Moses and the burning bush

in Bavinck, Theology

The Incomprehensibility of God

Scripture speaks of God as being incomprehensible, meaning that creation is not fully able to understand God. This is because God is ontologically different from creation. God is the Creator and we are the created. However, despite being incomprehensible, Scripture presupposes that God does exist, and gives us knowledge of God. Thus it can proclaim that the one who says “there is no God” is a fool. But how can this be if God is incomprehensible? Romans 1 proclaims that God has revealed his eternal power and deity in creation (Romans 1:19-20, Acts 14:17).1 God too speaks to us in a way that we can understand because it is impossible for us to perceive God apart from God revealing himself through nature and history. Therefore, God is ontologically different, but he can overcome the difference to speak to us in analogies. For example, when I speak to my four-year-old niece, I speak to her in a way that she would understand.


1 Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 2: God and Creation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), 30.

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