By C.L. Bolt
The God of the Bible is knowable. Throughout all of Scripture God never presumes Himself to be unknown or unknowable but rather known. The Bible contains no proofs in the strictest sense for the existence of God. The Bible starts out with a declaration that God exists and assumes His existence throughout. The Bible teaches throughout that people can and do know God. The Bible never offers anything like the traditional proofs considered earlier in this introduction. God is assumed at the beginning of the Bible and makes Himself known throughout the remainder of its pages. There is a strong inductive case that can be made here for the knowability of God and the actual knowledge of God by His creatures. There are also arguments deduced directly from particular passages of Scripture to this effect. The glory of God is revealed in everything, and humans are created in His image. To even observe creation around us shows us that God exists, as does knowing oneself since it is in Him that we live and move and have our being. We are, again, created in the image of God.
A popular passage that teaches that we all know God is found in Romans 1. Here it is made plain that God actively reveals Himself from heaven through His wrath toward all of the ungodliness and unrighteousness people are engaged in. The passage emphasizes that God is known. What can be known about God is not just known to everyone, but is actually plain to everyone, and the reason for this is that God has shown it to them. A being as powerful as God is certainly capable of showing Himself to exist, especially to His creation.
Though God is invisible, His attributes including His eternal power and His divine nature – summing up all that God is – have been revealed by God to His creatures. God is perceived through the things that He has made. The perception is even said to be clear. He is the Creator, and His stamp is upon His creation, including those of us created in His image.
The invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature are particular to the Christian God. There is no identity crisis on God’s part with respect to how He reveals Himself, and there is no incompetency either. God makes His existence, not the existence of some other God, plain to His creatures. This much is entailed even by the Bible’s use of “God”. The Bible is speaking of YHWH, not some general theistic or deistic entity. There is no other entity in view.
It has been this way since the world was created. It is in the things that have been created that God is clearly perceived. This perception is, again, so clear, that people have no excuse. Not only do all of us believe in God, but we know God. This knowing God is not to be mistaken for a salvific knowledge; it does not follow from the truth that everyone knows God that everyone knows God in a saving way, and in fact everyone does not. A saving knowledge of God comes only through the Gospel and not through creation alone, and not everyone has the Gospel.