In his Systematic Theology, Robert Letham explains the interrelationship between general and special revelation, when he writes,
“We need special revelation, the Word of God, to understand general revelation properly. This was true before the fall, when Adam received verbal revelation from God as to the nature of his task. It is doubly so once sin entered, the human mind and heart now being inherently biased against God and his goodness.”1
Letham then moves on to explain that general revelation is also “necessary in order to understand special revelation.” He writes,
“While the revelation of God in creation and providence is incapable of leading us to salvation, given the presence of sin, it is still necessary in order to understand special revelation. The two elements interact, so much so that neither is complete without the other. As we need Scripture rightly to appreciate general revelation, so creation informs our grasp of special revelation; without it we could not understand the Bible at all. The history of the world and the church, geography, politics, economics, personal interac- tions, and psychology are necessary ingredients so as to appreciate what God says in Scripture. The biblical books were composed at definite times and places. To grasp what the Spirit says in these books, we need to understand the languages in which they were written, the situations that occasioned their production, the place each occupies in the ongoing history of redemption, the particular cultural and environmental factors that surround them, political and military events, and so on.”2
It is only as we see the interconnectedness of general and special revelation that we will ever come to see our great need to give ourselves to a diligent study of both the book of nature and the book of Scripture.
1. Robert Letham Systematic Theology (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019) pp. 56-57
2. Ibid., p. 58