“There is no such thing as a separate natural theology that could be obtained apart from revelation solely on the basis of a reflective consideration of the universe. The knowledge of God that is gathered up in so-called natural theology is not the product of human reason. “Rather, natural theology presupposes, first of all, that God reveals himself in his handiwork. It is not humans who seek God but God who seeks humans, also by means of his works in nature. “That being the case, it further presupposes that it is not humans who, by the light of natural reason, understand and know this revelation of God. Although all pagan religions are positive [concrete], what is needed on the human side is a mind that has been sanctified and eyes that have been opened in order to be able to see God, the true and living God, in his creatures. “And even this is not enough. Even Christian believers would not be able to understand God’s revelation in nature and reproduce it accurately had not God himself described in his Word how he revealed himself and what he revealed of himself in the universe as a whole. “The natural knowledge of God is incorporated and set forth at length in Scripture itself. Accordingly, Christians follow a completely mistaken method [sic!] when, in treating natural theology, they, as it were, divest themselves of God’s special revelation in Scripture and the illumination of the Holy Spirit, discuss it apart from any Christian presuppositions, and then move on to special revelation. Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, II.2 (p. 74)
There are a least three problems I (I got these objections from a different group on facebook) have with this approach:
1) If the noetic effects of sin are what these folks say they are then why think a transcendental argument is going to be more successful that any other kind of argument? It is just another kind of argument?
2) There is nothing around or about man that is not from God. Seems that as Christian we have a responsibility to speak of all of God's revelation as rightly His
3) The example we find in the NT is one in which the appeal leverages both general and special revelation to engage. Acts 26 is an example “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner." This if anything is an argument appealing to history and at minimum a form of evidentialism, the very thing that Bahnsen's article argues ought not be done. Since I have said much here perhaps you can help me reconcile the tension between Acts 26 and Bahnsen's conclusion "The Impropriety of Evidentially Arguing for the Resurrection."