Much indeed can be known about God from creation. We know that God is eternal, all-powerful, and good (cf. Romans 1:20). Yet, whatever we learn about God through nature (general revelation), will always be limited by the very nature of revelation through finite created things.
With the language of the eighth Psalm clearly in mind (“you have made [man] a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor” v. 5), Reformed theologian Cornelius Van Til once declared that Adam was created to be like God in every way in which a creature can be like God.
The diagnosis is not very good: we are ignorant, guilty, and corrupt. But the prognosis is far worse. We are under the curse and face certain death. As fallen sinners ravaged by a threefold consequence of our sins, our hearts are darkened (Romans 1:21) and our thoughts are continually evil (Genesis 6:5).
As redemptive history unfolds in the Bible, the story of God’s saving purposes takes a number of surprising twists and turns. The New Testament opens with an angel announcing to a young virgin that God’s promised Savior was at long last coming to visit his people with salvation.
Although often identified as a Lutheran distinctive, the law-gospel distinction has been recognized by the Reformed tradition as well. Reformed theologians such as Louis Berkhof have spoken of the Bible as containing two parts–the law and the gospel.