The Christ-centered nature of General Revelation

Today I am teaching my systematic theology class on the doctrine of revelation: how God reveals himself. Theologians draw a distinction between special revelation (God’s particular speech to particular people at particular times) and general revelation (God’s speech to all people in all places at all times).

The Bible, God’s special revelation, is a grand narrative focused on the unfolding kingdom of Christ. The story of special revelation is unquestionably Christ-centered. But what about general revelation. Is general revelation also Christ-centered?

Several things confirm the Christ-shaped nature of special revelation:

  • All things are created by Christ -The creation that reveals God to all people at all times was made by Christ (Col 1:16). Therefore, the source of general revelation is Christ-centered.
  • All things are created for Christ – The creation that reveals God to all people at all times was made for Christ (Eph 1:10). Therefore, the goal of general revelation is Christ-centered.
  • All things are held together by Christ – The creation that reveals God to all people at all times is preserved by Christ (Col 1:17). Therefore, the means of general revelation is Christ-centered
  • All mankind is made in the image of Christ – The crown jewel of creation, humanity, reveals God to all people at all times because it is made in the image of Christ. Therefore, the pinnacle of general revelation is Christ-centered

The setting of redemptive history (general revelation) is Christ-centered because the story of redemptive history (special revelation) is Christ-centered. As Russell Moore has taught for years in his theology courses, all theology is applied Christology. That reality is true just as much with general revelation as it is with any other doctrine.

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