The nature of “KNOWLEDGE” as discussed by Dallas Willard


“We have “knowledge” of  something when we are representing it (thinking about it, speaking of it, or treating it) as it actually is, on an appropriate basis of thought and experience. It involves TRUTH of accuracy of representation, but it must also be TRUTH based upon adequate evidence or insight.The evidence or insight comes in various ways depending on the nature of the subject matter. But it must be there.” [Knowing Christ Today]

“Knowledge is the ability to represent the facts in a way that truthfully represents reality experientially.”[Dallas Willard]

“Truth is the way we do life, not what we think or believe. Our life situation and our way or relating to  others is the “truth” [Richard Rohr]

“The target that Truth is aiming at is Reality.” [Dallas Willard]

“Truth is precious to human life in all of its dimensions, because it alone allows us to come to terms with reality.”[Dallas Willard]

Subjective Objective
Action Perception
Time Space
Relationship to reality Correspondence to reality
How? What?

“Beliefs must come to terms with facts, not facts with beliefs.” [Dallas Willard]

“A fact is a statement that is consistent with reality or can be proven with evidence. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability.” [Dallas Willard]

You don’t have to let go of your beliefs in order to examine the evidence for them, scepticism and belief are not contradictory. [Dallas Willard]

TRUTH is totally indifferent to human will and desire.

You don’t have to teach a child to lie, that’s because REALITY is so hard to deal with, so people want to change it or shift it.


Claims to KNOWLEDGE are not KNOWLEDGE.

AUTHORITY institutionalized or vested in individuals tends to drift away from

KNOWLEDGE into POWER. It then becomes oppressive and opposes TRUTH.

“The relationship of religion to knowledge has become seriously misunderstood and distorted over the last two centuries. In particular, it has become the accepted view that religion stands free of knowledge, that religion requires only faith or commitment. In certain areas great faith has become equated with belief or commitment that manages to sustain itself, with great effort, against knowledge, or at least with no support from knowledge. Faith is then regarded as essentially a kind of struggle” [Dallas Willard]

“A natural consequence of the felt tension between the “fundamental things Christian disciples believe” and what is accepted by the secular world as “knowledge” is the destabilization of belief. [p2] This difficulty is not overcome by cultivating or manipulating emotions and feelings, nor by practicing ritual or art, or by “trying harder with renewed effort” to believe and act as we think we should. It is also not overcome by miraculous injections of divine inspiration from time to time. All of these may have their place. But the problems created by belief without knowledge, or belief in opposition to knowledge, cause belief to waver, to come and go, to become hesitant and variable at best, making it unsuitable for steady engagement with “REALITY” (and disengagement from unreality), they also make us depend on will-power and this often takes the form of encrusted close-mindedness, or harsh dogmatism.” [p2-3]

Bearing in mind, that objective “Truth” does not encompass or include everything, that there is truth outside and opposite to objective “Truth” our epistemology (or method that we use to search for “Truth”) can be divided into three main disciplines:-







Matter Mind Spirit
Ritual (obedience) Religion (belief) Revelation of belief/obedience
Experience Knowledge Faith=Knowledge/Experience
Objective Subjective Revelation of Subjective/Objective
Measurable Measureless Measureless/Measurable


A≠non A

A≠both A and non A

Paradoxical Logic

A=A and non A

Divine logic
Experience Knowledge Experiential knowledge
Impersonal (unity) Personal (diversity) Personal/Impersonal uni-versity
Self-realization Self-transformation Spiritual renewal
Purposeless Purposeful Love
Determined Volition Volition/Determined
Reality Illusion Seen and unseen Reality
Value-free Value-full Love
Illusion Reality Natural and Super-natural

“The formulations in language of …

propositions – a statement or assertion that expresses a judgement or opinion.

questions – a sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information.

commands – give an authoritative or peremptory order

exclamations – a word that expresses sudden pain, surprise, anger, excitement, happiness, or other emotion

… are divided by grammar into …

declarative – of the nature of or making a declaration.

interrogative – having the force of a question.

imperative – of vital importance; crucial.

exclamatory – (of a cry or remark) expressing surprise, strong emotion, or pain

… sentences.

The logician is interested in propositions rather than in the sentences which formulate them.” [Irving M Copi’s – “Introduction to Logic”]

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