Mike Horton and Zacharias Ursinus Contradicting One Another On Natural Law

Mike Horton of Escondido wrote,

“Positive law is grounded in natural law—the law of God known to the conscience of everyone as God’s image-bearer, even if the truth is suppressed in unrighteousness…. (N)one of us comes to general revelation neutrally. But remember that we are all made in God’s image, including rebels, and that the Spirit restrains wickedness and promotes justice by his common grace. When you offer good “general revelation” arguments, you’re not disengaging from the teachings of special revelation (Scripture).

But Ursinus in his Commentary on Heidelberg (p. 506) writes,

“Furthermore, although natural demonstrations teach nothing concerning God that is false, yet men, without the knowledge of God’s word, obtain nothing from them except false notions and conceptions of God; both because these demonstrations do not contain as much as is delivered in his word, and also because even those things which may be understood naturally, men, nevertheless, on account of innate corruption and blindness, receive and interpret falsely, and so corrupt it in various ways.”

Will the real Reformer please stand up.

And so as to ward off the inevitable naysayers who offer that Ursinus and Horton are not speaking of the same objects of knowledge allow me to offer that it is simply the case that if, as Ursinus offers, Natural Man cannot know God, then, as all meaning for all facts are found in their relation to God (Basic Van Til Presuppositionalism) then what Horton offers, by definition, cannot be true.

As Bahnsen was fond of saying, men may “know” things but they cannot account for their knowing. So… while Ursinus and Horton are not talking about the exact same thing (Knowing God {Ursinus}) vs. (Knowing reality {Horton}) the implications that I note are valid.

Of course fallen men always sneak stolen capital into their God hating worldview to get it off the ground but it is never done so in admission to knowing God. As such … they hold what they”know” of reality as a thief. It is theirs but it isn’t theirs. They know but they don’t know.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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