Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How Do We Know Who God Is?

In my last blog, I talked about the delusion of neutrality. Man has a disposition toward God inherited at birth and all his views and opinions about God are seriously influenced by that disposition. Man is not a blank slate just waiting to discover the objective truth about God. He is not a tabula rasa as the rationalist would like to believe. Since what I am actually talking about is our interpretion of the revelation of God that is before us, it is critical that we understand the impact of our relationship with God on how we approach interpreting that evidence. Vern Poythress says, Our relation to God affects interpretation more radically than we might suspect. Every area of life is subtly affected. And every area is affected down to the roots (Poythress - The Supremacy of God in Interpretation). It could not be any other way.

Cornelius Van Til writes, It is, therefore, required of man that he regard himself and his world as wholly revelatory of the presence and requirements of God. It is man’s task to search out the truths about God, about the world and himself in relation to one another. He must seek a “systematic” arrangement of the facts of the universe. But the “system” that he thus tries to form is not the sort of system that the non-Christian is seeking to make for himself. Van Til and Eric H. Sigward, The Works of Cornelius Van Til, 1895-1987, electronic ed. (New York: Labels Army Co., 1997). All knowledge of God is revelatory in nature. If God had not revealed Himself to us in nature and in Scripture, there would be no means of acquiring a reliable and accurate knowledge of Him.

Herman Bavinck says, "All knowledge of God rests on revelation. Though we can never know God in the full richness of his being, he is known to all people through his revelation in creation, the theater of his glory." (Herman Bavinck: Reformed Dogmatics). All men are created with innate knowledge of God. Bavinck said, "It is simply a fact, certainly, that all persons from their earliest youth are conscious of a psychic, spiritual, invisible, world as well as of a physical one. (Herman Bavinck: Reformed Dogmatics). Paul said, "because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them." (Rom. 1:19) To hold a view that says men really, truly don't believe God exists is to contradict the clear teachings of Scripture. Secondly, to assume the Bible is NOT the word of God during a discussion with a skeptic, for the sake of "proving to the Skeptic that God does exist" is not only wrong headed, it is sinful. It is never okay to say, "let's assume for argument sake that Jesus was wrong." I cannot imagine Paul ever engaging in such non-sense.

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