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Monday, February 13, 2006 

A Reformed Comments Discussion

Mr. David Gadbois of the excellent Mongrel Horde wraps up his three-post summary (Part 1, Part 2, [part three below]) of his weekend getaway to Westminster Seminary California. He attended various lectures, and found much to profit, it seems. The highlight of his posting - and no disrespect to Mr. Gadbois - is what follows in his comments section.

Professors R. Scott Clark of WSC and John M. Frame of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL, share some insightful remarks into the differences of their respective theologies and approaches to apologetics and theology. While overall a terrific conversation, at times it may seem a bit "in house" for some readers. What I consider helpful is point-by-point discussion of various issues. Who would have thought such phenomenal interaction could take place in the comments!

All of this may become the impetus of What the Thunder Said... weighing in on various and sundry issues, from the G. Clark/C. Van Til controversy to archetypal/ectypal theologies. Until then, make sure you take a chance to read the discussion for yourself.


I hate to be one of those people who constantly think that whatever they are currently studying is immediately relevant to everything, but...if everyone would just study the Nadere Reformatie and the Protestant Scholastics we would have very few disagreements within the Reformed community. As you know, they strongly emphasized how we cannot know God "in se." Rather, we know God as He has chosen to reveal Himself. Moreover, we start with divine revelation, we do not reason up to it as though we could demonstrate God (!). Van Til was one of the first to apply Protestant Scholastic prolegomena to apologetics, as far as I can tell.

I am impatiently waiting for an explanation of archetypal/ectypal knowledge, as I'm sure is true for many of your readers.


An explanation on TA/TE from me?! Man, the pressure is really on!

So, Lund, I was searching for your email somewhere on your blog, I think I'm a bit slow, I couldn't find in vain I am posting a comment, although I'm not commenting on the above statements. Not relaly caring who can see's not as if anyone knows me, no?

I'm posting a link to the art project I talked to you about earlier.

On the back was a simple message (and I really hope it means what I think/wanted it to mean)

Cara mea Mary-
Gratis tibi ago
Ab imo pectore

My dear Mary-
I Thank you
From the bottom of my soul (or heart)

(heh...did I do that wrong? lol)


TA is a short-hand way of saying "what God knows, the way he knows it." TE is short-hand for "what God has revealed to creatures, the way he revealed it." According to Reformed orthodoxy, reatures can only have the latter. Only God has the former. Luther called TA the theology of glory. He called TE the theology of the cross.

Van Til made this distinction. He simply spoke of the Creator/creature distinction.

Virtually all Western theologians deny that we can know God "in se" (in himself, as distinct from the way he reveals himself), even Thomas Aquinas. Now, it seems to me that that most medieval theologians weren't completely consistent, but a claim that we can know God "in se" is remarkable and unprecedented in Reformed theology.

ps. NB: my website has moved to



R. Scott Clark, D.Phil
Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology
Westminster Seminary California

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Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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