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The Majesty of Mystery: Celebrating the Glory of an Incomprehensible God

ISBN: 9781577997429
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Grand Mysteries in Scripture

How can God be three and one? How can God take on a human nature? If God planned everything, how can I be responsible? Do my prayers make any difference in God’s plan? Will we finally know everything when we get to heaven?

These are questions that recognize some of the mysterious tensions that Scripture presents to us. They are good questions, but wrong answers to good questions can rob us of a full and fulfilled Christian life, and they rob God of His proper glory. Proper answers—answers that allow the mystery of God and His ways to shine brightly—will evoke in us proper worship.

In The Majesty of Mystery, seasoned professor and preacher K. Scott Oliphint encourages believers to embrace the profound mysteries at the heart of Christian faith. The Trinity, the incarnation, eternal life, God’s sovereign will and human choices—none of these are problems to be explained away or puzzles to be dismissed as irrelevant. Rather, these are grand mysteries, not contradictory but paradoxical and wonderful. The more we recognize them in the biblical story, the deeper they lead us into worshiping the incomprehensible God who faithfully reveals Himself in Scripture.

Written with deep theological knowledge and threaded with everyday implications, The Majesty of Mystery connects the dots between humanity and God, belief and practice, mystery and worship. Drawing from Reformed tradition and the Westminster Confession of Faith, Oliphint invites readers to rediscover the purpose to which all theology aims.


Praise for The Majesty of Mystery

Knowing God as He is, in all the fullness He will allow us, is the church's highest priority and greatest privilege today. Scott Oliphint's powerful exposition of the majesty of mystery is a much-needed and bracing antidote to the casual, buddy-buddy theology that is so common in our times.

—Os Guinness, author of The Call

At first when we hear that God is mysterious, we think: he’s unknowable. What Scott Oliphint argues in this extraordinary book is just the opposite. Divine mystery, as he proves from Scripture, provides the only real hope that we can know God. It is just his greatness that makes him accessible to us. God is indeed way beyond our imagination. But in his love he has ‘stooped to conquer.’ Indeed, unless mystery pervades all of life we are left with a gray, purposeless existence. This book is far from a cold theological study. It sings! When we put it down, we want to say not ‘what a great text,’ but ‘what a great and worthy God.’

—Dr. William Edgar, professor of apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

Nothing is more important about our knowledge of God than recognizing that it begins with his incomprehensibility and remains bounded by that recognition. Reflecting the results of a major area of Oliphint’s interest in his lecturing and writing over many years, a key concern of this book is to speak about the mystery surrounding God and his activity in a way that honors the way that God himself speaks to us in Scripture. Its careful, often penetrating handling of this sublime mystery is enhanced by a worshipful tone throughout. An instructive and edifying read for those wanting to grow in their knowledge of God.

Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., professor emeritus of biblical and systematic theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

Top Highlights

“In revealing Himself and His ways in the world to us, God is pointing us to our own limits as creatures. He is reminding us that He is God and we are not.” (Page 4)

“Worship is supposed to be the natural product of our knowledge and love of God.” (Page 22)

“Trusting our own way of thinking buries the biblical notion of mystery, but so does its opposite. The mystery that is the lifeblood of Christian truth is not compatible with a trust in our own minds, but neither is it compatible with a denial of the use of our minds, sometimes called ‘mysticism.’ Mysticism, in the way we’re using the term here, seeks to promote and praise a total lack of understanding and of thinking. It prizes the ineffable above all and sees reason and thinking as obstacles to true faith.” (Page 8)

“The best way to know God, the mystic would say, is to affirm that we cannot in any way really understand who he is. All that is left for us is an ‘experience’ of God.” (Page 9)

“All that we have from God, we have from His all-merciful and sovereign hand. We have it, we have it for eternity, and we do not, did not, and will not ever, deserve it; if we deserve it in any way, it would not be mercy.” (Page 24)


  • Mystery: Our Lifeblood
  • The Majesty of the Mystery of the Depth of God
  • The Majesty of the Mystery of the Three-in-One
  • The Majesty of the Mystery of the Incarnation
  • The Majesty of the Mystery of God’s Relationship to His People
  • The Majesty of the Mystery of God’s Decree and Desire
  • The Majesty of the Mystery of God’s Providence and Our Choices
  • The Majesty of the Mystery of Prayer
  • The Majesty of the Mystery of Our Eternal Joy

Product Details

  • Title: The Majesty of Mystery: Celebrating the Glory of an Incomprehensible God
  • Author: K. Scott Oliphint
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 256
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781577997429
K. Scott Oliphint

