Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | August 3, 2006

General Revelation – Creation

Today we have the opportunity to resume our study of Article 2 of the Belgic Confession.  Hopefully, the Bible Studies have been a worthwhile substitute.  They have certainly been a pleasure to lead.  We will begin this study of the Article by focusing on General Revelation.  The distinction between general and special revelation is similar to our discussion on 07/18/06 about common and special grace.   

As referenced in the confession our understanding of General Revelation is primarily supported by the first chapter of the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Roman 1:18-32) .  In this passage it is made clear that through the creation all men are without excuse and know that there is a God.  However, they suppress this truth in unrighteousness, ignore the reality and live their lives denying it.  The doctrine also finds support in other passages such as Psalm 19:1-4; and Acts 17:23-29.  In the Psalm we are exposed to the idea that creation testifies of God.  However, in Acts we see the sermon the Apostle Paul delivered to the Greeks at Mars Hill.  We see where general and special converge in the Apostles sermon.    

Since the creation is seen, heard and experienced by all people and this revelation is common to everybody it is referred to as “general”.  There are no special actions taken to define who God is, His will or how to worship Him.  However, one can deduce from a closer examination of the creation the irrefutable necessity that this universe was created by a divine being.  Especially when one considers the science associated with Irreducible Complexity and Does Science Point to God? (Anthropic Principle).  These are amazing examinations of the creation that certainly bring glory to the Creator God.  These promising insights will hopefully reform the scientific world and bring it back to its roots of seeking to glorify the Creator rather than deny Him.  Certainly, this can be suggested as the original intent of science in the following comments by John Calvin: 

There are innumerable evidences both in heaven and on earth that declare his wonderful wisdom; not only those more recondite matter for the closer observation of which astronomy, medicine, and all natural science are intended, but also those which thrust themselves upon the sight of even the most untutored and ignorant persons, so that they cannot open their eyes without being compelled to witness them.  Indeed, men who have either quaffed or even tasted the liberal arts penetrate with their aid far more deeply into the secrets of divine wisdom.  1.5.2

It is interesting to consider why special revelation is needed in the first place.  Perhaps it is due to the centuries of disobedience that man has spent suppressing this truth in unrighteousness.  The true worship of God was forgotten, abandoned and unable to be restored without special instructions.  Suffices to say despite the need for special revelation the general revelation provided is sufficient enough to condemn us.  Tomorrow we will consider God’s preservation and government of the creation


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