Some of the least useful discussions I've seen in Christianity revolve around the absolute, superlative properties of God. "God is infinitely good, therefore, He ..."; "God is infinitely just, therefore He ...". For example, I've seen friends posit conclusions based on God's all-knowing, all-foreseeing with absolute confidence in ways that make Him seem less good or just.

Q: Do either the bible or church fathers offer any caveats on us (we limited beings) making logical inferences from statements on God's infinite character?

  • 2
    There's a big difference between making logical deductions from nothing and making logical deductions from what He has revealed about Himself to us. An infinite God could certainly reveal Himself in terms we can understand. He wouldn't be omnipotent if he couldn't. ;-) May 25, 2013 at 15:44
  • @DavidStratton I wish I could +10 that comment.
    – Jas 3.1
    May 26, 2013 at 1:42

2 Answers 2


Steve gives a good answer, but in regards to those things Christians do profess, such as God's infinite goodness. That question is not answered by science but through simple philosophy. One may ask for instance, "is it possible for God to be both good and bad?". CS Lewis covers this in depth in Mere Christianity in the opening chapters.

Basically, the ying yang view of the world does not work, good and bad are not opposites like black and white, that is a misrepresentation.

It is more accurate to say there is good (or holiness, or love, or whatever you want to call pure goodness)and then there is the curruption of good. In other words evil does not exist alone, it can not exist alone, for it is nothing except the absence of love or goodness, not something alone by itself. Read Lewis for an in depth answer.

These things could be debated one by one, but as Steve mentions in his answer, the way God is portrayed in the Bible is as the "hidden God".

The clues we have about His nature are almost all related to how He loves us. You will find over and over again God defined as perfect Holiness.

In the end Christians see God as a being (horrible word) who is fully and completely aware of our sufferings. God cares, it He takes sides, He is Love. The metaphor Jesus uses is "father". He loves us like a perfect father.


I would suggest the answer God gave to Job in chapters 38-41 that humbled Job in 40:3-5. There, God reveals mysteries that man could not grasp and powers that are incomprehensible, like creating the world and its inhabitants (38:4-30) and guiding the stars (38:31-33). All throughout the book we find Job and his three companions making logical deductions about God and His ways, only to be blown out of the water with these chapters.

To an argument people may raise against what God has ordained, Paul wrote, "But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'why have you made me like this?'" inferring that we cannot grasp the magnitude of God's wisdom and planning through logic alone. God is above all and does what He pleases and will not always reveal His ways.

  • Great answer Steve, but need to address the things we do know, like God's absolute goodness as the question mentions.
    – Hammer
    May 25, 2013 at 15:43
  • @Hammer: I saw the question as about our inability to make logical inferences about God's superlatives that we can't relate to as finite human beings. Of course, He demonstrated His love by taking on human flesh so we could comprehend that. But His infinite attributes?
    – Steve
    May 25, 2013 at 18:39

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