A Biblical Worldview Primer:
Part 1 – Creation Laws: The Laws of Nature: The Lex Non Scripta

by Gerald R. Thompson

Intro:   A Biblical Worldview Primer
Part 2:   Human Conscience: Moral Awareness
Part 3:   Jesus Christ: The Living Word: Christology 101
Part 4A:   Bible as Law: The Divine Covenants: The Revealed Law
Part 4B:   Bible as Government: Four Great Commands: God’s Laws of Authority
Part 5:   A Biblical Worldview: Putting It All Together


Nature as Teacher

The Bible embraces the idea that people can observe nature and thereby discern rules of human behavior as a result:
– Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Prv. 6:6. [Animals as examples] – “When the people have a dispute, they come to me and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” Exo. 18:15-16. [Ahem – what statutes existed in Exo. 18?] – Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? 1 Cor. 11:14-15. [Nature => authority structure]. Q: Is Paul here appealing to a cultural argument, or is he observing the created order so he can formulate a rule of human behavior? Hmm?

This is not an exhaustive list, but merely illustrative. And it has nothing to do with extracting moral rules from “rocks & trees.” Other examples:
– For people who have never read the scriptures, how long is a week? How do they know this? How long have people known this? Has anyone – ever – known differently?
– Who invented the family? Or first decided to have children? Is a knowledge of scripture necessary to either of these?
– Is the difference between men and animals only learned from scripture, or is it evident (as an inviolable rule) merely from observing the creation?
– Did ancient heathens have the scriptures? Did they know men have souls? How did they know this? Who told them?

“Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera” – (King of Siam)

They Took it Too Far

“The Scriptures are the only organs through which God conveys to us a knowledge of his will about what we are to believe concerning himself, and what duties he requires of us.” A. A. Hodge. – WRONG !!

Look, I get it. The Reformers wanted to make a strong statement against the position of the Papacy and the Magisterium that the edicts of men were on a par with Scripture. All they had to say was, “we reject human edicts as being on par with God’s Word.” But instead, they rejected everything not part of the verbal revelation of God, thereby casting off the laws of creation / laws of nature along with human edicts. In other words, the Reformers threw out the baby with the bath water … Not good.

Wm. Blackstone acknowledged in 1765 that:

“The revealed or divine law are to be found only in the holy scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature. But we are not from thence to conclude that the knowledge of these truths was attainable by reason, in its present corrupted state; since we find that, until they were revealed, they were hid from the wisdom of ages. As then the moral precepts of this law are indeed of the same original with those of the law of nature, so their Intrinsic obligation is of equal strength and perpetuity. Yet undoubtedly the revealed law is of infinitely more authenticity than the natural law. Because one is the law of nature, expressly declared so to be by God himself; the other is only what, by the assistance of human reason, we imagine to be that law. If we could be as certain of the latter as we are of the former, both would have an equal authority; but, till then, they can never be put in any competition together.”

I totally agree. But note, this does not lead Blackstone to reject the law of nature. Rather, “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.”

This is the better path than “the Bible is our one rule of faith and practice.” Observe nature, use reason, and do the best we can. Then check that analysis against the scriptures. But the scriptures don’t contain everything God has said. Nature is broader in scope than the scriptures. All that is required is that observations of nature be consistent with the scriptures, not that they are limited to the scriptures. God gave us our minds for a reason. Let us use them!


Principle: A rule or commandment is part of the law of nature if it originates in (or can be traced to) the biblical account of creation

The Ten Commandments (as easy examples)
1.   Have no false gods (God as exclusive Creator)
2.   Make no idols (God as uncreated Creator)
3.   Don’t say God’s name in vain (only the Creator can name Himself, thus it is holy)
4.   Keep the Sabbath holy (nature of the creation week)
5.   Honor your father and mother (family originated with the creation of man)
6.   Do not murder (right to life from the beginning)
7.   Do not commit adultery (sanctity of marriage originated in the creation week)
8.   Do not steal (private property originated in the Dominion Mandate)
9.   Do not bear false witness (the first lie traces back to creation)
10.   Do not covet (indiv. moral responsibility)

