[This speech was given by Dean Walker of the Geneva Institute of Christian Thought on a visit to Sola on June 4, 2020] 

God’s Speech and Human Knowledge 

Thank you SOLA for the opportunity to speak tonight and share some thoughts about a topic that I think is important in our day: the vital relationship between God’s Speech and Human Knowledge. 

I will start by admitting that philosophers tend to ask some pretty silly questions. For example, some of the early philosophers asked if there was anything that actually existed. You see, Heraclitus had this idea that everything was changing, and he reasoned that if everything was always changing then nothing ever actually existed. This question put the philosophical world into a frenzy for centuries. Silly philosophers—all of them. They did eventually get around to affirming reality in one way or another but even to this day philosophers are still grappling with the concepts of existence and change. I’ve often wondered why those early philosophers didn’t just agree with Heraclitus’ premise, accept the fact the he himself didn’t exist, and therefore ignore him. It might have saved us all a bit of headache. 

It does occur to me, though, that if we had not fully grappled with the issue, if we had not fully comprehended the difficulty; we also would not fully understand the profound significance of God’s self-identification: The I AM! The One who exists and does not change; the one in whom “we live, and we move, and we have our being.” 

Yes, Heraclitus shook the philosophical world when he asked his questions about existence. It took over two thousand years into the 18th century A.D. before the philosophical world would be similarly shaken again, this time on the question of whether we can know anything about existence. 

To illustrate this, imagine if you will that you and I go to the sixth game of the world series at Yankee stadium in 1957. [*ad lib- Yes, I know . . .] The Yankees are down three games to two making the last two games must wins. It is the third inning with Enos Slaughter on base and Yogi Berra at the plate with two outs and Bob Buhl on the mound for the Braves. Buhl winds and delivers the ball to the plate, Yogi swings, it is hit hard, going deep, very deep, and gone. The stadium, of course, goes wild—to my chagrin by the way because I am, and always will be, a Braves fan. 

Imagine if you will that after the cheers abate slightly that you turn to me and the praises for Yogi just flow forth. “Who needs Eddie Matthews, or even Hank Aaron,” you gush “when you have a catcher like Yogi Berra.” “And look,” you point out, “how he came through in the clutch with two outs right when we needed it.” Then, you rest calmly in your seat thinking that nothing, absolutely nothing could be questioned. The Yankees were the greatest, of course. Yogi Berra was the greatest. There could be no answer for any of that. 

That’s when I calmly point out to you that we don’t actually know that Yogi had anything to do it. You see, all we know is that the ball flew out of the stadium in RF after Yogi swung the bat. 2 

We actually don’t know that the bat caused the ball to fly, or had any effect on the ball whatsoever. We only perceive that one thing happened after the other. We can only infer from the association, we do not know. “In fact,” I tell you, “this whole sequence is being orchestrated in in Boston by management of the Red Sox. It is meant to raise your hopes before Milwaukee wins in all with a hand full of runs in game 7.” 

“You’re crazy,” you laugh,” All I know is that the Yankees are winning 2-0 and it is going to be very hard with Turley on the mound for anything to happen today but a Yankees win!” 

The next day, however, after the Braves win convincingly 5-0 in game 7, there is a shred of doubt in your mind. Surely, the ball flight was caused by the swinging bat in the hands of the great Yogi Berra. But, do you know for certain? Can it be proved? 

Of course David Hume, the great skeptic, didn’t use baseball as an example in the eighteenth century, he used billiard balls. How do we know that one balls trajectory is caused by another, he asked? All we know is that one occurs after the other. 

Now, some of you might think all of this is silly. Silly philosophizing, all of it. We know Yogi hit the homerun and it in incredulous to suggest otherwise. And believe it or not, I agree with you. But the philosophical community understood the gravity of the question. It is one thing to accept prima facia without any other logical explanation that one thing causes another. But, Hume was right on a point, did we observe causation. No, we only observed that one thing followed another. How can we be sure of something we don’t actually observe? How can we know for certain that there is anything like causation? And if we can even have a shred of doubt about causation then how can we be certain, absolutely certain, about anything? 

