The General Revelation of God
After briefly introducing the concept of revelation within Christian theology, this chapter first explores the problem of talking about God in our secular world, particularly about the objections to God-talk, especially from the atheistic position. The chapter then proceeds to discuss what Christian theologians call "the general revelation of God." This type of revelation is based on the natural knowledge of God which is generally or universally available to all human beings. The chapter investigates various objections to such knowledge, most especially those within atheistic critiques of both religion and God. The chapter then describes the principal positions that Christian theologians have taken regarding the possibility of a natural knowledge of God.
For a general orientation to the problem of God and divine revelation: ABD 2:1041-55 ("God" [Scullion, Bassler]); EC 4:672-77 ("Revelation" [Antes, Sykes]); ER 5:3537-60 ("God" [Sperling et al.]); ODCC 688-91 ("God"); OHPT 30-53 ("Revelation and Inspiration" [Davis]); OHST 325-44 ("Revelation" [Quash]; RPP 1:478-80 ("Atheism II-III: Church History and Philosophy of Religion" [Dietz, Clayton]); RPP 5:459-75 ("God" [Zinser et al.]); RPP 9:55-57 ("Natural Theology" [Link; cf. EC 3:709-11]); RPP 11:165-75 ("Revelation III-V: Old Testament, New Testament, Christianity" [Kaiser et al.])
For recent analysis of the problem of God and divine revelation in the more important textbooks of dogmatics: SCF §§ 3-11; Aulén 30-65; Barth 1/2 §17; Elert §§2-5, 8, 22-25; Brunner 1:117-36; Tillich 1:106-59; Weber 1:199-227; Macquarrie 43-58; Rahner 44-71, 138-321; BJ 1:197-264 (Sponheim); Thielicke 2:1-258; Gilkey 39-107; Hall 1:402-27; 2:43-72; Pannenberg 1:63-257; Migliore 20-43; Jenson 1:42-60; ICT 49-76.
For older understandings of the subject of theology, divine revelation, and natural theology: Aquinas 1a:2; 12.12; 2b:92-94; on Luther (Althaus...