Reply To The Metaphorical Dr. Macky -- By: Gordon H. Clark

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 25:2 (Jun 1982)
Article: Reply To The Metaphorical Dr. Macky
Author: Gordon H. Clark

Reply To The Metaphorical Dr. Macky

Gordon H. Clark*

Doubtless every author feels some elation when his publications are given book reviews, and more so when they elicit critical articles. Some authors may echo the politician who said, “I don’t care what they write about me so long as they mention my name.” Gordon R. Lewis in his Testing Christianitys Truth Claims almost perfectly describes my position, even though his negative criticism concerns something not mentioned in his summary. Ronald Nash made only one mistake, but unfortunately used it as an essential part of his rebuttal. Another critic, after quoting from a certain page in one of my books, attributed to me a position that I had explicitly denied on the very page from which he quoted. Peter W. Macky is not so stupid as the latter, nor is he quite so perfect as the first.

If Macky’s repeated, chiding references to geometry were used only to gain the support of students who do not like the subject, it would not bother me much. But his own dislike for the subject is so strong that he stumbles into falsity. For example, “Clark in adopting geometry promotes the logical coherence of a system as the sole standard” (JETS 24/3 [1981] 240). Then too, “Clark’s theory follows coherently from his initial [italics mine] assumption that geometry is the standard by which all thought is to be measured” (p. 243). He also says, “Clark essentially excludes all human thought except geometry from the realm of truth” (p. 248). These statements are just plain false.

In the first place I use geometry only as an example of logical thinking. There are many other examples, but geometry is one of the best and should be well known. If anyone objects to the procedures of geometry—the deduction of theorems from axioms—he is in reality objecting to logical thought as such and is justifying fallacious argumentation. But this, though devastating to anyone who does so, is not what makes the assertions reprehensible.

Now if a critic should miss some obscure point in two dozen books, or if he failed to understand some subordinate idea, it would not much matter. But it seems inexplicable to me that anyone with an IQ above 80 can fail to note that my axioms are the Bible’s and not Euclid’s. The Trinity Foundation has collected a dozen or more of my tractates on inerrancy and is now in process of publishing them in book form. Besides these, can anyone have read my Three Types of Religious Philosophy without noticing that I do not “exclude all human thought except geometry from the realm of truth”? Consider also The Philosophy of Gordon H. Clark (I did not choose the title) where on page 591 say, “Revelation should be a...

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