Common Ground and Uncommon Ground
In a Biblical perspective, the common ground between men is their common creation by God in His image and totally subject to Him. All men have all things in common, therefore, metaphysically, but epistemologically, the unbeliever has nothing in common with the Christian. The Christian begins with the sovereign God and His eternal decree, whereas the unbeliever thinks with premises borrowed from theism, because otherwise no knowledge would be possible on his premises. Rousas R. Rushdoony, Salvation and Godly Rule, 45.
Saint Augustine on Learning Immediately
“He (Saint Augustine) did not learn the story of the three young Hebrews who were cast into the fiery furnace from inked lines on a manuscript. ‘Has this story been transmitted to us otherwise than by means of words? I answer that everything signified by these words was already in our knowledge.'” (Clark, The Philosophy of Gordon Clark, page 416, quoting Saint Augustine, De Magistro, xi, 37)
“When things are discussed which we perceive through the mind, that is, by means of intellect and reason, these things are said to be things which we see immediately in the interior light of truth by virtue of which he himself who is called the interior man is illumined…. Even though I speak about true things, I still do not teach him who beholds the true things, for he is taught not through my words but by means of the things themselves which God reveals within the soul.” (Saint Augustine, ibid, xii, 40)