Dr. K. Scott Oliphint, PhD, is professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and the author of numerous articles and books, including Is There a Reformed Objection to Natural Theology?: A Review ArticleUsing Reason by FaithBavinck’s Realism, the Logos Principle and Sola ScripturaSomething Much Too Plain to SayEpistemology and Christian Belief, and Plantinga on Warrant. His books include The Battle Belongs to the LordReasons for FaithGod with Us, and his most recent book, Covenantal Apologetics. He’s also the coeditor of the two-volume Christian Apologetics Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader and Revelation and Reason: New Essays in Reformed Apologetics

Sample Pages from The Majesty of Mystery


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  1. Forrest Cole

    Forrest Cole


  2. Debra W Bouey

    Debra W Bouey


  3. John Kight

    John Kight


    K. Scott Oliphint is Dean of Faculty and Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Oliphint is an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and holds a PhD from WTS. Oliphint is a leading voice of Reformed apologetics and the author of numerous publications, including Christianity and the Role of Philosophy (P&R, 2013) and Covenantal Apologetics (Crossway, 2013). Most recently, Oliphint released a fascinating exploration into some of the most shadowy corners of the Christian doctrine of God in hopes of encouraging a celebratory response to the glory of his incomprehensibleness. The Majesty of Mystery: Celebrating the Glory of an Incomprehensible God is comprised of nine chapters that address questions pertaining to the trinity of God, the incarnation of God in Jesus, the relationship of between God and his people, the providence of God and human choices, etc. The book is written with the layperson in mind, and thus should be easily accessible for most to enjoy. Oliphint is convinced that "nothing should motivate true Christian worship more than the majestic mystery of God" (p. 4). It is here that readers get a glimpse into the tone and purpose of the book, and Oliphint does well to bring the readers back to this point over and over again. As Oliphint summarizes, "These are questions that recognize some of the mysterious tensions that Scripture presents to us. They are good questions, but wrong answers to good questions can rob us of a full, and fulfilled, Christian life, and they rob God of His proper glory. Proper answers-answers that allow the mystery of God and His ways to shine brightly-will evoke in us proper worship, preparing us for an eternity of worship with Him, in which, because of the majestic mystery of God's triune character, we will be 'lost in wonder, love, and praise'" (p. 14-15). The strengths The Majesty of Mystery are numerous. First, and probably foremost, Oliphint is a brilliant thinker and a capable communicator. The level of conversation generally exhausted for the topics addressed in this book tend to land outside the realm of the target audience. Oliphint has distilled and packaged an enormous amount of rich theological consideration into a rather small and approachable volume. Second, the tone, as Oliphint has set out from beginning to end, wonderfully complements the material therein. It allows the reader to move beyond the theoretical and into the throne room of God. Third, the scope of the volume is calculated and appropriately organized for a work of this nature. It is clear that Oliphint spent considerable time pondering the most relevant topics that exhibit tension, and the result allows readers to admire the mystery of God while ushering them towards practical means of worship. Much more could be said about the above, but these three, alone warrant acknowledgment here. The Majesty of Mystery: Celebrating the Glory of an Incomprehensible God by K. Scott Oliphint is a wonderful demonstration of how to move beyond theological tension to a formed doxology that stands in awe of the incomprehensibleness of God. Oliphint is clear that his treatment does not attempt to explain "exactly how these mysteries work, or even how they can be!" (p. 207). Still, it is clear, as Oliphint acknowledges, "that they are the sum and substance of our Christian lives and experience" (p. 207). Thus, rather than seek to reconcile the irreconcilable, Oliphint encourages us not simply to ignore or run away from such tensions, but to worship through them as we seek to know and love God more faithfully.
  4. Nathan Parker

    Nathan Parker


    Disclaimer: The publisher of this book provided me with a free copy of the book in exchange for a book review. Scott Oliphant's book on the Majesty of Mystery is a beautiful theological study on the person of God. Covering in-depth theological discussions such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, Oliphant takes readers on a beautifully-illustrated journey into the riches of the glory of God. Not only did this resource deepen my theological understanding of God, it drew me closer to God and deepened my personal relationship with God. I highly recommend this resource to those wishing for a solid balance between an in-depth academic-theological study of God and a resource that will make one fall even deeper in love with one's Creator and Lord.
  5. Henry Lara

    Henry Lara


    Great Resource! At first I was leery about this resource but after I started reading it, I was amazed. It inspired me to really get into the Word of God and worship my God! Glory be my God!!!


Print list price: $11.99
Save $4.00 (33%)