A. A. Hodge on Natural Revelation

What is the distinction between natural and revealed theology?

Natural theology is that science which proposes to itself the solution of these two great questions, 1st, Does God exist? and 2d, What may be legitimately ascertained concerning the true nature of God in himself, and concerning his relations to man, from the principles of human reason and conscience, or from the evidences of God’s works, either in creation or providence. A distinction here must be carefully observed between that knowledge of God to which the human reason was able to attain by means of its own unassisted powers independently of revelation, e.g., the theology of Plato aud Cicero, and that knowledge of God which the human mind is now competent to deduco from the phenomena of nature under the clear light of a supernatural revelation, e.g., the theology of the modern rationalistic philosophers. Natural theology, as reached by unassisted reason, was fragmentary, inconsistent and uncertain. Natural theology, as appropriated and vindicated by reason under the clear light of revelation, is itself a strong witness to the truth and supernatural origin of that revelation.

Revealed theology, on the other hand, is that science which treats systematically, 1st, of the evidences authenticating the Christian revelation as from God; 2d, of the interpretation of the records which transmit that revelation to us; and 3d, of all the information furnished by those records of God and his relation to man, and of man and his relation to God.

A.A. Hodge, Outlines of Theology, Chapter 2, Question 3, p. 38. (Cf. Bavinck)

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