“God is ineffable! We can’t possibly hope to know anything about God!”
He said this to try to poke holes in the arguments for knowing God personally and wanted to provide a basis for Religious Pluralism. He argued that, essentially, we’re all in the dark, with regard to knowing God. We are incapable of knowing anything about Him. That’s what he was getting at.
Let’s consider this: If God really is ineffable, how do we know that He is ineffable? Being able to categorize something or someone as “ineffable” requires some knowledge about that thing or person…otherwise, how would we be able to accurately categorize those things as being “ineffable”?!
One requires some knowledge of God in order to make this claim, and if one has some knowledge of God in order to make this claim, then is God really ineffable? Ineffability, is itself, a descriptive quality. Thus, the statement, “God is ineffable” doesn’t really make sense.
And yet, the question of how much we can actually know about God is a legitimate one. How are we, finite mortals, able to claim that we can know God and make definitive claims about His nature? Well, we can know God because He has taken the initiative in revealing Himself to us in comprehensible ways.
We can know about God through creation:
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.” -Psalm 19:1-2
The beginning of the universe and its incredible fine-tuning, the amazing biological complexity that is evidenced in the storehouses of information which we call “DNA”, the existence of objective morality…all of these point to God. God has not left us in the dark about His existence.
Moreover, we can know God through Christ.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” -Hebrews 1:1-3
The Incarnation is God’s clearest way of speaking to mankind. Through Christ we can know the love of God, the mercy of God, the justice of God, and the wrath of God (towards sin). Christ is the greatest expression of God’s love for mankind. Christ is the clearest image of God to mankind. Christ makes effable the ineffable.