The Two Books, Coined By The Theologians
Gloria J. Farmer
HTH-505-0101: Systematic Theology I
Instructor: Professor Peter Conlin
March 19, 2013
The Two Books – Page 1
God’s objective for self-revelation is that mankind comes to know Him better. From the beginning of creation, God’s plan “was to create a people among whom he could dwell and with whom he could be in relationship” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 23). Mankind has no excuse for not knowing God and establishing a relationship with Him because “everyone naturally has a general idea that there is a God” (McGrath, 2011, p. 85), based upon His eternal power and divine nature. His glory is declared in the heavens, the work of His hands is proclaimed in the skies, (Psalm 19; Romans 1:20) and “the order, intricacy, and wonder of creation speak to the existence of a powerful and glorious Creator” (Got Questions, 2013). Moreover, “people everywhere possess general knowledge of the existence of God as the Creator of heaven and earth, and they understand His righteousness, and that He administers punishment to the wicked, etc. However, “people do not have a clue of God’s plans concerning mankind, the benefits of His blessings, our deliverances from sin and death, and the plan of salvation—which denotes true knowledge of God (McGrath, 2011). The Two Books that God reveals Himself to humanity include, “General Revelation and Special Revelation. “General revelation refers to the general truths that can be known about God through nature. Special revelation refers to the more specific truths that can be known about God through the supernatural” (Got Questions, 2013). “General Revelation was not the catalyst that was designed to teach us our obligation towards God and our proper relationship to him as our creator. It was not designed to guide us in morality even if the fall of man had not occurred in the Garden of Eden” (Preacherwin’s, 2008). It is through General Revelation that God’s revelation of Himself as God, and the righteous judge is seen. Also, through General Revelation man is seen as a sinner standing under The Two Books – Page 2
God’s divine judgment. The clear message of general revelation and what is derived from it--natural theology (e.g., Romans 1 and 2), encounters the problem of fallen man perverting its clear message. Nature, human history, and human nature (internally—via conscience) denote the three primary categories of general revelation (Apologetics, 2013).
“God manifested or revealed Himself through Special Revelation in three major categories that include: miraculous events, divine speech, and visible manifestations. Special Revelation is redemptive or salvific in nature and is communicated in both words (e.g., Scripture) and acts or actions. It must be revealed/initiated by God alone. Christ and the Scriptures respectively are the supreme examples of Special Revelation” (Apologetics, 2013).
Having said this, The Two Books, coined by the Theologians, present an intertwining role of Special Revelation (Scripture) and General Revelation in the theological task of discovering God. As we explore General Revelation in the area of Science and the Bible, we must note that there is some information that General Revelation tell us and does not tell us. According to VandenBerg, (2010), there are two beliefs among the Christian community concerning scientific knowledge and the Bible. For example, “there are Christians who reject the knowledge in the areas of evolution, cosmology, and insist that the biblical accounts of creation and cosmology must be read in a woodenly literal fashion. They assert that it is not necessary to harmonize the Bible and science because, for the most part, the scientific academy is wrong. Furthermore, some Christians insist that what the Bible says about the origins of the universe does not, in fact, cannot, contradict what science has discovered. Contrasting those in the first...