Chuck Norris and Divine Incomprehensibility

Posted: August 18, 2014 in General Presup Issues

Chuck Norris used to define cool. In retrospect his greatness seems to have been embarrassingly overplayed. We chuckle at how over-the-top his characters were.

This phenomenon has sparked a popular line of Chuck Norris jokes. The man can (and has) done everything. In fact, the more outlandish and impossible a feat claimed for Norris, the funnier the joke. For instance:

Chuck Norris can kick slam a revolving door.

or:

If Chuck Norris falls into the water, he doesn’t get wet, the water gets Chuck Norris.

One of my favorites (and a great introduction to a theological point) is:

Chuck Norris counted to infinity, TWICE!

This is obviously impossible for the average man. We can’t count to infinity even once. Everyone understands this; that’s why the joke is funny. No human will ever be able to count to infinity due to our finitude. No human will ever be able to intimately describe what “infinity” is like when reached. At best we can describe what it might be like by way of analogy. “Infinity is kind of like this, or kind of like that.”

However the concept is described it will never be described in a familiar way. We’ll never know infinity in exhaustive terms. At best we can only know certain things about it that have been revealed to us.

This same concept, when applied to God, is known as the Doctrine of Divine Incomprehensibility. To understand Van Til’s apologetic methodology, it is vital to grasp this. Logic, math, science, and rational thought of all kind are LIKE God’s thoughts, but not exactly like them. We’ll never know what true logic, true math, true science, or true rational thought really are like since we can never know them exhaustively.

This isn’t to say we can’t know these things in truth. We know all sorts of true things about infinity; but we’ll never be able to count to it.

Unless we’re Chuck Norris…

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