O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

ROMANS 11:33

Christian theology teaches that God in His essential nature is both inscrutable and ineffable. By simple definition this means that He is incapable of being searched into or understood, and that He cannot tell forth or utter what He is.

This inability lies not in God but in the limitations of our creaturehood: “Why inquirest thou after my name, for it is secret?”

Only God knows God in any final meaning of the word know: “Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

God in His essential Being is unique in the only sense that word will bear. That is, there is nothing like Him in the universe. What He is cannot be conceived by the mind because He is “altogether other” than anything with which we have had experience before. The mind has no material with which to start. No man has ever entertained a thought which can be said to describe God in any but the vaguest and most imperfect sense. Where God is known at all it must be otherwise than by our creature-reason.

In a famed treatise on the Trinity written in the third century, Novatian said: “Every possible statement that can be made about God expresses some possession or virtue of God, rather than God Himself. The conception of God as He is can only be grasped in one way—by thinking of Him as a Being whose attributes and greatness are beyond our powers of understanding, or even of thought.”[1]

[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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