Creator – Creature Distinction ?

Creator – Creature Distinction ?

Justin Taylor, writing for Desiring God, says that one of the key elements of Christian Education is “Christian education, building on the Creator-creature distinction, recognizes the fundamental difference between God’s perfect knowledge of himself (called “archetypal theology”) and the limited, though sufficient, knowledge we can have of God through his revelation (“ectypal theology”; Romans 11:34; 1 Corinthians 2:16).”[1]

There is godly humility and there is ungodly humility. This is ungodly humility. It is never humble to disbelieve God’s Word. Our knowledge of God’s is not a copy or analogy of God’s thoughts, rather, a Christian knowledge is God’s knowledge. The Christian, in abundant mercy of God, thinks God’s thoughts. “Who has known the mind of God?” The Answer is that God’s chosen ones now know the mind of God in Christ. Paul says, “But we have the mind of Christ.” & “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” Isaiah 55 teaches us that today in the revelation of Jesus Christ that God’s thoughts are our thoughts, and God’s ways are now our ways. Why do people refuse to believe the marvelous salvation and redemption of the Christ?

“Christians have been hindered in their spiritual progress by an erroneous understanding and outrageous application of Isaiah 55:8-9: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” It is said that this means man can never think or understand God’s thoughts. But if this is true, then no one can understand Isaiah 55:8-9! It is because our thoughts do not correspond to God’s thoughts that we need to renew our thinking to match his thinking. Since our thoughts are not his thoughts, we must read the Scripture to know God’s thoughts, so that we may change our minds, and conform our thinking to his thinking.”
[Vincent Cheung. Ultimate Questions. 2010. 12-13.]

Apart from the singular fact that God’s mind is infinite and ours is finite, there is not a difference between God’s chosen people and Himself in regards to His knowledge and understanding. God thinks spiritual thoughts, but now we have the Spirit of God (who alone has known the mind of God), so that we have the “mind of Christ” and even express “spiritual truths in spiritual words.” And so, Christian Education is about affirming the wonderful, sameness of God’s mind and His Saints. This is the same with the gospel. God and man are not the same (This is obvious – One created, the other is created), however, due to the wonderful work of Jesus Christ, our focus is about how united, how close and exact the image of the saints are to the Christ who created them.

Some weak minds might be tempted to suppose that idea of “our thoughts being copies(this is what ectypal means) of God” is a good expression; however, this is NOT stated anywhere in the Scripture. This also begs the question. What is meant by a copy? I can make a copy of my math homework; however, math itself cannot be copied because it is a mental understanding or concept about reality; it is not a physical thing. Those five pens on your desk is not an actual “5.” Indeed, 5 is a concept you use to understand what you see.  And  so,”5″ is not a physical thing. How can this concept be copied? With a fax machine? If our concept of 3 is a copy that is similar (like identical twins), but not the exact same thing (that is, if I make a copy of something, the law of non-contradiction says I have two separate things), then is the number 3 a similar but different thing for God and man? If so, then is God’s understanding of the Trinity being 3 persons, not the same as mankind’s understanding of 3? Does this mean the Trinity is really 5, or 3.7?

However, if man thinks God’s thoughts after him, and do know this in His revelation and Spirit, then number of the Godhead that is known to God is the exact same concept to man. Thus, man is able to worship God as He really is. Numbers and math are built from the foundation of the laws of logic, and logic is nothing more than describing motions of God’s mind, who is the Logos. So, if Christians move in the same direction as God’s mind moves, with His same knowledge, then the Christians think God’s thoughts and worship Him in truth and Spirit.

All that God knows is truth, or that God knows all truth. If we do not think in the exact same way(logic) and propositions as God does then we do not know truth.  God says what He gives us in Scripture is “truth.”  God calls us to worship Him in “truth.” The premises we do know of God is what God knows. If our understanding and worship of Jesus concerning Him “having died for our sins in our place,” is only human logic and not God’s, then does that mean Jesus really died for mice and not man?  If the proposition that Jesus “died for the ungodly,” is only a human understanding, logic and truth, then are we not worshiping God in falsehood? If so, we worshiping Him not as He really is. But, we are commanded that we must worship Him in spirit and as He really is [John 4].

