Thursday, September 18, 2008

a basic theological notion that is often forgotten...

General revelation - that is, the type of knowledge we might gain regarding metaphysical or noumenal (to use Kant's term) aspects of reality using reason, science, etc - can never take us farther than the development of an abstract notion referring to the possible existence of some sort of reality or being which we would call "God." If that God is, in fact, the God revealed in Scripture (and ultimately, in Jesus Christ) then we can only know this through special revelation, which only comes to us from God through the gift of faith. At least, as far as we know, this is the only option. Even believing this is an act of faith. We cannot rely on historical, scientific, sociological, philosophical, or even theological research to bring about a genuine knowledge of God's essential reality and relationship to creation. This is something that only God can do; our part is merely to be open to that revelation when it comes, instead of closing ourselves off to special revelation due to the fact that it is not historically, scientifically, or otherwise verifiable. Whenever Christians forget this, they fall into a trap that ultimately leads to either fundamental self-contradiction or disbelief.

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