Be Sure to Read both Books

We have to read both books of divine revelation.

...the eternal light reveals itself in a twofold manner through Scripture and through creature. Divine knowledge may be renewed in us in no other way, but through the letters of Scripture and the species of creature.

  - Eriugena, Homily on John 1.1-14 (Irish, 9th century)

The heavens declare the glory of God...the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes...

  - Psalm 19.1, 8

Eternal life consists in knowing God. Growing in eternal life involves growing in the knowledge of God. But how can we know God better?

Celtic Christians insisted that there are "two books" of divine revelation. The Scriptures are the foundational book and curriculum of the Christian life. By reading and studying God's Word in Scripture, we come to understand everything else from the perspective of the mind of Christ.

But we will not grow in the Lord as fully and fruitfully as we should if we only make use of Scripture. Creation is also declaring the glory God. The cosmos and its creatures reveal much about the character and purpose of God. If we want to grow in a full and balanced manner, we have to read both books of divine revelation.

This means always improving our understanding of Scripture - whether by reading, meditation, study, or taking a course like Spiritual Maturity 1: Revival. We all need to increase in the knowledge of God through His Word - not just the knowledge of His Word, but the knowledge of God that comes through His Word, knowledge which transforms us increasingly into the image of Jesus Christ.

By learning to understand creation and culture we may also expect to enhance our knowledge of God. The works of God reveal His wisdom, splendor, beauty, goodness, constancy, faithfulness, might, and so much more. Learning about creation should be part of our daily regiment of spiritual disciplines. The Scriptures can teach us how to observe the creation so as to discover the glory of God revealed there (Prov. 25.2). And the creation can give us insights into the teaching about God which the Scriptures reveal.

It's one thing, for example, for the Scriptures to describe God as dwelling in splendor and majesty. It's quite another thing to experience splendor and majesty, say, in an arriving thunderstorm, or from the vantage point of a high mountain, looking out on the setting sun. There we not only intellectualize the meaning of splendor and majesty, but we actually experience it, as a sense of wonder, exhilaration, and trembling in our souls. Then, when we return to Scripture and read about God's splendor and majesty, we can bring that experience with us. Thus we may truly expect to grow in the knowledge of God.

If you want to learn more about "creational theology" and how to make it part of your spiritual disciplines, write to me, and I'll send you a brief introduction to doing creational theology on a regular basis. Just ask for "To Know the Secrets of the World." If you want more information and background on creational theology, order my book, Consider the Lilies, from our online store.

Read both books of divine revelation, and watch how your relationship with the Lord grows and grows and grows.

T. M. Moore, Principal

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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