Talking about God is a hazardous enterprise.

“Since God has revealed himself in human language, we can speak of him; since he has summoned his people to proclaim him to the nations, we must do so. Even so, no human talk about God can fully express him, for human language cannot transcend its created capacities, which are incommensurate with the One of whom we are speaking. God will always remain beyond the best attempts to set him forth in our words. Orthodoxy, faithful to its own cultural background, has little confidence in human reason when it begins to speak about God.”

James R Payton Jr (Light from the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition, 59).

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6 comments
  1. James Tonn said:

    Nice quote JT.

  2. I agree, we are limited via human speech. I think when speaking on spirituality it’s tough to explain it, all I know is it is very helpful and formative piece of my life.

    However, is this an excuse for God? Atheists may say abandon the idea (of God) since it cannot be adequately explained, maybe it isn’t true or at the least, not helpful. I resonate with them if our faith is not something we can explain in some detail.

    • James Tonn said:

      Since Christ as the Word/revelation of God became flesh – that always comforts me when I find God’s Revelation so intangible. Even he recognized the law, and the prophets, and the writings were mere silhouettes of what was to come in the Messiah.

  3. aislingclaire said:

    love this.

  4. James Tonn said:

    My deepest and most earnest prayer has been speechless – in loss and in joy – utterances/groanings of the soul.

  5. jt* said:

    @society,

    “if our faith is not something we can explain in some detail.”

    That’s worth noting. And I think our faith is something we can explain, if not precisely, in a meaningful manner. God is not bound by our language, yet he entered into his creation by taking on flesh. God became bound by space and time out of love and therefore we can speak meaningfully about this.

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