General Revelation

How many “conservativish” Christians have only a superficial understanding of the Bible?

"I am not arguing that Christians should decide not to engage in politics or civic life. We all have a role to play in our society and if we can influence some changes for the good, I am all for it. However, shouldn’t we be thinking about the most important things and how to achieve them?" - Don Johnson

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“God speaks to us through his Word, most certainly. But he also speaks in other ways.”

"Paul is a good example of someone putting this to work in ministry. When he’s introducing the gospel to members of a Jewish synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, he references primarily the Scripture....But shortly later, when he’s addressing pagan Greeks in Athens, he takes an entirely different approach." - Olinger

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General Revelation (Part 5)

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The unsaved do not know God

The NT seems to say that the unsaved person does not know God. We see this in several places. Let us begin with Galatians 4:

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? (Galatians 4:8-9)

We are told that the Galatians once did not know God, and because of that they served false gods. But now they are known by God and therefore know God. Here Paul is plainly saying that there is a difference between those who know God, the saints, and those that do not know God, the lost or unregenerate.

Here is Ephesians 2:

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12)

Paul says that the Gentiles, by which he means the pagan world, were once “without God in the world.” If they were without God it is hard to claim that they knew Him. This is Paul’s view also in 1 Thessalonians 4:5 (“like the Gentiles who do not know God”; cf. 2 Thess. 1:8).

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General Revelation (Part 4)

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God’s revelation is woven into the “warp and woof” of everyday living. This is because General Revelation and Special Verbal Revelation work together in unison. This is most important to keep in mind. When God gives someone something like, revelation or ability, never works against Himself, He always gives in accordance with His will and His decree for the gift to be used. So it is with the gift of General Revelation.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

General Revelation and Special Revelation in the Scriptures both work together according to the intention of the revealing God. We see this in Psalm 19 where ‘nature’ and ‘word’ are both revelations of God working together.

We see this also in Eden where Adam and Eve are placed in a revelatory environment and then are told how to function within it. That is, God uses General Revelation, the naming of the animals, the creation mandate, to bring Adam to do several things:

First – to delineate and define animal characteristics in his naming of them, therefore using the abilities that God has given to him. Those abilities themselves are revelatory, and we should link them to the phenomenal world in order to find out about the world. This is the mandate for science and scientific endeavor in the world.

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General Revelation (Part 3)

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The “Nature” Psalms

A good place to look for the doctrine of general or natural revelation is the so-called Nature Psalms. But we might pause here to correct the title “Nature” Psalms, because although they have been classically referred to as that, it is not a very accurate name; it straightaway gives the impression that the psalmists are looking at nature and are deriving their views of God from their analysis of it. But these Psalms (e.g. 8, 33, 104, 145), are actually Creation Psalms. They are hymns to the God who has created all things. Therefore, they look at the effects of God’s working, and so they ought to be examined from a believing point of view. We see God in these things just as the psalmist did, and our reaction to them should be that we are overwhelmed by the power, by the majesty, by the greatness of God, and that we worship Him for it. These Psalms point to God.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 148:13-14)

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