Culture At Large

Does Special Revelation Have General Revelation in a Stranglehold?

Chris Salzman

I found this article on Christianity Today through Exploring Our Matrix.

The main thrust of Moreland's session with the Evangelical Theological Society seems to be concerning the proper understanding of sola scriptura and the interplay between special revelation (i.e. miracles, prophecy, the bible) and general revelation (i.e. physical universe, human conscience, providence)

I found this quotation compelling: "Suppose an archaeologist discovered a portion of the ancient city of Jerusalem that was specifically described in the Old Testament, Moreland said:
'Could the archaeologist have discovered the site without the use of the Old Testament? Once discovered, could the archaeologist learn things about the site that went beyond what was in the Old Testament? Clearly the answer is yes to both questions. Why? Because the site actually exists in the real world. It does not exist in the Bible. It is only described in the Bible and the biblical description in partial.'"
Also, "because the human soul/spirit and demons/angels are real, it is possible, and, in fact, actual that extra-biblical knowledge can be gained about these spiritual entities. … Demons do not exist in the Bible. They exist in reality."

I found this comment from John Frame useful:

Sola Scriptura is an important Reformation doctrine, and we should not lose it. But we should understand what it means. It doesn't mean that all truth can be found in the Bible, not even that all theological truth is found in the Bible. What it means is that Scripture contains all the WORDS OF GOD that we need for theology or anything else. I think this gives us a balance between Scripture and general revelation. The way to knowledge is to learn from general revelation, but to interpret it in the light of Scripture, recognizing that Scripture alone gives us ultimate, inerrant truth.
Personally, I've always seen the distinction between what I read, feel, and see to be a touch confusing, especially in evangelical Christianity. No big discussion questions on this one, I think just your reactions to all this would be interesting.

Here are a few other blogs that are discussing this article:

Ancient Hebrew poetryRyan Beiler at Sojourner's via Beliefnet

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, The Bible, Faith, Theology