God and Logic
Gordon H. Clark
In thinking about God, Calvinists almost immediately repeat the Shorter Catechism and say, “God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable.” Perhaps we do not pause to clarify our ideas of spirit, but hurry on to the attributes of “wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” But pause: Spirit, Wisdom, Truth. Psalm 31:5 addresses God as “O Lord God of truth.” John 17:3 says,” This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God….” 1 John 5:6 says, “the Spirit is truth.” Such verses as these indicate that God is a rational, thinking being whose thought exhibits the structure of Aristotelian logic.
If anyone objects to Aristotelian logic in this connection-and presumably he does not want to replace it with the Boolean-Russellian symbolic logic-let him ask and answer whether it is true for God that if all dogs have teeth, some dogs-spaniels-have teeth? Do those who contrast this “merely human logic” with a divine logic mean that for God all dogs may have teeth while spaniels do not? Similarly, with “merely human” arithmetic: two plus two is four for man, but is it eleven for God? Ever since Bernard distrusted Abelard, it has been a mark of piety in some quarters to disparage “mere human reason”; and at the present time existentialistic, neo-orthodox authors object to “straight-line” inference and insist that faith must “curb” logic. Thus they not only refuse to make logic an axiom, but reserve the right to repudiate it. In opposition to the latter view, the following argument will continue to insist on the necessity of logic; and with respect to the contention that Scripture cannot be axiomatic because logic must be, it will be necessary to spell out in greater detail the meaning of Scriptural revelation.
Now, since in this context verbal revelation is a revelation from God, the discussion will begin with the relation between God and logic. Afterward will come the relation between logic and the Scripture. And finally the discussion will turn to logic in man.