In other words, none of the Ten Commandments originated at Mt. Sinai or were disclosed for the very first time to the ancient Jews. Each and every one of them ultimately traces back to the creation account (logically), and can be said to have been disclosed to all men by the very nature of the way the universe was formed – carrying the Will of God in its very substance.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SABBATH (as an example of creation laws)

1.   God rested on the seventh day and blessed it. (Gen 2:2-3).
2.   God’s verbal rationale for the Sabbath. (Exo 20:8-11).
3.   The Sabbath made a covenant sign for the Jews only forever. Death penalty for violations (Israel only). (Exo. 31:12-17).
4.   The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath. (Mt. 12:1-8).
5.   Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of the Sabbath. (Col. 2:16).
6.   There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. (Heb. 4:9-10).
7.   Is the conclusion not obvious?
– In Christ, we are not under the covenant sign of the Jewish Sabbath
– In Christ, there is a special spiritual rest
None of which alters or affects the fact that as descendants of Adam, the general principle of the Sabbath (one day of rest per week) still applies per the law of nature
– But in observing this, we have liberty and are free from the judgment of others as well as any penalties for “violations.”
– Hooray for the freedom that the law of nature brings, we are free from the curse of the Jewish law!
– See how the law of nature and revealed law mesh with each other, ultimately cooperate (not conflict) with each other, and together give the complete picture of what God wants us to see.


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Ps. 19:1-4). The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous. (Ps. 19:7-9). More to be desired are they than gold; by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Ps. 19:10-11).

Three principal lessons from Ps. 19:
1.   Creation speaks: a) knowledge; and b) laws
2.   Revelation in the stars
3.   This knowledge is valuable
(4.   Ps. 19 is also quoted in Romans 10)

Wrath – (Rom. 1:18-32).
What can be known from creation/heaven and by whom?
– invisible attributes of God
– wrongfulness of idolatry
– all ungodliness and unrighteousness, incl. envy, murder, malice, deceit, slander, hate, heartless and faithless
– and all such things are punishable by death

If creation speaks a knowledge of sin, then by definition creation must speak the laws of God, since sin is defined as a violation of God’s law

If all have sinned and all are without excuse, then the creation speaks condemnation and wrath to all, and all men are without excuse. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

Redemption – (Rom. 10:14-20). The plan of redemption is revealed in the creation. But, how to reconcile with:
– “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
– Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn. 14:6)

When Abraham had faith, what did He actually believe in? (Gen. 12:1-4; 15:4-6). When God spoke to Abraham, who was actually doing the speaking?
– When the creation speaks, who is actually doing the speaking? Who is the Creator (i.e., what is his name)? (Col. 1:16)

Is there any actual conflict here? NO.

Other Creation Laws – THE BIG THREE

Idolatry (a violation of the Creator / Creation distinction)
1.   A universal wrong (Ex 20:3-5).
– Particularly odious idolatry – worship of the Queen of Heaven and other female deities
– In Catholicism, Mary is the “Queen of Heaven”
– Also odious is worship of the Host of Heaven (whether angels / stars, or the sun or moon)
– What is the search for aliens really all about?
2.   The link between idolatry and immorality (Rom. 1:21-26).
3.   The link between idolatry and bloodshed (Ps 106:34-39). See also, Jer. 18:15-16.
4.   What is the difference between idolatry and false gods? – Idolatry requires a physical image
5.   God’s judgment will be universal. (Jer. 25:30-31; Rev. 21:8).
6.   The end of idolatry is foretold. (Isa. 2:12, 17-18, 20-22).
7.   One day the world will wake up. (Jer. 16:19-20).

Immorality (Lev. 18) – a violation of the nature of the family and marriage
1.   Sexual immorality is tied to the law of nature. (Rom. 1:18,24-28, 32).
2.   The laws of sexual immorality are universal.
3.   Sexual immorality is tied to the Law of the Land. (Lev. 18:24-28). [See below] 4.   Specific offenses: Incest (improper relation – uncovering nakedness), lewdness (double dealing – depravity), menstrual sex, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, (but not fornication)
5.   Temporal judgment of immorality (Deut 9:5). What does it mean, in practical terms, to be vomited out of any particular land?
– Are sexual offenses “victimless crimes”?
6.   Eternal judgment of immorality. 2 Pet 2:4-19
7.   Sexual immorality hearkens back to the angelic rebellion before human history
– The link between defiling passions and despising authority

Violence (murder & kidnapping) – a violation of the right to life. Gen 6:11-13; 9:6. Exo 21:16.


