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ST 502 The Word Dr. Samuel Waldron

LECTURE OUTLINE:

SYLLABUS FOR

PROLEGOMENA TO SYSTEMATIC T

LOGY 2

[DOCTRINE OF THE WORD]

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PART 1: REVELATION IN GENERAL

SECTION 1: THE CONCEPT OF REVELATION SECTION 2: THE CATEGORIES OF REVELATION

PART 2: REDEMPTIVE REVELATION

SECTION 1: ITS INTRODUCTION SECTION 2: ITS RELATIONS SECTION 3: ITS IMPARTATION

 

PART 3: INSCRIPTURATED REDEMPTIVE REVELATION

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SECTION 1: THE ATTRIBUTES OF SCRIPTURE SECTION 2: THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE

EXAMINATIONS:

THERE WILL BE A BRIEF QUIZ AT THE BEGINNING OFIEACH DAY’S LECTURES. IT WILL COVER ONLY THE PREVIOUS DAY’S LECTURES. THUS, UR1NG THE COURSE THERE WILL BE SIX QUIZZES. THE QUIZZES WILL YIELD A TOTAL 0! 114 POINTS. 14 OF THESE POINTS ARE EXTRA CREDIT. QUIZZES WILL BE THE BASIS FOR 0 % OF YOUR GRADE.

AT THE COMPLETION OF THE LECTURES THERE WILL A TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM. ALL QUESTIONS ON THIS FINAL EXAM WILL BE DRAWN ROM THE QUIZZES. THIS EXAM WILL BE FOR THE OTHER 50% OF YOUR GRADE.

READINGS:

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FORPART1:

INERRANCY, ED. BY NORM GEISLER, CH. 7,11

REVELATIONAND THE BIBLE, ED. BY CARL F. H. HENRY, CH. 1

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FORPART2:

REVELATIONAND THE BIBLE, CH. 3,4,5,6 FOR PART 3:

 

INERRANCY, CH. 1,2,3,4,6,8,

12, 13,

14

REVELATIONAND THE BIBLE, CH. 9, 19,20,21,22

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THE READING IS APPROXIMATELY 500 PP.

 

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PART 1:

REVELATION IN GENERAL

SECTION 1: THE CONCEPT OF REVELATION

I. Revelation Is Principial Fundamental, Foundational

Principial is the adjective derived from the noun, principium, s4iich means a first principle.

Introduction to Systematic Theology a more extended definitio4 is given.

arch

In

See the Greek word,

A. Revelation assumes and implies the three principipl. of principium of theology:

1 the God who speaks; 2

the man who is his image;

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the W$td which He speaks. Revelation

is, therefore, God speaking to man.

revelation. Each is necessary if man is to have any knowledge of

Each of these principiunj are vital links in the chain of

THE THREE PRINCIPIA OF THEOLOGY

God Principium Essendi

Revelation Principium Cognoscendi Externu$

Man Principium Cognoscendi Intemuxi

Subjective knowledge of God in Man Theology

1. The God who speaks

The God of the Bible is the God who speaks. Revelation is a distilotive characteristic of the God of the Bible Psa. 115:5-7cf. Gen. 1:3; Ezek. 12:25; Heb. 1:1,2; 124$.

2. The man who is His Image

The fact of revelation assumes that man is able to know God. Thi: ability to know God is grounded

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in the analogy which exists between God and Man because of Man’s being the image of God.

Since it was by Gods creation that man became theimage of God, it follows that man was adapted

God made man to be his image, he made him to

receive revelation. Man’s essence is that he is God’s image. This means that his essence is to know and respond to God. He is a covenant being--made to know God.

by God in creation to be a recipient of revelation.

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Man did not come into being indifferent as to the manner how, and only afterwards

revelation was added to him as an auxiliary and was therefore adapted to his need

contrary

on the

our human race was in its creation entirely adapted to this revelation.’

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A necessary distinction must here be made. As God’s image, there is a "two-fold office of man in

revelation."

himself in human nature.

Gen. 1:26-28; Rom. 2:14,15. It is not this that we are focusing our attention upon now.

second office of man in revelation. This is simply that man as image of God is not only himself a

revelation of God, but he possesses the ability, capacity, faculty to perceive

External creation reveals God but does not perceive that revelation. Man both reveals God and perceives that revelation.2 Berkhof and Kuyper before him entitle this faculty faith.3 -

First, as image of God he is himself one great part of God’s revelation. God manifests

Man is image, that is to say visible representation and reflection, of God

It is the

that revelation.

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Difficult questions arise here, but the main point is that the faculty by which man comes to know God is not reason in the sense of his ability to follow a process of reasoning. It is not reason in the

sense of logical action.

This would imply that man’s reason enables him to move from a state of

To the contrary, man always knows God by an

immediate perception, with immediate certainty. Man is was from the beginning in every

moment of his existence immediately confronted with God.

not knowing God to a state of knowing God.

The word ‘faith’ has a far more profound meaning, however. It is frequently used to denote the positive knowledge that does not rest on external evidence nor on logical demonstration, but on an immediate and direct insight.4

3. The Word which He speaks.

Revelation assumes the Word which God speaks. All revelation flows from this Word. The

revelation in creation and the revelation embodied in the Scriptures exist because God spoke Psa.

147:15-20 with Gen. 1:3f Heb. 1:1. God.

Only through this Word which God has spoken can we know

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1Abraham Kuyper, Principles of Sacred Theology Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980, 263.

2Kuyper, Principles ofSacred Theology, 264.

3Kuyper, Principles

ofSacred

Theology, 265f Berkhof, Introduction to Systematic

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Theology Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979, 181f.

4Berkhof, Introduction to Systematic Theology, 181.

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B. Revelation is the sole and necessary means of knoir

God.

Geerhardus Vos remarks, "All personal life remains a closed myery to us as long as he whose life

The key text here is 1 Cor. 2:1

this is does not disclose it to us."

The corollary of this fact is that theology which has for its priijipium revelation is distinct and unique as over against every other science in its method of acqu4iig the knowledge it pursues. In all other sciences man is active in taking knowledge from a pive object of study. He stands above the object and by his reason thaws out knowledge from be object. In theology however, man is dependent and is given knowledge through the humility f faith. Here the object of study, God, imparts knowledge to the man who now occupies the comp4utively passive position.2

C. Revelation is foundational to both religion and the$ogy.

Revelation and religion are inseparable, but there is clear order precedence. Revelation always demands the response of religion, but religion is impossible in tljo absence of and is based upon revelation. Revelation demands a response. Religion is that respcse 2 Pet. 3:11-14.

Even more clearly theology is founded upon, grounded in revelaon.

What is theology?

Kuyper

properly distinguishes three factors of what he calls innate theogy the theology Adam would have possessed before the fall.

1. Revelation of God through Adam’s nature d

the external world.

2. Faith by which Adam would have perceiv4 that revelation.

3.

Logical

action

reason

knowledge of God, in other words, theology.

by

which this evelation

could be reduced to

Theology is, thus, the knowledge of God which results when logpal action reason transposes the

revelation perceived by faith into a body of knowledge whi4

Revelation is therefore the reference point by which the validity 4f both theology and religion is to

Ramm omewhere says, "Theology must

arise from a knowledge of God, be controlled by a knowledge ol God, and be referable back to a

be verified.

it

understands intellectually.3

It is the principium from which they spring.

knowledge of God." Divine revelation is the reference point by wüch any theology or religion is to

be verified.

This raises another question:

What is the reference point by which revelation is to be

verified?

