How Can We See Evidence of God?
General and Special Revelation
Theological discussion and application in modern times seem to reflect that of the first century greatly. We now live in a pluralistic society with many different subjective opinions on theological topics. The crucial difference between theologians is the clinical analyst vs. the faithful exegete. Since theology is the study of God and a mental exercise, we can approach it using the scientific method. Our studies should lead to knowledge in right living and right belief. As the authors Etzel and Small state, “There should be a correlation between orthodoxy and orthopraxy.” The previous perspective keeps us from having a subjective view of theology.
We can apply theology by using several methodologies; they are realized as general and special revelation. In General revelation, God shows us his presence by observing and understanding the natural world and its processes. Caution must be followed when we respond spiritually to general revelation, so we don’t let distortion or cultural syncretism intervene with God’s valid message. Once we successfully interpret God’s message, our work has just begun. Through spiritual disciplines such as service, prayer, and Bible study, we show God our love.
Special revelation is crucial because we have received direct instructions on how to love God and our neighbors. It’s in this special revelation that God is personal. When we contemplate how to respond to a social or moral issue, we can look to God’s word for guidance. The daily application of God’s instructions guides our decisions in work, traffic, and how we treat our loved ones. This goes beyond “What Jesus Would Do” and leads us instead to salvation through obedience.
Our faith in Christ should continue to grow as we receive the Holy Spirit. Such spiritual growth also lends to our increased understanding of scripture and its applicability to daily decisions. I can directly attest to the claim made by Etzel and Small that “Regeneration moves a person from spiritual death to life.” Once the gift of discernment is received, our identity also shifts to try our best to live like Christ.
Once Christian repents and follows Jesus, they must continue to grow in their actions and words toward a more holy existence. Our sanctification with Christ must always lead us to spread the Gospel and find a group of believers to enjoy fellowship. The life lived in theology is led by following God’s attempts to reach out to us as exampled by Jesus and our reciprocity in living according to his word.
 Etzel,Small. Everyday Theology: Exploring the Christian Faith. B&H Academic (2016). (p. 9)