Friday, March 15, 2013

A Voice from the Past - Tertullian

From God you may learn about that which you hold of God; but from none else will you get this knowledge, if you get it not from God. For who is to reveal that which God has hidden? To that quarter must we resort in our inquiries whence we are most safe even in deriving our ignorance. For it is really better for us not to know a thing, because He has not revealed it to us, than to know it according to man's wisdom, because he has been bold enough to assume it.

Tertullian, 160-220 AD, A Treatise on the Soul, Chapter 1 (translated by Peter Holmes, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume III, Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, T & T Clark and Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1997, p. 182)

Is it better to remain ignorant rather than go beyond what God has revealed? How can we avoid being presumptuous like this?

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