D. Revelation is externally unverifiable.

‘Kuyper, Princzples of Sacred Theology, 248; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948 11, 12.

cf. Geerhars Vos, Biblical Theology

2Kuyper, Principles ofSacred Theology,

248, 341-343.

3Kuyper, Principles

of Sacred

Theology, 268-270.

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Certain facts of revelation are verifiable. Aspects

are provable. But revelation as an entity, in its

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entirety is not subject to verification by means of a higher authority. The question here is: By what standard shall I test the validity of revelation? To be more specific, how shall I veri& that what I accept as revelation is revelation? To approach the same issue somewhat differently, Why should I accept the Bible’s claim to be revelation? In this class, the question will be, What does the Bible

teach about the Bible? On what

basis, however, do I believe to be truth what the Bible says about

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the Bible? How can it be proper simply to believe what the Bible teaches about itself? How shall I veri& revelation? More concretely, how shall I verify the Bible as divine revelation?

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These questions are answered in detail in Apologetics. Here a brief summary of that answer will be delineated simply to refresh our memories.’

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1. Verification is not possible. "Even verification is here absolutely excluded.

When a man reveals something of himself to me, I can verify this, and if necessary pass criticism upon it. But when the theologian stands in the presence of God, and God gives him some - explanation of his existence as God, every idea of testing this self-communication of God by something else is absurd; hence, in the absence of such a touch stone, there can be no verification, and consequently no room for criticism."2 Revelation is itself the principium of our knowledge of God. To verify revelation would require another principium of higher authority. In turn, this higher principium would need verification by a still higher--ad infinitum. The result is infinite regression. The case is precisely analogous to that of creation. God made the world. But who

made God? No one, God is the principium of all being. A principium may have no principium. Precisely similar to this is the case in the question of revelation. As God is the principium of being,

to verify revelation is to ask the

so His revelation is the principium of knowledge. To seek

epistemological equivalent of the question, Who made God? As principium, revelation is unverifiable.

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This may be put in another way. Verification in the nature of the case must come from a source that exceeds in certainty that which is to be verified. Since revelation and the Bible as its embodiment is the Word of God, no such source exists. The Word of God itself is the most certain source of knowledge. Verification may be likened to an appeal to a higher court for the verification

of the decision of a lower court. The Supreme Court is the principium of legal interpretation in the

U.S.A.

There is no appeal from a decision of the Supreme court. Gods Word is the supreme court

of knowledge.

2. Verification is not permissible.

If the Bible is Gods Word,

to seek further

verification beyond its own witness is, at the least, impertinence. license.

It is to ask God for his drivers

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3. Verification is not necessary. The goal of verification can only be to achieve

‘Berkhof has a similar approach, Introduction to Systematic Theology, 124f.

2Kuyper, Principles of Sacred Theology, 251.

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certainty regarding the identity of the Bible as the Word of Go4. doubt. No such doubt exists!

This assumes the existence of

a. The Word of God is self-authentic$irg. It attests itself as the Word

of God by an inmiediate appeal to the deepest realities of man’*:.existence. If man can deny, he

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cannot forget His Maker’s voice. other verification is superfluous.

The Word of God is self-atte$ing, self-verifying and, thus, all

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The Testimony

of the Spirit is the only influence which can remove

b. the quasi-doubt, the unbelief,

which exists in the hearts of sin ers.

As all other attempts to

convince the depraved man of the Bible’s identity will fail, so tis testimony will alone produce divine certainty and faith. In the hearts of all believers a ver4kation exists which exceeds all others. The real need of the unconverted is not intellectual verificttion but ethical renovation.

This treatment of the fact that revelation is unverifiable should grc$nd and explain the methodology

of this course.

We will extract our doctrine of the Scriptures fro4i the Scriptures themselves.

Our

methodology will be precisely what it is in the other loci of Systeiatic Theology.

One other qualification is, perhaps, necessary.

Though revel Uon itself is not verifiable, our

doctrine of revelation, our doctrine of the Word of God is.

Our petrine of revelation is verifiable

by

the standard of revelation itself

Not only

so,

our unde $tanding

of that revelation--our

theology--will necessarily and properly influence our understandii of the doctrine of revelation.

 

THE MUTUAL RELATIONS OF REVELATION, THE DTRINE AND THE OTHER LOCI OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY

OF REVELATION,

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II.

Revelation is Intentional

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The comment that our doctrine of revelation will be influenced or pervaded by the rest of our theology becomes important when we discuss the fact that revelation is intentional. This assertion is warranted and demanded by the Reformed and biblical doctrine of God.

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A.

Revelation is Intentional in the sense that it was not necessary for God to reveal

Himself Revelation is an act of gratuitous, divine initiative.

 

1.

Foundation

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The assertion that revelation was not necessary, but gratuitous is grounded in the attribute of God known as the divine aseity or self-sufficiency.’ God is independent, self-sufficient, complete in - Himself If God had not revealed himself, He would have remained to all eternity infmitely, perfectly happy in Himself He is the blessed and only sovereign.

2. Qualification

This assertion is not to be understood as though once God had created the world and man in the

way He did that revelation was still optional.

elected not to reveal after choosing to create in the way He did. The choice to create while free and

unnecessary was a choice to reveal Himself. For the creation of the world and man was a revelation - of himself which itself implied further revelation. The Westminster Confession of Faith and the 1689 Baptist Confession both read at chapter 4, paragraph 1: "It pleased God the Father, Son, and

Holy Ghost for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness

create

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This assertion does not mean that God could have

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to

the world."

 

3.

Application

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Our response to a revelation by such a being of Himself to us should be marked by a humble gratitude. God did not need to, but he was pleased to reveal Himself to us.

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B.

Revelation is intentional in the sense that it is the essential means to the highest

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intention, the ultimate motivation for all things.

 

1.

Foundation

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This assertion is founded in the divine supremacy sovereignty.

The ultimate goal of all creation is

to bring glory to God.

This is the only proper goal for, "He is the blessed and only sovereign the

King of Kings and Lord of Lords" 1 Tim. 6:15. No lesser motivation is fitting for the Most High God.

‘Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976, 9.

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2. Explanation.

The revelation of Himself and His perfections is the essential meajfls to the end of the glory of God. Thus, the Confession quoted above finds the rationale for creatil$i in the revelation of the divine perfections. Creation was for revelation.1 The goal of revelation not ultimately soteriological or anthropological. It is theological and doxological.

3. Application.

Thus all proper interaction with the Word of God is to produce th worship and praise of that God. Interaction with the Word of God that deviates from this purpose iillegitimate.

C. Revelation is intentional and therefore never unco1cious or casual.

1.

Foundation

This assertion is grounded in the divine omniscience--the infinitØ wisdom of God. The glory of

God’s wisdom is not that he knows all about his creation. This kiwledge, though incredibly vast, is not infinite-for creation is not infinite. The glory of divineflOmniscience is that God knows

Himself--the infinite reaches of his own being and deeds-perfectl: completely,

exhaustively.

2. Explanation

Revelation, therefore, can never be unconscious. God knows afltliat He himself does, has done,

will do. Kuyper says, "The casual dropping of a remark does notftoccur with respect to the Eternal being, since the casual and unconscious doing of a thing is not p*dicable of God."2 Revelation is always fully conscious on the part of God. The corollary to thiis that revelation does not have

God for its object. God is not revealing himself to himself

This refutes the idea that God could be more or less unconsciou

seen by us in his works without his willing or knowing it

therefore, which have crept more and more into theology, must b4:banished as impious, since they

start out essentially from the exaltation of man above God."3

contemplate, but

revelation and perhaps Open Theism?.4

God understood and intended all the good and necessary inference contained in biblical revelation.

