1437041_84147925 Reframing Propositional Truth

Pilate’s famous question, “What is truth?” now rings from every corner of contemporary American culture, if in fact the question is asked at all.  In many cases, the very idea of truth is no longer regarded as important or “relevant” to daily life.[i] A number of factors have contributed to this seismic cultural shift, most of which are beyond the scope of this paper.  One in particular, however, is the dichotomous characterization of “objective truth” and “communal understandings.”  That is, the rather obvious insight that all beliefs are culturally conditioned has led many to conclude that there is no such thing as “objective” truth that is independent of our limited and biased cultural perspectives.[ii] A Christian response to this intellectual and cultural challenge must defend the existence and accessibility of objective truth.  This paper attempts to do so by taking a few steps backward from the sound bites of popular culture to freshly appraise the nature of propositions in general and, from that standpoint, to consider some distinctions between true and false propositions.  The intention is not to replace, but to build upon classical understandings of objective truth in such a way that we discover new resources to usurp, co-opt, and derail postmodern critiques of this essential, God-given gift.

What constitutes a proposition?  What are its fundamental building blocks?  The current philosophical dialogue about propositions typically describes them in terms of three factors: their content, their ‘aboutness’ or intentionality, and their truth value.[iii] The central argument of this paper is that the standard analysis fails to notice another key building block: that is, that all propositions have relational character.[iv] In this paper I adopt what I hope is a distinctively biblical approach to this analysis of propositions, proceeding in a particularist fashion, establishing the case from the clearest, paradigmatic examples, then broadening the argument to include all propositions, and finally suggesting some of the important ramifications that are subsequently entailed.

To begin we must define our terms.  How should we understand the meaning of the phrase “relational character” as it pertains to propositions?  I suggest that this includes at least the following factors:

(1) Propositions are always known by a person.  To describe this as a feature of the proposition itself, rather than about the knower, we could adopt as shorthand that every proposition is “known to exist.”  Both are true: the person knows about the proposition and the proposition is known to exist by the person.  This is at odds with a view of propositions as ‘things-in-themselves,’ as if they existed independently of personal awareness, like stand-alone Platonic Forms.[v]

(2) Propositions always have relational impact.  No proposition exists which does not affect some person in some way.  While we should recognize that different people respond to the same proposition in different ways, this confirms the more basic insight that all propositions always have some type of relational impact and this is due to their relational character.

The relational impact of a proposition needs to be considered in two distinct ways.  First, and more important, is the normative impact that a proposition ought to have upon a person.  The scope of a proposition’s normative impact will need to include everything from the appropriate impact when it is first considered to the kind of impact it ought to have if firmly rooted in a person’s worldview.[vi] Second, there is the factual impact, which is a description of the relational impact a “particular proposition in fact has for a particular person (or particular class of persons).”[vii] The difficulty of actually specifying the normative and the factual relational impact of a given proposition should not dissuade us from recognizing these features as constitutive of propositions in general.

(3) Whether propositions are discovered (e.g., through an individual observing the galaxies through a telescope) or shared (e.g., when a husband discusses his feelings with his wife), the impact upon the person who learns of the proposition’s existence depends upon the relational climate in which the person learns of the proposition’s existence. That is, if the astronomer learns of the existence of a new star in the relational climate of knowing and experiencing the love of God, the impact upon the astronomer is quite different than if God’s love is not currently part of the astronomer’s relational climate.  More clearly, the propositions expressed when a husband shares his feelings with his wife will have widely varying impacts depending upon the relational climate that exists between the two of them, the relational climate of the wife in regards to people other than her husband, and most importantly, based on the type of relationship she has with God.  So we should say that propositions not only affect the relational atmosphere in which their existence is discovered, but that the pre-existing relational atmosphere is an essential element of understanding the relational impact of the proposition.  This is a primary reason why different people respond to the same proposition in different ways.

To summarize: by saying that propositions ‘have relational character,’ we understand that to mean that all propositions are known to exist by a person, have relational impact, and that their impact is affected by the relational environment in which a person or community becomes aware of their existence.  That is, propositions are “resonant.”[viii] A symphony offers a useful analogy.  The composer’s score is given expression through the orchestra’s performance.  As the music rises in the air, the notes resonate according to the venue’s acoustics.  God’s creation is represented by the score.  The music, as a harmonic, multi-dimensional portrayal of the score, symbolizes the propositions we use.  The place’s acoustics, as the context for the music, provides an analogy for the significance the relational environment has upon us when we consider propositions.

