Series - General Rev

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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General Revelation (Part 2)

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General Revelation is not potential knowledge, but actual knowledge. The phrase “gnontes ton theon” in Romans 1:21, translated as “[they] knew God” implies knowing God already. If that is the case, a theological apologetic witness to God utilizing only the world around should be aimed at awakening and reminding the sinner to what they have suppressed, and elucidating what is presently known. When we look at the world, we are always reminded of our Creator.

Now, it is true that men can and do shut out that reminder, they can quieten the voice of conscience and the voice of memory (both of which are revelational to a degree). When they then put forth their numerous alternatives; religions and philosophies, and argue for their truth over against the Christian truth claim, they are doing nothing more than exhibiting the results of their ongoing distortion of God’s revelation in them and around them.

But however low man may go, man is still the image of his Creator; spoiled, confused, and corrupt at turns though he may be. He has eternity in his heart (Eccles. 3:11), but he has set himself against his Maker and will not be reconciled.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. (Romans 8:7)

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General Revelation (Part 1)

Revelation, be it in nature, within ourselves, or inscripturated in a book, is always God’s prerogative. It always comes from God, and man is designed to receive it. Man is not the one who starts with himself and discovers God in the universe, rather God discloses himself, and man ought to take immediate notice of God’s self-revelation.

Let me start with a basic definition of general revelation: General Revelation is God’s self-disclosure in nature and in the psychological aspects of man.

The Range of the Revealed

I am not saying that the physical aspects of man are not revelatory, they are, but I include those within the general heading of nature. So material nature and also our psychology are both revelatory of the Triune God, the God who reveals himself in the Scriptures. They are not revelatory of any other god for the simple reason that there is no other god who can reveal himself, and therefore the revelation that we see is the revelation that we ought to ascribe to our Creator.

Because of the connections between the human psyche and nature, the material world (what God has made) is revelational, not the other way round. This brings together the fact of divine revelation with the expectancy for divine revelation. We know that God has revealed Himself because He has told as in His Scriptures and He’s put it all around us. We expect that God reveals Himself in the world because of what He’s told us about Himself.

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