What is the limit of Natural Revelation and Natural Theology?

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Angelo Neves

Puritan Board Freshman
I was researching about eschatology on Jeremiah Burroughs, and I found this affirmation about natural theology

Now, that there shall be a Resurrection, that God shall come to judge the World, this was never any such secret, the light of Nature will tell us this; that there is a time that it must be well with the righteous, and ill with the wicked: The Heathens could tell us of a time that God should judge the World: But now the Prophet here speaks of this as a Mystery, that it was not to be revealed till the lat∣ter dayes.
Jerusalems glory breaking forth into the world being a Scripture-discovery of the New-Testament Church in the latter dayes, immediately before the Second Coming of Christ.
 
St.Paul sets a relative limit for natural revelation/theology in his comments of Rom.1:18-25 treating the natural man and his culpability. Creation can only teach man certain truths concerning God; which even those the natural man has great difficulty apprehending aright. But this man must overcome his reluctance to own the truth, and does so very imperfectly (if at all) and generally mixes in great portions of error; so that his understanding of the divine is consistently more false than true. Yet, he does really grasp true things about God, concerning "his power and divine nature," only to his ultimate judgment as long as he remains apart from Christ.

Only in Christ and the special revelation of God in the gospel (a thing no natural mind ever conceived or could) is there rediscovered a new spiritual man in place of the natural. The mind of God is even less accessible than the mind of a fellow man, which cannot be known by another unless it speaks and makes itself intelligibly accessible to his neighbor. How much more must the mind of God be set forth from within himself, intentionally by means of language and in a form suited to the mind of man, in order that we should accurately know him with whom we have to do?

But Paul writes that even them who linger apart from God and his word can correctly estimate they will face divine judgment by some date, the end of this life correlating in some sense with the end of this world (so far as they are personally concerned). Some may even attain to a recognition that some form of resurrection or reconstitution must take place, for the purpose of Justice at last. As wrong as they may be about the details, or of any way by which terrible condemnation will be avoided by anyone, their "fearful looking for judgment" is most reasonable.
 
I agree.
But except the soteriological issues, there is any limit?
And that God would give a way of Salvation is a issue possible to be achieved by reason?
Considerang that God is Act Pure, that He is Love and want the good for humankind?
 
St.Paul sets a relative limit for natural revelation/theology in his comments of Rom.1:18-25 treating the natural man and his culpability. Creation can only teach man certain truths concerning God; which even those the natural man has great difficulty apprehending aright. But this man must overcome his reluctance to own the truth, and does so very imperfectly (if at all) and generally mixes in great portions of error; so that his understanding of the divine is consistently more false than true. Yet, he does really grasp true things about God, concerning "his power and divine nature," only to his ultimate judgment as long as he remains apart from Christ.

Only in Christ and the special revelation of God in the gospel (a thing no natural mind ever conceived or could) is there rediscovered a new spiritual man in place of the natural. The mind of God is even less accessible than the mind of a fellow man, which cannot be known by another unless it speaks and makes itself intelligibly accessible to his neighbor. How much more must the mind of God be set forth from within himself, intentionally by means of language and in a form suited to the mind of man, in order that we should accurately know him with whom we have to do?

But Paul writes that even them who linger apart from God and his word can correctly estimate they will face divine judgment by some date, the end of this life correlating in some sense with the end of this world (so far as they are personally concerned). Some may even attain to a recognition that some form of resurrection or reconstitution must take place, for the purpose of Justice at last. As wrong as they may be about the details, or of any way by which terrible condemnation will be avoided by anyone, their "fearful looking for judgment" is most reasonable.
I think they know that God is Just, and that He will judge all, so a general ressurrection is needed, as Burroughs says (But any can argue that there is no need to judge with a ressurrection).

And there is a verse that Pauls says something in this way (not only about general judgment to physical death, but in a eternal way)

2 Thessalonians 1:5-6 *Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God*, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
 
The Reformed generally state that God's existence and attributes (simple, immutable, eternal, omnipotent, just, merciful, etc) are revealed in nature, as well as the moral law (thou shalt not murder, commit adultery, etc).
This lines up well with Romans 1-2, which says his "eternal power and Godhead" is revealed, and that "the work of the law written in their hearts."
The following is not revealed in nature: the Trinity, the gospel, the work of Christ, etc.
 
