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Gordon Clark's "The Lord God of Truth" (Part 9)

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Having critiqued secular epistemologies, Clark now sets forth his own biblical epistemology. He notes that 2 Pet. 1:3 argues that knowledge of God comes through intellection, such that it is not by means of sensation that we acquire knowledge of God, but through our cognitive faculties, imparted to us by the Holy Spirit. The Christian

may consider God's promise in James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." Solomon was an understanding example. Proverbs 2:1-6 is also pertinent: "incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding...then you will understand the fear of the Lord, a nd find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding(Clark, p. 43).

Thus, for Clark, knowledge of God comes through God's impartation of propositions to our rational faculties. He quotes Jonathan Edwards to the same effect:

Jonathan Edwards in a short dissertation on Christian Knowledge begins Section III by asserting, "There is no other way by which any means of grace whatsoever can be of any benefit, but by knowledge." In making this assertion he does not exaggerate, even by a millimeter, the apostle Peter's similar statement. This is why Protestantism requires a sermon before celebrating the Lord's Supper, while Romanists usually omit the sermona nd say mass in anu unknown tongue. Edwards does not quote Peter here, but he refers to 1 Corinthians 14:1-6. Verses 9 anda 11 would be better: "Unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how willi t be known what is spoken? ... Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be like a fo reigner to me." Then Edwards continues, "No speech can be a means of grace but by conveying knowledge...Theh Bible .. can be of no manner of profit than as it conveys knowledge to the mind"(Clark, p. 45).

For Edwards, as for Clark, knowledge as cognitive assent to propositions is an essential element of the Christian life. We have nothing to do with any sort of mysticism according to which sanctification is grounded on something totally ineffable and unutterable. Of course, the will must be regenerated in order for the human person as a whole to benefit from the propositions to which the rational intellect believes. Apart from the submission of the will by its transformation through God's sovereign grace, no amount of intellectual knowledge can profit the human. Of course, temporally co-ordinate with such regeneration of the will is the divinely imparted knowledge, assent to, and trust in, the Triune God Himself.

Clark, Gordon. "Lord God of Truth." The Trinity Foundation, 1986. Hobbes, New Mexico.



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