multiply located, hence not a universal. It would be just be a thought which forms the basis for creating other things.

By the way, that's another book I would recommend all interested in this topic read (it's on my reading list as well) - Beyond the Control of God: Six Views on the Problem of God and Abstract Objects. You'll see all the various positions defended and critiqued.

Would I be right in saying that your commitment to realism is primarily for theological reasons rather than philosophical arguments in favour of realism? My motivation for anti-realism is definitely theological primarily - I think philosophically there is a case to be made for either.
 
Good question. I would think it is not sufficient, but I'm going to pivot my focus for a moment (if you don't mind) to original guilt to explain my background in coming to accept some form of realism. The following is found on pg. 7 in George P. Hutchinson's The Problem of Original Sin in American Presbyterianism:
It's interesting you brought this up.

I was reflecting on this yesterday. Since I don't really spend a lot of time in philosophy, I was thinking about this and settled on the idea of Covenant and Federalism as a problem if one rejects some way in which men (and women) can be seen as "in Adam" or "in Christ".

I rather think that there are aspects to some of these things that defy philosophical explanation, but I'm glad that you don't let your philosophy drive what you will accept theologically.

WLC is referenced here. From my vantage, he proposes theological ideas that he first finds philosophically sound. If some theological notion in Scripture seems to go against what he can philosophically accept then theology needs to bend - hence his Molinism is important to WLC because it preserves his sense that God doesn't violate his sense of man's necessary freedom.
 
That is Gordon Clark's position.
Maybe I'm missing some of the nuances in this conversation, but I was under the impression that Clark held to some sort of idea that there is some sort of judgment in Clark about the idea that the "content in God's mind" is univocal. When I was talking about propositions, I was thinking of creaturely propositions and not the idea that something might exist apart from a human mind thinking about it. I suppose I might be missing something, but it seems there is a difference in remaining content with what God has condescended to reveal to us in a proposition that we can make sense of. It seems some philosophical systems insist we can move from that point to speaking about how God's mind somehow "works' with respect to that point of ectypal theology. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that if we know a point of ectypal theology, the most we can say is that it is true, and we can believe it because it is revealed by God, but that doesn't give us permission to talk about how God "thinks about it" in Himself.

That was why I brought up Christ as the perfect ectypal theology. We don't grow in knowledge by contemplating how the Divine essence "thinks" about anything because it is impenetrable. We can, however, grow in knowledge and wisdom in Christ because all those riches are found in Him by the Spirit.
 
but I was under the impression that Clark held to some sort of idea that there is some sort of judgment in Clark about the idea that the "content in God's mind" is univocal.

Kind of. When God says "I love you" to me (just as example), the "you" as both I and God understand the term refers to me. It's hard to see how it could be otherwise without going into full skepticism and agnosticism.
but it seems there is a difference in remaining content with what God has condescended to reveal to us in a proposition that we can make sense of.

No one disagrees, at least those of us who might be Clarkians.
It seems some philosophical systems insist we can move from that point to speaking about how God's mind somehow "works' with respect to that point of ectypal theology.

They might, but I don't think any of us are doing that.
Maybe what I'm trying to say is that if we know a point of ectypal theology, the most we can say is that it is true, and we can believe it because it is revealed by God

We would go a step further and say that when God means x in a proposition, he really means x. He isn't crossing his fingers behind his back. I don't think that is the same thing as "speculating about the divine essence."
 
You might like WLC's review of Leftow's book here: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/wri...iew-article-god-and-necessity-by-brian-leftow.

As for the footnote, again I think WLC is on the right lines. If Gould and Davis are right, there are necessarily existing atemporal abstracta that God is, so to speak, stuck with, whether he likes it or not. If Welty is right, then it is hard to see how the conceptualist can claim God's thoughts play the role of properties. I wonder with the 'archetype' or 'blueprint' idea we can avoid these errors. Just as an analogy, the idea would be that just as an architect has a blueprint for a set of houses, and builds the houses according to that blueprint, you wouldn't say that the blueprint was instantiated by the houses. So it wouldn't be multiply located, hence not a universal. It would be just be a thought which forms the basis for creating other things.