I think they know that God is Just, and that He will judge all, so a general ressurrection is needed, as Burroughs says (But any can argue that there is no need to judge with a ressurrection).

And there is a verse that Pauls says something in this way (not only about general judgment to physical death, but in a eternal way)

2 Thessalonians 1:5-6 *Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God*, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
The issue with this is that in theory God could subject the souls of men to punishment without their bodies. That is what the gentiles believed — that there would be an afterlife with rewards and punishments, but only for the soul, with the body remaining in the grave.
If the resurrection were revealed in nature, we would expect the gentiles to be cognizant of it, but they were and are wholly unaware of it.
 
The issue with this is that in theory God could subject the souls of men to punishment without their bodies. That is what the gentiles believed — that there would be an afterlife with rewards and punishments, but only for the soul, with the body remaining in the grave.
If the resurrection were revealed in nature, we would expect the gentiles to be cognizant of it, but they were and are wholly unaware of it.
Every Gentile?
Yeah. I think it could be argumented.
But thinking in this issue, I think it's demanded by reason that the body shall be ressurrected, because the judgment shall aflict the body and the man is constituted by a material part and immaterial one.
 
Every Gentile?
Yeah. I think it could be argumented.
But thinking in this issue, I think it's demanded by reason that the body shall be ressurrected, because the judgment shall aflict the body and the man is constituted by a material part and immaterial one.
No heathens believed or believe in a general resurrection. If natural revelation teaches it, what gives?
 
Also, Van Til argued that even in paradise/the garden prior to the Fall (i.e., even before man’s nature and mind had been corrupted by sin), God did not leave man to interpret and understand nature independently of His special revelation. General revelation was never designed to be interpreted apart from special revelation. Or at least that is my understanding of what Van Til taught…

Van Til: “revelation in nature was never meant to function by itself. It was from the beginning insufficient without its supernatural concomitant.” (Wooley, The Infallible Word, 275).

This would seem to suggest that what man - even prior to the Fall, much less after it - can gain from natural revelation/natural theology (apart from special revelation) is very limited.

But I realize that not everyone agrees with Van Til on this.
 
Also, Van Til argued that even in paradise/the garden prior to the Fall (i.e., even before man’s nature and mind had been corrupted by sin), God did not leave man to interpret and understand nature independently of His special revelation. General revelation was never designed to be interpreted apart from special revelation. Or at least that is my understanding of what Van Til taught…

Van Til: “revelation in nature was never meant to function by itself. It was from the beginning insufficient without its supernatural concomitant.” (Wooley, The Infallible Word, 275).

This would seem to suggest that what man - even prior to the Fall, much less after it - can gain from natural revelation/natural theology (apart from special revelation) is very limited.

But I realize that not everyone agrees with Van Til on this.
Van Til is heterodox in his views, no?
 
Van Til is heterodox in his views, no?
Van Til represents a departure from the historic Reformed tradition on the matters of natural theology, metaphysics, and epistemology.
It has often been claimed that Van Til and Vos represent the same stream of thought, but the recent release of Vos's volume on natural theology shows that even he has a higher view of it.
 
Also, Van Til argued that even in paradise/the garden prior to the Fall (i.e., even before man’s nature and mind had been corrupted by sin), God did not leave man to interpret and understand nature independently of His special revelation. General revelation was never designed to be interpreted apart from special revelation. Or at least that is my understanding of what Van Til taught…

Van Til: “revelation in nature was never meant to function by itself. It was from the beginning insufficient without its supernatural concomitant.” (Wooley, The Infallible Word, 275).

This would seem to suggest that what man - even prior to the Fall, much less after it - can gain from natural revelation/natural theology (apart from special revelation) is very limited.

But I realize that not everyone agrees with Van Til on this.
The issue is that these words are ambiguous. I think we would all agree that, as Christians, we shouldn't interpret the book of nature in a way that's not in agreement with the bible.
But, that doesn't mean that the heathens don't come to true conclusions based on nature. As Paul testifies, they demonstrate, by their actions, that the law of God is written on their hearts. So they are certainly interpreting it correctly at least in part. And, they almost universally profess belief in some deity. And many of them believe there's one God.
 
Van Til is heterodox in his views, no?
Can you be more specific about what you deem to be heterodox in the Van Til quote I provided or the way I summarized his views? He did not deny the Reformed doctrine of general/natural revelation...if that's what you mean? However, he may have placed more limits on its value than some other Reformed theologians.
 
