Addendum: One has to wonder why Horton winds up sounding more like an agnostic at some points instead of a conservative theologian? If our knowledge of what God communicates does not coincide at any single point, then how do we know that the cross satisfies for all the sins of the elect? Maybe there's something God knows that we do not know when God communicates that doctrine to us in the inspired and written Scriptures?
Also, if according to Horton, all of Scripture is like the metaphors he mentions, then what Horton is really saying is that Scripture is indeed just a huge metaphor. This is particularly true when Horton attacks the doctrine of Scripture as propositional truth:
. . . For a certain proposition to be true, according to this perspective, it must mean exactly the same thing for God as it does for us.
Especially as refined by Protestant scholasticism, however, the doctrine of analogy affirms that finite and creaturely knowledge is nevertheless true knowledge because it has its ultimate source in God even though it is not identical with God's knowledge. (P. 57).Like other Van Tilians, Horton confuses the doctrine of incomprehensibility, which no Clarkian denies, with the doctrine of special revelation. For example, when we say that Jesus died on the cross, that truth is precisely the same truth both for us and for God. Of course, God knows more than we do about His covenant of redemption and His eternal decrees. But on that one point of doctrine--which by the way is not a myth but an historical fact recorded in the infallible and inerrant and inspired Word of God--what we know and what God knows does coincide exactly. 2 + 2 = 4 for both God and for us, although God's knowledge of mathematics surely exceeds ours. If there is no single point of convergence between our knowledge and God's knowledge even in special revelation, then for all practical purposes your theology of analogy is to make Scripture merely a metaphor for truth, not doctrinal truth itself.
For Horton, it is impossible for us to know absolute truth in any respect whatsoever. Only God knows absolute truth:
Creatures can obtain finite knowledge (dependent truth) because God possesses infinite knowledge (absolute Truth). Therefore, against certain forms of postmodern theory, Christian theology affirms that there is a God's-eye perspective from which genuine truth can be communicated, but, against the tendency of modern thought, it denies that anyone but God occupies this privileged perch. We must be satisfied with God's Word and leave God's sovereign knowledge to himself. (P. 57).Horton is not being honest here. His view of Scripture is that it is not the very words of God but merely an analogy of God's words. What is worse, Horton's appeal to the Reformers as supporting his view is simply untrue. Although the Reformers did affirm the doctrine of the incomprehensibility of God and the Creator/creature distinction, they did not say that Scripture is not propositional truth or absolute truth nor did they say that Scripture does not converge with God's knowledge at any one single point of reference. That is Horton reading his Van Tilian presuppositions into the Reformers and into Scripture itself.
Perhaps Horton is unaware of the implications of his position. But nevertheless endorsing Van Til's theory of analogy and reading postmodernist views into 16th and 17th century Reformed scholasticism and their understanding of the archetypal/ectypal distinction is disingenuous. For Horton Scripture and truth must in the end be merely relative. Unknowingly, Horton winds up agreeing with Immanuel Kant that revelation is impossible because God is absolute and we are finite. All that matters is theology from below. Special revelation is finite and therefore cannot univocally be propositional truth or absolute truth, even in any single point of convergence. Maybe Jesus did not really die only for the elect? Maybe that truth is optional? Maybe that is why Horton can fellowship with semi-pelagian Arminians without batting an eye?
David Broughton Knox:
Denial of 'propositional revelation' makes Christian faith logically impossible in its fullest and deepest expression of trust, for it is impossible to trust absolutely unless we have a sure Word of God. Such denial restricts Christianity to a religion of works, that is, to following Jesus Christ as best we can. Moreover, denial of propositional revelation makes the lordship of Christ impossible of actual realization, for it is only by the sceptre of His Word that he can exercise that absolute lordship over men's consciences and wills which is His by right. For it is wrong to give absolute obedience to an uncertain command or to place absolute trust on an uncertain promise. Indeed, obedience to God as an element in the Christian life implies a command from God to obey. If there is no such revealed command (which is apprehended as a proposition) obedience gives place to prudence, that is, to the doing of what seems right in one's own eyes. From: The Nature of Revelation