The paradigmatic case of all propositions being known to exist is God’s omniscience.  God is one being, and three persons, in light of whom we understand personhood itself.  God is also the only being who has awareness of every proposition that exists, including the content, aboutness, truth value, and resonance of each proposition, as well as how that proposition is related to other propositions and each person who is aware of it.  He is an unrivaled appreciator of fine music and the keenest observer of every jarring note.

Within his omniscience, a distinction can be drawn between God’s knowledge of himself and God’s knowledge of His creation.  In regards to His knowledge about Himself, God’s omniscience is temporally coexistent with his very being.  He knows everything about himself at every moment that he exists.[ix] However, it seems to make sense to say that His attributes are logically prior to His knowledge of them; His knowledge of who He is does not determine His attributes; rather, His attributes determine what He knows about Himself.  But when it comes to propositions about and within His creation, then His knowledge of all these propositions is both temporally and logically prior to the creation’s existence.  In addition, His knowledge of all creation is to His glory, both in that He knows everything, and also in that every part of Creation is a reminder to Him of His own greatness in creating, sustaining, and redeeming all that He has made.[x]

When we contrast this with how persons within His creation become aware of propositions about God or an aspect of His creation, we see that our awareness is both temporally and logically secondary to the existence of both.  The similarity is that in learning of the existence of various propositions, we are doing nothing more than “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”[xi] Part of the relational impact these particular truths should have, then, is humility: both our capacity for knowing and our knowing itself are derivative of the God who made us and the creation in which we live and learn.  At the same time, the same observation provides motivation to learn more about the Creation: it is to our glory to search out a matter, to think the same thoughts God does![xii] It is marvelous to realize that as we learn about more propositions, we become more like the God who made us.[xiii]

A further ramification of this perspective is that it amounts to a denial of a naturalistic worldview.  Whether we are studying the atomic structure of iron or the inner workings of the human brain, there is no impersonal area of inquiry.  It is a fiction to think that there exists nonpersonal facts that are detached from any relational significance.  This universe is not a lonely, empty combination of matter and energy, but a personally fashioned, fully understood work of art.  Everything about this world is known by God and was designed by Him to have a relational impact on those who discover His creation’s various features.

One way of categorizing all that exists in this creation is to consider that which exists as special revelation and that which exists as non-special, or general, revelation.  I believe we should understand the propositions of special revelation to have “living resonance” and the propositions of general revelation to have “common resonance.”

The propositions of Scripture are quite unique.  First, and again starting from the perspective of a Christian worldview, these propositions are themselves God’s Words.[xiv] Therefore, “we cannot say that every passage of Scripture conveys the truth, but we can say that every passage is inerrant, i.e., never affirms in matter of fact what is false.”[xv] We are taught, furthermore, that these words are “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV).  The divine truths of Scripture have the relational quality of “living”!  The words of God have in themselves the creative power to impact the very core of the human personality.  Furthermore, we should understand that their relational impact is maximal because we are taught that God’s words do not return to him empty, but accomplish the purposes He intends for them to accomplish (Isaiah 55:10-11).  And thirdly, the Scripture teaches that God’s design, by which His words accomplish their purposes, is connected to the relational environment in which they are received.  For instance, in Genesis 3, we see that the words of, conversely, Satan and God, have very different effects dependent upon the relational contexts in which they are spoken.[xvi] Most emphatic here are Jesus’ words: “If you abide [inhabit, live] in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:31-32, ESV).

When we consider propositions that describe God’s Creation-an artistic work that was spoken into existence[xvii]-there are two fundamental types of propositions to describe: those that are true and those that are false.  Both types have a common resonance, inclining us either towards or away from the Creator, depending upon whether a given proposition is true or false.  The word resonance means “the quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating” or, when used figuratively, “the ability to evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions.”[xviii] I find the word resonance appealing, first, because of the suggestive implications of the Creation being spoken into existence and the aural origin of the word.  Secondly, and more applicably, my suggestion below is that true propositions are an echo of the Creator’s voice, but false propositions are an echo of Satan’s voice.  Thirdly, while the relational character of propositions can at times be carefully specified, still, even in those cases there remains an evocative and suggestive element to this part of a proposition’s fundamental structure.  For these reasons, I suggest identifying the relational character of propositions that are about general revelation in terms of their “common resonance.”

