Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Can we know God: Seeking a thoughtful Christian who says "No"

I mentioned before that, to continue the controversies series, I was going to solicit some help because there are some controversies where I simply don't understand the other side. Here is the first: On the question, "Can we know God?" -- I have no idea why people would answer "no" -- Christians in particular, that is. I've heard people say that we can't know God, but not in a situation where I was welcome to strike up a conversation on the topic and really get to understand that point of view. So I'd like to strike up that conversation now.

If anyone is of the view that we can't know God, could you help me understand what you mean by that? 


Brian Small said...

Gregory Palamas said that we cannot know God in his essence, but we can know God in his energies. I think this is a helpful distinction.

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi there

Thanks for the comment.

Do you know why he would say that we cannot know God in his essence? (Not sure if it's a position you hold yourself ...)

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

We cannot know God in His Essence because that Essence (what it takes to be God!) is so far beyond anything e experience. It is absolutely unique, having no parallel, no cognate, nothing to which we may even remotely compare to is.

Jesus Christ, however, is the 'express image' of the Father, the Greek implying, by 'express' an imprint, such as a fingerprint. We can of course know Christ, and in Him, we can know God. We can never know His essence, but this does but we can know him in His power, in His activity - which is of course shot through with His Essence...

Weekend Fisher said...

Thanks for replying. I'm going to paraphrase so you can check if I'm getting the gist of it: Are you saying that we can't know God in things like omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence because that 'omni'ness is beyond us? And the part that is beyond us is the part that is really his true essence? What I'm trying to get at is whether you say there is part of God's essence that is not knowable through Christ?

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF