Biblical Faith and Natural Theology: The Gifford Lectures for 1991 - Delivered in the University of Edinburgh

Do people know about God just by being human beings? Or do they need special divine assistance, through the Bible and the church? 'Natural Theology' is the idea that human beings 'by nature', that is just through being human, know something of God; or that perhaps they gain such knowledge from observing the world we live in. Its opposite is 'revealed theology', or the knowledge of God communicated only through special channels - through Jesus Christ, through the Bible, through the church. Natural theology was long accepted as a basic ingredient in all theology, but in the twentieth century it was rejected by important theologians, especially Karl Barth. His views denied all natural theology and placed greater emphasis on the Bible. But what if the Bible itself uses, depends on, and supports natural theology? In this book, Professor Barr pursues these questions within the Bible itself and within the history of ideas, earlier and more recent; and he looks at their implications for religion and theology in the future.