An important hennenutical implication of this is that

"

,tltiere

is no involuntary revelation.

of Himself, or that he could be All representations of this sort,

This may seem foolish even to

precisely this conception of

much of liberal and process theology

invol$s

Thus, all the necessary implications of revelation are revelation.

‘Kuyper notes this, Principles of Sacred Theology, 258-

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2Kuyper, Principles of Sacred Theology, 250.

 

3Kuyper, Principles

of Sacred Theology,

253, 254.

4Cf Berkhof, Introduction to Systematic

Theology, 119,

Kuyper, Principles of Sacred

Theology, 314ff Note also Berkhofs discussion of the biblical

of revelation, 133.

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3.

Application

The conscious, purposeful character of revelation rebukes two errors concerning revelation. The purposeful character of revelation rebukes a presumptuous curiosity to know more than God has

revealed.

It also rebukes a squeamish timidity to know all God has revealed.

Either attitude calls

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into question the wisdom of the divine purpose. Here are Thornwell’s perceptive comments on this

issue:

Whatsoever the Scriptures contain was designed by the Holy Spirit for our careful study and

devout meditation, and we are required to search them habitually and prayerfully, since they contain the "words of eternal life." The doctrines of the Bible cannot prove hurtful unless

they are perverted by ignorance or wrested by abuse.

mysterious features of revealed truth, there are two extremes widely different, but perhaps

equally dangerous, into which there is hazard of running--presumptuous curiosity on the

one hand, and squeamish timidity on the other. Men of inquisitive and speculative minds are apt to forget that there are limits set to human investigation and research, beyond which it is impossible to pass with safety or satisfaction. To intrude with confidence into the unrevealed secrets of Gods wisdom and purpose manifests an arrogance and haughtiness of intellect which cannot fail to incur the marked disapprobation of Heaven, and should always

meet the prompt reprobation of the pious.

kindly and graciously revealed, and it argues no less ingratitude than presumption to attempt to be "wise above what is written." Theology has already suffered greatly from the pride of human intellect. Men, anxious to know more than God has thought proper to communicate, or secretly dissatisfied with the form in which statements of Divine truth are made in the Bible, have recurred to philosophy and science to improve or to explain the doctrines of revelation. Sometimes the Scriptures stop too short, and then metaphysics and logic must be called in to trace theft disclosures to the secret recesses of the eternal mind. Sometimes the Scriptures and philosophy, "falsely so called," come into collision, and then the former must go through an exegetical transformation, so as to wear the shape which the latter would impress on them. All this is a wide departure from that simplicity of faith with which the Word of God should always be received. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God," and to quarrel with it, or to attempt to push our investigations beyond it, is just to quarrel with the wisdom and goodness of the Deity Himself It is tacitly charging the Holy - Spirit with keeping back from men what it is important to their happiness to know. A deep conviction of the fullness and sufficiency of the Scriptures, combined with a hearty regard for their disclosures, is the only effectual check to this presumptuous pride of intellect.

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In examining, however, the more

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Whatsoever is useful to be known God has

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But while some thus madly attempt to overleap the boundaries which God has set to their

knowledge, others, through excessive caution, are afraid to know what the Lord has actually -

revealed.

This squeamish timidity is no less dishonoring to God, as it supposes that He has

communicated some truths, in a moment of unlucky forgetfulness, which it would have

been better to conceal, and flatly and palpably contradicts the assertion of Paul that all

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Scripture is "profitable."

If we suffer ourselves to be deterred from a fearless exposition of

Divine truth by the cavils and perversions of profane minds, we may just surrender all that

constitutes the Gospel a peculiar system, and make up our minds to be content with the flimsy disclosures of Deism or the cheerless darkness of Atheism. The doctrines of the

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oijmputation, etc., are all made the

scoff of the impudent and the jest of the vain.

purposes by the false apostles, but all their defamation a$ reproach could not make Paul ashamed of the truth, nor afraid to preach it. "One hoof c4Eivine truth," says the venerable Erskine, "is not to be kept back, though a whole reproba world should break their necks on it." "The Scripture," says Calvin, "is the school of theHo1y Spirit, in which, as nothing useful or necessary to be known is omitted, so nothing is ught which it is not beneficial to know." While, then, a presumptuous curiosity, on the c$e hand, may not be allowed to

Paul’s dtrines were perverted to unholy

Trinity, of the incarnation of the Son, of the covenants,

carry us beyond the Scriptures, let not a sickly timidity, or$the other, induce us to fall below them. "Let the Christian man," as Calvin again says, "op4p his heart and his ears to all the discourses addressed to him by God, only with this mo4àration, that as soon as the Lord closes His sacred mouth he also shall desist from furth inquiry. This will be the best

barrier of sobriety, if in learning we not only follow the ceases to teach we give up our desire of learning. It is a ‘that it is the glory of God to conceal a thing.’ But as bo that this is not to be understood generally of everythix

jdings of God, but as soon as He ebrated observation of Solomon, piety and common sense suggest we must seek for the proper

distinction, lest we content ourselves with brutish ignora pe under the pretext of modesty and sobriety. Now, this distinction is clearly expressed in a few words by Moses: The

which are revealed belong unto

us and to our children, that we may do all the words of tl i law.’ Deut. 29:29. For we see

secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those thinE

how he enforces on the people attention to the doctrine

decree, because it pleased God to promulgate it; and restr &ns the same people within those limits with this single reason, that it is not lawful for mol als to intrude into the secrets of God."

f the law, only by the celestial

III. Revelation is Analogical

This assertion is grounded in the biblical doctrine of man. 4gain, therefore, our doctrine of

revelation is influenced by our theology.

image of God. This doctrine profoundly controls our doctrine of kevelation. As God’s image, man

is the ectype of which God is the archetype.

another way, we could say that there is certain analogy or likene$ which God has created between God and man. Two things must be said by way of exposition of the biblical concept of the analogy between God and man.

The Bible teaches that man was created by God as the

God is the origina’. of which man is the copy.

Put

First, it is true analogy. There is a bonafide similarity. Second it is only analogy. There is no

point of identity. Man is like God in one sense, but it is the heigl$t of depravity for him to attempt

to be like God in another sense. "Man can never in any sense, out$row his creaturehood.

a definite connotation into the expression that man is like God. He is like God, to be sure, but always on a creaturely scale."2 Man does not participate in the diffine essence or existence. There

are and remain two kinds of being, two kinds of existence: infinitelbeing and finite being.

This puts

‘James Henley Thornwell, The Collected Writings of 1974 2:105-108.

Elinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust,

2Van Til, Defense of the Faith,

13-14.

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All of this

in general is that of analogy, when the issue of God’s revelation to man and man’s consequent

knowledge is discussed, analogy must be a dominant consideration. Revelation must be thought of

as analogical.

knowledge of God is a copy of God’s knowledge. The terminology, accommodation, is often used

here. The terminology

of the knowledge of God

was inevitable in revelation. It must be remembered that God created the subject to whom He wanted to reveal himself with the intention of so doing. Man was adapted by creation to know

God. "He does not follow a way of communication, that happens accidentally to be present, but

Thus our knowledge of God is ectypal. God’s knowledge of God is archetypal. Our

is crucial for our understanding of revelation. Since the relation between God and man

is unwise. It tends to the idea that some distortion

that He Himself lays out the way of communication in keeping with

His purpose."

