One-Minute Theology with Chaplain T features the question and answer portions of the Systematic Theology courses that were part of my seminary work at Piedmont Baptist Graduate School.  I will be posting one Q & A everyday until my ordination council meeting set for Spring of 2014.

Question #1: Discuss what you consider to be avenues for acquiring knowledge about God? What is the most reliable avenue for providing knowledge about God? Describe its advantages (in your opinion) over the other avenues.

Old & New Testaments
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy…”–the Apostle Peter

Answer: The avenues for acquiring knowledge about God include: creation, conscience, and Commandment.  Creation and conscience (general revelation) “includes all that God has revealed in the world around us, including man…”.  Commandment is what we would label as special revelation because God took the initiative in revealing more of Himself.  By Commandment I mean the special revelation of God through the written Word of God (2 Tim 3:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2).  General revelation, though sufficient to prove God’s existence, does not give knowledge of God’s salvation.  Through creation alone we do not see Christ’s righteous life and vicarious death for those who put their trust in Him.  Through conscience alone we do not come to the cross of Calvary in repentance of our sins.  Moreover, our consciences can become numb through periods of suppression.  Nonetheless, the value of general revelation is determined in that it displays God’s grace, it gives weight to the case for theism, and it justly condemns those who reject God and His existence. 

Ryrie’s illustration is worth quoting: “If a concerned student goes to his fellow student who needs $1,000 for tuition and offers with genuine loving concern $10 (which is all he has), and if his $10 bill is thrown scornfully on the floor with a mocking ‘What good will that pittance do me?’ what further obligation does the student have to provide additional help to his fellow student?  If he should suddenly be able to give the entire $1,000, would anyone charge him with injustice if he gave it to another needy student?  Accepting a $10 gift will not ‘save’ the person who needs $1,000; but rejecting it will condemn him.  We must not forget that the majority of people who have ever lived have rejected the revelation of God through nature, and they have rejected with scorn and deliberate substitution of their own gods.  They have condemned themselves, and when God rejects them, He does so justly” (Basic Theology, 34).

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