Can We Know or Say Anything Meaningful About God?

By Elias Ayala (MDiv & M.A.T.)

Knowing GodSome have the understanding that the concept of God is so grand and incomprehensible, that even if God did exist, we couldn’t know anything about him. The very moment we try to conceptualize the infinite, every time we try to put into words some truth with regards to God, we have lost the concept of the infinite, since we have limited the infinite by either linguistic constructs or conceptual analysis. So, the person will suggest that even if God existed he is unknowable and inexpressible by definition. Of course, from a logical perspective, this sort of linguistic and conceptual agnosticism is consistent with there actually existing a God, but this line of reasoning vitiates against the notion that such a god can be known. So what gives? Is it the case that even if God existed, he is so infinite and beyond comprehension and linguistic expression that we could say nothing of him, nor could we know anything about him?

Well, upon adequate reflection one can see the clear logical problem with such a suggestion. This is the case for the simple reason that if it is the case that if God existed we couldn’t know about nor say anything meaningful with regards to him, then how does the person know THAT about God? Namely, that if God existed, he is the sort of God that is unable to reveal himself to his creatures such that they can know him and speak adequately about him. If you think about it, this is to say something very profound about a God who apparently is beyond comprehension and linguistic expression. But to say something as profound about God is to say something meaningful with regards to him, thus refuting the notion that God cannot be adequately linguistically expressed. Furthermore, to say something “ABOUT” such a God, refutes the notion that God is so beyond human comprehension that he cannot even be adequately conceptualized. So, to say that God is incomprehensible and unknowable is to say something comprehensible and knowable about him.

It is here important to point out the biblical and apologetical point reflected in Proverbs 26:4-5. “Answer not the fool according to his folly lest you be a fool like him. Answer the fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own conceit.” Of course, on the one hand, we do not want to grant the fool so to speak, his foolish assumptions (God is unknowable and inexpressible), yet on the other hand, we want to hypothetically grant the fool’s position to show the nature of its folly; namely, that if God is unknowable and inexpressible, then how can the fool claim to know and express something about God? The foolish contradiction is brought out and exposed and hence the person’s position stands refuted.

An important key to doing apologetics well is to try and think logically. When we do this well, we are in a better position to point out error both in our own thinking and in the thinking of the unbeliever.

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