Muller: According To Reformed Theology, Pagan Philosophy Knows God Naturally But Not As Redeemer

“Pagan philosophy knows something of God as creator from the order of nature but, ultimately, because of sin, fails to move from that knowledge to true religion and idolatrously confuses creature and Creator. Scriptural revelation, therefore, is necessary for us to have a true knowledge of God as Creator—and the special revelation of the gospel promise is necessary for any knowledge of God as Redeemer. This basic model is reflected in many of the Reformed orthodox theologies.”

Richard Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, 1:289 (HT: Inwoo Lee).

    Post authored by:

  • Inwoo Lee
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    Inwoo Lee (BA, UCSD) earned his MA (Historical Theology) in 2020 from Westminster Seminary California and is author of “Righteous Before God: William Perkins’ Doctrine of Justification in Elizabethan England” (MA Thesis, Westminster Seminary California, 2020). He lives in the Great Seoul area, in South Korea with his wife Holly.

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One comment

  1. It seems Rom. 2:14 would allow this. Further, I have long suspected that one reason many of the Greek Fathers might have used Platonic categories was that they saw their own struggles with Graeco-Roman Paganism in Socrates’ criticism of the Athenian pantheon, and groping towards a kind of monotheism. I myself cannot help but notice that in Gorgias, Socrates’ answer to Callicles supposition that the tyrant is the happiest of men is that we ultimately face a judgment after death. It seems that Zwingli also hazards a guess that the best pagans may have been informed by the Hebrew prophets, who were temporally antecedent to them.

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