Wednesday, April 18, 2018

God's Incomprehensibility

"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain" (Psalm 139:6).

The doctrine of God’s incomprehensibility does not mean that God is utterly unknowable. Rather it means that no one has total, comprehensive, exhaustive knowledge of who God is or what His infinite character is like.

There are two errors about God’s incomprehensibility that we encounter in the church today. Some people say that since God is incomprehensible, He is therefore utterly unknowable and everything we say about God is just gibberish. In their opinion, His incomprehensibility even defies the use of reason in knowing Him. This has been a crucial point of debate in the twentieth century. Liberal theologians and secular philosophers often maintain that when we talk about God, we are only talking about our own human wishes.

In some evangelical circles, there is another error, however. Some people have developed the idea that God’s reason is so different from man’s reason that what is irrational or contradictory to man may be rational to God. But we have to ask this: Can truth ever be contradictory? The answer is no. God can never deny Himself.

All Christian admit the human mind cannot grasp everything there is no God. God’s being transcends the limits of human reason. Thus, beyond our human rationality is God’s “super-rationality.” But it is one thing to call God’s omniscience “super-rational,” and quite another thing to call it “irrational.” If God is filled with contradictions, then perhaps His promises to us are both yes and no. Perhaps Jesus’ blood both saves us and does not save us. Perhaps God both loves us and hates us.

Away with such notions! It is true that we don’t understand everything about God, but we can surely know that He does not contradict Himself.

Take a few moments and read Psalm 139, thinking about the progression of thought in this song. Consider the incomprehensible greatness of God. As the psalmist was, are you amazed and horrified that anyone would stand in opposition to God? Ask God to try your own heart, and never to let you move away from Him. Allow God’s incomprehensibility to lead you to worship Him.