Boyce on Active Knowledge

From James Petigru Boyce’s Systematic Theology:

How does God know? or in what way does he possess knowledge?

1. Not as we gain it, by using faculties fitted to acquire it. There is in him nothing corresponding to observation, comparison, generalization, deduction, processes of reasoning, by which we pass from one step to another, or the contemplation or conjecture of suppositions or theories by which we account for facts.

2. It is even improper to speak of his knowing by intuition, as is frequently done.

3. All that we can say is that his knowledge is his essence or nature knowing. It is not something acquired, but something belonging to that nature itself and identical with it, in like manner as are his love, and truth, and justice. It is something so inherent in his nature that it exists exclusively of any means of attaining or perceiving it, which we call action.

4. The knowledge of God, therefore, not being acquired, cannot be increased. Time does not add to it. Succession of events does not bring it before God. All the objects of his knowledge are to him eternally present and known.

2 comments

  1. Nothing here from the Bible just trying develop an idea on the assumption of eternal now. How can even be called Biblical Theology?

  2. Thanks Christopher!
    You’re always so diligent! :-]

    And the Lord brought all of the birds of the air, and beasts of the field before Adam to see what he would call them. Genesis 2:19

    I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. Genesis 18:21

    Isn’t it interesting how, the language of scripture is so often framed to presuppose inferences contrary to our speculations.

    A very wise man once said: “Every man sees in accordance to the light that is in him”.
    Blessings!!

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