This blog post is largely in response to Danny Pelichowski's post on Natural Theology at Theological Sharpening.
I want to say that in some sense we want to agree with Danny and say that natural theology as defined as arguments from the natural world that man conjures up about God that is not revealed by God is unbiblical. Thus, natural theology then is wholly unsupported by the Bible.
But does this mean that one can not use arguments like the cosmological, ontological, teleological, and transcendental arguments for God’s existence?
I answer: No. The Bible teaches very clearly that God reveals himself generally to all mankind and would not be unreasonable to think that this might include mediate or discursive sorts of revelation. As the Paul teaches:
Romans 1:18-20 "18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
General revelation would be that revelation that God has revealed to us through nature and conscience that is distinct from special revelation which is written and shows us salvation through Christ.
Thus, there is a general revelation. This general revelation is immediate and mediate as Reformed Theologian Michael Horton affirms. But R.C. Sproul thinks that general revelation is only mediate. Immediate is that we have revelation through our faculties without any sort of argument, it is just properly basic. Mediate would be the revelation that God gives us through arguments. These arguments would be God given since it is revealed.
One might object to this by saying that reason cannot be revelation because this would make us rationalist. I would agree with this, but I am saying that reason is an instrument to apprehend general revelation. That is: reason is a minister that helps see what God has revealed to us. If someone objects to this notion then they would have to object to us reasoning and using our sense perception to read the Bible. But we all know we can read the Bible with sense perception and reasoning.
Natural Theology is a false theology, without God revealing himself to us we would know nothing about him; every act of revelation is God condescending to our level because he is the greatest possible being and we are finite and sinful. Thus, I conclude that General revelation is biblical and perfectly compatible with the traditional and transcendental arguments.