The Choice: Verbal Revelation Or Skepticism

Religion, Reason and Revelation, by Gordon H. Clark (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1961, 241 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by Bernard Ramm, Professor of Systematic Theology, California Baptist Seminary.

In five clearly-written and incisively-argued chapters, Gordon H. Clark has given us his basic thinking about Christian apologetics whose function he conceives to be to give us a “rational worldview” (p. 111). Clark operates from two basic points of leverage. On the positive side he considers that only in special revelation do we have a religion capable of rational defense; on the negative side he uses the law of contradiction to show that all competing systems fall victim to the reductio ad absurdum.

There are several felicitous features to the book. The literary style is a model of English clarity. The logic of the book is beautiful! One had better have his logical house in order or Clark will make short work of him (and this makes reviewing his book difficult!). Time and again Clark uses the law of contradiction to decimate an opposing view. He challenges the logical positivists to state their philosophy in defiance of the logic of contradiction. In the past century there have been many theologians who have defended the notion of a finite God as a resolution to the problem of evil. Clark argues decisively (to this reviewer) that from the standpoint of logical form one can argue for a finite devil who finds too much good going on in the universe to suppress it all! The logical structures of the two arguments are isomorphic so we are left with no criterion to choose one over the other.

Furthermore a refreshing honesty pervades the entire book. Clark believes that all thinking starts from presuppositions. ...

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