If, as Craig says, "God’s thoughts are... not universals," then I don't understand in what sense your proposal amounts to "adopting a realist view of universals" (post 71)?

By the way, that's another book I would recommend all interested in this topic read (it's on my reading list as well) - Beyond the Control of God: Six Views on the Problem of God and Abstract Objects. You'll see all the various positions defended and critiqued.

Would I be right in saying that your commitment to realism is primarily for theological reasons rather than philosophical arguments in favour of realism? My motivation for anti-realism is definitely theological primarily - I think philosophically there is a case to be made for either.

Beyond the Control of God was my introduction to the various views on offer. I agree that it well sets the table. And yes, you are right regarding my motivations.

I was reflecting on this yesterday. Since I don't really spend a lot of time in philosophy, I was thinking about this and settled on the idea of Covenant and Federalism as a problem if one rejects some way in which men (and women) can be seen as "in Adam" or "in Christ".

If I understand you correctly, well put. For example, Baird accepted Adam as federal head of the human race but grounded such in natural headship. On his view, positions regarding original sin on which men are said to be "in Adam" without also accepting a certain way in which they are "in Adam" will be problematic.
 
If, as Craig says, "God’s thoughts are... not universals," then I don't understand in what sense your proposal amounts to "adopting a realist view of universals" (post 71)?
Yes, after reading that Craig quotation I think Craig is right and that what I said in post 71 is incorrect. If universals are taken to be multiply located and thoughts are not multiply located, then divine conceptualism cannot play the role of universals and/or properties. However, if my analogy of the blueprint works, then I'm not sure it would need to.
 
We would go a step further and say that when God means x in a proposition, he really means x. He isn't crossing his fingers behind his back. I don't think that is the same thing as "speculating about the divine essence."
So you believe there is something beyond Ectypal theology that man can apprehend? I'm trying to understand how you believe you can "go a step further" than limiting our theological understanding to creaturely theology. As God thinks in HImself is archetypal theology. Ectypal theology does not entail believing that God has his fingers crossed but merely that all theology is accommodated to creaturely capacity. How do we have access to the way God "thinks" other than what He has condescended to reveal to us?
 
If I understand you correctly, well put. For example, Baird accepted Adam as federal head of the human race but grounded such in natural headship. On his view, positions regarding original sin on which men are said to be "in Adam" without also accepting a certain way in which they are "in Adam" will be problematic.
Well, the reason I brought it up is that it seems like you came to the same conclusion about how the Scriptures speak of our federal guilt and salvation. I don't know if one has to subscribe to a philosophical school in order to accept that point. I just thought it was interesting that I was thinking about that while running and then visited the thread later in the day and read your observation.
 
So you believe there is something beyond Ectypal theology that man can apprehend? I'm trying to understand how you believe you can "go a step further" than limiting our theological understanding to creaturely theology. As God thinks in HImself is archetypal theology. Ectypal theology does not entail believing that God has his fingers crossed but merely that all theology is accommodated to creaturely capacity. How do we have access to the way God "thinks" other than what He has condescended to reveal to us?

Not necessarily. As noted before, neither side of the debate thought ectypal as such was being transgressed. I don't have a problem saying God accommodated to our creaturely capacity. I am rejecting the line that the content of our thought and God's never coincide. If that's true, then we do not know anything. I do believe they coincide and I know them creaturely.

And if I implied otherwise, then I take it back. The issue isn't *how* God thinks. (I'm not even sure how my own belief-forming mechanism works). The issue is the content. And we do in fact say a few things on how God thinks. For one, all orthodox dogmatics says he knows everything in one single act of knowing.
 
Not necessarily. As noted before, neither side of the debate thought ectypal as such was being transgressed. I don't have a problem saying God accommodated to our creaturely capacity. I am rejecting the line that the content of our thought and God's never coincide. If that's true, then we do not know anything. I do believe they coincide and I know them creaturely.

And if I implied otherwise, then I take it back. The issue isn't *how* God thinks. (I'm not even sure how my own belief-forming mechanism works). The issue is the content. And we do in fact say a few things on how God thinks. For one, all orthodox dogmatics says he knows everything in one single act of knowing.
So let me see if I can write this in a poor man's philosopher way of putting it.

