Item description for The Word of God and the Mind of Man (Student Library) by Ronald H. Nash & Nash...
Overview "The last two centuries of Christian theology are the record of an evolving attack on the role of knowledge in the Christian faith. . . . The purpose of this book is to challenge the major forms of Christian agnosticism and offer an alternative theory that makes human knowledge about God possible. . . . In other words, is there a relationship between the human mind and the divine mind that is sufficient to ground the communication of truth from God to humans?" --From the Introduction
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Studio: P&R Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.64" Width: 5.44" Height: 0.41" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 1992
Publisher P&R Publishing
Series Student Library
ISBN 0875523544 ISBN13 9780875523545
Availability 0 units.
More About Ronald H. Nash & Nash
Ronald H. Nash (PhD, Syracuse University) was professor of philosophy at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of numerous books, including The Concept of God and Faith and Reason.
Ronald H. Nash currently resides in Orlando, in the state of Florida.
Ronald H. Nash has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Word of God and the Mind of Man?
Good, but somewhat dated construction of revealed truth Jan 18, 2004
Ron Nash, who is now a professor at Southern Baptist Seminary, has an impressive publishing career focusing mainly on philosophical topics and Christian thought. This particular book is one of Nash's more enduring contributions.
The book is now over 20 years old, and in spots, it shows its age, which will be discussed below. But Nash's analysis of revealed truth and whether such a thing is possible between God and man, coupled with his proposal that attempts to build a bridge between God and man is still worth reading and is in many ways, still insightful. Nash starts by charting the progression in philosophy of ruling knowledge about God out of bounds in terms of legitimate knowledge. Both Hume and Kant, and their successors, developed philosophical constructions of varying complexity that had the practical effect of consigning God to the realm of the unknowable as it related to propositional truth, though Hume and Kant took different roads to arrive at this point. Nash's contention is that this basic dichotomy that erects a barrier between God and mankind in terms of propositional truth has not only come to dominate secular philosophy but has also invaded the Church as well. Nash correctly notes that there are anti-intellectual strains within the Church that champion religious feeling and emotion as the only true knowledge of God and our only way to relate to God, and that this overemphasis on feeling is the direct result of a deliberate deemphasis on propositional truth as being a valid way of achieving knowledge of God.
Nash then proceeds to propose a Logos construction that argues that there is something of the divine mind included in human existence through innate ideas. Nash draws strongly from Augustine in his proposal that the imago dei (the image of God) of man warrants such a proposal. Nash believes that this proposal builds a bridge between God and man where knowledge and truth are concerned, and that while human beings clearly do not have exhaustive knowledge of God, we know a lot more than nothing not only because God has revealed Himself in Scripture, but also because our very nature, though corrupted by the Fall, still exhibits the imago dei through innate ideas.
Nash's book suffers from two weaknesses that compel me to the 4 star rating I'm giving it. First, as others have noted, Nash's appraisal of Van Til's epistemology is problematic. Van Til did not endorse the severe level of dichotomy between truth according to God and truth according to man the way Nash believes. On this score, Nash regretably follows Clark's lead in a way that is simply inaccurate. Secondly, Nash's section on language fails to deal with the Vienna School (Wittgenstein) that has really fueled the distrust with the reliability of language to communicate truth. Nash's book could have been better had a more in-depth study of deconstruction been undertaken here. Because this doesn't occur, Nash's discussion here becomes very compartmentalized, though in many ways, I agree with his ultimate conclusions. This section also shows its age because modern deconstructionists like Rorty, Derrida and Foucault are not dealt with.
In conclusion, there are more strengths than weaknesses here, and particularly in Nash's analysis of modernist philosophy, much can still be learned not only about how we've gotten to the point we currently find ourselves in (arguing not so much over truth claims, but having to argue over the possibility of even being able to utter truth claims about God based on truthful knowledge of God), but also in how to fight against it.
Small book, helpful content Mar 11, 2003
This book by Ronald Nash helped me understand some key intellectual history about how the mind of man has been slowly blocked out from theological knowledge. Revelation does provide cognitive content and propostitional truth. Nash points out some of the common logical errors in regard to reason and revelation. He made me comfortable with the integration of reason and revelation. I consider him a helpful teacher and guide for intellectual life and the Christian faith. This author is a teacher and trustful guide.
Great on Documenting the Modernist Movement Jan 26, 2002
Ronald Nash's work, The Word of God and the Mind of Man, is a mastery and succinct piece of work. It can be read within a few days and the content is very good.
He opens his discussion with what he calls "Hume's Gap" and then moves into "Kant's Wall" (if i remember his term for Kant's theory of the possibility of knowledge correctly). Nash notes their significant importance because their epistemological theories are shown to have influenced men such as Reihnr, Schliermacher, Brunner, and others. For example, Nash notes how their perspective about God consisted of nonpropositional content, and the experience or knowledge of the metaphysical was more of a reliance than a cognitive experience.
Following his discussion of Aristotle's four squares and the modernist theologians, Nash touches upon Augustine's theory of knowledge. This is not by any means an indepth look as his other book, A Light in the Mind: St. Augustine's Theory of Knowledge; but he does explain quite enough to grasp the fundamental concepts.
The next chapter consists of the logos epistemology. This is fully compatible with (and endorsed by) Augustine. The "logos" refers to Jesus Christ, as taken from the opening of John's Gospel. Nash gets into Scripture in detail discussing how knowledge is contingent upon Christ from a Biblical perspective.
Finally, Nash moves to the more recent theologians and philosophers. For example, he discusses the Amsterdam philosophy (e.g. Dooyweerd) and others such as Van Til. It should be noted that Nash was a student of Gordon Clark. Nash uses Clark's argument against Van Til's theory of knowlegde; however, this argument stems from a misunderstanding of Van Til's theory of man's mind being analogous to God's. See Greg. L. Bahnsen's book, Van Til's Apologetic: Readings and Analysis. There are many excerpts by Van Til that discuss that issue and clarify what he meant by man's mind being analogous to God's.
Nevertheless, despite that one problem with the book, I found it quite enjoyable and interesting to see how the modernists were influenced. I recommend this book to anyone interested in philosophy or theology (esp. within the Christian tradition).
This book is back in print Dec 25, 1999
The latest edition of this book is once again available from the publisher, Presbyterian and Reformed. It remains the only critical evaluation of theologians who attempt to discredit God's disclosure of true information through special revelation.
Readable discussion about the false dichtomy of faith/reason Oct 17, 1999
Thought-provoking discussion of the philosophical history of the false and unchristian notion that faith and reason are two separate spheres of knowledge. Ought to be required reading for every thinking person -- Christian or non-Christian.