So, how did it come to be that the philosophers lost all confidence in human knowledge. Did God intend for truth to be uncertain? Did he intend for us to question the very fabric of the created order? Even the fundamental idea of causation? If not, how is it that He intended for us to know? To gain an understanding of that, it is useful to explore history and how God relates to man. Let’s start with some very early history, indeed. In Genesis 1 we read: 

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [h]moves on the earth.” 

Note that after God created Adam and Eve, and blessed them, he spoke to them. He told them that they were to produce children and fill the earth. He validated both their existence and also their knowledge of what they should do. (By the way, I hope you also see a certain validation of causation here. The union between Adam and Eve would be causal to filling the earth. Eve would be the mother of all the living). 3 

A little bit later in human history God in His wisdom decided to judge the earth with a flood. At that time, he cam to Noah and said: 

13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make [g]rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred [h]cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 

Note, God spoke to Noah and told him his plans for the earth. And with that knowledge, he also gave him the knowledge of what to do. To build and ark and how to build it. Imagine if you will that Noah chose to invest decades of experiments to determine if a 30x5x3 ark could withstand a global flood. If he had done that, he might well have died working on an unfinished ark when the floods came. No, he knew that the ark he built would be suitable for the purpose because God told him how to build it. 

Then a little bit later, God spoke to Abraham and said, 

“Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great;” 

God spoke to Abraham, told him what He was going to do, and what Abraham should do. At time Abraham didn’t know how those things would come about, but in the end Abraham’s faith in God’s promise was absolute. Even to the point that as he raised a knife above Isaac, the one through whom God had said the great nation would flow, Abraham knew that God would do it, that it was true, even if it would require God raising Isaac from the dead. Could such faith be possible if God intended there to be doubt about the most fundamental aspects of knowledge? 

You see, Abraham’s knowledge of the truth was not ultimately based on proof or even probability; but rather on God’s speech. He assumed that if God said it, that it was true. This was a certainty of knowledge that could never come from reason, or observation. 

We see this pattern throughout human history, God continued to speak to men through Moses and the prophets. God’s people were expected to use their creativity, their powers of observation and thought, but they were never expected to use those powers in isolation—apart from God’s speech. 4 

Even now though God may not speak to us directly, he has, nonetheless, spoken. In Hebrews 1, we read: 

God, who [a]at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the [b]worlds; 

So we not only have the record of God’s speech for times of old, which by the way was validated most prominently by Christ himself and his affirmation of it; but we also have His speech through His Son, given to us through His appointed messengers, the Apostles. The veracity of which was witnessed through Peter when he wrote: 

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. . . . 

21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but [k]holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 

So, we have a basis for knowledge that transcends mere human experience and is rooted in a relationship between God the creator and man the crown of His creation. The foundation of this knowledge is rooted in what God had told His creatures. And since God knows all things and is perfectly good, and cannot lie, everything—every detail of everything—that He has told us is certainly true. 

Now, in what Scripture teaches are the last days—the days between Christ’s first coming and the second—it was long understood that God’s word was our basis, our confidence for everything that we know. In the course of time, however, men being wonderfully created began to have confidence in forming their own basis for knowledge apart from God’s speech. Reason and experience were given foundational status. And It was not merely that we could know some things, but that we could know all things through reason and experience apart from God’s speech. 

This shift in thinking came to full expression through a couple of famous philosophers, Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon. You may recognize Descartes through his most famous line “Cogito, ergo sum.” What you might not know is the significance of this statement in Descartes’ quest for knowledge. Descartes’ theory was that all knowledge could be gained through human reason. The difficulty was to get down to one, or a few, basic ideas that were self-evidently true. Then, one would be able to deduce all truth from those basic ideas. 

Descartes began by doubting everything in order to find those basic truths. Anything that could be doubted, even if such doubting stretched the imagination, was discarded. What he was left with at the end was the idea that he could not doubt his own existence. Now, when he 5 

determined this, he was not speaking of the physical body. He admitted that it was strange to doubt the body, but it was possible. Accordingly, he threw knowledge of the body out with everything else. What couldn’t be doubted was the mind. The reason for this is that one cannot doubt the mind without exercising it—in the act of doubting the mind is actually confirmed—for it is the mind that is capable of doubt. From this he concluded “Cogito, ergo sum,” or in English “I think, therefore I am.” Descartes then used deductive reasoning to build a comprehensive body of proven ideas upon that one basic premise. He even thought that in the course of events, that he had proven God. Some people still conclude that he did. 