Can you be more specific about what you deem to be heterodox in the Van Til quote I provided or the way I summarized his views? He did not deny the Reformed doctrine of general/natural revelation...if that's what you mean? However, he may have placed more limits on its value than some other Reformed theologians.
He didn't deny natural revelation, per se, but he did deny natural theology.
 
He didn't deny natural revelation, per se, but he did deny natural theology.
Did he deny natural theology altogether, or was it more a difference in emphasis, the extent of it's limitations/value, what knowledge can/cannot be gained from it, etc.?
 
I agree.
But except the soteriological issues, there is any limit?
And that God would give a way of Salvation is a issue possible to be achieved by reason?
Considerang that God is Act Pure, that He is Love and want the good for humankind?
I wrote that Paul's limit is "general" because there is no rule or method to accurately quantify the precise limit, as if there was a fixed maximum bound by the human nature, which no man overcomes. We might as well declare that no man can run a three-minute mile. Once upon a time, no one believed a man could run a four minute mile, then the record fell. Yet, it may be the case that lowering the record by appreciable amounts (rather than by a few more seconds or hundredths of a single second) gives a hint as to what that bound might be for as long as the world endures.

Study the religions and philosophies of the world, and you may be able to compile a list of convictions that correlate with a Christian's biblically-informed and broadly definitional theology. Still there are inquires left to be made. But perhaps you might be able to say accurately that men unaided by the Scriptures typically attain no more than a modicum of true natural theology by their scrapings. The most renown philosophers: maybe one of them got two handfuls, as opposed to the one, or the single pinch.

Paul declares how men in their sin do not like to retain the truth about God. Therefore, before they acknowledge too much, they excuse away some degree of the truth to make room for the more palatable lie. But each man is unique, and each man's perception of God passes through his personal filter and goes past his personal blinders. Hence, I do not think your question has a quantifiable answer.

Men tend to hope there is some allowance with God, that he should overlook sin or discount it, etc. Whether this amounts to anything more than wishful thinking seems unknowable. They do not know that God may be gracious, but they utilize means such as sacrifices in order to propitiate the god of their imagination. This hardly seems like "salvation" to me.

Men should know God is good. But that he is love? That seems quite grand, and not much to be found (I suppose) in the common religion. If the typical local deity was patterned on the behavior of kings, it is not clear to me that such a being would be thought to love in the true sense; certainly he would not love the enemy, or the servant, or any beneath his kind or level. The Greeks and others held that the gods shared between them affections not bestowed on men and other creatures. Zeus might lust for a human woman to marry or rape her, but this is manifestly treatment of an object of ownership and control.

But, in spite of all the improbability, could the natural man conceive that God is love? Perhaps... but then, what would be the cost of that admission? What attribute of the true God would be dropped (as something must) in order to shape the perception around love? Man apart from covenant can barely hold two truths together, without overwhelming himself. He must sink back into his comfortable and willful and culpable ignorance.
 
No heathens believed or believe in a general resurrection. If natural revelation teaches it, what gives?
I don't know if every heathen does not believe in general resurrection

But arguing about that, any can pointing that it's not by general revelation or light of nature, but by an oral tradition backing to Noah...

*I think God itself and the present reality lead to a general resurrection in these terms:
  1. God is Truth, Love and Justice. So it shall judge all. By truth, He's necessary, God in Himself
  2. Humans make good(By essence, not by relation) and bad things, bad things shall be judged, by 1
  3. The human person is made by two parts, because our feelings, reason and the judgment itself lead to a immaterial part
  4. The death itself is physical and not eternal, so it affects the material part, as 3, there is a immaterial part that needs a judgment
  5. As by 4, immaterial part is not affected, shall be anything to judge eternally the soul
  6. The acts that we (human beings) do, all are made by our body, so by 5, the eternal judgment shall include the body
  7. For the entire man (Body and Soul) be part of the judgment, as by 6, there is a necessary general resurrection
  8. By 7, as we live and know a physic world, the correct expectation for the eternal and final destines by the judgment, is a physical one
1 and 2 - Directs to the need of a judgment
3-4 - Directs to the man's constitution
5-7 Directs to a entire person(soul and body) judgment
8 - Directs to a physical world, or a spiritual and physical one
 
The Reformed generally state that God's existence and attributes (simple, immutable, eternal, omnipotent, just, merciful, etc) are revealed in nature, as well as the moral law (thou shalt not murder, commit adultery, etc).
This lines up well with Romans 1-2, which says his "eternal power and Godhead" is revealed, and that "the work of the law written in their hearts."
The following is not revealed in nature: the Trinity, the gospel, the work of Christ, etc.
I agree about the Trinity, the Gospel and the work of Christ

But in a Sense, arguing for a threefold pattern in reality*, we could not be leaded to think in God as Trinity? Or better, it's not as a hint?

