how do we understand God

We Don't Get It

I want to share a few thoughts in this post and the next on the greatness and the glory of God. If we get the greatness of God right we will be on track, but if we get this wrong, we will be plagued many problems. Luma Simm's writes in her powerful book Gospel Amnesia about "neglecting the infinitude of God":

"The triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - is infinite. Anyone who has learned mathematics beyond basic arithmetic can tell you that the concept of infinity is hard for the human mind to grapple with. We tend to either ignore its hugeness, or think that we have mastered it simply by defining it.

When we think of infinitude, it may help to meditate on other words such as: boundless, without limit, without restrictions, beyond measurement, bottomless, and so on.

However, if we deemphasize God's infinitude, then the gospel shrinks in our minds. The gospel is inextricably tied to God's infinitude because the grace shown in the gospel is infinite. The chasm God breached in calling us to him from our state of sin is infinite. The capacity of Christ to reverse sin, disease, decay, entropy itself - is infinite

Once the gospel shrinks in our minds, it doesn't take much to imagine bounds on it and make it finite. Once it is finite it is easy to recreate it in our image and make it man-sized. Once it becomes man-sized, we think we have understood all there is to understand of it. The end result: boredom with a tamed, domesticated, one-dimensional flattened gospel

It is amazing to me that God allows us to know him. Special revelation (God's speaking to us through his prophets and apostles in Scripture) is a beautiful condescension on his part. Unfortunately, this is another area in which I slipped. There is something deceiving about having the ability to read and gain knowledge about God. Whether it is Scripture reading or theological reading, this God-given invitation to learn about God can fool us into thinking we can know everything about him. When we are not daily washing our minds with the gospel, we forget how infinite he is, and we forget how finite we actually are


That old pride from the garden that thinks we can know as he knows is always with us, tempting us to have a high view of our own understanding while reducing God to our man-sized knowability."