Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | July 1, 2006

Ultimately Incomprehesible

It’s been a hot week.  I like this weather, though.  I spent a year or so in Santa Cruz when I was a teenager.  I remember it rained a lot, one time for two straight weeks and after that I have always appreciated the warm weather where I live.  We are headed into a 4 day weekend with the Independence Day holiday falling on a Tuesday this year.  Hopefully, with this time off I’ll be able to catch up on entries here, which have been pretty sparing the last couple of weeks.  This is not just any holiday, however we should give thanks for the nation we live in and the freedoms enjoy.  We are definitely living in a time of great privilege with the liberty and technology that make our lives much easier than that of people from even 200 years ago.   

As we continue with our overview of the Belgic Confession, Article 1 goes on to define our God as incomprehensible.  It may seem antithetical to seek to define who God is and also acknowledge that He is incomprehensible.  On the surface this seems to be problematic, how can finite creatures presume to know anything about the infinite Creator?  As indicated in our initial entry on this subject, we must ultimately concede that we can never know God exhaustively.  It is impossible.  However, it is incorrect to presume that pursuit of knowledge about God is futile.  This is incorrect, because God has made Himself known to finite creatures.  This knowledge is presented to us in two mediums known as General and Special Revelation. 

God is known through General Revelation by the creation itself:  “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.  Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.  Their measuring line[b] goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”  (Psalm 19:1-4)  Although, this form of revelation is insufficient to define the Trinity or other Divine Attributes, it is sufficient to condemn us.

God is known through Special Revelation through Prophets and Apostles who spoke and wrote about Him.  These writings are preserved for us in Scripture to learn and study.  Furthermore, God has made Himself known through the incarnation of Jesus Christ:  “No one has ever seen God; the only God,[a] who is at the Father’s side,[b] he has made him known.”  (John 1:18).  Thus, we can possess accurate knowledge about God, at least as much is it revealed through the Word.

Although God reveals Himself through these mediums it is difficult for finite creatures to grasp or comprehend the infinite.  Thus, many of the concepts about God are understood through analogies.  For example, Scripture reveals Him as a Rock, Light or Shepherd.  It is ridiculous to conclude that God is a literal rock, however He is a trustworthy foundation that we can depend for our lives.  Also, many of the terms that are employed to describe God are by way of negation.  For example, words such as in-finite (not finite), un-changeable (not changeable), in-visible (not visible), etc. are the helpful in defining who God is.  It is not sufficient to define God by only one term or one analogy.  There are numerous terms and analogies that are required to gives a more thorough definition of God.  These terms assist us in defining who God is indeed that is why we study the Divine attributes. 

Therefore, we can possess an accurate knowledge about who God is and what He is like.  An as our knowledge of God becomes greater it helps us to see how feeble we really are.  This does not mean we can provide a detailed account of how all these things we know about God work.  For example, how does the Trinity really work?  We can affirm that it is true, however it is still a mystery.  How can God be Spirit, yet the Second Person of the Trinity possess flesh and blood?  I do not know how many things work.  For example, television, computers, cars, air planes, etc.   However, I know about them, know that they work and can be trusted.  In this sense we must humbly concede that God is ultimately incomprehensible

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