I think, no matter how you slice it, we have to know as creatures that what God has said is true because He has revealed it to us. We don't need to know how He knows it in Himself, but the thing we know about Him or something else it true. If that means that, in some sense, there is a correspondence to us knowing the same thing then I don't know how to quite argue with it.

I think that, since we don't know *how* God thinks, then Van Til would be far too dogmatic to say there is no point of identity. I do know that Van Til was aware of archetypal and ectypal categories because he used that language in The Infallible Word. Why he chose a strict philosophical term I don't understand.

At the same time, however, we ought to concede it is possible to go too far in insisting what we must understand about God's mind in order for us to be content that the thing He has revealed can be true for creatures. I think, for example, some balk at the idea that God is both Sovereign over all and that we are self-determined is an example of some who are not content with the limits of revealed theology. I'm not saying you are guilty of any of it. I'm just trying to figure out a way to express that man has to stop at some point and say: "Yeah, no matter how hard I try, I can't know more than this." I don't know how or wen exactly to put the philosophical brakes on. I just can see it when some have clearly stepped over the line because they don't like some aspect of revealed theology that clashes with what they think must be true philosophically.
 
You have misquoted Van Til, as he says "God's revelation... is... at no point identical with the content of the divine mind." Is God's revelation true? If so, is the content of the divine mind true? If you answered "yes" to both questions, then if God's revelation is at no point identical with the content of the divine mind, that entails a theory of two-fold truths which comprise distinct systems.
I think you didn't read the quote I gave you, which you demanded btw. No. I answer yes to both questions and unlike you and Clark I believe the Orthodox Christian view on this matter is correct. You don't have to believe it, but the scholarly consensus agrees with me. I'm glad you're going to devote your time to publishing. If you don't tackle the historical orthodoxy on this matter then you're wasting your time. No one will take you seriously. I'm not saying this to be mean, just that you've done so much hard work it would be a shame to waste it all because you and Clark don't know the Orthodox position on the matter. I'm saying this cause I care.
I was able to skim the book you mention here. From a later statement in the book (pg. 172), we read that "archetypal theology is not only in God but is God Himself." If "archetypal theology" is taken to just be "God Himself," then it's difficult for me to imagine that an archetype-ectype distinction was the subject of the 1940s OPC debate. As I mentioned earlier, such language was not used in 11th or 12th General Assemblies, in the bimonthly editorials of the Presbyterian Guardian, in my rather thorough compilation of Clark's papers, in the original Complaint, etc. And I don't think I am committing a word-concept fallacy, either. Van Til and the complainants weren't complaining that Clark conflated God Himself with God's revelation of Himself. Clark himself distinguishes them in The Answer (which may serve as mitigating evidence that he held a pure, coherence theory of truth at the time of these remarks):
Everyone interprets the analogical difference of Van Til and Bavink as a restatement of the the a/e distinction, common knowledge I'm not quoting anyone. If you devoted as much time into what people said about the debate as the minutiae of the debate you'd already know that. I'm not attacking your intellectual abilities, which probably out way mine, only your lack of knowledge of the Orthodox position on this and the various commentary on the debate. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by not being as well versed in those two things. Take it from an old man who's been putting his foot in his mouth for decades .
Note: Clark believed that true propositions (Scripture) reflect God and takes the complainants as rejecting this. I'm not so sure Clark interprets them correctly here, but nonetheless, his view appears strikingly similar to the following from Preus on pg. 185:
So when he quotes Geerhard, the quote I gave, (which contradicts you and Clark) that wasn't a pre-summery view of the matter to interpret later thinkers he delves into, in this case Carlov? You're looking for a blade of green grass in a white forest to try prove the white forest is actually green. Just take the time to study the Orthodox view on this matter and you'll see that I'm right, wright is my last name after all .
I have already quoted Clark as affirming that "Truth is the object and content of knowledge." You seem to distinguish object from content. Is that right? So what is "the object" if not "the content"?



