My Hand Over My Mouth, Part I

In Christianity on May 21, 2010 at 2:09 am

A Christian friend and I were discussing whether it is truly possible to say “I love God.” “One might say,” she suggested, “I reverence Him. I stand in awe of Him. I worship Him. I am extraordinarily grateful to Him.” But can we truly say we love Him?

Her point, if I rightly understood, was not simply that we fall short of Luke 10:27—i.e., that we are to love God with all our heart, being, strength, and mind. It was, rather, “How can we say we love God, when so much about God is totally Other; completely unknowable?”

Perhaps there are two paths toward answering this question. The first is that the eternal, transcendent God did come to us, clothed in human flesh. He took on the genetic and very real humanity of the Virgin Mary. “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father,” John 14:9 tells us. Thus, the true God may be known and loved in Jesus Christ.

Yet God is God! He is a Trinity of Divine Persons, infinite, transcendent, outside time, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. So a second path toward answering suggests that, while never failing to share the Gospel, we might also do well to take a lesson from Job, who decided to talk less (particularly about himself and his understanding of God) and adore more. “God is not so much an object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.”¹

Stay tuned, as we continue this topic with a study from the Book of Job, followed by thoughts on what our Orthodox brothers and sisters call the “apophatic approach.”

¹ Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, Revised Edition (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995).

  1. […] Hand Over My Mouth, II In Christianity on May 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm In the first post of this series, I suggested we might do well to take a lesson from Job, who decided to talk less (particularly […]

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