Talk to most any of the usual "Christians" today, and you will see them resort to Romans 1:20, assuming they know anything biblically at all.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead; so that they are without excuse".
There's their "proof". Now, let myself, or Ex-Android or Corky, or perhaps even Byker Bob, say, "What proof? Where is the undeniable proof of God so that I am without excuse?"
"The bible says so! God says so!" They will probably shout.
Circular reasoning, tautology, at the best. But is Paul actually saying that every person on this earth today is "without excuse"?
Well, if you back up to verse 17, you see that the "just shall live by faith". You gotta think about this for a second. If Gods' power is so evident that we are without excuse, why in the world would we have to live by faith? Faith in what? Faith that God will save us? But if we know without excuse there exists a God, then we know that by simple acceptance, there is no doubt we will be "saved'. No faith required.
besides, according to the usual christian teaching, before we "accepted Christ", we ourselves were "ungodly and unrighteous, and held truth in unrighteousness".
That is, while we were still "sinners", we "held truth in unrighteousness", but once we "accept Christ', we must live in faith?
Obviously, by that reasoning, to 'accept Christ", you must be dumbed down, unable to know what was obvious when you were a "sinner".
Of course the good "Christian" folks use this argument to condemn homosexuals. God revealed himself to those "queers", and they're going to hell unless they stop their perverted ways!
That's not my statement. That's the "good ol' "Christian" statement. And like all such statements, it's wrong.
So what exactly was Paul talking about? Why not take a look at Romans 1:19:
"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it to unto them".
"Them"? Who's "them"? God hasn't showed anything to me. I'm sure Corky or Ex-Android would say the same thing. I haven't been shown the first bit of evidence so that I'm without excuse.
Obviously Paul was referring to a certain group of people, and since he was a Pharisee, and since he was talking about revelations, we can simply look to Deuteronomy 4:35: "Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God..."
To whom was it showed? Obviously, ancient Israel. Who else? Look through the rest of that chapter, you see it was only ancient Israel.
For further confirmation, look at Amos 3:2 "You only(Israel) have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore i will punish you for all your iniquities".
Simple enough. Paul was talking about ancient Israel.