God as the Source of Knowledge
Originally published in RTB’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 1, no. 1 (2009)
Does the Bible indicate where knowledge comes from? Since evolutionary processes can’t guarantee true beliefs naturalism as a worldview faces insurmountable problems. For its part, the historic Judeo-Christian worldview asserts that God is the author of truth, logic, and the laws of nature. They are part of the “invisible furniture” of the universe, finding their source in the Creator’s very being. God’s existence is the precondition to knowledge itself.
Since humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:28–29), we are uniquely gifted to discover and utilize these universal ideas. The mind of God provides a framework for rational human thought (whether believer or nonbeliever). So when we use our minds, we are “thinking thy [God’s] thoughts after thee.”1
The apostle John describes Jesus as “the true light that enlightens every man” (John 1:9). Therefore, historic Christianity grounds human knowledge in Jesus as the logos of God. Logos in New Testament Greek means “word, message, report…As the logos, God himself (John 1:1–2) in his divine glory assumes the flesh of humanity in historical time and space (1:14–15). Jesus, the logos, signifies the presence of God in the flesh.”2
Christian philosopher Ronald Nash adds, “The Logos doctrine occupied a prominent place in the thought of several early Fathers of the church. On the basis of John 1:9, Justin Martyr argued that every apprehension of truth (whether by believer or unbeliever) is made possible because men are related to the Logos, the ground of truth.”3
Ironically, when the naturalist attempts to use the laws of logic and science to disprove the existence of God, he must first borrow certain key components from the Christian worldview.4 The entire scientific method rests on the foundational belief that there is a certain orderliness that permeates the entire universe, “and that universality corresponds to what would be expected when looking through the lens of the Christian theistic worldview.”
Simply asserting the reality of the universality of natural laws doesn’t account for their existence. Neither does it explain why they are universally perceived if the human mind is simply the product of random chance evolving from an ape-like ancestor (Darwin’s concern). The biblically derived presuppositions of the Christian worldview, however, provide a solid and coherent framework for the regularity of nature, the rationality of the human mind, and the progress of scientific discovery.
- This quote is commonly attributed to Johannes Kepler, such as by Charles Hummel in The Galileo Connection (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 1986), 97.
- William D. Mounce, Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 803.
- Ronald H. Nash, The Word of God and the Mind of Man: The Crisis of Revealed Truth in Contemporary Theology (Phillipsburg, NJ: P and R Publishing, 1982), 67.
- This idea is adapted from the transcendental argument for the existence of God, promoted by Christian philosopher Greg Bahnsen, as well as his mentor Cornelius Van Til.
- Kenneth Richard Samples, Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004), 192.
Explore the agreement between God’s Word and the natural realm through Reasons Institute, Reasons to Believe’s online learning program. Sign up for accredited courses, such as Creation and the Bible (starting March 23), or choose from a selection of on-demand lectures to take learning on the go.