Infinity and our being finite

Status
Not open for further replies.

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I've had one of my frustrating headaches where I end up with a pillow over my head trying to block out light and sound; at least this provides time to think, and this is where I went:

First puzzle: As finite beings, we are hampered in our ability to envision the attributes of God that are infinite such as his omnipresence and omnipotence. No matter how good the teaching, no matter how much I study and think, I eventually come to the limits of my very finite brain and simply cannot understand God in His infinity. It's like being the gum inside of jawbreaker candy. The gum has no ability to work its way outside of the candy shell; even if it could, it would not be larger than the original jawbreaker.

Second puzzle: We run up against violations of the second commandment when our understanding of God does not fully mesh with what he reveals about himself in the Bible. But as a finite being, I cannot think of infinity. In this age,we have a ready answer: Since Jesus condescended to come to earth as a finite human being but maintained being fully (therefore infinite) God, He provides the bridge that enables us to relate to an infinite God.

Third puzzle: If it is a violation of the second commandment to think incorrectly about God (and we cannot think of Him in his infinity) what was Adam's status before the fall? And what happens to us on this point in the new earth when we will no longer be encumbered by sin? We will never be infinite. We will never be able to stretch our brains far enough. But we know sin did not exist for man prior to the fall and will not exist in the new earth. Will the standard be that our understanding of God will be sufficient, and glorifying to Him, as long as it is consistent with what He has revealed, though limited by our natural abilities?

Food (or jawbreakers!) for thought ...
:think:
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
Hi Jean,

I'm so sorry about your headache. If I was having a migraine I would have no choice but to stay away from the metaphysical topics that you seem to gravitate to.

It's good to keep in mind the difference between knowing and comprehending God. God is a God who reveals himself to his children. He reveals everything we need to know that redemption and transformation will take place in us. The revelation is perfect but our perception is hampered by our sanctification and God infinitude. This is just the way it is. The nature and attributes of God unfold as a mystery. God and His creation hold lots of mystery. Because God is infinite there will always be mystery.

God is knowable because He makes himself known but, God is incomprehensible. To comprehend means something like 'to take a hold of'. Comprehending is similar to apprehending and it reminds me of Jacob's wrestling with God. Jacob tried to take hold of God and was able to as long as God permitted it. Jacob wrestled physically just as you wrestle metaphorically with the same God. The result of trying to comprehend God is that He will bless us just as he blessed Jacob. But God is incomprehensible - which means he can be known and known intimately but he can never be known completely. Remember that distinction - God is knowable but incomprehensible.

Will the standard be that our understanding of God will be sufficient, and glorifying to Him, as long as it is consistent with what He has revealed, though limited by our natural abilities?

The answer is yes.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
The distinction between knowing and comprehending is a good one -- thanks.

My husband emphasized that God's revelation to us is perfect and that he has told us what we need to know about Himself. I guess the finite/infinite contemplation is part of the creature/creator distinction that I have been considering lately. Sometimes we need to look squarely at our "place."
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top