While trying to organize my thoughts in response to a blog post I read recently, I found Wayne Grudem's chapter outline (from his Systematic Theology text) helpful. In particular, the Scripture references that he lists are most valuable in understanding how much we can truly know about our God Who is incomprehensible. Amazingly glorious is the fact that this infinite God condescends to mortal man to reveal Himself to us! But just how much does He tell us? I think Grudem's work will help answer this question.
I know, I know - I'm cheating by deferring to Dr. Grudem. But why improve on something if it works? :) Besides - I'm trying to get a Hermeneutics paper finished & this was much quicker.
Chapter 10: The Knowability of God
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (pages 149 - 155)
(Grand Rapids: Zondervan and Leicester, England: InterVarsity, 1994)
Can we really know God? How much of God can we know?
A) The Necessity for God to Reveal Himself to Us
1) Even general revelation depends on God’s choice to reveal himself through the created
order. (Rom. 1:19)
2) If we are to know God personally in salvation, it is clearly necessary for God to reveal
himself to us. (M att. 11:27; 1 Cor. 1:21; John 1:18)
a) All human beings have a tendency to misinterpret the revelation about God found in nature. (Rom. 1:18, 21, 25)
3) We need the Bible to properly understand any revelation from God or about him (in
nature, history, our consciences).
B) We can never fully understand God.
1) Because God is infinite and we are finite, we must affirm the incomprehensibility of God or that God can never be fully understood. (Ps 145:3, 147:5; 1 Cor. 2:10-12; Rom. 11:33; Isa. 55:9; Job 26:14)
2) God’s incomprehensibility means that we can never, in this life or the next, have an
exhaustive knowledge of God. This is good! We should continue to learn more about
God and enjoy doing this – forever! (Col. 1:10)
C) Yet we can know God truly.
1) Although we cannot know God exhaustively, we can know God truly because all that
Scripture tells us about God is true. (1 John 1:5, 4:8; John 4:24; Rom. 3:26)
2) Moreover, we know God himself, not just facts about him. (Jer. 9:23-24; John 17:3; Heb. 8:11; 1 John 2:13, 5:20)
You can listen to the audio here.
Find more resources from Wayne Grudem here.
"Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 8:23-24