Now let’s move to the other philosopher, Francis Bacon. Bacon agreed with Descartes that it was possible for humans to gain all knowledge, but he disagreed with the method. Rather than trusting reason, he trusted man’s ability to learn from the natural world. In his magnum opus, “New organon, or true directions concerning the interpretation of nature;” he wrote this, 

I set myself to consider what service I was myself best fitted to perform. Now if a man should succeed, not in striking out some new invention, but in kindling a light in nature—a light that should eventually disclose and bring into sight all that is most hidden and secret in the universe—that man (I thought) would be benefactor indeed of the human race. 

You see, Bacon like Descartes believed that there were no limits to human knowledge. While Descartes looked internally to the human mind, Bacon looked externally to the natural world. These two methods are commonly referred to as rationalism and empiricism, and philosophers since the days of these men have juxtaposed those two methods against one another, or combined them in various ways, in order to attempt to assert the possibility of human knowledge outside of God’s speech. 

This turn in man’s thinking on the capability of gaining knowledge autonomously is the turn that set in motion centuries of philosophical wanderings in the wilderness, and has left us buried under a great weight of uncertainty, doubt, and unrestrained skepticism. Rightly ordered, reason and science serve as indispensable tools and even the Scripture affirms their value. Paul teaches in his letter to the Romans that “[God’s] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen being understood through what has been made.” He goes on to point to both the mind and the external world as sources for that understanding. He affirms that they are sufficient to reveal both the existence of God and the judgment of God to every man. But there he stops. It turns out that they are not sufficient to reveal the gospel of Christ or even the ultimate purpose for life. And, it turns out that men are sufficiently corrupt, and motivated by their rebellion against God, that they will deny even those truths that are obvious in nature and according to reason. 

So according to Scripture, both the Cartesian and Scientific methods, useful though they might be in service to God’s speech, are compromised by both their incompleteness and corrupt state of their master’s fallen human nature when employed as an alternative to God’s speech. The

point is not that reason and/or science are not beneficial for human knowledge, the point is that they are insufficient to stand alone or even together outside of God’s speech. 

Philosophical critiques of Descartes and Bacon would come quickly in the scope of philosophical discourse. Blaise Pascal, who held to the not only the foundational quality of God’s speech to men, but also to God’s personal relationship to every man, questioned whether human reason, on its own, was up to the task. Noting that reason had failed over the course of time to come to agreement on the most important questions, such as the sovereign good; he asked whether such failure would deter her. He wrote, 

This would doubtless suffice, if reason were reasonable. She is reasonable enough to admit that she has been unable to find anything durable, but she does not yet despair of reaching it; she is as ardent as ever in this search, and is confident she has within her the necessary powers for this conquest. We must therefore conclude, and, after having examined her powers in their effects, observe them in themselves, and see if she has a nature and a grasp capable of laying hold of the truth.

1 Blaise Pascal, “Pensées,” in Pascal’s Pensées and the Provincial Letters (trans. W. F. Trotter; New York: The Modern Library, 1941), 29 (73). Thanks o Mary V. Walker for identifying this relevant quote. 

2 Denzil G. M. Patrick, Pascal and Kierkegaard (vol. 1, London: Lutterworth Press, 1947), 152-3. 

Pascal, one of the greatest thinkers and scientist in history, concluded that ultimately, she was not. He observed, that “[w]e know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart; it is in this latter way that we know first principles, and it is in vain that reasoning, which has nothing to do with it, tries to attack them.”2 He thereby rejected both the certainty of the rationalistic project and the context of doubt in which it operated. 

Pascal’s critique is more powerful than I can give service to here. Suffice it to say that when he talks of the “heart,” he does not mean an irrational feeling, but rather the direct, concrete, intuitive apprehension of truth in a way which affects the whole personality. This apprehension is gained in relationship with one’s creator and in the context of His revealed truth. Unfortunately, Pascal was ignored in his day, otherwise the bulk of the philosophical wanderings might have been avoided. 

