Propositional knowledge

Hello, Matt-

I’ll intersperse my comments between your questions.

==1) Do you agree that all truth or knowledge is propositional like Clark does and if so how would you explain John 14:6 to an objector of that position?==

Chris: I agree with Clark that there is no such thing as non-propositional knowledge, but I disagree with Clark’s rejection of the view that knowledge can be gained by the senses. I believe that some propositional knowledge is gained through the senses and that some propositional knowledge is innate. If I understand Clark correctly, he did not believe that any proposition was mediated through the senses. I’ll hold off answering John 14:6 until I make sure I’ve even understood the first part of your question accurately (perhaps you can rephrase your question on John 14:6 in light of my response here).

==2) Also, is all General Revelation innate knowledge or is knowledge somehow “mediated” from nature and creation to our minds using our senses? Clark denies this and says our senses are stimulated and this causes us to recollect our innate knowledge of God, etc.==

Chris: Considering his epistemology, I wonder how Clark could even know (or sense?) that his senses are being stimulated. Considering some passages in Romans 1 it seems that some knowledge is innate and some knowledge is “mediated” from nature and creation through the senses. It seems that innate knowledge and sense-knowledge are complementary and work one with the other.

==3) How do you respond to man’s knowledge and God’s knowledge intersecting at one point?==

Chris: From what I remember from Clark’s writing on this, he gave the example of God knowing that “David was a king in Israel” and a man also knowing that “David was a king in Israel.” If that’s all Clark is talking about (or getting at) then I would say I agree with it.

==4) Last but not least, assuming you are a presuppositionalist, how would you explain John 20:26-31? Does Christ not use evidence for Thomas to believe and how does this reconcile to a presuppositionalist view that faith comes through the word alone?==

Chris: It seems on one level, every human being without exception is a “presuppositionalist.” For example, the unbeliever has manufactured a set of presuppositions that suppress the evidence about God (Romans 1:18-19). It is clear from Romans 1:18-21 that the problem is not a lack of evidence. They know God innately but they suppress and distort this knowledge that God has placed within them. The non-Christian adopts certain presuppositions (assumptions; axiom/first principle, etc.) that preclude the truth as revealed by Scripture.

So, regarding John 20:26-31 I would say that Thomas’ assumptions affected how he viewed the evidence. An unbelieving skeptic would reject this evidence since the evidence would not be leading him to his assumptions; rather, his assumptions would be affecting how he viewed the evidence (or what he would consider to be “valid” evidence).

Romans 10:17 says that faith comes through the Word of God. Christ’s use of evidence with Thomas is compatible with Thomas’ faith coming through the Word alone since it is only by presupposing the truth of the Word that the evidence will even be accepted as a proof in the first place.

Hopefully some of this is helpful. If I was unclear or I completely “missed the boat” on some of your questions please do not hesitate to say so.

Chris,

Thank you very much for answering my questions to the length that you did. You seem to have summed it all up well and I have no more questions at this time. The articles that your website provides are quite insightful and challenging. Thank you!