1 Man’s knowledge of God is, therefore, true knowledge.

It is an accurate picture of God.

Kuyper even calls it a whole picture, "In the self-knowledge of God there are not ten parts, six of

which he has decided to reveal unto us

the whole image has been reflected to us in Revelation."2

2 Man’s knowledge of God is not identical with God’s knowledge. Man does not know God

as God knows God. His knowledge is not comprehensive. His knowledge is anthropomorphic. He

knows God only

human existence. He knows God not by immediate intuition as God knows himself, but only by

the media of the analogies of human existence.

Mans

by means of the divinely created analogies of divine existence which pervade

All revelation is in this sense mediate.

knowledge is only a finite copy of God’s knowledge of God.

‘Kuyper, Principles ofSacred Theology, 257.

2Kuyper,

Principles of Sacred

Theology, 256.

 

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DIVINE REVELATION ACCURj.TE AND ANALOGICAL

1 Two Kinds of Being and Knowledge

GOD = Infinite Being and Knowledge

2

TheiFoute of Revelation in General

God

Creation = Finite Being and Knowledge

cre ion

"V

revelation

3 The Route of Revelation Explained

4

The .oute of Revelation Illustrated

GOD = DIVI

[B REALITY

Creation - Cr

ated Analogy

GOD

hum?

TH

SONDIVINE

LOVE

sonshiphuman love

S Revelation - Revelatory Concept

NOTES:

Jesus iS God’s

Son God is Love

1 The finite revelatory concept

REALITY.

It is not identical with it.

- are intended to illustrate this.

is

only

analogical of God’s knowledge of the DIVINE

Note the absence of capita!S below the line of transcendence

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2 Revelation always proceeds through the created analogy from the DIVINE REALITY.

This guarantees its accuracy.

revelation that would not distort that revelation. God accommolaled man and creation to himself before He accommodated His revelation to man.

The Divine creative purpose adpted creation to be a means for

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SECTION 2: THE CATEGORIES OF REVELATION

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I. The Historical Background of the Two Kinds of Revelation

A. In the Apologists

The distinction between two types of revelation was seen early in the history of the Christian thought. Perhaps the first conscious reflection on it is to be found in the Apologists of the Second

century. In particular, the writings of Justin Martyr are important. Seeberg tells us, "The apologists

undertook

In

this endeavor the Apologists were the first to consciously reflect on Christian truth in relation to the

to set forth Christianity in forms intelligible to the cultured classes of their age."

surrounding heathenism. Christian theology.

To them, therefore, may be traced, as Seeberg suggests, the beginnings of

The Apologists attempted to communicate Christianity to theft generation by adapting for Christian purposes the Logos speculation of the Greek philosophers. The Greek philosophers had developed the concept of the Logos as a way of mediating the supreme being to the world. This was to profoundly influence Trinitarian thought in succeeding centuries--not always positively. The

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connection of the Apologists’ thinking on revelation with this conception should arouse our caution. The distinction between two categories of revelation was also motivated in the Apologists by an excessive respect for the Greek philosophers. Heraclitus and Socrates, as well as Abraham, were thought to be Christians before Christ.2 Notwithstanding these cautionary considerations, the - Apologists’ thinking deserves study. It was the Apostle John with full knowledge of its secular

meaning who affirmed that Jesus was the Logos John 1:1-18.

affirmed that all men possess a certain revelation of God Rom. 1:18-20.

It was the Apostle Paul who

Justin Martyr’s doctrine in this regard is the most clearly elaborated of the Apologists. Justin distinguishes 1 a human teaching avOpcoiaoç ötöacicaXta derived through the operation of the

divine logos, and 2

divine logos.3 Says Kelly, "His starting-point was the current maxim that reason the germinal logos = ?oyoç oncptanicoç was what united men to God and gave them knowledge of Him."4 The light that all men have is implanted by the divine reason, the Logos of God, who is universally active and present in the highest goodness and intelligence wherever they may be found. Like the Sower the Logos had sown seeds aitcppa tot Xo’you of truth among the Greek philosophers. They "had, thus, been enabled to arrive at fragmentary facets of truth.5 Justin, an eclectic, found

a Christian teaching far superior derived from the actual incarnation of the

1Reinhold Seeberg, History ofDoctrines, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978, 1:110.

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2W. Walker, A History of the Christian Church, New York: Chalres Scribner’s Sons, 1970 4.

3Seeberg, History of Doctrines, 1:111 f.

-

4J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, New York: Harper & Row, 1978 96.

5Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, 96.

12

-

S

truth in the different schools of Greek philosophers.’ The teachijg of Christianity excelled that of

the Greeks because its teaching was derived not

incarnation and teaching of the entire Logos to Xoyucou tot oA.mj.

from seeds sown by the Logos,

but by

the

-

JUSTIN MARTYR’S DOCTRINE OF THE LOGOS

 
 

Laos

Sperniatikos

p

Greek Philosophers

4*brist

 

Incair

-

Human Teaching partial, fallible

Christian Tbaching complete, i4’allible

 

B.

In the Scholastics.

 

1.

Augustine

 

Any treatment of the Scholastics and the medieval period must begin with Augustine. In Augustine the distinction between two kinds of revelation becomes a distijction between faith and reason.

-

While there is some tendency to ascribe to reason an excessive inportance, Augustine believes in a rational proof for God’s existence, his basic position is oppose4 to this. Augustine’s, "Credo ut intelligam," summarizes his position. All knowledge begins in faith.2

S

 

2.

Anselm

 

Anselm, an Augustinian, adopted Augustine’s motto, but he wen4 on to accentuate and enlarge the

place and ability of reason. One came to know by faith Christian t*tth, but one could then prove by

reason Christian

truth.

In this conviction he embodied key attitu4s of the

later high Scholasticism

-

of Aquinas and others.

Reason is consistent with faith and conetent not only to understand its

-

‘W. Walker, A History of the Christian Church, 46.

 

2G. H. Clark, Thales to Dewey, 225-226.

13

doctrines, but to prove them.’

 

-

 

3.

Aquinas

 

5

Iii

Aquinas the classic, scholastic synthesis of faith and reason was reached.

The same optimistic

view of reason is present, but Aquinas has a more carefully worked out view of the relation of faith

 

and reason.

-

In one sense, Aquinas limits the place of reason in a way that Anselm did not.

theology cannot be proven by reason. The Trinity is a truth of faith not reason. Reason may show - that this truth is not irrational, but it cannot demonstrate its reality. On the other hand, Aquinas definitely disagrees with Augustine’s motto, "I believe in order to understand." To believe a truth

Certain truths of

and to know it by reason at the same time is impossible.

it.2

contention that the existence of God is self-evident.3

If one knows it, he can no longer believe Again, Aquinas disagrees with Augustine’s

Understanding completes and puts an end to faith.

Natural theology which is the knowledge of God which

may be derived by reason from natural revelation becomes the connecting link between philosophy the product of reason and theology the product of faith. Certain truths are both revealed and rational, i.e., the existence of God. Natural theology is thus the foundation and apology of theology

This is significant for Aquinas’ theology.

proper.4

 

-

S

S

‘Clark, Thales to Dewey, 253-254.

 

2Clark, Thales to Dewey, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1957 271, 272.

 

3Clark, Thales to Dewey, 272f.

 

4Clark,

Thales

to Dewey, 272.