As concerns the true propositions of general revelation, these are first and foremost similar to the propositions of special revelation, which are paradigmatically true statements.  The creation is God’s means of showing to all humanity His invisible attributes.  So, to the degree we accurately describe His creation, these truths are God’s means of communicating to us His nature.  In that sense these propositions are an echo, mediated through the things of this world, of God’s original speech, which generated the created order.  To return to the symphonic analogy, the propositions are an individual’s or group’s means of expressing the Creator’s original score.  These propositions are meant to have relational impact upon us; primarily, to lead us into a worshipful relationship with God.[xix] A true understanding of the creation also contributes to the flourishing of human individuals and societies.[xx] On the other hand, to the degree that we accept or communicate propositions that are false, we suffer and perpetuate the effect of the Fall, imitating Adam, who was influenced by the original deceiver, Satan.[xxi] The relational influence of ignorance and lies is to lead us away from the God of truth.[xxii]

The relational climate in which these propositions are learned affects whether or not their truth will be suppressed or accepted.  The relational climate includes the human element,[xxiii] the demonic element,[xxiv] and, most substantially, the influence of the Holy Spirit.[xxv] It is worth exploring whether or not the resonance of propositions becomes “deeper” or “stronger” as we move from propositions about, say, abstract mathematical truths to descriptions of nonliving matter to plants to animals to humans to human societies.  Another question for further research is to inquire into what kind of hierarchy Scripture and reason might establish for propositional resonance on these and other matters.  How might we compare, for instance, the resonance of academic discourse on poetry versus poetry itself?

At this point we have surveyed the structure of propositions, both of special and general revelation, examining their resonance in terms of propositions being known and having varying relational impact in light of the relational climate in which they are learned.  In each of these cases, we have considered the relational character of propositions from both the perspective of the knowers, especially of God and of humanity, with some consideration of Satan as well.  But what is the significance of this structure?  What difference does it make to suggest that propositions have resonance?

First, the relational significance of understanding the truth about propositions themselves is to lead us to praise the God who understands this world and invites us to do the same.  If, in fact, propositions do have relational character, then to know this is to discover something wonderful about God’s world.

Second, there are considerable implications for epistemology.  For instance, Alvin Plantinga’s ground-breaking work on knowledge, in which he defines knowledge as warranted true belief, specifies four conditions for a belief to have “warrant”: “warrant…is a property or quantity had by a belief if and only if (so I say) that belief is produced by cognitive faculties functioning properly in a congenial epistemic environment according to a design plan successfully aimed at the truth.”[xxvi] The relational character of propositions, as described above, entails that “a congenial epistemic environment” is as much an individual matter as it is a communal one.[xxvii] This understanding of propositions should lead to research that considers which relational environments are more or less conducive to the attainment of warrant, and therefore, of knowledge.[xxviii] Epistemologists therefore need to become intensely concerned with environments.  Further research should explore the immersive nature of total environments: facebook, myspace, SecondLife; opera, movies, concerts, art installations; the classroom, a political rally, business meeting; a church service, Bible study, a service project.  In these endeavors, cross-pollination with the fields of psychology and sociology are likely to be of use to philosophers.

Understanding the relational character of propositions opens up insights into other elements of a proposition’s structure.  For instance, we could begin to understand the aboutness, or intentionality of propositions (which is specifically considered under the topic of “correspondence”), with new insight in certain domains.  For example, when a person speaks truth, say, a case of honest self-disclosure, the proposition’s content corresponds to its referent, the internal state, but we also notice that the proposition’s relational character corresponds to the integrity of the speaker.  But when a person speaks a lie, say, a case of fraudulent self-disclosure, the proposition’s content lacks a referent in the person’s internal states (or past), but at the same time, the deceitful resonance of the proposition still matches the person’s deceitful character.[xxix] To give another example: when a great truth of the physical world is discovered (e.g., E=MC2), there is a fittingly great resonance to the truth (what a sublimely beautiful creation!).  When a lesser truth is discovered (e.g., a relatively minute fact about an ant’s antenna), the proposition may have lesser resonance.  These and many other connections between the various components of a proposition’s structure (or of an interconnected web of propositions) are worth more consideration.

