The Bible

Natural vs. Special Revelation

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Two Sources of Revelation:

Some Christians claim that God reveals Himself in two books: the book of scripture (the Bible - Special Revelation) and the book of nature (Natural or General Revelation). Natural revelation is revelation through nature, using the tools of science to discover what nature reveals. In most cases nature is given a higher authority than Scripture. This is most often seen in the belief in evolution instead of Biblical creation. This is strange because the tools of science reveal the impossibility of evolution, and it is only the desire of the world to deny God that keeps a belief in evolution alive.

General Revelation:

This is called "General Revelation" because it reveals God and His character in a very general way. Primarily it reveals that God exists; He is the creator; we are created creatures who owe worship and obedience to the creator. General Revelation also includes the fact the God has written His laws on our hearts (Romans 2:14-15). General Revelation only provides a very limited insight into truth. However, General Revelation is how God communicates with everyone (it's a universal message) revealing that He exists. Isaac Newton said this about General Revelation:

“This most beautiful system of sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.” - Sir Isaac Newton

Five Key Reasons General Revelation is Less Authoritative Than Special Revelation

1. Nature (General Revelation) is damaged by the fall. God protects and preserves the Bible

2. Our ability to correctly perceive nature is imperfect. God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us correctly understand scripture.

3. The world uses nature as their final authority, including limiting "science" to only naturalistic explanations. By using science as an authority, we are following the world AND using an "authority" that by definition excludes God. That doesn't make sense!

4. Science is constantly changing and modifying it's understanding of nature. What you believe today may change tomorrow. The truths of scripture never change.

5. Nature is universal, but very limited in what it can communicate. Scripture is not universal, but it communicates to a breadth and depth beyond what we can comprehend.

What we see is that God intended General Revelation to be basic and easy for everyone to understand.

While General Revelation is universal, Special Revelation is understood by believers only.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. - 1 Corinthians 2:14

Special Revelation:

Special Revelation refers to the Bible. In scripture God tells us about Himself, ourselves and the problem of sin, and what God has done about sin. Scripture teaches us about God's character, morality, and how we should live. Scripture also reveals history, giving us the background necessary for understanding scripture. Scripture describes God's word (Special Revelation) as being far above Natural Revelation (Romans 1 and Psalm 19). For example::

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. - 1 Peter 1:23

Heaven and earth [the natural world - Natural Revelation] will pass away, but My words will not pass away. - Mark 13:31

In addition, even with Natural Revelation universally available to everyone, we cannot know anything about God unless God reveals Himself. He does this through scripture.

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. - Matthew 11:27

Nature is not the 67th book of the Bible. It is like a directional sign, pointing people toward the existence and character of our creator God. But that's all it is. Scripture (Special Revelation) is the authority. In looking at and learning from the creation, God's word in the Bible stands above creation and is our guide for understanding His creation.

More Information

General and Special Revelation (CMI)

What is Natural Revelation? (GQ)

Natural Revelation (ICR)


solution to riots

Everything is falling apart, nothing makes sense anymore. What's happening?

What is happening is that the world has turned away from God. When nations turn away from God, strangely enough, God turns His back on them. We find out what it is like to live without God.

There is only one thing to do... repent, turn to Jesus Christ in obedience. Jesus said:

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. - John 14:15

This can only be done on an individual basis. Don't look to others turning to God and making things better for you. YOU must repent, turn away from disobedience. Love God! Obey what He says. Read the Bible to find out what He says.

It happens one person at a time, starting with you. Don't put it off today. Turn to Jesus Christ, God who came to earth in human flesh to save us from the penalty we've earned as a result of our disobedience (sin). He will do it! ...

BUT ONLY when you believe this is true and put your trust in Jesus. Trust Jesus today. Repent (turn away from what the world wants and to what God wants).

Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” - Matthew 4:17