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Is Communication From God Really Possible? A Conceptual Problem

James Danaher
S & CB 12 (2)
October 2000


The medievals believed that we had been equipped with a God-given ability to conceptualize the world as God had ordered it. Since the beginning of the modern era, we have become ever more aware that many, if not most, of our concepts are the product of culture and of our own creation rather than being God-given. If God’s concepts are different from our own, how could He communicate His concepts to us, since whatever words He would use would signify human concepts rather than His own. In light of this, is communication from God through human language possible, or if possible is it limited to God expressing Himself through our concepts rather than His own? This paper examines this question and offers an explanation of how God could communicate His conceptual understanding to us in spite of the fact that His concepts are nothing like those concepts which are given us by our language community and for the most part make up our understanding.

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