The pattern is like:
Past, Present and Future
Electron, Procton and Neutron
Sky, Earth and Sea

* I know it's not a correct or good analogy. I'm not trying to compare God with creation...
 
Did he deny natural theology altogether, or was it more a difference in emphasis, the extent of it's limitations/value, what knowledge can/cannot be gained from it, etc.?
I think I did not read no entire/complete Van'til work (I don't remember if I read the work in ten commandments)
But all parts of his works about natural light, natural theology and apologetics, all lead to a very pessimistic way as denying him in some sense.
If I found anything that I read about him, I will try to send here or open a new post about it
 
I wrote that Paul's limit is "general" because there is no rule or method to accurately quantify the precise limit, as if there was a fixed maximum bound by the human nature, which no man overcomes. We might as well declare that no man can run a three-minute mile. Once upon a time, no one believed a man could run a four minute mile, then the record fell. Yet, it may be the case that lowering the record by appreciable amounts (rather than by a few more seconds or hundredths of a single second) gives a hint as to what that bound might be for as long as the world endures.

Study the religions and philosophies of the world, and you may be able to compile a list of convictions that correlate with a Christian's biblically-informed and broadly definitional theology. Still there are inquires left to be made. But perhaps you might be able to say accurately that men unaided by the Scriptures typically attain no more than a modicum of true natural theology by their scrapings. The most renown philosophers: maybe one of them got two handfuls, as opposed to the one, or the single pinch.

Paul declares how men in their sin do not like to retain the truth about God. Therefore, before they acknowledge too much, they excuse away some degree of the truth to make room for the more palatable lie. But each man is unique, and each man's perception of God passes through his personal filter and goes past his personal blinders. Hence, I do not think your question has a quantifiable answer.

Men tend to hope there is some allowance with God, that he should overlook sin or discount it, etc. Whether this amounts to anything more than wishful thinking seems unknowable. They do not know that God may be gracious, but they utilize means such as sacrifices in order to propitiate the god of their imagination. This hardly seems like "salvation" to me.

Men should know God is good. But that he is love? That seems quite grand, and not much to be found (I suppose) in the common religion. If the typical local deity was patterned on the behavior of kings, it is not clear to me that such a being would be thought to love in the true sense; certainly he would not love the enemy, or the servant, or any beneath his kind or level. The Greeks and others held that the gods shared between them affections not bestowed on men and other creatures. Zeus might lust for a human woman to marry or rape her, but this is manifestly treatment of an object of ownership and control.

But, in spite of all the improbability, could the natural man conceive that God is love? Perhaps... but then, what would be the cost of that admission? What attribute of the true God would be dropped (as something must) in order to shape the perception around love? Man apart from covenant can barely hold two truths together, without overwhelming himself. He must sink back into his comfortable and willful and culpable ignorance.
I agree with much that you pointed. Thanks for reply

"They do not know that God may be gracious"
It could not be argumented that God shall or can be because He is good and He likes to do something not needed as create the world?
Note: I don't believe in salvation out from God's Word. Before or In the New Covenant Era.

God as Good lead to God as love. I think it's necessary to see in this way.
Jesus when arguing about the duty of we love our neighbor, arguments from general providence. And I think that it leads to love (I know Jesus speaking it's not only logic/reason but it's special revelation).

And By God's Unicity, we are leaded to think that God shall be his attributes, and this as perfections. If a man can love, and love is a good thing....
I'm not focusing in any heathen or in any people, but in natural reason itself
By Natural pattern, I think God is Good and all Good, as He is each one of his attributes.
 
I agree about the Trinity, the Gospel and the work of Christ

But in a Sense, arguing for a threefold pattern in reality*, we could not be leaded to think in God as Trinity? Or better, it's not as a hint?

