Can finite people understand or describe God?

by Matt Paulson

Question: Can finite people understand or describe God? 

Answer: The Trinity Doctrine and Flat People!

Please keep in mind that Jesus is God incarnated in human flesh, the second person of the Trinity. Jesus taught the Trinity (Matt 28:19). See the Trinity Chart. This chart will help you find the Trinity doctrine in the Bible.

Here is one analogy called the “Flat World” first suggested by a prominent Christian astronomer.

God is very unique. He has no beginning, and He has no end. The God of the Bible exists outside of our dimensions of time and space. So, any attempt to find analogies to help you to understand God will be lacking and incomplete. God is an uncreated being, and any attempt for finite people to understand Him or describe Him will end up wanting.

Let's say, just for fun, that there are two flat people, Jack and Jill who live in a two-dimensional plane. And let’s say these flat people have a loving creator who is a three-dimensional person that they have named “God.” So, we have a three-dimensional God who is the creator of two flat people who live in a two-dimensional world. As flat people live out their lives, they would wonder and speculate about their unseen creator. Within their two-dimensional world they could draw flat pictures or make diagrams of their creator, but they would have some serious difficulties trying to understand the nature of God from within their two-dimensional perspective. Sure, they could speculate and make analogies, but it would be very difficult for them to fathom.

Now, how could God make Himself known to the flat people? God may show up in a dream, or He could show Himself to their world. God could take His three-dimensional finger and place it through the flat world plane. What would the flat people say that their God looks like from within their limited world? They would say that God looks like a circle. In fact, being a pessimist, you might likely say, "I can understand God as a circle, but I cannot understand or believe that God exists in three dimensions. That makes no sense!" It is very difficult for two-dimensional beings living on a two dimensional plane to understand a three-dimensional being. Likewise, Christians have the same difficulty. We are finite three-dimensional human creatures trying to explain an uncreated personal God outside our three dimensions. 


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.