Naturalism, Natural Theology: Naturalism sometimes refers to a form of atheism and materialism that maintains that the "natural" universe (composed of energy and matter and based on natural laws) is the sum total of reality, thereby negating human freedom, absolute values and, ultimately, existential meaning. As an ethical theory naturalism suggests that ethical judgments arise out of or are based in the universe itself or "the ways things naturally are." Natural theology maintains that humans can attain particular knowledge about God through human reason by observing the created order as one locus of divine revelation.1
1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 82.