We saw in part four that the Judeo/Christian religion provides the most data about God’s self-discloser in nature, and the religion which develops the concept most thoroughly. For this reason, more than in any other alleged holy book, the Christian Bible gives clarity, insight, and verification of what God has revealed in nature. This means that general revelation is in complete harmony with the Christian scriptures; the two are in perfect agreement because author of the Bible and the author of Book of Nature are one and the same. Moreover, the Bible also serves as a filter that allows us to identify the limits and set boundaries on the extent of what we can expect to discover through general revelation in nature. Renaissance scholar and Christian apologist, C. S. Lewis, provides helpful illustrations of these limitations:
Everything God has made has some likeness to Himself. Space is like Him in its hugeness: not that the greatness of space is the same kind of greatness as God’s, but it is a sort of symbol of it, or a translation of it into non-spiritual terms. Matter is like God in having energy: though, again, of course, physical energy is a different kind of thing from the power of God. The vegetable world is like Him because it is alive, and He is the “living God.” But life, in this biological sense, is not the same as life there is in God: it is only a kind of symbol or shadow of it. When we come onto the animals, we find other kinds of resemblances in addition to biological life. The intense activity and fertility of the insects, for example, is a first dim resemblance to the unceasing activity and the creativeness of God. In the higher mammals we get the beginnings of instinctive affection. That is not the same thing as the love that exists in God: but it is like it—rather in the way that a picture drawn on a flat piece of paper can nevertheless be “like” a landscape. (Mere Christianity, 139)
In my book, Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven?: People, Pets, and Wild Animals in the Afterlife (see the cover photo on my home page), I give examples and clarification of animal “affection” (love) and many other emotional and cognitive characteristics that sentient animals share with people. ©
In next week’s blog article we’ll examine biblical testimonies that verify the consistency between what the Book of Nature teaches and what God reveals in the Bible.
NOTE: Since this series of blog articles are adapted from a new book in progress, I’d appreciate any sincere comments or suggestions you may have.