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Sojourner's paradigm challenges atheists and skeptics to make a shift in the way they examine and approach the claims of the Bible and Christianity. It is best to first watch the gospel message video and read the foundational truth of God. Other blogs speak on a variety of topics.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What is the difference between natural revelation and Biblical revelation?

Suppose that you had not been born but were created suddenly as a fully functioning, intelligent, and rational thinking adult. To help you imagine this, after reading this sentence I want you to close your eyes briefly then open them suddenly. Got it? Okay, close your eyes for a moment.

Poof! You have suddenly been created. Now look around at your surroundings. What questions might you ask? Perhaps some might be, “Where am I? Who am I? Who made me? Who made all of this? Why am I here?” General revelation, or natural revelation, can only partially answer these questions. As we peer up into the night sky we are awestruck at the vastness of the universe. As we look at the beauty of flowers, or examine the complex and yet, functioning human body, as we view the thousands, or perhaps millions of species of ocean life or watch the intricate workings of a spider as it weaves its web, as these things are revealed to us we cannot help but wonder who designed and created all of this immense and wonderful world and universe? Before any other revelation or explanation is provided, we are already privy to a few things. We may deduce that whoever created the universe must be an enormously superior and powerful being. We then begin to see how everything seems to work in harmony with other things. The seasons come and go with exact precision and consistency. The sun rises and it sets and then repeats the cycle to form an exact measurement of time. The moon cycles through its phases every 28 days. On and on it goes. We then realize this awesome being must be far more intelligent than our mind can conceive. We then experience a strange, but wonderful sensation. We discover it is called love and wonder where it originated. But then we discover the antithesis of this love. It shows up in the form of self centeredness, or even harmful actions by others directed towards us. And then we discover we too have a tendency towards concern only for our own interests. We discover evil and once again wonder why. We know there must be a reason for all of this. We realize there must be purpose in all of this. We realize we too must have some sort of purpose. We now want answers. We must have answers.

Look at the answers evolution supplies. The universe just occurred by happenstance. A big explosion started the ball rolling. This chaos somehow produced order. You too only came into existence by happenstance. There was no reason for your birth. All of the harmony you see around you in the universe occurred over billions of years of trial and error, so to speak. Life just suddenly occurred by some weird event which we can’t explain. There was no designer. There was no creator. You are a victim of chance. Just try and make it through this existence the best you can before you die and go back to being dust.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” Psalm 19:1-2. General revelation ideally can give us some clue as to God, but it cannot answer the big questions. It ideally should lead us to the source of further revelation. Before addressing Biblical revelation, one more issue must be brought up. The factor that keeps us from recognizing the existence of, and accountability to a Creator is a soul within us that is marred by sin. This sin nature within us wants to put our own explanations above any revelation from God. Either that or we want to pick and chose which revelations we will receive into our minds.

Biblical revelation explains general revelation. We have already discussed the inspiration and infallibility of Biblical revelation. The authority of scripture is a higher authority over any judgments we might make about general revelation.

Paul wrote a letter to the Romans where he states, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20. We are told that men are without excuse. God’s creation should draw us to him. Again, it is our sin nature which suppresses this truth. As Paul goes on to say, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…” Romans 1:22a. It is amazing to me that those individuals we deem as highly intelligent and wise who claim to know the truth concerning creation, can be so utterly foolish. Yes, the world around us reveals certain truths. Our challenge is to not distort those truths by our own pre-conceived notions about life. Again, general revelation should lead us to the source of answers found through Biblical revelation. For then, and only then, can we truly understand the mysteries of creation.

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