An inconsistency of that sort amounts to a divided loyalty, a confusion of life-direction.Â Â Most of us, at least, try to avoid such confusion.Â The conviction becomes the paradigm of reality, of truth and of right, to which all other examples of reality, truth and right must measure up.Â Â As such, it is the cornerstone of our metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.Â It is not, be it noted, the only factor in the development of a system of thought.Â Â Two people may have virtually identical âbasic commitmentsâ while differing greatly in their systems of thought.Â Â The two will both try to develop systems according with their common presupposition, but because of differences in experience, ability, secondary commitments and the like, they may seek such consistency in opposite directions.Â Â But though the âbasic commitmentâ is not the only factor in the development of thought (and life), it is (by definition) the most important factor. Paul says that there is "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:6). How can it be, as the positivists liked to say, âcognitively meaningfulâ? 15 than to believe what a lot of scholars say on the basis of extra-biblical evidence.Â Â Could weÂ everÂ be persuaded that the Resurrection was a hoax?Â Perhaps; but such a change would be more than a change in opinion; it would be a loss of faith.Â Â In terms of Scripture, such a change would be a yielding to temptation.Â Â For our God calls us to believe his Word even when the evidence appears against it!Â Â Sarah shall bear a son, even though she is ninety and her husband is a hundred!9Â God is just, even though righteous Job must suffer!Â Â The heroes of the faith believed the Word of GodÂ withoutÂ the corroboration of other evidence: they walked by faith, not by sight.10Â As long as we remain faithful, God’s Word takes precedence over other evidence. God’s immanence is naturally contrasted with the idea of God’s transcendence, which describes God as existing completely outside the universe. or to abandon his irrationalism.Â Â Of course he might renounce consistency altogether, thus renouncing the presupposition of the argument.Â Â But the argument shows him vividly howÂ hardÂ it is to live without rationality.Â Â The argument is circular, but it draws some important facts to his attention.Â Â The argument is persuasive though circular because down deep in our hearts we know that we cannot live without reason.20, Some circular arguments are persuasive to us, others not.Â Â Those circular arguments which verify the most basic commitments of our lives are by definition the most persuasive to us. Dishonoring the divine is just as sinful as idolizing the creature.Â Â The two are inseparable.Â Â To disobey God is to obey something less than God.Â Â When we turn from God’s words, we idolize human words.Â Â If Scripture is right, if verbal revelation does have divine authority, then it is Barth’s view which encourages idolatry.Â Â For Barth’s view would turn us away from proper deference to God’s words, and would have us instead make a âbasic commitmentâ to the truth of some other words â our own, perhaps, or those of scientists, or those of theologians. As in previous studies, we will look at definitions, scriptures, commentary evidence, dictionary entries and portions of essays for the purpose to glorify… Immanence is about the presence of God in everything. It is paradoxically Christ himself – … casting immanence as a characteristic of a transcendent god (common in Abrahamic religions), subsuming immanent personal gods in a greater transcendent being (such as with Brahman in Hinduism), or approaching the question of transcendence as something which can only be answered through an appraisal of immanence. Within a particular system, the basic convictions are not only truths; they are the most certain of truths, the criteria of other truths.Â Â If we deny the term âknowledgeâ to these greatest of all certainties, then no lesser certainty can be called âknowledgeâ either.Â Â And no epistemologist may adopt a view which, by doing away with all knowledge, does away with his job!Â Â Knowledge is not an ideal; it is not something which we strive for and never attain.Â Â It is a commonplace of everyday life.Â Â It is the job of epistemologists to account for that commonplace, not to define it out of existence.Â Â One may not define âknowledgeâ in such a way as to require us to transcend our humanity in order to know.Â Â One must defer to the commonplace.Â Â And âknowledge of basic principlesâ is part of that commonplace. 1Â One helpful discussion of these matters from an orthodox Christian perspective can be found in Gordon H. Clark,Â Religion, Reason and RevelationÂ (Phila. 23 Rom.Â 1: 19-21a; note the phraseÂ gnontes ton theon,Â âknowing God.â. 140f.Â Â In a footnote, McPherson notes a similar view in Martin Buber’sÂ I and Thou. The arguments, of course, will be âcircular.â Arguments for the sense-criterion must be verified by the sense-criterion itself.Â Â The philosopher must argue for sense-experience by appealing to sense-experience.Â Â What choice does he have?Â Â If he appeals to something else as his final authority, he is simply being inconsistent.Â Â But this is the case with any âbasic commitment.â When we are arguing on behalf of an absolute authority, then our final appeal must be to that authority and no other.Â Â A proof of the primacy of reason must appeal to reason; a proof of the necessity of logic must appeal to logic; a proof of the primacy of mammon must itself be part of an attempt to earn more money; and a proof of the existence of God must appeal inÂ the final analysis to God. 4Â AntonyÂ Flew,Â et al., âTheology and Falsification,âÂ New Essays in Philosophical Theology,Â ed.Â AntonyÂ Flew and Alasdair Maclntyre (London: SCM Press, 1955), p. 96. Positivists do too â and Barthians! On the other hand, religious language is in some respects very âordinary,â very similar to other language.Â Â It is not a technical, academic language like that of physics or philosophy; it is the language of ordinary people.Â Â It is not restricted to some limited and distinctive compartment of human life; rather it enters into all human activities and concerns.Â Â We pray for the healing of a loved one, for help in a business crisis; we seek to âeat and drink to the glory of God.â18Â I We believe that our faith âmakes a differenceâ in the real world, that God can enter into all the affairs of our life and make his presence felt.Â Â In this respect, the âaction of God in historyâ is like the action of anyone in history.Â Â God can change things, can make them different.Â Â And what he does does not occur unless he chooses to do it.Â Â God makes a difference, and in that sense he isverifiable âÂ much as the existence of any person is verifiable (or so, at least, it appears to the simple believer! God is the sovereign Creator, transcendent, and distinct from His creation. However, besides being transcendent, God also possesses immanence (nearness), and it is in His immanence that God chooses to draw near to His creation. From a âneutralâ point of view, both Flew and the Christian are in the same boat.Â Â Both have beliefs which are âoddâ and âordinaryâ; resistant to falsification, yet verifiable on their own terms.Â Â But of course there is no âneutralâ point of view.Â Â You are either for God or against Him.Â Â You must place yourself in one circle orÂ the other.Â Â Logically, both systems face the difficulties of circularity.Â Â But one is true and the other is false.Â And if man is made to know such things, then you can tell the difference.20Â YouÂ knowÂ you can!20, Our response to Flew, in short, is that (1) He has only told half the story: religious language does resist falsification, as he says; but it also often claims to be verifiable in terms of its own presuppositions.