When thinking about God, I think we all echo David’s statement, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it” (Ps. 139:6), or Paul’s statement, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Rom 11:33). God declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8-9).
These verses are pointing out the magnificence, transcendence and otherness of God, but God is also immanent and has imparted to humans his wisdom, knowledge and perspective through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 13:10-12, Paul explains that Christians can grow in God’s wisdom, knowledge and perspective, but for now it is like seeing in a mirror dimly and knowing in part. When Jesus returns and establishes his earthly eternal kingdom, Christ followers will see as if face to face and will know fully.
In the meantime, Christians should acknowledge that they will not completely have God’s perspective and that their preaching, teaching, prophesying, writing, systematics are all done “in part.” Everyone’s partial theology is going to be corrected when Jesus returns, “when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away” (v.10). Humans experience many challenges in their attempts to know God and understand the cosmos from his perspective. They can not fully override their sense of self-perception or completely arrive at an independent, autonomous state apart from their cultural contextualization. But Christians believe, look to and lean into the Triune God. They believe in the Father, “the maker of heaven and earth.” They abide in the Vine–Jesus–because apart from him they can do nothing (John 15). They surrender to and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit–”the light of truth and fire of love.” This is how we can begin to experience and understand God and his perspective.