January 8, 2016
Can you imagine someone 200 years ago telling you that they could write the entire Bible on something the size of your fingernail and anyone could read it? You would probably think, “No way! No one could write that tiny. That’s impossible.”
Of course, your paradigm would not include the microchip because the technology hadn’t been invented yet. Your understanding of the world lacked 160 years of discovery, invention, and innovation.
Reducing Reality to Our Understanding
Our understanding of the world around us, the world in us, and the world that awaits us, is limited by the time and space that we find ourselves in. The mistake we often make is that we reduce reality to our understanding, and reject anything that we can’t currently explain.
This dynamic takes place in all walks of life, but it is especially prevalent in science and theology.
Is There a Hell?
A great example of this is our understanding of hell. Many times I have heard pastors say, “How could a loving God send people to hell?” Then they begin to reinterpret the Bible through their current understanding of the Love of God and the nature of Jesus. Usually this leads them to decide that there can’t be a hell because the concept is incongruent with their current revelation of God.
When we lean on our own understanding, we reduce reality down to our own experience. You rationalize that if you can’t understand it, or you haven’t experienced it, then it can’t be true. This thinking is flawed from a number of perspectives:
1. It reduces truth down to your own experience and ignores the experiences of 7.2 billion other people on the planet.
Ask yourself the question, “Is it possible that somebody else on the planet knows something or has experienced something before you have?”
2. It assumes that if God is doing something in the universe then He would certainly tell you or show you first.
3. It lives under the pretense that everything that is true has already been discovered or revealed.
It’s easy to see the flaws in this thinking in science alone much less theology. Remember, it was God himself who said, “… that in the last days the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.” In other words, God is going to reveal His secrets that are as broad as the sea and as deep as the ocean. The point is, there’s still lots to learn!
4. There are many things in the world that you believe in and yet you don’t understand.
Most of us drove a car before we understood how it operated. I don’t know anyone who refuses to use air conditioning because they don’t understand how it works.
Furthermore, most of us believe things like the earth revolves around the sun through blind faith. Somebody smarter than us discovered this to be true and we trust them, therefore we believe them. A very small percentage of the earth’s population has actually gone through the trouble of verifying that this is actually a fact.
In other words, ALL of us exercise faith every day, at least in other people. Atheists are not unbelievers! They’re just people who choose to put their faith in men instead of God. It actually takes more faith to not believe in God than it does to believe in Him.
OK Kris, where are you going with all this? I’m simply trying to point out that everyone lives by faith. You just decide who to put faith in.
Personally, I have chosen to trust God. If He says that He loves the world so much that He gave His only son, and He goes on to say that there is a hell that some people will go to; then I believe Him because I trust Him.
I can’t reconcile these two truths in my mind, nor can I explain how they coexist. But God has 100 billion years more experience than I have. Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that there are facts that have yet to be discovered by humanity that God is privy to. So what seems unreasonable in my understanding, is simply an area in which, metaphorically speaking, I lack years of technology that will explain the gap in incongruence over time.
In the meanwhile, I chose to be a Believer because I am not small minded enough to be a Facter! To be a Facter I would have to reduce my life to my understanding, which would relegate me to live in a treehouse somewhere, dressed in animal skins, and eating raw fish.
Why not put your trust in your Creator? It’s more logical than your other thoughts!
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