Sunday, May 22, 2005

So that we don't try to box the infinite. . .

Here's another series worth your attention: Tim Challies is writing about ways Christians try to put God in a box. In last week's introductory post, Tim relates a story of dams and waterways as an analogy of how Christians try to build barriers around God, "seeking to constrain Him within a system of theology." Yet at bottom we must approach God with humility, because much of his nature and workings are unknown, if not unknowable. Here's a sample of Tim's introductory article:

There is a difficulty inherent in attempting to define what is indefinable. The barrier is language. How can a finite mode of communication such as words, do justice to what is infinite? In truth, it cannot. Words cannot adequately express who God is and how He works . . . .

Thus we need a spirit of humility as we approach the Word of God, knowing that it tells us many things about God, but not everything. We would do well to keep several passages in mind. "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deuteronomy 29:29). "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).

We must remember that while what He has revealed of Himself is entirely truthful, it is by no means complete.

That's a lesson in humility Christians would do well to remember. In subsequent articles Tim is writing on some of the specific forms our efforts to put God in a box may take. I recommend the series to you.


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