It only took a century for the heights of confidence in human knowledge to reach depths to which it could not go lower when David Hume published his critique of causation. It might be wished that the philosophers would have recognized their error and returned to a dependence on God but they did not. Confidence in autonomous human reason compelled them to attempt to dig themselves out of the pit on their own. Many made the attempt but the first and foremost of these was Immanuel Kant. 

Immanuel Kant said that Hume “awakened him out of his dogmatic slumbers” and set him on a path to save knowledge. And, eventually he thought he did just that, at least in part. The details of Kant’s system is quite complex, but it is sufficient to understand that Kant viewed the nature 7 

of the mind to be a necessary and coherent part of reality and therefore it could be trusted. If the knowledge that we seek is of the physical world, he concluded, we can be confident in our ability to know it. On the other hand, with respect to the metaphysical, the immaterial, God for instance, we can have no such confidence. He expressed regret for this shortcoming but he thought that unless this differentiation was made, we would have to agree with Hume and throw out all knowledge. 

Two things should be noted here. First, Kant’s claim that the mind, though being an autonomous entity, was specially attuned to the nature of external reality and necessary even to its comprehension; would seem to give substantial witness to the metaphysical, or God. There would seem to be something responsible for the relationship and the metaphysical would appear to be the best explanation. Second, Kant’s exposition of the nature of the mind was an exposition of the metaphysical, since all its components in Kant’s own writings are metaphysical. Knowledge of it, which he claimed to reveal, would seem to be prohibited by his own thesis. 

These shortcomings, notwithstanding, did not prevent large segments of the philosophical world from accepting Kant’s thesis. In fact, it could be said that even now, in the contemporary world, we are all pretty much Kantians. 

  • • Just follow the science we are told. Doing so will lead you to the right understanding and the right action to take. 
  • • Or, we can discuss and debate science because it is objective, but we cannot discuss and debate religion because it is subjective and personal. 
  • • Or, just give me the facts—without any interpretation. Those things, the raw facts, are the only things that are relevant. 

Since Kant it can be said that the empiricists have won—at least in the western world. It is assumed that if human knowledge, culture, or society is to progress it will be through science. We will solve poverty through the right political science. We will solve disease through the right medical science. We will solve the human condition though sociology. And, we will make everyone content through the right psychology. Philosophy and theology no longer matter because they are not objective, they cannot be known. They fall on the wrong side of Kant’s metaphysical wall. 

Yes, the world is Kantian, but it continues to be so in the face of overwhelming critique against the Kantian idea. Three major fractures have emerged within the Kantian solution. Though these fractures should be enough for the wall to crumble, it is held up by the sheer will of the philosophers. They prefer to deny their own nature rather than to face the consequences of admitting the fallen wall. 

The first fracture has to do with meaning. If the physical is all we can know then we cannot know anything about meaning. Fredrick Nietzsche acknowledge such when he threw out the 8 

concepts of good and evil. They don’t exist he concluded and the sooner we get over them the better. Will to Power, according to Nietzsche, is the only thing that should drive out actions. Since there is no right and wrong, we should exploit our will by subjecting others to it. He encouraged Germany to rise up be consistent with its true nature, and press its domination on the world. 

Albert Camus also recognized that meaning post Kant was impossible. In his poignantly relevant writing The Plague, deaths and devastation have no meaning and it is fruitless to attempt to understand them. Camus solution was rebellion against the absolute truth of meaninglessness. Though rebellion also has no meaning, it is the only possible authentic response. 

Both Camus and Nietzsche fail to provide adequate answers. The truth is that practically no-one wants to accept Nietzsche’s or Camus’ answer—even though philosophically they are the most logical given the Kantian idea. No one accepts them because no one accepts the idea of meaninglessness. Most people accept meaning as self-evident and I think rightly so. 

