Monday, January 21, 2013

RC Sproul: Analogical Language Part 2 - Defending Your Faith Part 9


God is holy. But He is not wholly other. There are similarities between us and God: those initiated as we were created with the "image of God" internally imprinted on us, and highlighted in the Incarnation, as God proved that He was not completely different from us by becoming a man. And when we reach heaven, "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."


1. To understand the dangers of Karl Barth's idea of God as "wholly other."
2. To realize that the problems of communication can be overcome.
3. To understand the three kinds of language.


The incarnation of Christ is the clearest affirmation of the truth that man is created in the image of God. (Lawrence Adams)
Christ voluntarily took on himself everything that is inseparable from human nature. (John Calvin)
With the exception of being sinful, everything that can be said about a man can be said about Jesus Christ. (James Boice)


I. The Crisis of God-Talk and Karl Barth

a) Barth introduced the idea that God was wholly other to guard Him from being discussed rationally.
b) Illustration: R.C. in Canada
c) Illustration: Cool Hand Luke and a failure to communicate

II. Why do we fail to communicate?

a) Illustration: I say "chair" and you hear "chair", and example of communication working.
b) Illustration: I say "imminence" and you hear "M&M's."
c) If you cannot understand language, you cannot know much. If language cannot communicate, then we can know nothing about God.

III. Aquinas and Three Kinds of Language

a) Univocal: In a dialogue, when two parties understand a thing in exactly the same way. In this language, words retain their definitions.
b) Equivocal: When, within a dialogue, the definitions of portion of the language changes meaning. When one person communicates something to the other, the meaning changes.
c) Analogical: In communication, the definitions of words change proportionately to the difference in the beings dialoguing.
Illustration: Good dog vs. Good guy
d) We have a measured likeness to God; therefore, we have a corresponding ability to communicate with Him.

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