In his whole treatment of natural theology, Luther is always intent upon this one thing: men must learn that sure and true knowledge of God can be found only in God's revelation. And God's certain revelation is to be found only in Scriptures. Because of man's total depravity and blindness, he can never read the revelation of God in nature fully nor draw conclusions correctly and with certainty. God must come to our aid. Yet, because of man's weakness and sinfulness, the majesty of God must hide behind masks in order to reveal itself. Men should take care lest in sinful pride and presumption they are offended by the lowliness of the masks and by the simplicity of the Scriptures. It is the crib in which we find the Lord Jesus Christ. And only as we find him there, and God in him, can we know all creation correctly.
"Therefore," Luther says, "let us teach that true knowledge is found in Holy Scripture, in the Word of God. For it instructs us not only about matter, not only about the form of the whole creation, but also about the efficient and final cause and the beginning and end of all things, who has created it, and to what end he made it. Without knowledge of these two causes our wisdom differs little from that of beasts, who also use their eyes and ears, but clearly know nothing of a beginning or an end."
From The Foolishness of God by Siegbert Becker (c) 1982 Northwestern Publishing House (www.nph.net). All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.