The pattern is like:
Past, Present and Future
Electron, Procton and Neutron
Sky, Earth and Sea

* I know it's not a correct or good analogy. I'm not trying to compare God with creation...
Bonaventure said that there may be some reflexions of the Trinity in nature, but they're not sufficient for one without the Scripture to conclude that God is Triune. That idea may be worth considering.
Every actual proof of the Trinity advanced from nature has been very poor, like that of Wycliffe, or that of Descartes (which Van Mastricht refutes in his Novitatum Cartesianarum gangraena).
For that reason, the Reformed Orthodox were against the idea of proving the Trinity or other gospel doctrines from nature.
 
I agree about the Trinity, the Gospel and the work of Christ

But in a Sense, arguing for a threefold pattern in reality*, we could not be leaded to think in God as Trinity? Or better, it's not as a hint?

The pattern is like:
Past, Present and Future
Electron, Procton and Neutron
Sky, Earth and Sea

* I know it's not a correct or good analogy. I'm not trying to compare God with creation...
How God is understood is not merely a matter of inclusion, but also exclusion. Why should one prefer the triplets you've elicited for "signs" of the divine Trinitarian nature? Why not four, as in "the Quadrinity"? What about the four "humours?" The four seasons? The four "elements" (of antiquity) Earth/Air/Fire/Water? Or more, such as the five senses? The six (primary) colors? The nine eight planets? If there be more such "signs" for three than for four (or else), why should such profusion argue for interpretation of the unique divine nature, rather than a more exclusive "number?" What are the hermeneutical "rules" that preserve the integrity of the science of discovery? And prevent allegorical fancies?

Allegation of pattern recognition--as if it was anything other than rationalization without foundation--supposing it led men to an accurate perception of divinity, is more an argument against the idea than for it. Christian special revelation produced the doctrine of the Trinity by way of demonstration of the divine nature. Argument for the Trinity from nature cannot from now on avoid the charge of eisegesis (reading into) of natural revelation in which one finds what he expects/intends (confirmation bias).
 
Van Til: “revelation in nature was never meant to function by itself. It was from the beginning insufficient without its supernatural concomitant.” (Wooley, The Infallible Word, 275).

This statement of his could mean several things:

1) Natural revelation never existed in the abstract and there was always special revelation.

2) Natural revelation must always have special revelation to interpret it.

(1) is true. (2) is false. Special revelation tells me nothing about the quadratic formula.
 
This statement of his could mean several things:

1) Natural revelation never existed in the abstract and there was always special revelation.

2) Natural revelation must always have special revelation to interpret it.

(1) is true. (2) is false. Special revelation tells me nothing about the quadratic formula.
Well...I wouldn't expect a Thomist to agree with Van Til. ;)

But...I think Van Til would argue that unbelievers are acting on Christian presuppositions/biblical worldview ("borrowed capital") - a worldview that can only be derived from special revelation - when they do math, science, etc. So of course special revelation does not tell you anything specific about the quadratic formula, but Van Til never claimed that it did.

“Now the question is not whether the non-Christian can weigh, measure, or do a thousand other things. No one denies that he can. But the question is whether on his principle the non-Christian can account for his own or any knowledge.”

“The reason why the scientific, the philosophic, and the theological efforts of non-Christians contribute to the discovery of the true states of affairs is the fact that the world is what Christians say it is and it is not what fallen men say it is. It is only because man is created in the image of God, because the world about him together with himself is created and directed by God through Christ, that even non-Christian thinkers can do constructive work.”
 
This statement of his could mean several things:

1) Natural revelation never existed in the abstract and there was always special revelation.

2) Natural revelation must always have special revelation to interpret it.

(1) is true. (2) is false. Special revelation tells me nothing about the quadratic formula.
"Van Til: “revelation in nature was never meant to function by itself. It was from the beginning insufficient without its supernatural concomitant.” (Wooley, The Infallible Word, 275)."

I think CVT is using "revelation" in the narrow, active sense of revealing God. "Nature" (origin) is distinct from "natural revelation" (product). The quadratic formula is an aspect of nature; and whether it has anything to say with respect to God (other than by a highly indirect allusion to his wisdom?) is debatable. I agree that special revelation doesn't clarify the quadratic formula in any meaningful way; in fact CVT's statement should be read in concert with this notion. The only possible way the quadratic formula, drawn from nature, could teach particularly (not vaguely, obscure to the point of unhelpful) concerning God: it would require some special revelation whereby God made use of it.
 
