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John Frame and the Revelation of God

July 8, 2009

0875525962mJohn Frame, in Revelation and Reason: New Essays in Reformed Apologetics edited by Scott Oliphint and Lane Tipton, writes an essay entited “Divine Aseity and Apologetics.”  While the entire book is helpful, I recently re-read Frame’s chapter and was reminded how insightful Frame is.  One area that was specifically helpful in understanding our knowledge of God is his section on three categories of revelation (from Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology).  The three are (1) special revelation – God’s words to us in our language, (2) general revelation – God’s self-manifestation of himself in the created world, and (3) a divine revelation in ourselves as the image of God.

It is helpful to remember the last category, since most Christians distinguish the revelation as only special and general.  Yet, in apologetics, we have three categories to appeal to.  The last one is especially important since being made in the image of God implies that we are in a covenant relationship with the God who created us.  We have direct and immediate knowledge of him that is either cherished and causes repentence or is suppressed in unrighteousness.

Practically speaking, Tom Schreiner made this statement in his sermon on Revelation 22:

You can say to an unbeliever, “Do you know that the Bible teaches that Jesus is coming back?  Are you prepared to meet him?”  Even though you may not know an answer to their response, in their heart of hearts, they know the truth of the question.  Its a truth statement that causes them to either respond with hardness or repentance.  

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