These philosophical investigations ought to lead to extensive, ‘popular-level’ results.  In some cases, all that is needed is for philosophers to think carefully about the wisdom currently disseminated in other fields.  To take one example, Haddon Robinson’s classic volume on preaching, Biblical Preaching, is sprinkled throughout with instructions that clarify the proper fit between sermon content and sermon delivery.  At one point he writes, “If you shake your fist at your hearers while you say in scolding tones, “What this church needs is more love and deep concern for one another!” the people in the pew will wonder whether you know about the love you are talking about.”[xxx] Why is this the case?  Because the propositions themselves have a relational character to them which is at odds with the person who is, in some form or another, sharing these ideas to a certain audience.  The relational dynamics quickly become very complicated.  Philosophical reflection on the relational character of various types of propositions might generate practical results for preachers, public speakers of all types, advertising, web development, and all other forms of communication.

Other fields of study could also benefit.  For instance, to the degree that our churches separate orthodoxy from orthopraxy, we risk running afoul of the essential orthopraxis that we now see is inherent to the very structure of orthodoxy.  The relational character of truth, especially when we speak of Christian doctrine founded upon God’s revelation, should correspond with its intention, promoting love that brings glory to God.  This partly illuminates why Paul was concerned that Timothy and the churches he served “know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth.”  The church itself, as living people serving a living God, is to serve as a pillar and buttress of truth, both in the living message it proclaims and in the message their corporate decisions affirm.  The implications of this run into every dimension of church life, from our service to and with the poor, to the quality of our evangelism, to the fervency of our prayer meetings.  What is the correspondence between the living Word and our lives?  To what degree does the integrity of our lives facilitate knowing truth?  Does this facilitate understanding knowledge formation as an essential part of our sanctification, as individuals and as communities?[xxxi]

In academia, the rediscovery of the relational character that propositions have creates delight and wonder in all of our studies.  Because it has resonance, truth has depth and mystery.   Therefore, we cannot pretend that it can be known only in strictly formal and logical terms.  Rather, because of its inherent connection to personality, truth is emotionally colorful.  So, for instance, “2+2=4”, like all mathematical truth, testifies to the design of the creation which God the Designer has fashioned.  It is not a sterile point, but evocative.  “2+2=4” is a joyful, pleasant, delightful, wonderful, worship-inducing truth.  A child’s glee in understanding this simple expression offers us wisdom.  Or, to return to an earlier point, there is something marvelous in knowing something that God knows.  It is as if He has let us in on a secret about his world, an older brother who is sharing His perspective on reality, allowing us into His inner circle.  To take another example: it is like singing along with our favorite artist as we drive down the road.

The apologetic significance of the preceding discussion plays out on many levels.  Beyond the many implications suggested above, perhaps the most direct application is to bring an ancient, but fresh voice, into our culture’s contentious discussion about the very concept of truth and meaningful communication.  In this relational culture, attempting fresh, biblical thinking on propositions and the nature of truth is of the utmost importance.  We need to let God’s living word resonate within our hearts and minds until we gain a clearer perspective on the world he has made.  Along these lines, the identification of a relational element to the structure of propositions explains much of the postmodern desire for experiences and genuineness: there is a hunger and thirst for contact with reality as it is.  Recognizing that lively descriptions of the world are fundamentally designed to express the world as it is-not just in a cold and technical manner, but to do so in a dynamic and colorful manner-may attract ‘postmoderns’ to a new appreciation of propositional truth.  This same understanding is of value for bridging the gap within the church between ’emerging church’ pilgrims, who at their best are trying to journey towards Jesus within the context of loving communities that generate habits of faithfulness, and guardians of the traditional church, who at their best are seeking to not only conserve valuable orthodox expressions of the faith, but express these truths in new and creative ways.  A greater appreciation for the resonance of truth speaks for and against both communities, challenging each to understand God’s living instructions as a true word that is to find expression in our communal and individual lifestyles.