The second fracture has to do with the failure of the progressive project. It was long hoped that with scientific progress we would be able to eliminate war, poverty, and sickness. Ironically with respect to the idea, these destructive things peaked at the very time the optimism was the highest. The Great War, followed by the second, and then the many others showed that war would not be abated by science; in fact, science proved with the advance of weaponry, that it could make the effects of war more devastating. Then with the rise of Marxism, poverty and killing within states rose to levels that seemed unimaginable. And capitalism showed its own limitations even as it increasingly through new money and new programs at the problem. And while medical practice showed great advances in improving health, contributing significantly to rising median lifetime ages, it also showed its limitations in dealing with various plagues and pandemics; and showed its capability toward failure when some drugs, vaccines, and ground-breaking ideas introduced more issues than they resolved. 

The third fracture has to do with the inherent limitations of science. Though various philosophers had cogently challenged that science on its own could yield knowledge, the most devastating critique came in 1968. Michael Polanyi, a former Nobel prize winning physical chemist, published his book on the philosophy of science, Personal Knowledge. In it he showed that all knowledge contained a personal element. He showed that science did not actually work within the clean lab that it claimed. Every scientist, and the scientific community at large, were operating on intuition as they generated ideas and constructed experiments. This intuition was rooted in a knowledge base of prior rationality and experience. Further, the results of the experimentation were subject to interpretation. Often different conflicting interpretations could be advanced using the same data sets. In addition, choices were made to focus on what was regarded as the most relevant data and non-conforming data would often be excluded based on reasonable explanations. In short, he convincingly showed that there was no knowledge that stood purely on observation or experimentation. In doing so, he toppled the Kantian wall between the material world and the immaterial, the physical and the 9 

metaphysical. If Kant’s claim that the metaphysical was unknowable was true, then the physical was unknowable as well—because the one was dependent on the other. 

One might think that the Kantian wall would have been abandoned, but as is common with many debunked ideologies, it still stands on account of its usefulness. In this case it serves as a protective barrier to a world that prefers not to deal with the implications of a higher authority on their lives. It allows one to impose their own rationality above all that they experience and shields their claims of knowledge from external critique. God, Religion, and even Philosophy are restricted subjects relegated to the private realm because they are considered unknowable. Public discourse must be restricted to the data, the facts; and since those things are often too complicated for the average person we must rely on the experts. 

The problem then becomes which experts we choose to listen too. They don’t tend to agree. So, now we have fact-checkers that choose the experts to rule over other experts. But, if Polanyi is right then all of the experts are influenced by their worldview. And, the fact-checkers are also influenced by their worldview. It turns out, then, that worldview is a necessary contributor to an understanding of reality, and we cannot pretend that the Kantian wall still stands. We must acknowledge it for what it is: an invisible, impotent barrier that serves to confuse us on the most basic aspects of knowledge and life. 

So if Kant was wrong, how do we get back to a basis for knowledge that gives us hope that we can actually know what is true and real. 

C. S. Lewis in wrote this in his Mere Christianity

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” 

So let’s turn back to see where we made the wrong turn. 

If we were to walk back a ways on the road that we have taken, that has led us astray, we would see the materialism of the late twentieth century and the hopelessness of their children. A little further we would see the sexual revolution of the sixties and the resulting ignorance that has led to mothers without means of support and hungry dependents without a framework for escape. 

A little later we would encounter a man bushwhacking off the beaten path. This would be our friend Polanyi. We might be tempted to join him but if we were to ask him where the right path was, he would only be able to say that he could get us somewhere nearer but not actually to it. At that point, we should decline and continue our journey. Not only that, we should realize we 10 

should increase our pace in direct proportion to speed at which the modernist, the Kantians, were heading in the opposite direction. That would seem to be the quickest road back to sanity 

We would pass the great wars, and the theological accommodations that contributed to them. We would pass the naturalism of Marx, Wittgenstein, and Darwin—all students of Kant. But when we reached the early 1800s mark of the road, we would encounter a man we completely missed on our journey out. He would be busy wiping out the path, obscuring it and hoping that no one would follow it any further. “Destroy the paths,” he was shouting, “only then will they become true pilgrims.” Perhaps a conversation might be in order here, we think—surely it is a good thing to wipe out paths that go in the wrong direction. 

“Why are you doing that,” we would ask. 

“It’s a complete dead end,” he would say, you can know absolutely nothing from the physical world!” 

“But you see us, don’t you? And we see you, do we not.” 

