Read Isaiah 40:13-14
13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding? (NIV)
There are two things we can be pretty sure of it when it comes to God. One is that through the Scriptures, the Spirit, through Jesus, we can come to know him. He is not some vague or distant deity who hides himself from us as if he is too great for us to approach.
The other thing we can be sure of is that we can never comprehensively know God. We can never think we have him figured out. Those who study the Scriptures and have a close personal relationship with him might mistakenly think they have got him sorted out. This is to misunderstand both our own limitations and God’s ‘otherness’.
So while we may truthfully confess that we know God, we also have to confess that this knowledge is partial. It is sufficient for us to trust him, to love him, to follow him, to grasp the basic contours of his relationship to humankind. But it is not exhaustive knowledge as if we have him thoroughly analysed. To take such a step is not wisdom but arrogance.
The Dutch writer Henri Nouwen once said that theological study is a gradual and sometimes painful discovery of God’s incomprehensibility. While we may be competent in many things, we cannot claim competence in God. But we know enough to trust him and that is knowledge enough.