Whether these ideas are true or not, and whether or not this paper persuasively argues for their truth, our final hope for productive apologetic engagement is the Living Word, Jesus Christ.  He is at the center of God’s score and the most beautiful music wafting through the air.  May the Holy Spirit open our ears, soften our hearts and loosen our limbs, that we might begin to freely dance together to His song.

Bibliography

Allender, Dan and Tremper Longman, Bold Love.  Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1993.

Carson, D.A. The Gagging of God.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.  <http://www.carm.org/creeds/chicago.htm>.

Accessed 7/25/2008

Craig, William Lane and J.P. Moreland, Philosophical Foundations For A Christian

Worldview. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003,

“Dictionary,” Version 1.0.2., Copyright 2005 Apple Computer.

Plantinga, Alvin, “Advice to Christian Philosophers.”

<http://www.faithandphilosophy.com/article_advice.php>. Accessed 7/23/2008

—, Warranted Christian Belief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001.

 

The Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.

Robinson, Haddon. Biblical Preaching.  Grand Rapids


[i] Carson, D.A. The Gagging of God.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, p. 19-54.

[ii] Ibid. 90-91.

[iii] For an excellent summary treatment of these issues, see Craig, William Lane and J.P. Moreland, Philosophical Foundations For A Christian Worldview. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003, p. 130-153.  The burden of this paper is to establish and explicate the importance of a fourth essential component of rightly understanding propositions: their relational character. The technical term I have coined for this aspect of propositions is “resonance.”

[iv] I submit that one possible reason for this neglect has been the failure to bring a distinctively Christian and biblical worldview to bear upon the analysis of propositions in and of themselves.  As Plantinga advised in his decisive “Advice to Christian Philosophers,” Christian philosophers have been too captive to the reigning paradigms current in the esteemed, but secular, centers of philosophy. (Plantinga, Alvin, <http://www.faithandphilosophy.com/article_advice.php>. Accessed 7/23/2008).  In many ways, this paper is an attempt to philosophically articulate and defend concepts which are more common, and even taken for granted, in the fields of theology, sociology, psychology, business, advertising, public communication, journalism, and the arts.  For instance, the psychologist Dan Allender mentions in a book on love that “Knowledge is always personal and relational.  Every fact we learn, imperceptibly, sometimes dramatically, affects our inner world and the universe of relationships” (Allender, Dan and Tremper Longman, Bold Love.  Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1993, p. 266).

[v] I suspect that part of the reason for this is that the printed medium facilitates thinking of propositions as having independent existence outside of personal awareness (perhaps due to a confusion over the difference between sentences and propositions).

[vi] That is, perhaps a particularly important and complicated formula in physics has as its normative impact: a) upon initial consideration, wonder and amazement, b) after acceptance, deepened wonder and amazement, and c) for physicists, should become a rather significant part of their worldview, but for non-physicists, remain relatively peripheral.  But for no person should it become an ultimately important proposition.

[vii] Personal correspondence with Dr. Larry Lacy.  The distinction between normative and factual relational impact was suggested to me by Dr. Larry Lacy, who has been an invaluably wise, insightful, and generous mentor.

[viii] I distinguish between a proposition having “living resonance” or “common resonance” depending upon whether the proposition is of special or general revelation.

[ix] The full description of God’s nature is the greatest song, worthy of singing for eternity (e.g., Revelation 4:9-11).

[x] These are truths which the Psalmist recognizes, e.g., Psalm 92:5.  Cf. Col. 1:16-17.

[xi] The fuller quote, attributed to Johannes Kepler, reads “I was merely thinking God’s thoughts after him. Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it benefits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God”

[xii] Proverbs 25:2.

[xiii] This is especially the case to the degree those propositions are also true.

[xiv] As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy states, “We affirm that what Scripture says, God says.”  (<http://www.carm.org/creeds/chicago.htm>. Accessed 7/25/2008).  Cf. 2 Timothy 3:16.

[xv] The Gagging of God, 166.  Again, to quote the Chicago Statement, “We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.” (<http://www.carm.org/creeds/chicago.htm>. Accessed 7/25/2008).  Cf. Isaiah 65:16, John 17:17.

[xvi] Cf. Matthew 23, Luke 4:24-30, John 17:21.

[xvii] Genesis 1:1-2:3.