The biggest issue to say that man’s knowledge is only an analogy to God’s is the fact that it is not found in the Scripture. Regarding logic, there is another issue, analogy knowledge. This results in terms in the syllogistic argument to be an equivocation fallacy. A valid (i.e. deductive) argument must have univocal terms in both the premises and conclusion to work; without there is no valid inferences. Thus, mankind would not be able to make a valid inference if God’s thoughts and his revelation to man are the same. That is, they could not know if the Scripture is truth. This of course, no matter how one boils this down, this will always leads to skepticism. Yet skepticism, always leads to the denying of the law of non-contradiction. However, Jesus Christ appeals to the Law of non-contradiction in Mark 12:35-37.

If one really wants to be super-duper humble, then start with throwing out your inward superstitions and speculations as the trash they are. Instead, believe God’s Word. If God tells His beloved chosen-ones that we have the mind of Christ, think His thoughts and know them, then we do. This is what the humble will confess. The prideful will hide their pride in false humility. Do not be deceived.

Vincent has been helpful to me on this topic.

“ Who has known the mind of the Lord?” The preachers and theologians answer, “No one!” Yet Paul says, “But we have the mind of Christ.” Verse 13 properly describes the Spirit’s inspiration: “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” This refutes the notion, also popular in Christian circles, that the things of God cannot be expressed in words. Paul says that they can, and these words were given by the Holy Spirit. And it is in this context that he says, “We have the mind of Christ.”[3]

This “Creator-creature,” seems to be used by Van Til as a fallacy of ambiguity. It is a slight of hand and smoke screen. It is pre-loaded with human philosophy. I have never seen a deductive argument from Scripture that shows precisely what this “creator-creature” doctrine is and how it concludes that man’s knowledge is not God’s. Many say, “sola Scriptura,” but few do as they say.

Gordon is good at showing the logical stupidity of this false humility.

“ This denial of univocal predication is not peculiar to the professors quoted, nor need it be considered particularly Neo-orthodox. Although the approach is different, the same result is found in Thomas Aquinas. This medieval scholar, whose philosophy has received the papal sanction, taught that no predicate can univocally be applied to God and created beings. Even the copula is cannot be used univocally in these two references. When therefore a man thinks that God is good or eternal or almighty, he not only means something different from what God means by good or eternal or almighty, but, worse (if anything can be worse) he means something different by saying that God is. Since as temporal creatures we cannot know the eternal essence of God, we cannot know what God means when he affirms his own existence. Between God’s meaning of existence and man’s meaning there is not a single point of coincidence.”[4]

This would result in a syllogism where the Major term, “exist” in the premise, would be something different in the conclusion. Thus, be invalid.  It would result in epistemological skepticism.

1 Corinthians 2:15–16 (LEB)
“15 Now the spiritual person discerns all things, but he himself is judged by no one. 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord; who has advised him?” But we HAVE the mind of Christ.”

Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Yet, here Paul quote the same O.T. passage to then say that we now do in fact not only know God’s Mind, but we metaphysically have it in the Spirit. It becomes part of our DNA, our new Creation, our being.

34 “For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?”
1 Corinth. 2:16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord; who has advised him?” But we HAVE the mind of Christ
.”

 

ENDNOTES ———

[1] Justin Taylor. The Great Vision of Christian Education. 2015. Web. www.desiringgod.org.

[3] Vincent Cheung. The Mind of Christ.  Sermonettes Vol.3 chapter 9. 2011.

[4] Gordon H. Clark. The Bible As Truth. From The Trinity Foundation. Post Office Box 68, Unicoi, Tennessee 37692. http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=258

See also, Gordon Clark. A Christian View of Men and Things. Vol.1.  2005. p 218.