The Believer’s Object of Knowledge

“What is true with respect to the existence of the whole space-time world is equally true with respect to the meaning of it. As the absolute and independent existence of God determines the derivative experience of the universe, so the absolute meaning that God has for himself implies that the meaning of every fact in the universe must be related to God…

Applying this to the question of man’s knowledge of facts, it may be said that for the human mind to know any fact truly, it must presuppose the existence of God and his plan for the universe. If we wish to know the facts of this world, we must relate these facts to laws. This is, in every knowledge transaction, we must bring the particulars of our experience into relation with universals. So, for instance, we speak of the phenomena of physics as acting in accordance with the law of gravitation. We may speak of this law of gravitation as a universal. In a smiliar way, if we study history instead of nature, that is, if we study the particulars of this world as they are related to one another in time as well as in space, we observe certain historical laws. But the most comprehensive interpretation that we can give of the facts by connecting the particulars and the universals that together constitute the universe leaves our knowledge at loose ends, unless we may presuppose God back of this world…

As Christians, we hold that in this universe we deal with a derivative one and many, which can be brought into fruitful relation with one another because, back of both, we have in God the original One and Many. If we are to have coherence in our experience, there must be a correspondence of our experience to the eternally coherent experience of God. Human knowledge ultimately rests upon the internal coherence within the Godhead; our knowledge rests upon the ontological Trinity as its presupposition.”

(Van Til, Introduction to Systematic Theology, 22)


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