That's what I said. See the interaction between Rich and Jacob.
I don't really think this deserves to be answered but here you go. The object is the object is the object the content of the minds knowing the object are a different thing, pretty much by definition. If you want to smuggle in some philosophical opinion foreign to orthodoxy on this matter than fine go for it but be honest that that's what you're doing.
Maybe it would help if you define "object" and "content," since you seem to disagree with Clark's definition above that "Truth is the object and content of knowledge." Otherwise, we will keep talking past one another.

At this point, I should probably follow your advice and shift my attention towards efforts that will facilitate publication. I will try to keep to that... unless you further tempt me! I've enjoyed the conversation, so thank you.
Well is truth the overriding concept here or is it simply a difference in the content of different minds knowing the same object? Archetypal knowledge in the archetypal mind which is true or the reflective ectypal mind which is also true. No two theories of truth here just different minds, truth is analogically relative to the mind in question.
Unless orthodoxy has been operating with a two theory view of truth since as far back as the fourth Lateran Council (common knowledge applies here on what they meant). But luckily for us Clark came along to correct this wrong assumption for 2000 years, and more if you count the OT times, with rationalism and postenlightenment thinking to free the church from it's philosophical bondage or he's just wrong and naive????. Don't know how Vegas would bet on this but I got money on he's wrong.
 
But luckily for us Clark came along to correct this wrong assumption for 2000 years, and more if you count the OT times, with rationalism and postenlightenment thinking to free the church from it's philosophical bondage or he's just wrong and naive????. Don't know how Vegas would bet on this but I got money on he's wrong.

You might want to take a deep breath. We aren't saying the tradition is wrong. We're saying that it agrees with us and not Van Til. We have provided quotes and arguments to that effect.
 
You might want to take a deep breath. We aren't saying the tradition is wrong. We're saying that it agrees with us and not Van Til. We have provided quotes and arguments to that effect.
No no no my friend my apologies. I was saying that for rhetorical effect. How does the tradition agree with y'all? Take the quote I gave, is that more Van Til or Clark? I appreciate your concern but outside the 1940s debate I've seen no historical quote to undermined my point. If this was such an isolated incident than please provide quotes from Richard Muller on what the qualitative difference is between God's knowledge and man's knowledge is? I know you love reading him and I have don't have his works. But we both know he and the Reformed tradition agree with me and Van Til. Maybe we can explore that this was a unique event but we need to get straight the historical orthodoxy on the issue, I've provided a Lutheran perspective perhaps someone could quote a Reformed perspective from Muller and we can compare. So far the Lutheran's agree with us, let's see what the Reformed say.
The reason that badly unexcusable, my apologies to everyone including Knight, statements I made was I think it's clear Clark is outside orthodoxy on this matter not Van Til but I'm open to being corrected. I mean it is a fair question, it is possible he (Clark) is right and he's saying what the Reformed have always said (not Lutheran's apparently who followed the Reformed on this) or the 1940s debate was so unique as to the historical facts don't matter (although I did find a quote I'm going to share tomorrow) or Clark is wrong and he is not saying what the Reformed have always said. I can't see any other possibilities.
 
How does the tradition agree with y'all?

How does it disagree with us? Even Rich, a Van Tillian, agreed with me that God knows 2+2=4. Van Til himself agreed it was never about the mode of God's knowledge.
it is possible he (Clark) is right and he's saying what the Reformed have always said (not Lutheran's apparently who followed the Reformed on this) or the 1940s debate was so unique as to the historical facts don't matter (although I did find a quote I'm going to share tomorrow) or Clark is wrong and he is not saying what the Reformed have always said. I can't see any other possibilities.

The thing is, we don't agree with this formulation of history. The way you phrased it, Clark automatically has the burden of proof, but we don't accept that.

Even worse, there has been a Scotist element in Reformed theology, at least in some places. If that is the case, then Clark is by no means unique (though I don't think Clark was actually a Scotist).
 
