Sunday, January 4, 2015

Comprehending Incomprehensibility

 Romans 1:18-20For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 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.”

I read this article by R.C. Sproul while was on vacation that explained that even though we live in a finite created world of time, space and matter, by an infinite Almighty Creator who exists outside of time, space and matter, theologically speaking, to say God is incomprehensible is no to say that God is utterly unknowable. It is to say that none of us can comprehend God exhaustively (completely; in full). It is logical and a “given” that the finite cannot grasp or contain the infinite. Humans are finite creatures, so our minds always work from a finite perspective.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

We live, move, and have our being on a finite plane, but God lives, moves, and has His being in infinity. Our finite understanding cannot contain an infinite subject; thus, God is incomprehensible. Sproul explains that this concept represents a check and balance to warn us lest we think we have captured altogether and mastered in every detail the things of God. Our finitude always limits our understanding of God. Our minds can go only so far in understanding God, and to know God we need His revelation. But that revelation is intelligible, not irrational.

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

The incomprehensible God has revealed Himself truly. Sproul avows that there is a mysterious dimension of God that we do not know. However, we aren’t left in darkness. God has revealed Himself, and that is basic to the Christian faith. God the Creator revealed Himself in the glorious theater of nature. This is what we call “natural revelation.” God has also revealed Himself verbally. He has spoken and we have His Word inscribed in the Bible. Here we are talking about “special revelation” – information God gives us that we could never figure out on our own. It’s not that we have no knowledge of God or as if we have a complete knowledge of God; rather, we have a working knowledge of God that is useful and crucial for our lives.

1 Corinthians 2:7-11 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

There is a point of contact between man and God. The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:26-28, that we are created in the image of God. That makes it possible for communication to occur. We are not God, but we are like Him because we bear His image and are made in His likeness. Therefore, God can reveal Himself to us in our language. He can talk to us. He can communicate to us in a manner that we can understand – not exhaustively, but truly and meaningfully, so that we can comprehend incomprehensibility.
Know God, love God, Obey God and make Him known.

In Christ, Brian

No comments: