God’s Knowledge of Himself and the World

“1. God’s Knowledge of Himself
God, we have contended, is self-determinative. He has no non-being over against himself in terms of which he needs or can to any extent interpret himself. He is omniscient. He is omniscient because of what is is as a self-sufficient Being. On the other hand we must add that the nature of God’s being requires completely exhaustive self-consciousness. God’s Being is coterminous with his self-consciousness…

We do not hesitate to emphasize therefore that God has and is complete internal coherence. As for as God’s own person is concerned the subject is the object of knowledge. His knowledge of himself is therefore entirely analytical. By that we do not suggest that God had to go through a process of looking into himself and finding information with respect to himself…Analytical knowledge, in distinction from synthetic knowledge, means knowledge that is not gained by reference to something that exists without the knower. God knows himself not by comparing and contrasting himself with anything, not even non-being, outside himself. He knows himself by one simple eternal act of vision. In God therefore the real is the rational and the rational is the real.

2. God’s Knowledge of the World
God’s knowledge of the universe is also analytical. God’s knowledge of the universe depends upon God’s knowledge of himself. God has made the universe in accordance with his eternal plan for that universe. Thus the very existence of the universe depends upon God’s knowledge of or plan for the universe. God does, to be sure, behold the universe and the children of men as being “outside” himself. He beholds them now as actually existing beings engaged in actual work of their own, because he has from all eternity beheld them as going to exist. His knowledge of that which now takes place in the universe is logically dependent upon what he has from all eternity decided with respect to the universe.”

(Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, 35-39)


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