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Archive for the ‘Psalm 19’ Category

Thomas

If you have questions about whether there are negative implications of uniting psychology with the Bible, you will want to read this journal article by Dr. Robert L. Thomas.  He is a very prolific Bible scholar in his own right.

In this article, Dr. Thomas will address general revelation and its implications on hermeneutics.  Consequently in this context, one’s understanding of general revelation will affect one’s hermeneutic and one’s hermeneutic will affect one in pastoral counseling positively or negatively.

Just to wet your appetite, here is Dr. Robert L. Thomas’ summary on general revelation:

General revelation’s noticeable impact on biblical interpretation has resulted from applying a broader definition of general revelation than is justifiable.  Reasons why general revelation should not include such matters as science, mathematics, literature, and music are the following.  First, “general” cannot refer to the content of the revelation.  Second, biblical references to general revelation limit it to information about God.  Third, sin distorts human discoveries of the non-Christian world in secular fields.  Fourth, general revelation is readily accessible to all, not just to specialists in certain fields.  Hermeneutics deals with the principles of biblical interpretation.  Unwarranted definitions of general revelation have led to widespread attempts to integrate general with special revelation.  This step is unwarranted because truth exists in varying degrees of certitude, all truth does not possess the same authority, all truth does not fall on receptive ears, and general revelation does not include the fields of secular study.  The emergence of integrative efforts has coincided with a growing tentativeness in biblical hermeneutics because of the influence of secular disciplines on biblical hermeneutics.  Psychology’s promotion of self-love provides a good example of the adverse effects of general revelation and integration on biblical hermeneutics.[1]

To access the journal article, please click on this link: General Revelation.  You could also access the journal article from the TMS website: General Revelation.



[1]Robert L. Thomas, Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2002), 113.

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Recently on a page that has a lot of Van Tillians in the group, I saw a question originally addressed towards someone else on a page :

Regarding Romans 1 and Psalm 19:1. Do you think the evidential approach merges here with the pressup. much in the way WOTM teaches?

This got me thinking.  This is my short response:

If I could share my thoughts on these two texts. I do not believe Romans 1 and Psalms 19:1 necessitates the Evidential school of apologetic. Closer examination of both these passages reveal Scripture’s teaching on general revelation of Himself to all people, but note that both passages never state that the knowledge of God is acquired and mediated through arguments FROM General revelation BUT instead it appears that this general revelation of God’s existence is immediate (that is, apart from it being channeled through an argument and therefore prior to any argument as well) and universal in scope (nonbelievers of the Gospel and believers of the Gospel); Romans 1 builds upon the universal knowledge of God found in Psalm 19 by stating that God’s wrath is built up against everyone (1:18), thereby everyone is culpable because of His general revelation of himself and dare I even say apart from knowing the three steps of the Kalam Cosmological argument, or Aquainas’ five ways, or the Liar, Lord, Lunatic argument, which not everyone in every age, location, class and standing would be aware of. I think the theological truths from Psalms 19 and Romans 1 [that man has an immediate knowledge of God (without it being mediated through rigorous chains of arguments), that he suppresses the truth (Romans 1:18) to such an extent that he will adopt an alien philosophy of evidence that would rule out Christianity] would necessitate an apologetic that goes beyond the Traditional Evidentalist approach of feeding them more evidence, because “facts” is not the issue…it’s their presuppositions that determines what can qualitfy as “facts” that the Christian apologist is obligated to address in any rational discourse with an unbeliever. Any apologetics methodology that does not start with the non-believers being morally culpable and working with the realization that a nonbeliever is not totally honest in their claims of not believing in the existence of the True God is already heading towards the wrong direction in my estimation, and we cannot just naiively feed them evidences thinking it will work when they have set themselves up as the judge of facts when they have such a flawed worldview that is epistemologically, metaphyically, and ethically problematic.

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