Punishments for moral offenses are never part of the law of nature. All authority to punish wrongs come via divine covenant, not the law of nature. E.g., capital punishment. Gen 9:6.

Law of Inheritance

Principle:  Law of genetics = father 50%, mother 50%; Law of inheritance = father 100%, mother 0%. How to test the rule?
1.   In Re Estate of Zelophehad (Num. 27:1,3-4)
– Only sons inherit, not daughters
– Daughters only inherit if there are no sons (Num. 27:6-11).
2.   All biblical genealogies are father-son only
– Women in the genealogies do not alter the trajectory or inheritance of the genealogies
– Non-Jewish women – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba – do not taint’ the genealogy of Jesus in Mat. 1:1-16.
– What would be the result if the law of genetics applied (i.e., women counted for 50%)?
3.   Nationality and Ethnicity
– The national identity of ancient Israel was defined as “the sons of Israel.” (Ex. 1:1).
– The census was limited to males. (Num. 1:2).
– Israel was not unique – see the Table of Nations (Gen. 10:5, 20, 31)
4.   The Fall of Mankind
– Limited to the descendants (i.e., inheritors) of Adam – “sin came into the world through one man,” (Rom. 5:12).
– “by a man came death” – “in Adam all die” (1 Cor. 15:21-22).
– And yet, Eve was the one deceived and sinned first. 1 Tim. 2:14. But she doesn’t count.
5.   Implications for the Virgin Birth of Jesus
– Who carried the sin nature (original sin)?
– If both (or equally) Joseph and Mary, then the virgin birth did nothing
– But if Joseph carried Adam’s curse, and Mary did not, then Aha! – Jesus “knew no sin”
6.   Spiritual Adoption
– Christians are adopted as sons of God. (Gal. 3:26). Only sons are fellow-heirs with Christ. (Rom. 8:14-17).

Law of the Land

Principle:  The land/earth reflects the sin condition or righteousness of its inhabitants.
1.   “Cursed is the ground because of you.” Gen 3:17-18.
– Is man cursed because something is wrong with the ground, or is the ground cursed because there is something wrong with man?
– Which is the initiator, which is the responder?
See, Gen. 4:9-12.
2.   Blood pollutes the land (Num. 35:33).
3.   Sin leads to curses above and beyond the original Fall. (Deut. 28:15, 21-24, 38-42).
4.   Righteousness has the opposite effect (Dt 28:1, 3-4; Isa. 55:6,12). Also, Lk. 19:37-40.
5.   Restoration of the land. 2 Ch 7:14; Eze 47:8-9, 12.
6.   “The whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” (Rom. 8:22-23). Why? What is coming?
7.   What is the root cause of global warming, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods & earthquakes, mud slides, tornadoes, forest fires, drought?

Or consider the Nature of the Calendar. Is the calendar, or is it not, self-evident from an observation of the creation?

God Defined Man Defined
From sunset to sunset DAY From midnight to midnight
7 days beginning Sat. sunset
6 days labor, 1 day of rest
WEEK 7 days beginning Sat. midnight
5 days labor, 2 day weekend
From new moon to new moon
Always 29 or 30 days
MONTH Divorced from lunar cycle
Anywhere from 28 to 31 days
Either 12 or 13 lunar months
Divorced from solar cycle
YEAR Always 12 non-lunar months
Locked to solar cycle

Does God know how to tell time? Who invented the calendar anyway, God or man?

Where exactly did God give man the authority to alter the calendar? (No, I can’t find it either).

Intro:   A Biblical Worldview Primer
Part 2:   Human Conscience: Moral Awareness
Part 3:   Jesus Christ: The Living Word: Christology 101
Part 4A:   Bible as Law: The Divine Covenants: The Revealed Law
Part 4B:   Bible as Government: Four Great Commands: God’s Laws of Authority
Part 5:   A Biblical Worldview: Putting It All Together


*     Copyright 2019 Gerald R. Thompson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.