God Beyond Our Conception

I love theology – I love reading about it, talking about it, buying books about it (even if I haven’t read them all yet!), and studying about it. But you don’t have to look into theology for very long before you realize that there are some controversies that will never be resolved, and there are some things we will never be able to figure out about God. He has revealed much about Himself in His word, but but He hasn’t revealed everything about Himself. He’s given us all we need to know, but certainly not all we want to know. I’m sure one reason He did that is so we would have to trust Him more. But I also think one of the reasons is that our finite human minds are simply too limited to understand some of what we’d like to understand about God. I think this quote by Novatian expresses it well:

Here, and in all our meditations upon the qualities and content of God, we pass beyond our power of fit conception, nor can human eloquence put forth a power commensurate with His greatness. At the contemplation and utterance of His majesty all eloquence is rightly dumb, all mental effort is feeble. For God is greater than mind itself. His greatness cannot be conceived. Nay, could we conceive of His greatness He would be less than the human mind which could form the conception. He is greater than all language, and no statement can express Him. Indeed, if any statement could express Him, He would be less than human speech which could by such statement comprehend and gather up all that He is. All our thoughts about Him will be less than He, and our loftiest utterances will be trivialities in comparison with Him.

– Novatian (c.200-c.258)
(as quoted in A. W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,"
       declares the LORD.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts."

- Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

Denise DiSarro

View posts by Denise DiSarro
I am a staff member with Cru, a caring community passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ. I work on a creative team in the Indianapolis area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top