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Sermons about Epistemology
In order to speak truthfully about the Church the Christian and the world we cannot simply attempt to say true things about them, but must first address the very idea of truth. Because of what has transpired in the world over the past two hundred years, especially in Western culture, the very conception of truth has changed in many people's thinking. The view of truth that has now become dominant in Western culture in general and American culture in particular thinks of human knowledge as only our perceptions of reality and not our accessing knowledge of reality as reality truly is for all people in all times and places. What is given prominent place in people's claims to knowledge and their speaking about "truth" is their perceptions, their feelings and their choices. This view of truth, while deeply and boldly human centered, as well as contrary to Scripture, is actually adopted by many people claiming to be true Christians and the guardians of the church. If we are going to rightly identify the church, the Christian life on an individual and corporate level, and understand the church and the Christian's relationship to the world we must understand these conflicting views of truth that lie at the heart of the life and thought of the church, the Christian and the world. Two systems of thought whose advocates claim is Christian in actuality embrace in principle the same humanistic ideology that is in conflict with Scripture's view of truth. We, therefore, must understand how this humanistic ideology that places great and unbiblical emphasis on the individual's perceptions, feelings and choices is combined with and expressed through the terminology of Christian theology and the Bible.
We CAN know; We can have certainty about the things of the gospel which we have been taught - but likely not in the way we think we can know.
: We CAN know; We can have certainty about the things of the gospel which we have been taught - but likely not in the way we think we can know.
Using the analogy of a solar system, we examine the difference between what is essential and what is secondary in our doctrine. We see how and why Neo-Evangelicalism gave us a parachurch and culture war without a worldview behind them, and that the task of thinking Christians is not to obsess over cultural relevance, but to reassert the Idea of the University over the humanities and social sciences.
In this second week of epistemology, we take a survey of the history of Western thought. The purpose will be to show how civilization has regressed in its foundational understanding of what reason is and what it does. Realismâ€”the view that sees metaphysical essences such as truth, justice, the laws of logic, and the object as it is in itself as actually existent and knowable realitiesâ€”has been discarded, particularly in the aftermath of Kant. Consequently, all Western thought since (including all Evangelical thought) has followed this regress in the mind.
This first class looking at our philosophical foundations introduces Epistemology, which is the part of philosophy that studies human knowledge and establishes objective standards for knowing whether something is really true or not. We examine the basic laws of logic and apply them to the most basic questions we could ever ask. The upshot of this first class is our Fundamental Principle of Thinking: The rational precedes the empirical, or, put another way, a thing has to be possible before it is actual.