No no no my friend my apologies. I was saying that for rhetorical effect. How does the tradition agree with y'all? Take the quote I gave, is that more Van Til or Clark? I appreciate your concern but outside the 1940s debate I've seen no historical quote to undermined my point. If this was such an isolated incident than please provide quotes from Richard Muller on what the qualitative difference is between God's knowledge and man's knowledge is? I know you love reading him and I have don't have his works. But we both know he and the Reformed tradition agree with me and Van Til. Maybe we can explore that this was a unique event but we need to get straight the historical orthodoxy on the issue, I've provided a Lutheran perspective perhaps someone could quote a Reformed perspective from Muller and we can compare. So far the Lutheran's agree with us, let's see what the Reformed say.
The reason that badly unexcusable, my apologies to everyone including Knight, statements I made was I think it's clear Clark is outside orthodoxy on this matter not Van Til but I'm open to being corrected. I mean it is a fair question, it is possible he (Clark) is right and he's saying what the Reformed have always said (not Lutheran's apparently who followed the Reformed on this) or the 1940s debate was so unique as to the historical facts don't matter (although I did find a quote I'm going to share tomorrow) or Clark is wrong and he is not saying what the Reformed have always said. I can't see any other possibilities.
I'm not sure what you're looking for in Muller but he summarizes the work as follows:
In his study of “Dogma in Protestant Scholasticism,” R. S. Franks argued cogently that “in systematizing and working out the practical doctrines of the Reformation, the seventeenth-century Scholasticism … preserved faithfully the central affirmations of the reformers.”164 Franks argues continuity with the theology of the Reformation on the issues of grace, faith, justification, and church and legitimate development from the Reformers’ pronouncement of sola Scriptura to the orthodox theologians’ doctrine of Scripture. His perspective on the Protestant scholastic use of philosophy is also worthy of note:

The philosophical element in the new Scholasticism, viz. the doctrines of God and the world, was practically taken over bodily from mediaevalism, and in reality presents no new growth when compared with its predecessor. The bold speculative outlook of the Middle Ages is lost. There is no longer the same independent interest in the philosophical problems of epistemology and metaphysics in their religious application. We have instead merely a statement of what may be called in modern phrase “the approved results” of the earlier scholastic investigations.165

Our examination of the Reformed orthodox prolegomena has substantiated the main points of Franks’ perspective and, in addition, permits some refinement of his generalization concerning the Protestant use of medieval scholastic philosophy. While it is quite correct that the Protestant orthodox borrow from the medieval scholastics and manifest little or no “independent interest in the philosophical problems of epistemology and metaphysics” in their relation to theology, it is also quite clear that the borrowing was hardly uncritical and, in addition, that the borrowing belonged to a larger framework of late Renaissance use and reappraisal of traditional philosophy, logic, and rhetoric. The Protestant scholastics were not “boldly speculative” in these areas because they had learned well at the hands of the Reformers—their borrowings reflect a wariness of excessive rationalism and excessive speculation. Indeed, the several places where we have noted a strong kinship between the Protestant scholastic and medieval scholastic systems, the Protestants seem to be treading a carefully marked path of Augustinianism and modified forms of Thomism and Scotism.

In brief, we found some genuine kinship with Henry of Ghent on the issue of causes of theology, with Giles of Rome and Gregory of Rimini together with Henry of Ghent on the object of theology, with Thomas of Strasbourg on the speculative-practical balance of theology, and with Duns Scotus on the overarching issue of the relationship of God’s self-knowledge (archetypal theology) to our theology. Henry of Ghent and Giles of Rome represent a cautiously modified Thomism inasmuch as they attempt to synthesize the tradition of Augustinian theology with Aristotelian philosophy but attend closely to the dangers of such a synthesis. Giles, together with Gregory of Rimini and Thomas of Strasbourg, represents the Augustinianism of the Order of Saint Augustine, a branch of which would produce Staupitz and Luther and, later on, Peter Martyr Vermigli and Jerome Zanchi. Scotus’ perspective on theology, moreover, represents an Augustinian vision of divine transcendence in union with a critical perspective on the limits of human reason over against the more optimistic synthesis proposed by Thomas Aquinas. In each case, the Reformed scholastics seek out a position more critical of the powers of human reason and more traditionally Augustinian than that of Aquinas, without, however, moving over into a fully nominalistic perspective. The scholasticism they chose, as the “approved results” of earlier investigations was the scholasticism most attuned to the theology of the Reformers.