“Yes, yes, of course,” he would reply. “But don’t ask me to prove it, and certainly do not ask me to prove God because if I were to able to do that, I would disprove him.” 

“Perhaps,” we would say, “but that does sound very strange. And, what about Christ? He came in the flesh to reveal God to us and many saw him, his miracles, resurrection, and all of that. Surely Christ is the ultimate proof.” 

“True enough,” our friend would say “but do you know him certainly from history?” “Many saw the miracles and did not believe. The only way to know God certainly, beyond a doubt, is personally through relationship with Him. This path is a contradiction. When I am done destroying this one there are others that I intend to destroy. They all place their hope in objectivity, in proofs. Subjectivity, relationship with the True God, that is the only truth.” 

It occurs to us that this man had turned the wall around with a much better result. It was the metaphysical that could be known, not the physical. Much, much, closer to the truth than Kant but also limiting. Had God not said “invisible attributes . .. are clearly seen being understood through what has been made” Yes, there was value in his negative approach—obliterating all the dead end paths was a good thing. The world should have listened to him—if they had, they might have recognized their error. But, we should not linger if we are to discover the right path—the one we left when we lost our way. 

Along the way we carefully take detours around Kant and Hume. We also encounter many others with various ideas all pointing toward progress, or advancement, or enlightenment. When we ask what fundamental principles the progress they seek is based, they invariably point to nature or to reason, and we have learned where that leads. Finally, when we get to Pascal we pause. We know we are near the head of the trail but we want to be sure not to miss 11 

it. And, we also want to tell him about the strange fellow we saw destroying all the paths by throwing both reason and nature in the brush. 

“Yes, yes,” Pascal smiles; “the melancholy Dane. He is quite right you know about many things. His attack on the absolute power of reason and nature are quite right. What he, Kierkegaard, seems to not understand is that God’s revelation through nature and apprehended by reason is sufficient, even if it is not absolute. It is enough to point us to God’s Speech as the basis for knowledge. The evidences of God in nature, in history, in prophecy are all so overwhelming that only a fool would deny them. But this is to be expected, since “the fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Kierkegaard was also right about the need for personal knowledge of God. This is where certainty lies. This is the “fire” that I spoke of. The personal encounter with the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” You know God spoke to all of them, and he has also spoken to us through His Son. The God of the philosophers, who doesn’t speak, doesn’t exist; and neither does knowledge when rooted in such a false idea. But, true knowledge, certain knowledge, comes when it is rooted firmly in what God has said.” 

At this point we were pretty sure we could trust Pascal enough to ask him where to find the true path. “Oh, it is not far back there, just the other side of the philosophers I mentioned. You will see a sign at a fork in the road. The path is marked ‘confidence in human wisdom,’ the true path is marked ‘confidence in God’s word.’ You see, God’s speech is the firm foundation for all knowledge. If we forget that, we will eventually forget everything.” 

Reaching the trail, we stop for a rest and reflect on our journey. We ask, is there reason to take the lesson seriously for practical, everyday life? Or, was it just a philosophical exercise? 

Consider recent events where there was much debate about what to do in uncertain times. Many philosophies and political agendas were in play. Many didn’t bother to acknowledge the true nature of the data, some sought to obfuscate it. Others strongly encouraged us to be “data-driven” without specifying what principles should drive the interpretation of the data. Practically no one suggested we look at the data through the lens of God’s speech. What has God told us to do? How has He told us to live? Why do pandemics occur and what purpose do they serve? I want to suggest that if we had asked these questions, and were careful to take actions that were consistent with God’s command and revealed will, that our response to the pandemic would have been far better. Yes, recognizing the relationship between God’s speech and Human knowledge has practical benefits. 

The same is true for everyday life. God has so blessed us with capabilities of perception and reason that we often think that we can base our actions on those things alone. The longer we continue to do live in such a way, the further from the true path we will find ourselves. The only right correction is to return to the point of departure. If we want to know how to live, we need to return to the path that is blazed according to God’s speech, which he has spoken through His Son and that is given to us in the Bible. We need to do that individually, and corporately in our 12 

homes, in our churches, and in our land. To do less than that is to be lost, without knowledge, and without meaning and without hope.