What are the benefits of general revelation for theology, and in particular, the doctrine of God?

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For the last couple of centuries theologians have distinguished between two forms of divine revelation. Both forms come from God. They are the revelation, the unveiling disclosure of God in general general revelation and special revelation, general revelation including things like creation which are available to everyone, special revelation which are limited in time in space. Usually the Scripture and Jesus are seen, or the nation of Israel as forms of special revelation. I believe Romans 1 teaches us that what is revealed in creation is God's eternal power and his divine nature, and so that any understanding of God that fails to include and consider what we know about God from what he has made, is a theology of God that is incomplete and perhaps even inaccurate, because if God's revelation in creation, in nature, is plain, clear, Paul says it is understood and rejected. We know more than there is a powerful creator, we know that there is an eternal, powerful creator, and only the God who is possesses the attribute of eternality. And so, what we can learn about God must be part of the way we talk about who God is.

Answer by Dr. Glenn R. Kreider

Dr. Glenn Kreider is a Professor of Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.