[xviii] “Dictionary,” Version 1.0.2., Copyright 2005 Apple Computer.

[xix] Romans 1:18-25, Acts 17:24-29.  We have many paradigmatic examples of how an understanding of this world leads to a deepened relationship with God in Scripture (e.g. Psalm 104, 148, or the prophetic understanding of natural events, as for instance throughout the book of Jonah with a storm, whale, bush, and worm).

[xx] E.g., 1 Kings 4:19b-34, 10:14-29.  Conversely, 1 Kings 11:1-13.

[xxi] E.g., Genesis 3, Romans 5:12-21, John 8:44, 1 John 2:4.

[xxii] E.g., Psalm 26, Proverbs 1:20-33, Jeremiah 9:3, Acts 3:17, 17:30, Ephesians 4:18, 1 Peter 1:14-15, 2:15.

[xxiii] E.g., Psalm 1, Proverbs 27:27.

[xxiv] E.g., Mark 3:22-27, Ephesians 6:21.

[xxv] E.g., John 3:5, 6:63, 14:16-17, Romans 8:23.

[xxvi] Plantinga, Alvin, Warranted Christian Belief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 204.

[xxvii] It is interesting that a great deal of the publications on epistemological matters are self-consciously focused on knowledge as an individualistic enterprise, but contain dozens if not hundreds of footnotes referencing the ideas and contributions of other people.  The clear context in which knowledge formation within the field is occurring is a relational one, and therefore not an individualistic one, and that ought to be a clue as to how important communities are for understanding any individual’s formation of knowledge.  The community of epistemologists, and their topics of epistemological discussion, ought therefore to give far greater priority and attention to the importance of community within epistemology itself.

[xxviii] This type of environmental research would be a consideration of what Plantinga refers to as a “cognitive minienvironment” (Warranted Christian Belief, 157-161).  He suggests that given a “favorable cognitive maxienvironment” (e.g., a world much like ours), “there can be minienvironments for a given exercise of our faculties, in which it is just by accident, dumb luck, that a true belief is formed, if one is indeed formed.  A true belief formed in such a minienvironment doesn’t have warrant sufficient for knowledge, even if it has some degree of warrant.  To achieve that more exalted degree of warrant, the belief must be formed in a minienvironment such that the exercise of the cognitive powers producing it can be counted on to produce a true belief” (WCB, 161).  What kinds of relational environments can be ‘counted on’ to produce true beliefs about God?  What epistemic deductions can we make from, say, John 17:20-21, about the appropriate relational environments for true belief formation?  Part of the suggestion of this paper is that a loving relational environment is conducive to believing that ‘God loves me’  because of the congruence or match between that proposition’s relational character and the relational environment in which it is learned.

Dr. Larry Lacy informs me that William Wainwright’s book Reason and the Heart: A Prolegomena to a Critique of Passional Reason explores some of these themes.  He also suggests, “One connection I see between this concept of a normative resonance and the project of doing “research that considers which relational environments are more or less conducive to the attainment of warrant, and therefore, of knowledge” is as follows.  If proposition P, because of the content of P and because of the relevant truths about the person who considers P or the person who comes to believe P, entails that the person ought to do something or seek to adopt a certain attitude and that action or seeking to adopt that attitude “cuts against the grain” of the person, then that person will be more likely to repress the truth” (personal correspondence, July 31, 2008).

[xxix] Cf. Matthew 12:33-37.  Primary examples of this correspondence can be found in reflecting upon the nature of the Trinity, as three persons of complete holiness, relating to one another with complete love, sharing between themselves all truth, as one God.  On the other hand, there is the example of Satan, a Deceiver who constantly lies.  Again, reflecting on this might, for instance, increase our wonder at the beauty of the person of Jesus Christ.  As we consider John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (NIV), we see the person of Jesus identified as the Word.  In both His personhood and in His words there is a fullness of truth, which is to His glory, and therefore is conducive to our worship.  A further question: how does the relational character of propositions explicate our understanding of Richard Swinburne’s Principle of Testimony?  Aid juries as they evaluate witness testimony?

[xxx] Robinson, Haddon. Biblical Preaching.  Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001, p. 204.

[xxxi] As Matthew 22:37 clearly indicates that it is.

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