Chapter 9: The Testimonial Model: Sealed Upon Our Hearts

There is a dialectical relationship between knowledge and affections. “The Holy Spirit produces knowledge in the believer; in sealing this knowledge to our hearts, however, it also produces the right affections” (293). Jonathan Edwards’ Religious Affections argued that knowledge of God comes first, and that instigates affections for him. Plantinga argues that, in regeneration, neither is primary; both intellect and affections are cured. The perception of the glory and beauty of the Lord through Scripture or testimony is the occasion of believing rather than the basis from which one infers beliefs. If this is the case, then Freud’s view of how belief arises is incorrect.

Affection has its analogue of cognitive warrant. When one’s “sources of affection function properly, we will love what is lovable, take delight in what is delightful, and desire what is desirable. We will love God above all and our neighbor as ourselves; we will delight in his beauty and glory, and in created reflections of that beauty and glory; we will desire what is in fact good for us” (309). Our affections for God are of the eros type, and vice versa. Our eros for other human beings is a sign or type of the eros that God intends to show us.