-

 

S

 

14

 

S

THE PATH OF INTELLECTUAL P1OGRESS ACCORDING TO AQUINAt

S

S

ILLUSTRATION #1: THE OVERLAPPING CIRCLES

Reason and

Philosophy

The Realm

of Rational

Demonstration

ILLUSTRATION

#

2:

THE

SOIL

Natural

Theology

4

OF

PHILOSOPHY,

Faith and

Theology

The Realm

THE

of Divine

Mystery

HILL

OF

THEOLOGY AND THE HOUSE OF FAITH

L

-2&TURAL

THEOLOGT-.

PHILOSOPHY

In Aquinas’ view a dichotomy was, thus,

erected between kowledge and faith,

authority, and natural and supernatural revelation.

NATURAL

reason and

4. The Late Scholastics John Duns Scotus afl4 William of Occam

In the later scholastics, the key attitudes that governed scholastiism were superceded. Both the optimism with respect to the abilities of reason and the optimisth with respect to the compatibility of faith and reason were questioned. This wedge between faitl and reason would result in the denial of the faith in Renaissance Humanism and the subordi$tion of reason in Reformation Christianity.’

C. In the Reformation.

H

G. H. Clark, Thales to Dewey, 296-297

15

 

S

Both Luther and Calvin disliked and rejected the medieval emphasis on reason and philosophy in

favor of the sola scrjptura.’

They maintained the distinction between natural and supematural

revelation.

God spoke both via nature and the Scriptures.

At this point an important distinction

must be noted which set the Reformers off from Rome and produced a radically different treatment

 

of these two categories of revelation.

Rome assumed that human reason, at least, was unfallen;

while the Reformers taught the total depravity of man.

-

This means that while there is natural revelation, there can be no natural theology. Man in his

depravity never allows natural revelation to reach its goal.

Rather, he suppresses, perverts, and

-

distorts it so that no effective knowledge of God results. Scripture alone as applied by the Spirit

can now be the means of bringing us to a true knowledge of God. It was, therefore, the sola

scriptura and the solo gratia with its attendant doctrine of sin which molded the Reformation -

doctrine of natural

and supernatural revelation.

Calvin’s treatment of this subject is the classic elaboration of it. here. The relevant chapters of the Institutes are Book 1:3-7.

It will be useful to summarize it

-

The human mind naturally and indelibly is endued with the sense of deity 1:3:1,3. is no need of the proofs of schools 1:3:3, cf. 1:5:9.

a

There

b

Human depravity prevents the sense of deity sensus deitatis and the attendant seeds of

-

religion

semen religionis in the human heart from producing true knowledge of God 1:4:1,4.

 

c

God’s revelation of Himself in creation both of the external world and of man himself and

 

in providence is clear and conspicuous 1:5:1, 2, 11, 15; 6:1, 6:2, but because of the depravity of men is inadequate to impart a clear knowledge of God 1:5,11,14,1 52

-

d

Scripture is, therefore, necessary for the obtaining of a true knowledge not only of salvation

but of God the creator 0:6:1,3; 1:6:2.

 

The testimony of the Spirit is necessary for the acknowledgement of the authority of Scripture 1:7:4, 1:7:5.

e

 

Thus, if men are to profit from natural revelation they need first the spectacles of the Scriptures and the eyes of regeneration.3 Moreover, one’s understanding of nature because of remaining depravity will always have to be double-checked with the Bible.4

-

S

‘For Luther see Seeberg, History

of Doctrines, 2;224, 299.

2Contra Berkhof, Introduction to Systematic Theology, 127.

 

3Cf. Van Til in The Infallible Word, Philipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1978, 281.

4Cf.

Van

Til

in

The Infallible Word, 282.

 

-

16

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D. In Later Protestantism

Several positions have been defended in Later Protestantism. Thep may be quickly traced.

1. English Deism and Liberalism were captu4d by the thinking of Renaissance

-

humanism.

They denied all

special revelation and made re4son with natural

revelation the

principium of all knowledge.

 

2.

Much of conservative Protestantism inclu4irg some of its Reformed wing

 

under the influence of Descartes reverted to a dichotomy akin tqi. that of Aquinas.

They stressed

reason, natural revelation, and natural theology as the preamble on the use of reason and natural revelation.

thith.

An apologetics was built

 

3.

Neo-orthodoxy

reacted

to

Liberalism wØnt beyond

Calvin

and

denied

 

general revelation. There is only special revelation.

 
 

4.

A segment of the Reformed Protestan4sm understood and developed

 

Calvin’s views. These taught that special revelation while presuosing natural revelation was the sole principle of theology and the principium unicum.’

S

 

A COMPARISON OF DIFFERENT EWS OF REVELATION AND NATURAL T}*OLOGY

 
 

General Revelation

 

Special Revel*ion

Natural Theology

 
 

Liberalism & Deism

Yes

No

Yes

Neo-Orthodoxy

 

No

Yes

No

Armiianism and Princeton Calvinism Butler, Warfield

Yes

Yes

Yes

Amsterdam Calvin, Van Til

Yes

Yes

No

II.

The Biblical Basis for the Two Kinds of Revelation

 

A.

Psalm 19

S

 

There are two passages which are very helpful in establishing tij biblical basis for a distinction between two kinds of revelation and understanding the significa, of this distinction. They are

S

‘Cf Ed Klooster in his unpublished Introduction to Systematic Thology, 194.

17

Psalm 19 and Romans 1:18-3:20.

On the surface of Psalm 19 lies the fact that there are two great sources of the knowledge of God.

In other words, God reveals Himself to men in two distinct ways.

distinction can be best understood and viewed by means of a graph comparing the revelation of verses 1-6 with the revelation of verses 7-14.

The significance of this

TWO KINDS OF REVELATION IN PSALM 19

THE REVELATION OF VV. 1-6

THE REVELATION OF VV. 7-14

SOURCE

God’s Creation [Note especially vv. 1 and 2.]

CONTENT The Glory of God as Creator [Note especially vv. 1 and 4.]

The Written Law [Note v. 7 and the synonyms for

the

lawusedinvv.7-ll.]

Jehovah, the Redeemer [Note the absence of this name in

vv.

1-6, its 7-fold use in vv. 7-14, and v.

14.]

S

S

S

-

-

SCOPE

Universal [Note vv. 3-6.]

Limited [Cf Psa. 147:19,20 and note the term,

 

servant in v. 11 and Jehovah’s titles in

 

v.

14.]

CLAffiTY

Clear

Clear

 

[Notevv. 1,2.]

[Notevv. 7, 8.]

EFFECT

Effective

for

the

Production

of

B.

Romansl:18-3:20

Covenant L?fe [Note vv.7-9, 114

Romans 1:18-3:20 in many details follows Psalm 19. This is not surprising because a close - examination of Paul’s reasoning in the passage shows that he was thinking of Psalm 19 when he wrote it. Many contextual indications suggest that boundary line between the two kinds of revelation discussed in this passage is to be drawn after 2:16.

1:16 speaks of Jews and Greeks. There is no narrowing of the scope in v. 18 where those considered are called men, i.e., men in general.

1

-

2

1:18-32 is not concerned with Gentiles only. Verse 23 alludes to Ps. 106:20 and Jer. 2:11

which speak directly of Jews.

-

18

S

3

There is nothing to indicate a change of scope in 2:1. The language is universal "every

man of you who passes judgment." The language is consequenal having to do with the results

of something already said. "Therefore," connects this with *e foregoing. The language, of passing judgment while appropriate to Jews, is also applicable t Gentiles 2:15.

