Knoweldge of God?

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’ve been writing on presuppositionalism lately and the knowledge of God. I’ve already made several points about moral knowledge. What about knowledge of God Himself? Is it possible for the pagan to have knowledge of God without having a salvific knowledge of God?

In a way, it seems that the presuppositionalist is in a bind. We are told on the one hand that man can have no knowledge without being able to support it in the triune God. On the other hand, we are told that all men know who God is and need to repent of their rebellion against him. Which is it that is the case? Does man know God or not?

Romans 1:18-21 is often the key text cited. However, it is a difficult one that many exegetes have wrestled with. When man is said to know God, what exactly is meant? It can’t be salvific knowledge of God here or else that would mean that those who were saved apostasized. An arminian would not have a problem with that, but one who is a Calvinist, as presuppositionalists are, would. This does not mean Calvinism or eternal security or the perseverance of the saints is false. It simply means that believing in presuppositionalism entails believing in Calvinism and believing in Calvinism means one cannot accept this interpretation.

Then if it isn’t salvific knowledge, what is it? Does it mean that everyone knows that God is triune and that He has revealed Himself in Christ? Doubtful. We would need some evidence that there were any among the pagans or even among the Jews themselves prior to Christ who were affirming the doctrine of the Trinity. Not something like the Trinity such as the Jews having the idea of multiple hypostases and plurality possibly being in God or pagans supposed having a Trinity when they have a triad instead. It would need to be the bona fide Trinity.

What does it mean then? It refers to man has a knowledge of God that is basic and can grasp His basic attributes even if imperfectly. That this knowledge is not necessarily salvific is a far cry from saying that it is false. One can read much of Aristotle’s work in the Metaphysics on God and see much that is true from a Christian perspective. Some of it is false, but not all. How did Aristotle get there? He reasoned from the things that were seen.

Are we to say Aristotle had lucky guesses or did He have knowledge of God? I believe the latter. How is that possible however? How could you have knowledge of God without knowledge that God is triune? It is because that knoweldge of God is knowledge of being. We can know something about existent things without knowing how we know them.

Again, this is not denying that the existence of God I think is necessary for there to be an explanation for such things, but it is saying that one does not need to have knowledge of the existence of God in order to say one knows these things. At this point, the question can be asked “Well which God does provide that basis if not the triune God?” Let us look at that tomorrow night.

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