by Dr. Robert L. Reymond Associate Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Covenant Theological Seminary St. Louis, Missouri AN INTRODUCTORY STUDY IN CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC METHODOLOGY THE JUSTIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE Men are now truth suppressors; 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 4 The Greek word κατεχόντων means here “hold down,” “suppress,” “hinder,” (not “hold in the sense of possessing”) as in 2 Thess. 2:6–7; cf. Charles Hodge, Commentary on Romans, on this verse, p. 36. 5 They “exchanged,” not in the sense of “giving up,” for this would contradict the earlier assertion that they “suppressed,” but in the sense that they were satisfied to substitute as the immediate object of their worship the created thing for the Creator. The knowledge of the latter they suppressed A helpful article which can be read with great profit in conjunction with the exposition in this section is Hughes’ article, “Crucial Biblical Passages for Christian Apologetics,” in Jerusalem and Athens, pp. 131–140. Also, a profound treatment of the noetic effects of sin can be found in Abraham Kuyper’s Principles of Sacred Theology, pp. 104–114. Briefly, as men construct their sciences, according to Kuyper, they now, because of sin’s effects, must face the likelihood that any and all of these effects of sin can and do bring them in their search for knowledge to ignorance: 1. falsehood 2. unintentional mistakes 3. self–delusion and self–deception 4. the intrusion of phantasy into the imagination 5. intentional negative influences of other minds (e.g., in education) upon the mind of the scientist 6. physical weaknesses influencing the total human psychology 7. the disorganized relationships of life 8. the effect of misinformation and inaccuracies learned from one realm of life upon ideas from another domain 9. self–interest 10. the weakening of mental energies and the darkening of consciousness 11. internal disorganization of life–harmonies 12. the loss of the pou sto7 found only in the revealed knowledge of God, by which one may see the whole Kuyper does not contend that men have lost the capacity of thinking logically; indeed by proper reason, men have been able to correct many of their mistakes. However, he does urge that man’s chief dilemma is his loss of a true knowledge of God, which serves as the transcendental pou sto or reference point which, as we shall see, alone justifies knowledge and from which alone true human predication may be launched Which of these effects do you see most often? How do you turn these around?