Epistemology – What Is It?


What is epistemology?  It’s the study of how we know things.  There are three ways in which we can know things: empiricism, rationalism and scripturalism.

Empiricism says that the only way we can know anything is through experience.  If so, then the only way you can know that death exists is to die.  The only way that you can know that it’s a long ways down from the top of the World Trade Center Building is to jump off.  The only way you can know if you bleed red blood is to cut yourself open.  All of that is nonsense.  We can learn lots of things from others without experiencing it. Experience is a valuable and a good, but often painful teacher

Rationalism is knowing things through the reason of man.  Is it possible to reason good or evil?  One man thinks it’s good to have sex with your wife, and the husband thinks it’s not good.  Who’s right?  One man thinks the contents of your wallet should be his, and the person who owns the wallet disagrees.  Who’s right?  One man thinks it’s o.k. to have sexual relations with your three year old son – is that a good idea or an evil idea?  How should the differences of opinion be reconciled?  One man thinks you should work for him for free, and you think that’s not fair.  Who’s right?  Is there a good and evil nature to the opposing views?  Man has the capability of reasoning, but if he does it outside of a Biblical understanding, then it can become very cloudy and dark.  Even when believers reason among themselves, there is difficulty because we all have a sinful nature which means we fall short of the Glory of God.  Only in Heaven will our sin be purged.

The last way to have knowledge is Scripturalism.  Scripture is understood by millions of people as the true and inerrant word of God.  It is an objective source of reason in that it comes from someone other than man and other than experience.  It’s historically true that man does some rotten things, and he justifies it by getting a group of people to agree with him that he’s o.k.  Certainly, the Scriptures narrate the experiences of man throughout a lengthy period of history, but all of the observations, morality and precepts come from God who is eternal, infinite, and omniscient.  Man is not any of those qualities, and he cannot comprehend those qualities except only through faith that is a gift of God’s.  And through faith in God’s word, man is able to administer justice (the equitable and orderly working out of right and wrong or good and evil in society without showing favoritism) To the unbeliever (the rationalist or the empiricist), all of that is nonsense.


Pensamiento Peligroso writes the truth as he sees it, and if it upsets you, then it makes you think!

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