The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church

Is revelation an intentional barrier?

In Chapter Three of The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, Lossky says this:

“Revelation sets an abyss between the truth which it declares and the truths which can be discovered by philosophical speculation. If human thought guided by the instinct for truth – which is faith, though confused and uncertain – could, apart form Christianity, grope its way towards certain notions that approximated to the Trinity, the mystery of God in Trinity remains inscrutable to it.”

I haven’t spend much time on the concept of revelation; I will have to come back to this. However, this seems to put intention in the barrier between God and mankind. 

I find this difficult. Now, perhaps he is saying that without mystical intention I could not approach the mystery of the Trinity, however, I do not understand why any human, set apart from all others, could not, guided by the instinct for truth, grope its way to the mystery of God in Trinity.

And if it is a question of revelation – if God has set a barrier between us and our understanding of his mysteries, and only he can part this veil, what is the purpose of mystical theology? A gesture? Unless my understanding of revelation is different (and, as I said, I have no theology of revelation) than that of Lossky, this paragraph is insurmountable.

To me this is an intentional gnostic barrier between God and man. We should need no special knowledge to see across this abyss.

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