The Christian in the world today believes that he knows God in a very special and pure, non-pagan way. God chose to reveal Himself to man. Whatever other means there are of knowing God, that is through nature, or because of the moral law within us, or from the glimmerings within man himself, God can only be known as the father of Jesus Christ through and by means of the Scripture. And only in the Scripture can we know Him as our Father in the Covenant relation with Him.
There is something special in specifically Christian revelation. First, it is special in its location; this revelation is found only in the Bible. Second, it is special in content. It does not teach us to find God in science and observation of nature directly, but rather it gives us the specific knowledge that God gave and gives salvation to His own through His son, Christ Jesus.
The Christian revelation is different in other ways also. Revelation occurs every time something unknown is made known. We can judge our observations in the light of the Bible, which gives new life in the study of Scripture, as well as the study of natural occurrences. Another difference between Scriptural revelation and revelation in general, is that in ordinary revelation, the thing revealed is passive, it is discovered, we observe it. While in Scriptural revelation God who is revealed also does the revealing.
There have been those in the Christian era who have denied the validity of the Bible. Immanuel Kant, the greatest modern thinker, who lived during the 18th Century claimed that the only way we can know God is through the experience of our moral conscience. He said morality leads to religion and a moral legislator – God – that other than ourselves which makes for righteousness. In the 19th Century a preacher by the name of Friedrich Schleiermacher also rejected the Bible. He reflected on Himself and said He felt an incessant dependence, and this dependence was on someone called God.
In spite of the bits of truth for which they stood, they missed it. They missed all of it. They missed the central thrust of the purpose of God. They did not acknowledge Christ as the Son of God whom God sent into the world to save the faithful. Thus they lost the heritage of the New Dispensation. And thus they lost their Lives.