Fundamental

David Burchard Doctrine, Quotable Quotes Leave a Comment

Listen to Dr. Waldron:

“But what is obvious to Christians ethically and metaphysically has frequently not been so obvious in the area of epistemology. Here too we must maintain that, if God is the first and fundamental reality, then he must be ultimate in the area of knowledge as well. He must be epistemologically ultimate. The implication of this epistemological ultimacy is that God must be known in order to know anything else. To say that epistemologically anything is more certain than God or may be known before one knows God is to deny the epistemological ultimacy and glory of God. This has significant implications. First of all, if all knowledge does not assume or presuppose the existence of God, then for that bit of knowledge God is not necessary. If God is not necessary, then He is not ultimate. Second, the Christian cannot be satisfied to say that the existence of God is merely tentative or probable. If God is epistemologically ultimate, he must conclude with Frame, “Thus, God’s existence is certain, not tentative or merely probable, as traditional apologetics often suggests. God is the very criterion of certainty, because he is the criterion of truth and rationality.” (741) Third, no proof ought to be offered for the existence of God which does not itself assume the existence of God. To argue for God from something else is to attribute epistemological ultimacy to whatever that something else is. Such a proof denies the very God it attempts to prove by the nature of its argument. Again Frame remarks:

Theologians have usually treated aseity as a metaphysical attribute, that is, one that focuses on the independence of God’s being over against other beings. It seems to me, however, that the same basic concept is equally important in the epistemological and ethical areas. That is to say, God is not only self-existent, but also self-attesting and self-justifying. He not only exists without receiving existence from something else, but also gains his knowledge only from himself (his nature and his plan) and serves as his own criterion of truth. And his righteousness is self-justifying, based on the righteousness of his own nature and on His status as the ultimate criterion of rightness.1

1 John Frame, The Doctrine of God (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2002), 602.

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