My short rough understanding of Gordon Clark’s problem

Posted: September 10, 2012 in Covenental Apologetics
Tags: , ,

Logic was his highest authority that he used to judge all things, including scripture, which he treated like any other hypothesis to be evaluated and subjected to autonomous man’s reason, rather than accepting it by presupposition.

This of course results in some real problems for Clark…

What is logic? Is it universal, or merely subjective? Is it mutable, or immutable? Is it material, or immaterial? If someone were to be asked these questions, the problem is summed up simply in five words:

“How do you know that?”

By subjecting scripture to logical scrutiny, one must have an idea of what logic actually is to start with -and where does this idea come from? How does one know it is that? Why should we accept one definition over another? What standard do you use to evaluate which definition is correct, and which ones aren’t ? Then where do those standards come from? By what standard do you evaluate those standards? Etc Etc Etc. Rinse and Repeat!

Further, it assumes that there is something more epistemologically certain than the God’s own testimony of Himself, His creation, and all of redemptive history! This of course is not only biblically wrong, but ethically wrong!

Clark also seemed to think of logic as something neutral, that both believers and unbelievers had in common… The unbelievers view of logic is fundamentally different from that of the believer – one may not even affirm that such laws operate in the same way that the believer would, but the main fundamental difference in the definition would be that one can see logic as having it’s roots in the mind of God – the unbeliever does not. So at the very basic ontological level, ‘logic’ is not a neutral thing that both parties can agree upon a definition of.

Rationality and logic, by themselves, simply cannot support their own weight… they were never designed to, and can only be rescued by presupposing the truth of the Christian faith.


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