Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans

Sitting at Panera with my bride on a Saturday morning blogging away…

I’m reading a book by RC Sproul called The Holiness of God – considered to be a modern day classic. He introduced me to this term that I used for my blog title and I was intrigued by it.

Mysterium tremendum et fascinans (“fearful and fascinating mystery”) is a Latin phrase which Rudolf Otto uses in his book The Idea of the Holy to name the awe-some (fascinating and full of awe) mystery that was the object common to all forms of religious experience. Essentially it is the term he used to describe God’s holiness.

Fearful, fascinating, mysterious! I like that. In talking about Isaiah’s encounter with God in Isaiah 6, Sproul says this:

“He saw the holiness of God. For the first time in his life Isaiah really understood who God was. At the same instant, for the first time Isaiah really understood who Isaiah was.”

I know that I have not encountered the holiness of God as Isaiah did. I know that I need to. I need to be gripped by the fearful, fascinating, mysterious God who reveals Himself as The Holy One! I’m pretty sure that until I am I will never have the kind of walk with God that I want nor the kind of influence in ministry that I desire.

Still another way for you who are reading this to pray for me.

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