At the ripe old age of five, the great thirteenth-century philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas asked his teacher, “What is God?” His teacher was stumped. As a result, Thomas became a theologian to find out for himself. He didn’t think we could answer the question about God’s essence. But he did believe we could know that God exists. Thanks to Aquinas, we are privy to so much great work in the area of natural theology.
As Christians, we believe that God has made Himself known through both natural and special revelation. Natural revelation is God revealed in nature. Natural theology is the process whereby we seek to understand this revelation in nature. For instance, arguments from nature, such as the cosmological argument, the fine-tuning argument, or even the moral argument, help us to learn some things about the nature of God and even demonstrate that life is not an accident.
This begs the question, “What can we learn about God from natural revelation?” Well, without going into detail here, by studying the philosophical and scientific arguments for God’s existence, we can see that God is a necessary, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, personal, creator God. Yes, that’s a lot to digest. And fortunately, God has made Himself known even clearer through special revelation. We can be thankful that arguments from natural theology provide a compelling case for God’s existence, but these are also arguments that other theists like Jews and Muslims can utilize. That’s why we need special revelation to answer more precisely the question before us.
As we should expect, Scripture confirms through special revelation what we’ve already said about God through natural theology—God is a necessary, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, personal, creator God. But special revelation seasons things up a bit by supplying more flavorful details about God. Here’s a mere sampling of what we learn about Him.
This is just a snapshot of who God is. I’m guessing you get the picture. We serve a pretty special God—a God who deserves our highest devotion, our deepest love, and our fullest gratitude.