• Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 14-04-15 17:46

Natural Theology / General Revelation

Information that is available about God to all people at all times

  • Available to all people at all times
  • E.g. Beauty of Creation, 'still small voice' of conscience
  • Emil Brunner - can be used as an example of God's existence
  • Karl Barth - Argues against this - can only gain true knowledge of God from revelation
  • Implications of Barth's thinking:
    • Knowledge of God can only be found in Christianity
    • The Old Testament is open to testing to see how far it meets the revelation of God in Christ
    • New Testament is superior to the Old Testament
  • Other Points:
    • God reveals to humans when he wants, not when man wants
    • Divine Revelation is not the same as human insight
    • Ordinary language is inadequate to convey revelation
    • Revelation is a personal disclosure of God's being and nature
    • Revelation is conveyed through the witness of the Bible
    • Revelation is only given in Jesus Christ

Revealed Theology / Special Revelation

Religious Truth is derived from God's revelation to humans

  • E.g. sacred writings, revelation of the Torah to Moses
  • Divides into propositional or non-propositional revelation
  • Issues in general:
    • How did scripture come to humanity
    • Can God give it directly or is it of human origin?
    • What can we actually learn about God from this text via its inspiration?
  • It is false to present propositional and non-propositional revelation as either/or - non-propositional revelation is always ambiguous without propositional revelation to interpret it. If God is personal he needs to communicate using words

Propositional Revelation

God directly reveals truths about his nature

  • Traditional Interpretation
  • Scripture can contain no errors - it is inerrant
  • Supported by Aquinas: faith can be described as 'belief that'
  • Henry Morris: God can be trusted to say exactly, and only, what he means
  • Francis Schaeffer: A personal God who created humans in his image would logicate be able to communicate with his creation
  • J.I. Packer: The Word of God is mysteriously human and divine - like Christ
  • Evangelical Fundamentalists believe that text comes directly from God
  • Moses is believed by some to have experienced a theophany (God revealing God's self) and literally been given a physical copy of


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