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Can mortal man understand the infinite God?

From Charlie Rosenberg, Washington DC, USA, who gave permission for his full name to be used. His letter is printed first in its entirety. His letter is printed again, with point-by-point responses (in dark red) by ‘editor’, interspersed as per normal email fashion. Ellipses (…) at the end of one of Charlie Rosenberg’s paragraphs signal that a mid-sentence comment follows, not an omission


“Dear [CMI],
“The more I read, the more I realize that “doctrine” is falliable mortal man’s futile attempt to fit God into neat little categories that said mortal man can comfortably comprehend.


“This is no more possible in the spiritual realm, than it is possible for scientific observation to explain the origin of the Creation. I suggest that anyone who thinks they can develop a complete explanation from reading Genesis should re-read Job 38.

“Thank you for your consideration.
Charlie Rosenberg
Washington DC
USA”

The more I read, the more I realize that ‘doctrine’ is falliable mortal man’s futile attempt to fit God into neat little categories that said mortal man can comfortably comprehend.

That may be true of false doctrine, but true doctrine derives from logical deductions from what the infallible God has revealed in Scripture.

This is no more possible in the spiritual realm, …

I’m not sure how you could possibly know that, unless you were claiming omniscience. This claim is equivalent to saying that it’s impossible for God to reveal truths about Himself and His creation.

… than it is possible for scientific observation to explain the origin of the Creation. I suggest that anyone who thinks they can develop a complete explanation from reading Genesis should re-read

We don’t claim to understand everything on the basis of the revelation in Genesis. God’s Word is sufficient, but it is not exhaustive. If it were, it would be incomprehensible to everyone (every expert is a layman outside their own field). There is plenty of room for immense humility as we try to comprehend the details of the works of God (the thrust of Job 38). And there is plenty of room for informed speculation (i.e. Bible-based historical science) to try to fill in the gaps. However, where the Word of God speaks clearly there can be little doubt as to what it means—I mean to say, God Himself invented communication/language (see Q&A: Linguistics)! Also, CMI often appeals to other parts of Scripture apart from Genesis to elucidate the Creation and Fall, e.g. Romans 5:12 ff., 8:20–22, 1 Cor. 15:21,22,26,45. A basic principle of Scriptural interpretation is that Scripture interprets Scripture—that is why we are confident in what we teach about Genesis—it is consistent with the rest of Scripture (unlike all the attempts at compromise ‘interpretations’— see refutations on Q&A: Genesis).

Thank you for your consideration.
Charlie Rosenberg
Washington DC
USA

You’re welcome,
Editors


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