For quite some time I have been caught up in the process of trying to get to the truth. Psychologists recognize that our minds crave certainty; we tend to require a ground on which to stand. And it is on this path that I have explored, searching the myriad of opinions so that I may arrive at something solid.
In watching a debate between a theologian and an atheist, I was disappointed. I found myself more in sympathy with the atheist than the theologian, given that the atheist had some very reasonable questions. It felt a little like reading Job, like those religious voices who assumed to know why Job was suffering. Except in this case you had a person who has reached the conclusion that there cannot be a God, and another person who attempts to suggest on the grounds of reason why there is.
And I realized why I was disappointed and sympathetic towards the atheist. God cannot be naturalized. God is utterly unreasonable. Debates about God are doomed to failure.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians about this, and it’s captured beautifully in The Message translation:
We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! (1 Corinthians 13:9-12 The Message)
That puts to shame anyone who suggests that they have arrived at truth, or suggests that we can find words that perfectly express the nature and ways of God. We’re lost in the unfathomable mysteries of God, such that we are squinting in a fog and peering through a mist.
So I make Paul’s words at the end of this chapter my prayer:
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 The Message)