4 Both Jews and Greeks are considered in the body of 2:146.

inappropriate to put these verses in a passage which is supposed:io be dealing with Jews only!

Cf especially 2:6-15.

How

5 Note the occurrence of the term, men av8pwiroç in beth 1:18 and 2:16. Its occurrence

brackets the section and suggests that in its entirety it deals withznen in general

6

The transition or shift to Paul’s treatment of Jews in paricWar is clearly marked. Note v.

17.

Throughout 1:18-3:8 this is the only clear transition or shift lb the scope of reference.

-

S

-

S

Again a chart will help us to place its teaching about the two kinds or categories of revelation clearly before us.

19

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S

TWO KINDS OF REVELATION IN ROMANS 1:18-3:20

SOURCE

CONTENT

SCOPE

CLARITY

THE REVELATION OF 1:18-2:16

God’s Creation [external creation, 1:19,20] [internal creation, 2:14, 15]

THE REVELATION OF 2:17-3:20

The Written Law [Note 2:17-20; 3:2.]

God as Creator and Judge

 

God

as

Creator,

Judge,

and

[including His law,

wrath,

power,

Redeemer

 

wisdom,

and

goodness 1:18,

20, 21,

[Note 3:1,2,9-20.]

32; 2:4, 14,

15]

Universal

 

Limited

 

[Men in general 1:18-2:16]

[The

Jews

primarily

in

the

Old

Testament 2:17-20; 3:1, 2]

Clear [The embodiment of knowledge and

men without excuse 1:19-21] truth, the law enables men to know Gods will 2:18, 20.]

Clear [Making men to know God and leaving

EFFECT

Condemnation

[Revealing

God’s

wrath

and

leaving

men without excuse 1:18-20]

C. Other Biblical Considerations

Covenant Blessing and Cursing [Note 3:1, 2.]

Both in Psalm 19 and in Romans 1:18-3:20 the basic distinction between two kinds of revelation is

the same.

The written law of God is the means of the redemption of God’s people. Therefore, the New

Testament that is both written and the means of redemption must be viewed as part of the second category or kind of revelation.

There is God’s revelation in creation.

There is Gods revelation in the written law of

God.

The boundary line between the two categories of revelation is, therefore, becoming clear. Yet

confusion may still exist with reference to some questions raised. One key question has to do with

what category the revelation of Gen. 2:4-25 should be placed in.

before the fall that it is part of the natural principium.

Kuyper thinks because it is

This would imply that it is part of general

revelation.

the fall has not yet occurred in Gen. 2:4-25, it cannot be redemptive revelation.

Others only distinguish between redemptive and non-redemptive revelation.

Because

This would also

mean that it is general revelation.

-

-

-

-

-

Contrary to such reasoning, this revelation must be seen, like the revelation of Psalm 19:7-14 and Romans 2:171, as special or positive revelation. There are the following considerations:

20

S

S

1

The source of the revelation of Psa. 19:1-6 and Rom.

1: l-2: 16 is creation. The revelation

of Ps.

theophany of God at Mount Sinai.

19:7-14

and Rom.

2:17f had its source in part at lea* in the physical appearance or

The revelation of Gen. 24f. definitely fits into the latter

category.

2 This view of Gen. 2:4-25 is confirmed by an interestin parallel between Psalm 19 and

Genesis I and 2. Jehovah, we know, is God’s covenant title. Botl in Gen. 1:1-2:3 and in Psa. 19:1- 6 this title is absent with the title, ElohiIn, used without exception1 time in Ps. 19:1-6, 29 times in Gen. 1:1-2:3. In both Gen. 2:4 and Ps. 19:7 there is a stnkm commencement of the use of the title, Jehovah. 11 times Jehovah God is mentioned in Gen. 2 :4-5. 7 times Jehovah is mentioned in Ps. 19:7-14. In these passages the use of Elohim by itself is abslnt.

3 The objections to this view can be answered.

Gen. 2:4-25 is not redemptive, while that of Ps. 19:7-14 and Rdfr. 2:17f is.

difficulty lies in the remembering that there is a pre-fall and postfall phase in both "general" and

"special" revelation. Romans 1:1 8f. definitely teaches that after

For instanc$, some say that the revelation of

The solution to this

4

fall God’s wrath is revealed via

-

creation, but this could not have been the case before the fall

wh there was no sin

in creation. In

the same way the goodness of God originally revealed in creatn now after the fall becomes a

revelation of common grace: God’s goodness to sinful men. Th$, after the fall general revelation God’s wrath and common grace, things it did not reveal b4fore the fall. Likewise, that kind

of revelation which we now know as redemptive existed in a dizent phase before the fall.

If we

call this covenant revelation we may say that the Scriptures the present form of covenant

-

revelation are redemptive because they are post-fall covenant rAelation.

Even pre-fall covenant

revelation had the same ultimate goal as redemptive revelation:j: the confirmation of man in an

eternal life of happiness and holiness.

It appears that the Bible teaches that there has always been two k!Øds of revelation. Yet both these

categories of revelation were modified at the fall of man.

Ther4. have always been two kinds of

-

revelation, but these two kinds of revelation were both modified $b important ways by the fall and

redemption. We must conclude, therefore, that Geerhardus Vos d Van Til following him were precisely biblical in regard to this matter. Let me remind you agin of the diagram by which their position on this matter was summarized. It summarizes the biblica1 view as well.

S

21

THE CATEGORIES OF REVELATION THE VIEW OF VOS AND VAN TIL}

Pre-Fall General Revelation

Pre-Fall Special Revelation

Post-Fall General Revelation

Redemptive Special Revelation

S

S

S

S

III. The Proper Terminology for the Two Kinds of Revelation

A. The Historical Options

Though historical theology informs us of a general distinction between two categories of revelation, much confusion has arisen through the cloudiness of the exact line of demarcation between the categories. The different terminology used by theologians indicates this problem. This distinction has been articulated in terms of Natural and Supernatural Revelation. Yet we may ask the question, Is not natural revelation supernatural in origin? It has been stated in terms of General and Special revelation. But still we may ask, Is all revelation that is general i.e. common to mankind to be distinguished from special revelation? Is the so-called "covenant of works" and the Noahic

covenant general revelation?

Again, however, the question may be raised of the legitimacy of seeing the revelation of Gen. 2:4f

as the same as the revelation through creation, rather than substantially identical with the revelation

finally contained in the Bible.

Revelation. But still it may be asked, Is all non-natural revelation soteriological? What about Gen.

2:4f?

Another terminology is Pre-lapsarian and Post-lapsarian revelation.

Theologians have also spoken of Natural and Soteriological

-

used emphasizes the confbsion and focuses our attention on two key

complicating factors. On which side of the line does the revelation of Gen. 2:4f fall? More deeply,

This survey of the terminology

by what principle should the

two categories of revelation be distinguished?

B. The Detailed Discussion

All the terminological distinctions mentioned above fall short of being satisfactory. Pre-lapsarian

General

and special might be adequate if properly defined, but historically general revelation has been made

to include aspects of covenant revelation.’

distinction or difference between the two kinds of revelation.

has often been properly applied to the demarcation between the two kinds of revelation. When properly understood not as defining the source but the means of revelation, it embodies an

Natural and supernatural revelation

and Post-lapsarian, as well as, natural and soteriological miss the ftindamental distinction.

This terminology also fails to grasp the tbndamental

important difference between the two categories. preferred.

Of the historic terminology it is most to be

‘Cf. Berkhof, Introduction to Systematic Theology, 128, Kuyper, Principles of Sacred Theology,

379.

