Comments Brought to Light: Divine, Creational and Human Rationalities (et al)
When I think about different logics, I don’t mean to imply multiple unrelated self-contained systems of thought (in this sense, ‘rationalities’ rather than ‘logics’ might be better, but I think the pattern holds – I am however going to start talking instead of rationalities). We have to think of this in terms of concentric circles. I think Chris is right to distinguish between divine, creational and human rationalities. The divine rationality (logos?) is the biggest circle and it contains the other two. Creational rationality is the next level in, and it contains human rationality.
Here is how this works. God is entirely self-sufficient and possesses his own rationality (by definition). God creates the world, whose rationality - because it comes from the divine rationality - bears certain resemblances to the divine rationality without being identical to the divine rationality because creation is not, in fact, divine. Human rationality is the synthesis of the bio-chemical wiring of the human brain, formative interaction with the empirical world, continuing reflective interaction with the empirical word, and abstract interaction with any number of theoretical worlds. What this means is that, at its most basic levels, human rationality is condition by the rationality of creation. Human rationality, in its reflective forms, seeks to penetrate more deeply into this creational rationality through scientific study in any number of forms (both concrete and abstract), but it can never go beyond this creational rationality (I’m willing to entertain the idea that it can bump up against the edge of this creational rationality and find the notion of, say, absolute being, etc…this at least seems possible).
What happens in the incarnation is that the divine rationality (logos?) enters into the realms of creational and human rationality thereby providing a glimpse, although in accommodated form, of the divine rationality. This glimpse of the divine rationality (in accommodated form) sets creational and human rationality in its proper context. I could elaborate more on this, but won’t for now.
Another way to imagine this, I think, is in terms of dimensions. Take the relation between two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. All three-dimensional objects contain within themselves two-dimensional aspects. These two-dimensional aspects are then structured in such a way that a three-dimensional object is produced. Now, imagine that everything that exists is three-dimensional but all that we can see are two-dimensions. We would be interacting with three-dimensional things, but from a two-dimensional standpoint. We could come to correct understandings of these three-dimensional things in terms of two-dimensional aspects, but we would lack the proper three-dimensional context for these aspects and thus our conceptualities would be lacking.
N.B. When I used the concentric circle image above, I in no way intended to imply anything like panentheism, etc. It’s an interpretative model and though it illustrates an ontological point, it should not be taken as an ontological model.
Jpf: Thanks for stopping by and for your helpful criticism concerning the relation of theology and Christian philosophy in my typology. The ‘Christian philosophy’ bit is the trickiest. What I am after is something like a philosopher who continues doing philosophy, only this philosophy does philosophy on the basis of Christian presuppositions. But, I am open to the possibility that you are right and that this distinction is inherently unstable. Perhaps the sort of ‘philosophical theology’ that I mentioned in the second addendum is the better third type.