Van Til represents a departure from the historic Reformed tradition on the matters of natural theology, metaphysics, and epistemology.
Or some would characterize it as a further development/refinement/progression of Reformed thought rather than a departure from it. Van Til was simply arguing that Reformed theology demands a Reformed apologetic, not an Arminian or Thomist one. He was concerned about rigorous consistency in both how we express the Reformed faith and defend it.
 
Bonaventure said that there may be some reflexions of the Trinity in nature, but they're not sufficient for one without the Scripture to conclude that God is Triune. That idea may be worth considering.
Every actual proof of the Trinity advanced from nature has been very poor, like that of Wycliffe, or that of Descartes (which Van Mastricht refutes in his Novitatum Cartesianarum gangraena).
For that reason, the Reformed Orthodox were against the idea of proving the Trinity or other gospel doctrines from nature.
How God is understood is not merely a matter of inclusion, but also exclusion. Why should one prefer the triplets you've elicited for "signs" of the divine Trinitarian nature? Why not four, as in "the Quadrinity"? What about the four "humours?" The four seasons? The four "elements" (of antiquity) Earth/Air/Fire/Water? Or more, such as the five senses? The six (primary) colors? The nine eight planets? If there be more such "signs" for three than for four (or else), why should such profusion argue for interpretation of the unique divine nature, rather than a more exclusive "number?" What are the hermeneutical "rules" that preserve the integrity of the science of discovery? And prevent allegorical fancies?

Allegation of pattern recognition--as if it was anything other than rationalization without foundation--supposing it led men to an accurate perception of divinity, is more an argument against the idea than for it. Christian special revelation produced the doctrine of the Trinity by way of demonstration of the divine nature. Argument for the Trinity from nature cannot from now on avoid the charge of eisegesis (reading into) of natural revelation in which one finds what he expects/intends (confirmation bias).
I would argue 4 Humours are not real (I see some application, but I don't believe in it), and there is other ways to categorize humors/kind of persons, as the chinese/elemental model, but in the end, I think it's a different issue

I agree that our Trinity doctrine is based on Special Revelation, and I agree that we can't achieve the doctrine for general revelation, but I think there is hints or signs of Trinity around the creation, like signatures.
 
Bonaventure said that there may be some reflexions of the Trinity in nature, but they're not sufficient for one without the Scripture to conclude that God is Triune. That idea may be worth considering.
Every actual proof of the Trinity advanced from nature has been very poor, like that of Wycliffe, or that of Descartes (which Van Mastricht refutes in his Novitatum Cartesianarum gangraena).
For that reason, the Reformed Orthodox were against the idea of proving the Trinity or other gospel doctrines from nature.
I agree.
Interesting point about Wycliffe, I did know that.
When I was searching about Hugo Grotius preterism, some years ago, I founded a work that He tried to proof Trinity from reason and creation.
But I don't follow Grotius, I think about hints/signs, not about to proof the doctrine itself.
 
Or some would characterize it as a further development/refinement/progression of Reformed thought rather than a departure from it. Van Til was simply arguing that Reformed theology demands a Reformed apologetic, not an Arminian or Thomist one. He was concerned about rigorous consistency in both how we express the Reformed faith and defend it.
But I think the question is "if that the Old apologetic founded in Reformeds and Puritans ismot the Reformed Apologetic"
He criated a new different system, and it's not correctly by bible, reformed theology or reason.
 
Also, Van Til argued that even in paradise/the garden prior to the Fall (i.e., even before man’s nature and mind had been corrupted by sin), God did not leave man to interpret and understand nature independently of His special revelation. General revelation was never designed to be interpreted apart from special revelation. Or at least that is my understanding of what Van Til taught…

Van Til: “revelation in nature was never meant to function by itself. It was from the beginning insufficient without its supernatural concomitant.” (Wooley, The Infallible Word, 275).

This would seem to suggest that what man - even prior to the Fall, much less after it - can gain from natural revelation/natural theology (apart from special revelation) is very limited.

But I realize that not everyone agrees with Van Til on this.
Complicated.
I think it's only true for the Covenant of Works and the positive law, because they are positive institucions apart from the light of nature.
 
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