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Posts Tagged ‘Theology’

“Theologians are often terribly adamant in denying that we know ‘God in himself,'” writes John Frame in his book The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, “Unfortunately, they fail to clarify the meaning of that rather ambiguous phrase.” Of course, we do not know God exhaustively or know him as he knows himself. If we mean “God in himself” by those phrases, then I have no problem with that statement. Can we know God truly or do our minds relativize “facts” about God so that we cannot know him accurately? Our minds are limited and fallen. Our own knowledge of God is under constant reformation and reformulation. Yet, I would not want to go as far as to say that our minds completely obscure our knowledge of him. Allow me to echo Frame once again:

Some people have argued that because our knowledge of God comes through revelation and then through our senses, reason, and imagination, it cannot be a knowledge of God as He really is but only of how He appears to us. It is certainly true that we know God as He appears to us, but must we therefore assume that these appearances are false, that they do not tell us the truth? We would assume that only if we were to buy the Kantian presupposition that truth is always relativized when it enters our consciousness, that reality is forever hidden from us. But that is an unscriptural concept. In Scripture, reality (God in particular) is known, and our senses, reason, and imagination are not barriers to this knowledge;  they do not necessarily distort it. Rather, our senses, reason, and imagination are themselves revelations of God – means that God uses to drive His truth home to us. God is Lord; He will not shut out His world.

We are his creation. As Christians, we are his people. Furthermore, God is able, as Lord of Creation, to overcome our deficiencies as fallen creatures and communicate i.e. reveal himself to us. Our knowledge of God is a gift of grace and mercy to a thoroughly undeserving people. Out constant struggle to understand God and Scripture illustrates the depth of our fallen creatureliness. Our knowledge of God and our ability to act on that knowledge is the picture of how the most high God bends low to show mercy to us. Thus, knowledge of God – true knowledge of God – ought to increase our humility and widen our praise, but let us not think our minds are too “human” to accurately know the “divine.”

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