Response to Lesson 2: General and Special Revelation

October 11, 2009

So I was listening to Dr. William Lane Craig the other day about the impossibility of the actual infinite number of things, and how if this were possible then one would end up with nonsensical situations like Hilbert’s hotel. He was discussing it in regards to the cosmological argument for God’s existence, but I think this mathematical (or is it philosophical?) concept applies rather nicely to the theological idea of ‘revelation’. That is, one cannot go from the finite to the infinite. It can only be the other way around. Or as CS Lewis puts it in Miracles, Nature has no defense against the supernatural. If it chooses to invade, nothing about the nature of Nature is able to stop it. Revelations specifically and Miracles in general may be singularly improbable only in regards to Nature, but altogether possible in regards to the Super-Natural. This mathematical idea also illustrates the futility of religion – of how there is just no way for Man to reach infinity. The blind and futile hopes of the humanists and the false sense of optimism of social evolutionists are negligent of this very fact that there are no actual infinities.

General Revelation seems, from what I’ve encountered and read about, very much rational. Granted, the ontological proof is hard to put your mind around. But I have yet to see a good objection to it other than that it’s hard to think about. Kant’s whole ‘existence is not a predicate’ seems weak. Even the advance of science demonstrates in even greater degrees than ever before the cosmological and teleological proof for God. According to one biographer, there was a reason Albert Einstein was a theist. He looked at the innumerable number of stars and galaxies and saw the grand work of a Creator. Yet when he looked at the organized religion which lacked the admiration and awe that should be part of addressing this vast and infinite Creator, he could not help but to think that they were blaspheming. (From ‘Let the Nations Be Glad’) So General Revelation, the whole of nature, tells us something about God.

Yet this isn’t enough. We can only know about God the Creator in this vague sort of way. Some ancient religions describe this benevolent father-like god who is slowly forgotten by humanity. General Revelation can only tell us some attributes of this God, but not know Him in any deeper way. The stars do not form the letters of His name, for even those ancient of spirits dare not utter them. There is a need then for special revelation.

Here’s actually what I wanted to write about. Inspired vs. Revelatory scripture. I realize now what ‘inspired’ means, that it is God-breathed. But I still can’t let go of the picture of the writers actually being inspired in the other sense as well. I really do hope that they were passionate and zealous and infused with creative enthusiasm. I have a hard time imagining human beings writing down anything God-breathed in any other way. I also think these two categories might not be mutually exclusive. All of scripture, even the historical recordings, in some ways are revelatory. Maybe not directly, but perhaps indirectly, by the fact that they are there are at all.

I realize that I have not done a fun post on this blog in quite a while. I have to write this response every week, so that may be the case for the foreseeable future, unless I get ‘inspired’. harhar.

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