There are several criticisms and objections against Gordon Clark’s teachings concerning epistemology, philosophy, and theology. However, these criticisms ultimately fall short. This is a list of answers to criticisms and objections against Gordon Clark. Some of these answers will merely be quotes from Clark’s writings.
Table of Contents
Does Logic Precede Scripture/God?
Scripturalism Doesn’t Provide Enough Knowledge
Knowledge Is Impossible Without Scripture; Scripture Provides Enough Knowledge
From Clark and His Critics, published by the Trinity Foundation (page numbers are from the Apple Books e-book).
There is also another easily noted objection to the axiomatic status of verbal inspiration. It is somewhat the reverse of the first. The first objection was that verbal inspiration is too all-encompassing. The second is that verbal inspiration covers very little. Presumably all secularists, and many theologians as well, see no hope of developing all possible knowledge out of verbal inspiration. Admittedly, the Bible gives us some theology; granted, it contains some history; but how from the Bible can one get the rest of history, all of science, and even logic and mathematics?
As this objection is obvious, so it demands a clear answer. One is immediately forthcoming. As has been shown, secular epistemologies cannot provide for any knowledge at all; therefore, whatever knowledge revelation gives us, however restricted, is to be received with thanksgiving. Even if one does not take such a dim view of secular principles, every philosopher admits that there will always be spheres of ignorance. Hegel himself, retreating from his imposing claim to omniscience, acknowledges that some parts of zoology cannot be deduced from his categories. Hence, that the Christian system leaves some or many gaps in our desired knowledge is not a pertinent objection. Furthermore, one should not assume that the postulate of revelation provides only a bare minimum of knowledge. Its extent remains to be examined.Gordon H. Clark. “Clark and His Critics.” Apple Books. 127-128.
The Difference Between Knowledge and Opinion
What account shall be given of everyday “knowledge” that common sense thinks it silly to doubt? Don’t I know when I am hungry? Can’t I use road maps to drive to Boston or Los Angeles? Indeed, how can I know what the Bible says without reading its pages with my own eyes? It was one secular philosopher criticizing another, who said that knowledge is a fact and that any theory that did not account for it should be abandoned. But all such criticisms miss the point. The status of common opinion is not fixed until a theory has been accepted. One may admit that a number of propositions commonly believed are true; but no one can deny that many such are false. The problem is to elaborate a method by which the two classes can be distinguished. Plato, too, granted a place to opinion as distinct from knowledge; he even admitted that in some circumstances, opinion was as useful as knowledge with a capital K. But to dispose of the whole matter by an appeal to road maps that we can see with our own eyes is to ignore everything said above about Aristotle.Gordon H. Clark. “Clark and His Critics.” Apple Books. 188-189.