An Introduction to Natural Theology- Our First Bible

An Introduction to Natural Theology- Our First Bible July 15, 2022

The Approach

Anytime we are approaching theology we must be able to answer two fundamental questions. Who we are and where are we going. Understanding the Natural Revelation of God is a lofty goal, but if one does not understand themselves, they will never comprehend the Natural Theology of God. Secondly, we must know where we are going. A famous Celtic saying about Christ is that one “cannot journey for Christ, if one does not take Christ with them on the journey”.

Answering the question of who we are gives us context for our journey to the river. Who I am is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth who believes in His hypostatic divinity. I believe that this same Jesus Christ, was present at the creation of the cosmos and has a deeply vested interest in both humanity and creation. Simply stated, Jesus loves the river as He loves me. I am a Christian who believes in the equality of General and Special Revelation.

Now we must understand where we are going. Understanding what we are trying to accomplish when looking at any theology is important because our motivations are telling. In this book, we are simply going toward understanding what Natural Theology is, what it is not and what are the consequences of removing it from our view of God and the church. My motivations are telling as well. I am motivated to describe and revive Natural Theology because I believe the river, like the Bible has much to tell us about the nature of God. So, to first understand the river, we must understand what Natural Theology is.

 

What is Natural Theology?

A good starting definition of what Natural Theology is can be summed up in this way: Natural theology is the theology and knowledge of God based on observed facts and experiences apart from any divine revelation. Very simply, natural theology seeks to understand God from what we can know from the natural world and our personal experiences with God.

By its nature, Natural Theology should be observed, independent of the Bible or any divinely attributed writing. Natural Theology relies only on what can be observed in the natural world. It also leans on what the person experiences in that setting about God. Using the natural world, the theologian must seek out what is made plain to the observer in nature. Even the Bible supports this form of comprehending God.

 

Consider Psalm 19:1-4

The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they reveal knowledge.

3 They have no speech, they use no words;

no sound is heard from them.

4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

 

The First Revelation

Natural Theology seeks to listen to a voiceless declaration. It strives to catch the knowledge poured forth night by night from the cosmos into the hearts of humankind. Natural Theology is the attempt of humankind to listen for the heartbeat of God in the rushing of the river, the beauty of the mountain and the quiet of the stars. This voiceless language is the means by which God originally communicated with us before Holy Writ. Nature was and is, Gods first revelation to us.


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