Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem, part 9
Stu Station is blogging through Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. This is the first systematic theology I’ve read, although I have read numerous other theological books and a few that are basically doctrine-lite textbooks. I’m hoping that through this study I’ll learn a lot and be humble enough to change my views as the Holy Spirit leads. At this point I’m planning on blogging twice a week on Grudem’s Systematic Theology…but don’t hold me to that!
Disclaimer – Crazy that I haven’t blogged on this since May 3. Guess the next few chapters really took a lot of wind out of my sails. Hopefully I’ll get back into the habit. Things seem to finally be picking up!
Chapter 10 – The Knowability of God
Wayne Grudem makes two very strong points right away at the beginning of this chapter. We can never fully understand God, yet we can know God truly. There is a necessity for God to reveal himself to us. People often say that it’s an error to say that “all roads lead to God”, but it’s actually quite true: all roads do in fact lead to God, God as law giver and judge. But not all roads lead to God as Father, which is where true salvation and saving faith lies. Only through Jesus do we truly approach God as we should. Through Jesus is God most revealed, and only through Jesus can saving knowledge of God be found, not through human effort or wisdom (pg. 149, Matt. 11:27, John 1:18, etc).
“Because God is infinite and we are finite or limited, we can never fully understand God. In this sense God is said to be incomprehensible, where the term incomprehensible is used with an older and less common sense, ‘unable to be fully understood.’ This sense must be clearly distinguished from the more common meaning, ‘unable to be understood.’ It is not true to say that God is unable to be understood, but it is true to say that he cannot be understood fully or exhaustively.” (pg. 149-150)
We can know an awful lot of God, and yet we will never know everything. In a way, this is maddening, but also comforting. While intellectual pursuit for the sake of intelligence is a grevious sin, the joyful study of God and understanding God is something God blesses us with. We may not ever be able to fully comprehend God’s majesty or omnipotence, but we can know many true things about God! Everything God reveals to us in his word about himself is true, because…circular reasoning, kinda…his word is true. Yeah, I see the contradictions. But it’s my conviction that while the Bible may not be “inerrant”, as many nowadays describe the word, the Bible is nonetheless true in everything it affirms, including who and what God is.
We can know God personally. Sure, it’s just evangelistic rhetoric to say that Christianity is a “relationship, not a religion”, but there is an element of truth to that, in that Christianity starts out with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ…God. We can know God. We will only grow in our knowing of God. Yet we can ever fully God. And that’s kinda cool.