The leading idea of David’s PhD thesis is that if revelation is the way in which we come to know God, then it must be in some sense a process of learning. David set out to show that the kind of learning that takes place in revelation is comparable to the way in which we learn in everyday life. In helping us to know God, the Holy Spirit makes use of the ordinary mechanisms of human learning.

In order to show this, David constructed an overall theory of learning, drawing on the fields of cognitive and social psychology. He showed that the search of personal identity lies at the root of learning and supplies the primary motivation for learning. When we become Christians we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, whose work is to reform our identity as children of God and followers of Christ. Revelation is a process of personal formation, in which we are drawn into the likeness of Christ and learn to see and respond to the world in new ways.

David’s thesis is published here in full. You can download the whole thesis or explore it chapter by chapter using the links below.

Download the full thesis here

Alternatively, a subsidiary page gives a chapter by chapter summary of the work and contains links to the individual chapters, index and bibliography.