By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERUQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – October 12, 2015) — What if I were to tell you that 1 + 1= 3. If you know basic math, you’d say that I’m crazy. You may reason something as follows: if I place one apple in a basket and then add another apple, I’d have two apples in the basket, not three. You would then infer that 1 + 1= 2, and not 3 as I stated. You’d conclude that my answer is wrong. Congratulations, you’re using a form of logic.
This basic form of rational thinking draws its framework from logic. According to Dr. Norman Geisler, “logic deals with the methods of valid thinking.” In it’s simplest form logic deals with right thinking about items and ideas. On a more sophisticated level—as Geisler points out, logic “builds from fundamental laws of reality and truth” and derives statements—or laws—concerning logical thought. These laws include: 1—The law of non-contradiction (A is not non A); 2—The law of identity (A is A); and 3—The law of excluded middle (either A or non A).
Though I won’t unpack these three laws in any detail, I will point out that the laws are important in our understanding of God. Again, as Geisler states, “if logic is the basis of all thought it is the basis of all thought about God.” We call logical thought about God—theology, or the study of God.
Concerning logical thought and God, we need to summarize the process on two levels. Level one deals with our statements concerning God. Level one statements regarding God should be based upon correct and reasoned thinking; our statements must be logical. We use logic to rightly understand God’s character and attributes (omnipotence, etc.).
Level two deals with the fact that God is the ultimate rational Being; and because of this He is subject to His rational nature. Put another way: logic flows from God’s very Person. God will not act contrary to His nature—ethically or logically. As an example, it is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18).
There are truths within theology we may not fully comprehend, but we can apprehend it in a logical sense; meaning, it does not contradict basic logic. Take for instance the Trinity. Some would say that three couldn’t be one. They reason 1 + 1+ 1= 3, not 1. But this is using the wrong math. Instead of addition, it’s multiplication: 1 x 1x 1= 1. Though we can’t fully comprehend the Trinity (three distinct Persons in one Godhead, or put another way, three persons in one essence), we can apprehend that it does not contradict basic logic: the math shows us it is possible and not contradictory.
For more information on issues important to the Christian faith, check out Veritas Evangelical Seminary: http://www.ves.edu/
All quotes from Norman Geisler are taken from The Big Book of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books.
Photo captions: Basic Math (http://www.k5learning.com). 2) Veritas Evangelical Seminary logo. 3) Brian Nixon.
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon
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