Andrew Naffin, Theology, church, scripture, N.T. Wright, Karl Barth
Hey gang!  I have recently been in conversation over the question of how it is possible to have any true or definitive knowledge about God.  Are we all merely telling stories about who we think God is?  Here are a few of my thoughts on the issue.  Of course these posts are meant as a way of creating dialogue, whether here, or with other people you know, and giving a fresh perspective and angle on things that you may not have thought about before. 

In order for there to be any intelligent conversation about God, He must first communicate, in some intelligible way, whatever that might be, knowledge of Himself to us.   This God is a relational, revelatory God.  God has taken the free initiative to make himself known to us through his self-disclosure.    Without God doing this, any conversation about Him would be a complete and absolute shot in the dark.  The revelation of God from his side toward us, is completely unlooked for.  No amount of creativity, imagination, or philosophical speculation could have anticipated knowledge of this God.  Outside of His self-disclosure, nothing could have been known, either about God himself or his deeds.  God has revealed himself, beyond all hope or expectation.   We find ourselves in a story where the opening act is a move of God toward us.  As theologians, that is as Christians, we can now speak intelligently about God, though not exhaustively, because God has said intelligent and communicable things about himself.  God has done this both through the use of general revelation and unique or special revelation.  God has created us as intelligent and reasonable beings for which communication is both possible and essential.   In the comprehensiveness of His design we are able to receive true knowledge of God through his self-communication.  Now meaningful communication and reflection is possible both between ourselves and back towards God.


I agree that the initiative is all on God's side, but I think we can elaborate on his being, "unlooked for," as you say.
People seem to have a curiousity about the divine, although we confuse it with a desire to be divine and to be sovereign. As the Scripture says, "He has set eternity in the hearts of men..."


Leave a Reply.

Andrew Naffin, Theology, Church, Scripture, N.T. Wright, Karl Barth