Friday, September 16

How To Describe God? Augustine's Attempt

I read Augustine on God's nature with delight. It has become most evident that the modern church is very weak in this area of the knowledge of God. Of that we have many witnesses. A. W. Tozer surfaced it fifty plus years ago. And John Piper has made a ministry of pointing it out. And  But when I read how Augustine describes God (below) I asked myself, "Would you come up with something like this on your own?" I'll leave that question unanswered. For now, let us enter into another's meditation on the most noble theme in the universe. And God help what we read to transfer to us. 

What art Thou then, my God? what, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God? Most highest, most good, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong, stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; never new, never old; all-renewing, and bringing age upon the proud, and they know it not; ever working, ever at rest; still gathering, yet nothing lacking; supporting, filling, and overspreading; creating, nourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. Thou lovest, without passion; art jealous, without anxiety; repentest, yet grievest not; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy works, Thy purpose unchanged; receivest again what Thou findest, yet didst never lose; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains; never covetous, yet exacting usury. Thou receivest over and above, that Thou mayest owe; and who hath aught that is not Thine? Thou payest debts, owing nothing; remittest debts, losing nothing. And what had I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? Yet woe to him that speaketh not, since mute are even the most eloquent.
Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo and E. B. Pusey, The Confessions of St. Augustine (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

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