Posted in Uncategorized, tagged accommodation, analogical knowledge, autonomy, Cornelius Van Til, Creator-creature distinction, epistemology, Gordon Clark, inapprehensibility, incomprehensibility, John Frame, reference point, Thomas Aquinas on February 3, 2011 |
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Some time ago I had told a commenter that I planned on reading Van Til’s chapter in Introduction to Systematic Theology on the Incomprehensibility of God and blog on it. I never seemed to find the time.
Since my computer was “resting” on Tuesday, I was flipping through my copy of the book. Lo and behold, I have already read that chapter. Silly me. So here I go!
Van Til starts with the problem of knowing the “living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise…” as our Confession summarizes the Scriptures regarding God. Such a God, according to Kantian epistemology is beyond our experience. In their view, God is not just incomprehensible, but unknowable. The theology of Van Til’s day often embraced such views. God become unknowable, and faith became irrational. It was no longer a faith seeking understanding since there is nothing we can understand about an absolute God.
Aquinas put forth the “way of negation” by which we know God negatively instead of positively. We speak about what God is not rather than what He is. His dependence on Aristotle means he embraces a non-Christian epistemology that descends into a similar irrationalism.
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Posted in Bible, Biblical Theology, Books, Hermeneutics, John Calvin, Theology, tagged Augustine, autonomy, Christ, faith, fideism, glorification, grace, Graeme Goldsworthy, Hermeneutics, John Calvin, John Frame, Justification, noetic effect of sin, presuppositions, rationalism, sanctification, Scripture, Thomas Aquinas on December 31, 2008 |
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I started to see this book pop up on people’s blogs a few years ago. The title, Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation by Graeme Goldsworthy, intrigued me. So, using a gift certificate, I bought the book. Recently, excited to begin reading, a friend wondered aloud why we need to read another book on hermeneutics.
I’m glad I didn’t listen. I have not yet finished the book, but I’ve found it quite stimulating, understandable and grappling with an important topic: how should we, as evangelical Christians, interpret the Scriptures?
Here we will cover Part 1 of the book: Evangelical Prolegomena to Hermeneutics. Goldsworthy introduces the idea of presuppositions into the question of hermeneutics: will we assume the supreme authority of God or assume human autonomy? This is the question upon which so much hinges in biblical interpretation. Our assumptions or presuppositions, in addition to this one, greatly affect the effectiveness of our attempts to understand, explain and apply the text of Scripture.
“The function of hermeneutics could be stated as the attempt to bridge the gap between the text inside its world and the readers/hearers inside their world.”
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