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The Rationality of Theism 3: Cognitive Inspiration and the Knowledge of God


Overall not a great chapter- the author just sort of rambles about how the God and the Holy Spirit offer these transformative experiences. There’s not really argumentation that it occurs. It’s really just assertion of what it’s like. Seems sort of arguing backwards. There’s a lot of talk about God only showing his existence to those who want to know him. But wait, how can we want to know something if we don’t assume it exists in the first place? This chapter might be useful for one who already believes, but it is basically useless in contributing to the “rationality of theism.”

Kindle Notes:

If God exists, knowledge of God is grounded in the experience of God (1410).

God’s moral excellence calls for specific features in available evidence of God’s reality. As morally excellent, God would seek what is morally best for us, including our becoming loving in the way God is. This requires that God preserve our capacity for freedom in decision-making, and not rule by coercion (1543).

Note: Does this demand contra causal free will?

So, God must abstain from offering evidence of divine reality that extinguishes our freedom (1546).

Note: I addressed this idea in a previous post (Atheism: 17).

If the evidence of God’s reality were sophisticated, many sophisticated people would easily take selfish pride in comprehending it. Many intellectually sophisticated people would then easily treat knowledge of God as a privileged possession rather than as a gracious gift to be received gratefully and humbly (1554).

Note: Rules out sophisticated proofs.

Evidence of God’s reality arises from the power of divine self-giving love present in a human life (1635).

Note: Examples? It jst sounds like naturalistic love to me.

If God’s own personal Spirit cannot authenticate God’s reality for us creatures, then nothing else can either (1664).

What else could God supply as salient evidence of divine reality, besides his Spirit and his unique Son? They provide the best evidence imaginable and the only evidence worthy of full commitment to God. Others kinds of evidence suffer from being a questionable distance from the God in question (1670).

In willing to have God’s Spirit empower us, we put ourselves in a position to acquire otherwise unavailable evidence, and even knowledge, of God’s powerful reality (1736).

Note: Believe in order to believe.

Hermann Gunkel has captured the heart of Paul’s position: The Christian possesses a force more mighty than the natural man. What the latter could not do, the former is able to do. The natural man languished under the reign of sin; the Christian has become free from it (1777).

Note: This appears to be falsified.

People are wisely advised to “test the spirits to see whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1) (1796).

Note: Oops. They all fail. Thanks Bible!

27 … God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong… (1824).

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