Natural Theology

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
Natural theology is defined as the knowledge of God (and immortality) which is logically independent of revelation. This science of Natural Theology according to Hume has in its being the most profound and abstruse of any, required the maturest judgment in its students; and none but a mind, enriched with all the other sciences, can safely be trusted with it.

To the Calvinists, because man is fallen and the human intellect is distorted, the consequences of natural theology are idolatrous. The fact is however, the curse of Adam giving man the fallen nature had been lifted the moment that Jesus went to the cross and died. The God who reveals Himself in Jesus Christ is not a repressor who shuts man up in a moral reformatory, but a Savior who sets man free. Jesus died for the whole world and not just for the saints and the new covenant of grace lifted the curse of Adam and gives us a whole new relationship with the Creator. As soon as we, through faith, admit to the truth of this good news, we are justified before Him.

We all have the power within us in our natural state to find God through the senses. We need only look into the heavens to see the handiwork of God to know He is there. We may see Him through beauty and stand in awe at His creation. This prima-facie evidence is sufficient to be led by God toward knowing Him personally. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ we are able to see the truth more clearly and able to spiritually reach out to Him, be saved and to lead others to the same knowledge.

In Aquinas' view there were five mutually supporting ways by which men could arrive at a knowledge of God and His attributes by natural reason. The first proof was based on the necessity of a Prime Mover to account for the movement evident in the universe; second on the need for a First Efficient Cause of the existence of things; the third on the need to postulate a Necessary Being in a world of contingent beings; the fourth on a need to presuppose a Supremely Perfect Being as the cause of the degrees of perfection observable in things, and the fifth on the necessity of a Supreme Intelligence as the cause of the order prevailing in the universe.

The modernists preferred to regard history as a redemptive process in which man evolved through higher and higher stages of culture and provides the basis for an evolutionary natural theology. Progress became the proof of divine superintendence. This is part of the progressive revelation that we insist as being true.

The theologian can never entirely ignore philosophy; a negative or skeptical attitude toward philosophy is itself a form of philosophy but completely cuts off the human intellect from all ultimate reality and truth. By natural theology we may mean any intellectual movement of the mind which is conceived to lie in a Godward direction; some sort of Godward movement of the mind is natural to man because man, even fallen man, is a man made for God and created in His image. God is revealed in nature and the natural sciences.

We now see that the perfect humanity of Jesus is the living embodiment in human history of the purpose of God in creating human nature and human history. Jesus reveals to us not only the fact of human redemption but the purpose of the creation. Some people call it nature, others call it God.
[72, 141, 145, 128, 276, Romans 1:20]

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