General and Special Revelation

Gerald O'Collins

in Rethinking Fundamental Theology

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605569
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729454 | DOI:
General and Special Revelation

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After distinguishing revelation from the closely related reality of biblical inspiration, this chapter draws on the Scriptures to outline the nature of God's ‘general’ revelation as mediated through the works of creation and the moral law written in human hearts. The Letter to the Hebrews suggests five major aspects of the faith triggered by the general revelation of God. The chapter then presents central themes of ‘special’ revelation communicated through biblical history: its primary thrust as God's personal self-revelation rather than propositions; the witness to revelation found in John's Gospel; the link between revelation and salvation in God's self-communication; the variety in means that convey revelation; the union of revelatory words and events; various mediators of revelation and, in particular, the prophets; biblical criteria for discerning prophetic experience and separating true and false prophets; and the remarkable association of majestic transcendence and loving closeness in the Old Testament image of God.

Keywords: revelation; faith; transcendance; inspiration; closeness; prophets; salvation; special revelation; God

Chapter.  16391 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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