“The Majesty Of Mystery: Celebrating The Glory Of An Incomprehensible God,” A Review Article -- By: Cameron G. Porter

Journal: Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies
Volume: JIRBS 04:0 (NA 2017)
Article: “The Majesty Of Mystery: Celebrating The Glory Of An Incomprehensible God,” A Review Article
Author: Cameron G. Porter


“The Majesty Of Mystery:
Celebrating The Glory Of An Incomprehensible God,”
A Review Article

Cameron G. Porter*

* Cameron G. Porter is an elder at Free Grace Baptist Church, Chilliwack, BC.

The modern theological landscape is such that most people in the pews, and many preachers in their pulpits, could not articulate what divine incomprehensibility is, nor could they comment on the historical significance of the doctrine.1 Nevertheless, it is a doctrine necessary to teach, preach, and uphold. A presupposition at the outset of theological inquiry, divine incomprehensibility is grounded in God’s own self-revelation in the Holy Scriptures, and confessed by the church throughout her history. Confessing God as incomprehensible is not to concede he cannot be known. God can be known, in fact, he has revealed himself unto that end. The confession rather is that God cannot be comprehended—he cannot be circumscribed within the confines of human contemplation. The positive affirmation of and proper approach to this essential component of theology keeps us on an orthodox path, preventing us from wandering into the forests of error on either side. Epistemic humility is the posture of the orthodox.

The Thesis And A General Overview Of The Book

In The Majesty of Mystery: Celebrating the Glory of an Incomprehensible God,2 author K. Scott Oliphint endeavors to spell out what divine mystery is in Scripture, what we are to believe regarding it, and how Christians are to worshipfully respond in light of it. Employing Romans 11:33-36 as a locus classicus, he presents the subject matter reasonably well in the first two chapters, acknowledging the priority of

divine incomprehensibility in the order of theological discovery (4), highlighting the link between incomprehensibility and doxology (4-5), and dealing with two excesses associated with mystery—rationalism (6) and mysticism (8). Oliphint suggests a proper balance to these, noting divine mystery recognizes God’s loftiness in contradistinction to our lowliness, and that it does not militate against the Christian responsibility—truly the joy—to understand and know God.

In chapter three, “The Mystery of the Three-in-One,” however, Oliphint begins to drift into what appears to be the purpose of the book: setting his covenantal properties thesis3 within the larger locus of divine mystery, and using mystery as the medium to propose his theological ...

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