Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Monday, June 14, 2010

There are always exceptions . . .

I've boldly criticized the Clarkian viewpoint (in the post preceding this one, for example). But in the interest of fairness, I should note that I've just recently finished a pleasant conversation with Hugh McCann, who seems to have Clarkian leanings. It ended with this very irenic exchange:

My final response:


I think there are at least two things happening here:

1. We’re going around in circles over the same ground. I’ve given numerous explanations and illustrations of the way I personally interpret the categorical distinction (in a way that seems to be more or less similar to RSC and the classic Reformed tradition – perhaps leaning toward the Van Tillian side) and why I think it’s worth affirming. You have given your reasons for rejecting some of the language. I could give more illustrations, and you could give more reasons, but the basic ideas will likely be the same and we’ll only be repeating ourselves. I repeat, we’ll only be repeating ourselves. :)

2. More importantly – you and I are going to disagree, plain and simple, on what is an acceptable way to describe man’s knowledge of God through His self-revelation.

You quoted RSC as follows:

“Our intellects do not intersect with God’s.”[b]
“God can know what I know without my knowing what he knows.”[c]
“By definition, an analogy is not an intersection. An intersection, at the intersecting point, is identity. That is not analogy.”

You said these statements are problematic, but I think they’re accurate. In heaven we may find out who is more correct, but by then I’d think we won’t even care.

At this juncture, perhaps the best way to avoid a repeated and fruitless disagreement over the same friction points is to unhesitatingly apply the oil of acceptance and the grease of gratefulness. I accept that you see this differently. I am grateful to God for showing you His Truth and and granting you strong convictions about the comprehensibility of that Truth (in all likelihood, this conviction furthers your sanctification). I am grateful for His grace in giving me strong convictions about His incomprehensibility (this definitely furthers my sanctification). And I accept that we haven’t achieved a consensus on the exact way these concepts should be harmonized. If GHC and CVT could see us now, they’d probably be laughing.

I have enjoyed and profited from the discussion, and wish you all the fullness of blessing in Christ.

Grace & peace,

  • Derek,

    Ditto on the profitability. I enjoy and appreciate your analogies!

    I believe we agree that God
    (1) knows all we know,
    (2) knows more than we know,
    (3) knows in a manner differently than we, and thus,
    (4) we know some of the things he knows.

    Surely we agree that we think some of God’s thoughts after him.

    We have the mind of Christ in us, the hope of glory, indeed.


That's "agree to disagree" as it ought to be.

Soli Deo Gloria!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to respond to anything written in the posts, or to the comments left by others. All comments are reviewed before they are published.

Please be charitable. If you disagree, do so with grace. Keep your words positive, focused, and on-topic. We don't expect everyone to agree, but we do expect everyone to treat everyone else with respect and grace, speaking the truth in love.