Philosophy, Theology

The Devil is in the Details

Near the beginning of Charles Hodge’s magnum opus stand written these three statements which seem to contradict. I’m not certain that Hodge presents an answer to this conundrum, but maybe this is worth discussing. If you fail to see the apparent contradiction, then you have not read closely enough.

Here are those three phrases:

[With repect to the Reformers and the better factions of the Roman church and seemingly Hodge] The question is not first and mainly, what is true to the understanding but what is  true to the renewed heart?

(Hodge, 16)

The true method of theology is, therefore, the inductive, which assumes that the Bible contains all the facts or truths which form the contents of theology, just as the facts of nature are the contents of the natural sciences.

(Hodge, 17)

In neither case [theology or natural sciences] are the principles derived from the mind and imposed upon the facts, but equally in both departments, the principles or laws are deduced from the facts and recognized by the mind.


I think that with the proper clarification these seemingly disparate ideas can be reconciled, but, for the moment, it seems that Hodge’s Common Sense Realism has led him into a nasty dead end.

Feel free to discuss.


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