Essay on The Mystery That Is God

Essay on The Mystery That Is God

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Trying to decipher the mystery that is God has been the job of theologians for centuries, and throughout time, these theologians have accumulated answers to questions that plague the mind of anyone investigating Christianity. One can find the goal of human life with respect to God in Augustine’s Confessions, for what purpose Jesus came to Earth in Athanasius’ On the Incarnation, and Cyril’s and Nestorius’ interpretation of Jesus’ divinity verses humanity in The Christological Conversation. In their works, these theologians address these questions with absolute answers, initiating numerous, century long deliberations if their answers differ from one other. Rather than getting absorbed into the chaos of debating certainty, Gregory of Nazianzus takes a different approach. Rather than offer finite answers, Gregory suggests in his second oration that there are some aspects about Christianity and God that humans cannot ever be certain of, mainly in their definition and understanding of God. Human beings can never fully know and understand God on account of his transcendence, but, however, humans can know aspects of God, shown though his works, on account of his immanence.
By assuming that a human truly knows God, the human blurs the distinction between the supremacy of God and the mere powerlessness of the human. Gregory comments on this distinction when he says, God “is lifted above our complex and lowly and earthward-sinking composition” (The Theological Orations, 138). In this quote, Gregory points to humanity’s limitations, that humans are literally earthly beings. Therefore, humans are limited to what they can experience. Because they are earthly, they can only know of the world and of worldly things. Gregory also emphasizes the ...


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...her, God presented himself in a physical way by means of a burning bush (Exodus 3). Even if one does have more authority in the church or with God, he will still have an earthly mind, and is therefore incapable of comprehending God fully. However, as God’s immanence interacts with humans by means of the physical world, they are able experience and communicate with parts of God that can be understood because they are within the realm of human experience.
There are many aspects about God that humans will never fully be able to comprehend. That is due to His mere transcendence that one is incapable of grasping because it is simply beyond one’s experience. This however, does not mean God is a complete mystery. God acts in physical and spiritual ways within the world that humans are able to understand, and through these acts, humans are able to know a part of God.




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