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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Natural Revelation and Scripture

We can learn a great deal about God from his creation, but how far does this go? God's written Word tells us, "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20, ESV). 


We can learn a great deal about God from his creation, but how far does this go? There are limits to natural revelation.
"Lost Lake" image credit: morgueFile / mmainco
There are some who elevate man-made science philosophies to a magisterial position above God's Word, interpreting it according to those philosophies (for my 2-part article on apostates, false teachers, and theistic evolutionists, see "Waterless Clouds, Wandering Stars"). God doesn't cotton to people messing with the revealed Word: "Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. ​Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar (Prov. 30:5-6, ESV)". You savvy? There are people who have said that nature is the 67th book of the Bible. I'll allow that it sounds good, especially since we can learn some things about God from nature, as the Bible states. However, there are some serious problems in lifting up nature too high.
Here’s an experiment you can do anywhere. Imagine that you are standing in an open field. In this field you find the remains of a house that stood long ago. Your job is to come up with the reason that this house was there, describe who lived there, and explain why they left.

After making your best guess, what if you then found eyewitness accounts from those who lived there—accounts that showed your guess to be wildly inaccurate? Would you then reject those accounts in favor of your guess? Although this thought experiment might seem frivolous, the point is important. When looking for the truth about the unrepeatable past, the best approach is to first seek out eyewitness accounts of those who actually experienced the history.
To read the rest, click on "Is Nature the 67th Book of the Bible?"

We can learn a great deal about God from his creation, but how far does this go? There are limits to natural revelation.