Receptively reconstructive

This insistence on neutrality is highly significant. Neutrality in method is not a mere matter of course, a hallmark of ordinary intelligence. It is imposed upon the metaphysical relativist. He cannot choose to be prejudiced or biased; he must be neutral. Therefore he too is biased and prejudiced, in favor of neutrality. Neutrality is implied in the supposition of the open universe. If the universe is open, the facts new to God and man constantly issue from the womb of possibility. These new facts will constantly reinterpret the meaning of the old. Our method then must be basically synthetic; God’s method is also synthetic. He too must wait to see what the new facts may bring. God can do no more than man. He cannot interpret the meaning of reality to man since he has not yet interpreted reality for himself. Therefore man must interpret for himself and must be neutral; his thought is creatively constructive.

The Theist, on the other hand, cannot be neutral. His conception of God makes him biased. He holds that for God the facts are in: God knows the end from the beginning. He admits that facts may emerge that are new to man; he knows they are not new to God. History is but the expression of the purpose of God. As far as the space time universe is concerned the category of interpretation precedes that of existence. Man’s interpretation must, therefore, to be correct, correspond to the interpretation of God. Man’s synthesis and analysis rest upon God’s analysis. Strictly speaking, man’s method of investigation is that of analysis of God’s analysis. We are to think God’s thoughts after him; our thought is receptively reconstructive.

– Cornelius Van Til, Christianity and Idealism.
(Bahnsen. p.702)


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