Reformed Theologians on Innate Knowledge of God

Posted: January 3, 2015 in On the Classical Arguments
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Paul Kjoss Helseth has written an excellent essay clarifying B.B. Warfield’s understanding, not only of the innate knowledge of God in all men, but also how Warfield applied this to apologetics.  From the essay:

man’s power of attaining truth depends . . . first of all upon the fact that God has made man like Himself, Whose intellect is the home of the intelligible world, the contents of which may, therefore, be reflected in the human soul; and then, secondly, that God, having so made man, has not left him, deistically, to himself, but continually reflects into his soul the contents of His own eternal and immutable mind – which are precisely those eternal and immutable truths which constitute the intelligible world. The soul is therefore in unbroken communion with God, and in the body of intelligible truths reflected into it from God, sees God. The nerve of this view, it will be observed, is the theistic conception of the constant dependence of the creature on God. ~ B.B. Warfield “Calvin and Augustine”, pg. 145.

Charles Hodge also taught that knowledge of God was innate.  His book “Theology Proper” is posted online.  From the book:

Those who are unwilling to admit that the idea of God is innate as given in the very constitution of man, generally hold that it is a necessary, or, at least, a natural deduction of reason. Sometimes it is represented as the last and highest generalization of science. As the law of gravitation is assumed to account for a large class of the phenomena of the universe, and as it not only does account for them, but must be assumed in order to understand them;so the existence of an intelligent first cause is assumed to account for the existence of the universe itself, and for all its phenomena. But as such generalizations are possible only for cultivated minds, this theory of the origin of the idea of God, cannot account for belief in his existence in the minds of all men, even the least educated. ~ chapter 1 sub-section: “The Knowledge of God is not due to a Process of Reasoning”. 

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Comments
  1. […] 4.) Reformed Theologians on Innate Knowledge of God […]

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  2. SLIMJIM says:

    Good quotes…cool to see what Old Princeton has to say!

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