Ten Turning Points: God’s Special Revelation
by Tom Gilson
We saw last time that God has revealed himself to everyone to some extent through general revelation. The knowledge we can gain that way is limited, however. Our knowledge of God is always bound to be limited, of course: he is far beyond our comprehension. We can’t know God exhaustively, we can’t know God as God really is and we cannot fathom a fraction of what we do know of him. He has not revealed himself in such a way as to overcome the mystery of God.
But he has revealed himself so we can know him truly. What we know of him is terribly incomplete. Though our knowledge is partial, however, that does not make it false. Some theologians have erred in saying we God is so infinite, so other, so beyond our experience that we could never know God for who he is; and therefore we can say nothing true of him at all. The odd thing about that is that they go on saying things that they think are true of God: that he is infinite, other, and beyond our experience. They contradict their own dictum that there is nothing true that we can say of God!
Suppose they were right. Suppose God were so far beyond us that we could know nothing about him truly whatsoever. What that would mean is that God has a problem he’s too great to solve! If he wanted to communicate anything about himself to us, he couldn’t because he’s too great. That’s absurd. Let’s not forget that God’s greatness includes his being the one who fashioned speech, language and communication. It’s an odd thing to suppose that he would not be able to figure out how to unmuzzle his own mouth well enough to say something to us!
We have a record of God speaking to Adam and Eve, to the serpent, to Noah, and to Abraham. Presumably these and other records were carried forth through oral tradition until Moses wrote them down, at the inception of the first written revelation from God. What’s remarkable about God’s word to us compared to most other religions’ scriptures, though, is that it’s not merely teachings and sayings…
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