The general and special revelation of God – My reflection
According to the task for Evangelical theology seminar I read the chapter named "Revelation" from the book "Know the truth" by Bruce Milne. The author describes two types of God's revelation: The general relevation to everyone via nature and conscience and the special relevation to believers through Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Scripture.
Personally, I think that the general relevation is generally overvalued. In the Epistle to the Romans, Apostle Paul, as I understand it, does not claim that the nature is God's relevation to everyone, that everyone who studies nature must meet God and who are studing and does not meet God in nature then this man is not honesly in his study. No, this is not Paul's message: That first is proof and then trust. No. Paul says that man, who is searching God, who has submitted himself to God, who desires to meet God, he may know Him while studying the nature. Paul does not accuse everyone of being addressed by God through studying of nature and thus they are not honest to see him and to listen to him, but that they do not desire to meet God. Everyone who searches God in nature studying he can meet him, but who does not search God in nature studying can he meet God? Can he find God if he does not search God? Personally, I do not think so.
I would like to give an example: The evolution theory. Are the unbelieving scientitsts who study the nature hypocritical? Is the knowledge from nature studying independent of the Holy Scripture message? Or must we see this knowledge from the Scripture's point of view? Does God speak to us via two independent channels: the Scripture and nature? The evolution theory is in stark contrast to God's message written in the Scripture, what should we do? To correct the Scripture message because God is speaking through nature too? I do not think so.
As regards the question of human conscience. Yes, God gave the basic Law to every nation, see the testament with Noah. But I think this is not a God's revelation but God's gift from His Grace. Yes, Paul says that nations can have God's Law in their hearts and can do naturely what Law wants but he does not tell us if such nations exist. And because he does not tell it (and the Holy spirit wants him not to tell it) I personally cannot know if such nations exist. As far as I am concerned, I think that Paul is talking about individual people, such as the merciful samaritan. But there people's hearts are merciful from the special God's Grace not from the general revelation. And the question how the comming light is illuminating every man is open and is not explained by the Holy scripture.
I assume that the author's answer for the question of the general revelation is caused by a wrong author's opinion about the hell. Author wants to defend God's justice because of hell. But I think he is not entirely right in this answer.
About the special revelation: Paul says that: "the letter kills but the Spirit gives the life (2Cor 3:6)." This means that, at first, the Spirit should speak and then we can understand the Scripture – the same principle as "general" revelation. Every inner attitude is caused by a supernatural spirit or, in other words, all supernatural spirits give the inner attitude to man according to their own character. The unclean spirit cannot give the holy inner attitude. This means that we should read the Bible with proper inner attitude – with attitude which is given by the Holy Spirit. With the attitude of accepting Jesus Christ as one's Lord and Saviour and of submitting to Him as to one's Lord, King and Owner.