164 R. S. Franks, “Dogma in Protestant Scholasticism,” in Dogma in History and Thought (London: Nisbet, 1929), p. 117.
165 Franks, “Dogma in Protestant Scholasticism,” p. 115.p

One thing that is clear is that the Reformed orthodox were not really fans of the idea of principally coming at theology through metaphysics
As argued in the introduction and illustrated by the discussions of natural theology, of the use of reason and philosophy, and of the principium cognoscendi theologiae, the Reformed orthodox system was hardly rationalistic, nor was it metaphysically inclined in any strict sense of the term. There are, of course, nominally meta-physical issues that belong to theology, given its proper object, God. And there are also significant relationships between the doctrine of God and the philosophical models used by theologians. Nonetheless, the rules of theological discourse set forth in the Reformed orthodox prolegomena carefully define and restrict the place of reason and philosophy to the end that the rational metaphysics of the day did not dictate the content of the doctrine. The large majority of the Reformed orthodox held to a version of the highly modified Christian Aristotelianism inherited from the medieval doctors and subjected to further modification and critique during the Renaissance and Reformation. We have noted the modifications brought about by medieval adjustment of Aristotelianism to various Platonic themes found in the fathers and to Augustinian models, by developments in Renaissance logic and rhetoric, notably through the work of Agricola and Ramus, and by the resurgence of interest in a variety of other ancient philosophies during the Renaissance. What is more, the critical but highly positive relationship to a Christian Aristotelianism provided by Aquinas and other exponents of the medieval via antiqua was also modified by Scotist and nominalist critiques that played over into the Reformation in several of its most significant teachers and which were mediated to their successors, the Protestant orthodox. The result was a highly eclectic appropriation of philosophy accompanied by a restriction of its positive use in theology. By way of example, the standard characterizations of the genus of theology as scientia or sapientia by the Reformed orthodox do not fit into a strictly Aristotelian pattern of definition.

They employed logic and Scholastic methods but not in order that their systems would be "philosophically tight" but theologically correct as they understood Divine Revelation to be the way in which they apprehended theological truth.

The thing I keep struggling with in this interaction is that you can't really "fit" the archetypal/ectypal distinction into a satisfying and strict philosophical framework (at least as far as I understand it). It has been accused in this thread (variously) as God crossing His fingers behind His back because I'm trying to simply communicate the idea that condescended, creaturely theology is TRUE because it is revealed by God to us and is the MOST we can know about God because that's what we're capable of understanding - now and into eternity.

What I can't sort out, exactly, is whether or how Clark wether Calrk violated this principle of knowledge. It seems to me that it wasn't a well-known distinction at the time of his trial. The fingerprints of this theological understanding are in our Confessional documents, but it is not unusual for Presbyters to lose track of some foundational ideas in our Confessions.

I am also not satisfied with the language Van Til used in order to draw this out. Even if he was trying to defend the AE distinction, it seems he ought not to have grounded it in the metaphysical description. The AE distinction doesn't allow us to make pronouncements about what God knows in Himself. That includes statements such as there is no identity between our knowledge and His. If what God knows in Himself is not comprehended by us then we ought not to be making statements about what/how God knows in Himself concerning any object. It suffices (if one is trying to demonstrate that Clark is violating the AE distinction) to affirm the limits of Ecytpal theology and that metaphysics are beginning to drive the theological bus where the Reformed orthodox would have refused to allow it into the drive's seat.
 
How does it disagree with us? Even Rich, a Van Tillian, agreed with me that God knows 2+2=4. Van Til himself agreed it was never about the mode of God's knowledge.
I don't know that I'm a Van Tillian. I like some things he has written but I haven't committed enough time to the study to come down hard in agreement with all of his method.

As for the idea that God knows that 1+1=2, I keep going back and forth on what I want to say about what God knows in Himself. I know it's dissatisfying metaphysically. I know that the God Who has created all things has revealed to us that 1+1=2 and that it is true. I just can't state state how God in Himself knows this in a way that I can describe (or even should do so).
 
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