Bible Truth Examiner


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Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

A second form of agnosticism has been advocated by Herbert Spencer whose view of agnosticism may be summed up by his own statement: “The Power that the universe manifests to us is utterly inscrutable.” Although Mr. Spencer agrees that man needs religion, he denies personality to this Power. This would mean that because God is the First Cause, the Infinite, and the Absolute, He cannot be known.

If, when Mr. Spencer speaks of God as inscrutable, he means that we cannot fully comprehend God, we can agree with him. But he denies that we know or can know anything of this Great Power, except that It is the First Cause and is infinite and absolute. Mr. Spencer’s error is his two distinct propositions: (1) we do not and cannot know all about God; and (2) we do not know and cannot know anything about God. The first is true and the second is false and is not to be allowed to be substituted for the first, as Mr. Spencer does.

Jesus taught that God is a Spirit and gave much instruction regarding His attributes of being and character, and on His relation to mankind and the world. Mr. Spencer’s form of agnosticism denies very much of God as set forth in Scripture and denies very much that we learn of Him in nature (Romans 1: 20) (Psalm 19: 1). Neither our reason, nor nature, nor experience, nor the Bible, limits our knowledge of Him.

It is a law of our thinking to attribute personality to anything that shows intelligence and design. When we see intelligence and design, our minds naturally cause us to ascribe personality as being the source of that intelligence and design. Hence only those thinkers who deny intelligence and design in the world can escape attributing personality to their source.

We have examined the theories of the two main agnostics and have found their theories untenable. There is another form of agnosticism that denies that we can be sure of anything and that affirms that nothing can be known. But these theories are self-refutative, for if we cannot be sure of anything, we cannot be sure of the certainty of this theory. The fundamental thoughts of agnosticism when analyzed are quite inconsistent, illogical, fruitless, and negative.

(to be continued)