22

-

-

-

-

-

S

S

The terminology of creation and covenant revelation may be sugcsted. The terminology, creation

-

revelation, used by KJooster suggests at once the scope, content, means and source of natural revelation. The term, covenant revelation, suggests the content scope, source, and the directly personal character of its impartation. Two criticisms may be lodged against the terminology, covenant revelation. Some might argue that the dealings of God Fwith Adam were not covenantal. It has, indeed, been debated by theologians whether it is proper to apply term, covenant, to the Adamic Administration. I would make no attempt to solve this difficulty. I would observe,

-

however, that it seems proper to me to describe God’s dealing with Adam in a general sense as covenantal. Another objection is that all revelation is covenant$L While valid, this objection may be mitigated by the consideration that creation revelation is imply the context of covenant

revelation.

It is, thus, only indirectly covenantal.

Supernatural Irevelation is directly covenantal,

revealing the stipulations and promises at the heart of God’s de4jngs with man.

James On says,

-

"Supposing man to gain all that he could by general revelation, t still could not produce a living

friendship."

This criticism suggests an alternative terminology, natural nd positive revelation. This

terminology notes that nature is the source of natural revelation.

Supernatural revelation is always

a plus to nature.

It is never a "given" of creation, but somethingadditional to it, not derived from

-

the natural order.

It always involves divine intervention in the ceated order.

Thus, it is properly

called positive revelation. This terminology avoids the objectior to the terminology, supernatural revelation, which notes that all revelation is supernatural. A011 revelation is supernatural in its source, but it is not all something in addition to nature.

IV.

The Critical Comparison of the Two Kinds of Revelation

The proper comparison of Creation and covenant revelation must remember that they exist side-by- side in two states: The original and the fallen state. Note the followirg diagram.

S

TWO KINDS OF REVELATION IN TWQ STATES

is

Original State

Creation

Covenant

Fallen State

Revelation

Revétion

‘Cf. the Westminster Confession of Faith 7:1 for this Spoken, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979, 50, 54,

Cf. also J. I. Packer’s God Has

23

A.

Content:

Means:

Character:

The contrasts between creation and covenant revelation

1. In the Original

State

Creation or Natural Revelation

The Creator God--Elohim

Covenant or Positive Revelation

The Covenant God--Yahweh

Creation or Nature --external creation the heavens and earth

--internal creation the soul of man utilized in covenant revelation is

himself --ordinary providence controlling creation

Theophany involving verbal communication. Not all that is

supernatural, but it is only revelational because of its

association with the supernatural.

Cf., for instance, the

tree of life.

Indirect or Mediate impersonal

Direct or Immediate personal and covenantal

2. In the Fallen State

While the distinction between creation and covenant revelation was present, before the fall, it was

accentuated by the fall.

revelation. This was an unnatural separation.

It became possible to possess the creation revelation without the covenant

24

S

- S

-

-

-

-

S

S

S

S

S

S

Creation or Natural Revelation

 

Content:

God as Creator and Judge Under the curse creation now reveals the wrath of God. The original revelation of the goodness of God becomes, therefore, a revelation of common grace.

S

 

Means:

Creation or Nature --external creation the heavens and earth--the

cosmos --internal creation the soul of man himself--the anthropos

-

--ordinary providence as it controls creation

 

Character:

Indirect or Mediate impersonal

5

 

Recipients

All Men in General

-

 

Effect:

Nothing--Man’s depravity perverts this revelation and derives no true or saving knowledge of God from it.

Covennt or Positive Revelation

1

Gc$i as Creator and Judge

Beca* of Man’s depravity, covenant revela*n must now re-publish the conten$ of creation revelation. 2 God as Redeemer

The Supernatural -Verbal conimijication between God and His peopleuay come through theophany, prophepy, or inspiration, but it is alwaysflsupernatural in its means. Not all thats utilized in covenant reveladon is supernatural, but it is only revelatjnal because of its association with th$ supernatural.

Direct çz Immediate personal and coventtal The personal encounter betwe* God and His people is climaxd in the Incarnation.

The cornant people with certain necessry qualifications--This is in contra$ with the pre-fall covenant revelalon which came to all men in genera

H

True k4cwledge of God in the elect

B. The similarities between creation and covenant revelation

Both in the original and fallen states creation and covenant revelation possess the attributes of necessity, authority, perspicuity, and sufficiency.’

1.

Necessity

Creation revelation even before the fall was the necessary conte4. and presupposition of covenant revelation. The subjection of creation to the curse--a cursed crea4n--was the necessary context of redemption.

.

H

Cf. Van Til, Infallible Word, 263f.

25

S

2.

Authority

Both covenant and creation revelation are self-authenticating.

deepest realities of his existence.’ their message.

They lay claim on man in the

Both are divine and, therefore, speak with absolute authority

3.

Perspicuity

The mystery

that must be expected in any revelation of the self-sufficient God to man does not negate the clarity

of His revelation. nature or Scripture.

Mystery and clarity are necessary corrolaries of human knowledge either in

Creation revelation is clear.

It is constant and abundant Psa. 19:1, 2; Rom. 1:19, 20.

4.

Sufficiency

Creation revelation was never intended to thnction independently. In that sense, it is insufficient. Creation revelation is not sufficient to penetrate human depravity and impart an effective knowledge of God. It was sufficient and is sufficient for the purpose God intends for it: to be the context of covenant revelation. It is sufficient to render man without excuse for his sin.

-

-

-

-

-

Concluding Note:

-

This

Scripture.

live and move and exist Eph. 2:12, Acts 14:15-17, Acts 17:28 Having creation revelation within and without men are always near to God. This revelation is indirect, impersonal, non-covenantal. - As fallen men, men are without covenant revelation. This is an unnatural condition. They have no personal, covenantal contact with God. As such they are far from God, without God in the world:

lost, run-aways, orphans. Thus man is cast away from God and has no personal relation with him in his covenantal favor, while he is always confronted with God in His creation revelation.

distinction between the categories of revelation enables us to reconcile two thoughts of

On the one hand, fallen men are without God in the world.

On the other, in Him they

-

C. The relationship between the categories of revelation

-

1. In the Original State

In Genesis 2 it is obvious that man was confronted with both creation and covenant revelation from early in his existence. The impression is even given that the first moments of his existence combined both natural and positive revelation. This shows that far from any contradiction between the two forms of revelation an original unity and mutual dependence is present. Both have the same author, God; the same recipient, man; and the same purpose the bringing of creation and its

head,

man, to the goal of their existence.

S

‘Van Til in The Infallible Word, 274f.

26

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S

S

a

 

2.

In the Fallen State

 
 

It has already been noted that the separation and even, in cer*in respects, differences between creation and covenant revelation is the product of the unnaturaleonditions produced by the fall. Kuyper says, "Both principia are one in God, and the beam of this light is only broken when the soundness of our human heart is broken by sin."

 

a.

The dependence of covenant revel$tion on creation revelation. The

 

fall cannot change or alter the necessary unity of the two fonjs of revelation. Thus, covenant revelation which has now become redemptive revelation still pre$upposes the existence of creation revelation. That is to say, it presupposes that man is created cap*le of knowing God and that he is at every moment confronted with the revelation of God in himseliland the cosmos.2

 

b.

