Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I’m still working on figuring out the HTML so give some time and hopefully this site will have the added feature for those who want to give some support to Deeper Waters due to be being blessed by what goes on here. Even if none do, I hope this blog is a blessing to many of you. We’ve been going through the doctrine of God and we’ve been using the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas as our guide. We’ve been answering the question of how God is known by us and we’re going to finish up that question tonight. Starting tomorrow, Lord willing, we’ll be looking at the doctrine of the names of God.
Can we know more about God by divine grace? We’ve already seen that we can know him by natural reason alone, but if God chooses to grace us, can we know more about him? Aquinas says we can. There are some things even that natural reason cannot figure out, such as God being a Trinity.
At the start, let this be a warning to those of us on the philosophical path. It can be tempting to leave out the Bible when we study God. We have an urge to want to know as much about God as we can through natural reason and use that in an attempt to convince the nonbeliever that God is there.
I have jokingly had professors in Seminary start a class with Scripture reading in philosophy and say “This is a Bible. Many of you haven’t seen it in awhile.” Of course, some of us in the class who are humorous will answer and say something like “Is that a new book?”
In the very first question in the Summa, Aquinas tells us that the knowledge of God could be reached by reason alone, but few have the intellectual ability or the commitment to make such a journey. Therefore, in order that more people may be saved, God has revealed himself.
The answer is already there, but God helps some of us to get to the answer by reaching down to us. He doesn’t just leave himself there saying “Well I’ll wait and see how many people can reach me on their own.” Instead, he comes and reaches down for us to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. It’s not just salvation, but even knowledge of him.
This can be done through dreams and visions, but most notably this is done in Scripture and in the revelation of Christ. Had God not revealed himself, we would never know that he is three in one. We would also never know the way of salvation as natural reason cannot work out that doctrine.
Thus, we conclude the study of how God is known by us with the good news that he has allowed us to know him and helped us on the way. The apostle Paul spoke to some philosophers one time and said that he is not far from each of us. That still holds today. He is not far.
We shall continue tomorrow.