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Flashcards in Knowledge of God Deck (21)
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Revelation (apokalypsis)

'removing a veil so that something can be seen'


Natural Theology

God is revealed by observation of the natural world, by using human reason and conscience


Psalm 19:1

'the heaven's declare the glory of God'


Acts 17

Paul's sermon based on the alter to the unknown God



the mind has three ways of gaining knowledge: 'eye of the flesh', 'eye of reason' and 'eye of contemplation'


'eye of the flesh'

sense of perception, empiricism, gain knowledge about the empirical world


'eye of reason'

work out mathematical and philosophical truths using logic


'eye of contemplation'

go beyond the senses and reason to come to knowledge of God through faith



argued that reason and observation of the natural world were important signposts to God (Five ways for the existence of God)


William Paley

an example of how Natural Theology has been used to suggest the existence of God e.g Watch analogy


Tennants aesthetic principle

suggest the existence of a benevolent designer because of human appreciation of the arts, not necessary for survival


Calvin: conscience

considered this to be particularly important, it literally means 'joint knowledge' between God and humans, God's presence gives a sense of moral judgement


Calvins view on natural theology

sensus divinitatis, God's mirror, principle of accommodation, sparks of glory


sensus divinititas

a sense of the divine or God - a general awareness of God. Calvin suggests that humans have an inbuilt and innate sense of God; the seeds of religion are everywhere. Everyone can know something of God through natural theology


Creation is God's mirror

it reflects something about the creator, God


Principle of accommodation

God adapts himself to human needs in order to allow humans to understand something about God - sparks of glory


The world is the theatre to Gods actions

God is known through his actions, through the things he does. e.g miracles


Revealed theology -

special revelation - through the person of Jesus Christ, the Bible, church teaching. God can only be known when he chooses to reveal himself by grace which is revealed by faith


Calvin calls 'senses divinitas' only 'simple knowledge'

this cannot be complete knowledge of Go because humans are sinful; so natural knowledge of God would be imperfect and confused. Humans also need Christian knowledge of God as Redeemer, mediated by Christ


Catholicism and natural theology

the fall did not cut humans off completely from God but it has distracted and confused natural knowledge of God. Revealed knowledge is needed to know God fully


Robert Boyle

God could be known through the 'two books' of the natural world and the bible - both which has the same author