This article addresses the potential theological impact that the beatific vision might have regarding the (in)visibility of the triune God. First, we will consider the roots of the doctrine of divine invisibility within the classical theological tradition. Second, we should turn to the biblical promise of the beatific vision and the ways in which its scriptural exposition touches upon the divine character. Third, we will unpack the Trinitarian shape of God’s (in)visibility. Fourth, then, we will be in a position to reflect upon the claims that God is invisible and visible, their theological merits, and their synthetic relations.
Wolfhart PannenbergSystematic Theology (trans. Geoffrey Bromiley; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans1998) 3:577. He also offers an oblique reference to how the phrase “entering into” in Mt 5:8 likely refers to the vision of God (528 fn 7).
Wolfgang MusculusLoci communes sacrae theologiae (3rd ed.; Basel: Johann Herwagen1573) I.iii; ET: Commonplaces of Christian Religion (London: R. Wolfe 1563) 8. See Richard A. Muller Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy ca. 1520 to ca. 1725 Volume 3: The Divine Essence and Attributes (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic 2003) 299.
See D.A. CarsonThe Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans1991) 129–130. Carson traces the terminology of Exod. 34:6–7 (hesed and ʾemet) through the Old Testament Septuagint and into intertestamental Judaism.