The priority of covenant revelatioito creation revelation.3 All this

is

 

not to say that covenant revelation is dependent on the natural en’s reaction to or use of creation revelation. This reaction is one of truth-suppression Rom. 1:1 81and unalloyed wickedness Rom. 1:21-32. It is, thus, to creation revelation and not to natural teology that covenant redemptive revelation now looks.4 To grant any priority to creation revelatio*Ias understood by the sinner over covenant revelation is ipso facto to sentence covenant revelatiØn to death. This is done when natural theology is set side-by-side with special theology or worse yet when it is made the apologetic foundation of special theology.5

It is for this reason that with Calvin, Kuyper, and Van Til th primacy and priority of special

revelation covenant revelation or the Scriptures must be malntned.

Not only is this redemptive

revelation the sole means by which God corrects the ethical disjsition which causes man to be a

truth-suppressor, but in the Scriptures the content of creatiot revelation is republished as a

necessary aspect of this redemptive revelation.

The Scriptur

are not a mere supplement to

creation revelation, but include a republication of its salient poin46

 

a

 

‘Abraham Kuyper, Principles of Sacred Theology, 378.

 

2Cf. Kuyper, Principles ofSacred Theology, 374; 375

3Van Til in The Doctrine ofScripture, 123, 124.

4Cf.

Van Til, The Infallible Word, 280, 281.

Cf Kuyper, Prinqiples

of Sacred Theology, p.376;

377; 378.

5Kuyper, Principles ofSacred Theology, 382.

 

6Contra Warfield, Collected Writings, vol.

1, Revelation and I4$iration Grand Rapids: Baker,

-

1981, 6,45 Note Rom. 1:18-3:20;

Cf Van Til, Infallible Wor4 282.

 

27

 

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PART 2: REDEMPTIVE REVELATION

SECTION 1: ITS INTRODUCTION--THE BIBLICAL TERMINOLOGY

 

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Introduction:

Any introduction to the biblical terminology must begin by noting that there is a vast bulk of matter - to be treated. This should not be surprising to us. The very subject-matter of the Bible is redemptive revelation. Hence, there are an abundance of terms used with reference to revelation.

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I. Overview of the Biblical Terminology

A. Old Testament

-

Notwithstanding what has been said above, in the Old Testament there is only one major word to be studied. It is the root, GALAH rI.

1. The Basic Meanings: Uncover, Remove, Reveal

This word is used of the removal of Israel into captivity Amos 1:5; 5:5; of the uncovering the nakedness of someone Lev. 18:6-19; of the uncovering the ear or eye of someone in other words making something known or revealing something to them 1 Sam. 20:2, 12, 13; Num. 24:4, 16; and of the revelation per se without the above figure of speech Isaiah 40:5; 53:1.

2. The Relevant Meaning: Reveal

GALAH means to reveal something in

these texts as illustrations Jer. 32:11,14; Isa. 49:9; 1 Sam. 14:8.

the sense of uncovering, unveiling, or displaying it.

3. The DifferentUses

Cf

It is used of man revealing something to man Prov. 18:2; God revealing something to man Job. 12:22 and man revealing something to God Jer. 11:20; 20:12.

-

-

-

-

4. The Prominent Texts with respect to Divine Revelation

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Note Amos 3:7; 1 Sam. 2:27; 3:21; Job 33:16; 12:22; Isa. 22:14; Isa. 40:5; Isa. 53:1, 56:1; Psa. 98:2; Jer. 33:6; Psa. 119:18; Dan. 10:1. Note also in the Chaldee, Dan. 2:19,22,28,29,30.

B. New Testament

1. APOKALUPTOO amoicaXuirro and APOKALUPSIS wtoKaXDtç

This root is the

major translation of GALAH in the LXX.

a. Basic Meaning

28

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-

a

1

Verb: Uncover, Reveal

2

Noun: Revelation, Discloswe

b. Significant Uses

1 It is used of the public disclosure of the thoughts and actions of men 1 Cor. 3:13; Luke 2:35, 12:2, Mat. 10:26.

2 It is used of the actualizatiqn and historical manifestation of

a

a

a

events surrounding the second coming.

 

a

Of the second comi4g itself Luke 17:30; 1 Cor. 1:7.

b

Of the glory oftheSons of God Rom. 8:18, 19; 1

Pet. 5:1.

 

c

Of the judgment Rm. 2:5 cf 1 Cor. 3:13.

 

d

Of the apostasy and the antichrist 2 Thess. 2:3, 6, 8.

 

3

Of

the

historical

actu4zation

and

manifestation

of

redemption.

 

a

In

events of redempon Rom. 16:25, 26; Gal. 3:23.

b

In revelations to Apqstles Gal. 1:16; Eph. 3:3, 5.

 

c

In epochal preachiig of the gospel to all

nations

Rom. 1:17 cf 16:25.

 

d

In the actual ilIumfiation of individuals John 12:38;

Phil. 3:15; Luke 2:32; Eph. 1:17; 1 Cor. 2:10.

 
 

e In the special gifts Qf the Spirit 1

Cor.

14:26, 30; 2

Cor. 12:1, 7; Gal. 2:2; 1 Cor. 2:10?.

4 Of the revelation of the wrath of God in natural revelation

a

Rom. 1:18, 19

2.

qavspoç

PHANER000

pavcpoco; PHANEROQ’SIS pcivcpcooi; PHANEROS

This word is an infrequent translation of GALAH in the LXX.

a

a.

Basic Meanings

29

1 Verb: Reveal, make known, show

2 Noun: Disclosure, Announcement

open, public notice.

3 Adjective:

b. Significant Uses

Visible, Clear, Open, Plain, Evident, Known, the

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-

1 It is used of the manifestation of the thoughts, actions, and

characters ofmen1 Cor. 3:13; 11:19; 1 John2:19; 3:10; John3:21; Mk. 4:22,2 Cor. 5:10, 11.

revelation Rom. 1:19.

2 is used of the manifestation

It

of the Creator in natural

3

16:12, l4;John2l:1, 14.

It

is

used of the resurrection

appearances of Jesus

Mk.

4

It is used of the disclosures surrounding the second coming

3:2; Rev. 15:4.

of Christ 1 Cot 4:5; Col. 3:4; 1 Peter 5:4; I John 2:28,

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5 It is used of the disclosure of redemption in Christ--

a By its events John 1:31, 2:11; Romans 3:21, 16:26; Col. 1:26; 1 Tim. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20; 1 John 1:2; 3:5,8,4:9.

Titus 1:3; II Cor. 4:2.

b By its preaching

2

Cor.

2:14; 4:10,11; Col.

4:4;

6 It is used of the special disclosures of the Spirit which are or

ground the gifts of the Spirit 1 Cor. 12:7.

3. GNOORIDZOO yvwpo

a. Basic Meanings:

1 Make known, reveal

2 Know Phil. 1:21

b. Significant Uses

-

-

-

5

1 Of Jesus making known the Father to the disciples John 15:15, 17:26, cf qxzvcpoco in John 17:6

30

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a

2 Of God’s making known the mystery of Christ to men Rom.

16:26; Eph. 1:9, 3:3,5, 6:19; Col. 1:27.

3 Of Gods determination to 4ake known His power and wrath

a

and His riches of grace Rom. 9:22, 23.

4 Of God through angels making known the incarnation Luke

a

2:15.

4. Other New Testament Terminology

a

a. PHAINOO qxnvco means to shine or appear Mat. 24:27,30; John 5:35; Phil. 2:15; 2 Pet. 1:19; 1 John 2:8.

a

b.

EPIPHAINOO cltupatvw whichi means to

show,

appear Luke

1:79; Titus 2:11, Titus 3:4.