Thursday, January 28, 2010

We will never know everything about God. Really???

There is always a classical theology paradox which presupposes that man can NEVER know everything about God. While this may be absolutely true, I react to the logical repercussion in biblical interpretations that make that cliche a fallback for a lack of understanding of divine revelation.

Recall at least 2 key verses to expound this point.

Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV) states, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law".

Classical interpretations put too much emphasis on the first part of the verse, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God" and almost totally disregard the profound implications of the second part of that wonderful verse, "but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law"!

The "things revealed TO US (to Moses, to Israel, the Old Testament, even the New Testament!)" BELONG(!!!) to us! Belong means WE OWN IT! Belong means we SHOULD master it, we should be or have "doctorates" in it. For the things revealed, there should be no gray areas, no mysteries, no excuses!

Hence, man should be able to KNOW EVERYTHING about God in the very aspects of God that He has explicitly revealed in Scripture. The problem with the classical excuse is that it proposes to beg ignorance in all the so-called mysteries like the Trinity, God's Love, God's jealousy, God's change of mind in numerous occasions in Scripture when IN FACT, they have already been explicitly REVEALED or UNRAVELED, if you will. If you have been a reader of this blog, all of this items have been unequivocally addressed without excuses, and without any arrogance for that matter. Of what practical use is revelation if not much is revealed? What kind of logic proposes that revelation from the Divine can never be completed without completely insulting the Source of Revelation as lacking in communicating abilities????

A very important sub-point in the second part of that verse is that our "complete" understanding of God's revelation is the very foundation or basis for correct and true obedience to God's word, as well as the solid foundation for our faith to work. If we fail to interpret God's revelation correctly, then our obedience is not well-founded and may even redound to or be utter disobedience. Our faith will always have lingering doubts. The biggest interpretive failure in classical theological discussions is to deny that there is one correct interpretation of God's explicit revelations. This makes them doubly accountable to God for fundamentally teaching the wrong material and content of Scripture by leaving the right interpretation in limbo and dismissing things as "mysteries", that we will never know God or His will.

The second verse is one of my favorites, Jeremiah 9:23, 24:
23 This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
24 but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD.

If we were to boast of anything or any accomplishment in this life, the Lord does not place much value in either wisdom, strength or power, or riches. What God values is that we UNDERSTAND and KNOW Him. Let us apply some common-sense logic to the assumptions of this verse.

First, God will never expect of us anything that we can NEVER do as humans. Obviously, knowing and understanding Him is NOT nor NEVER something we cannot do! It is, IN FACT, something we can DO and accomplish and even COMPLETE in this life! Think about it.

Second, God specified which areas of theology or "knowing God" we should be able to COMPLETELY know in this life. They are God's (loving-)kindness [kheced], justice (or judgment) [mishpat], and righteousness [tsadaqah]. According to this verse, if we know these three aspects of God, AND WE SHOULD, then we can claim to KNOW and UNDERSTAND GOD!!! [As a footnote, we should therefore avoid Bible teachers who never talk about sin and judgment or righteousness. Most modern day teachers simply dwell of knowing love and nothing else, that is not the complete revelation of God.]

Third, God declares that it is His particular DELIGHT that we know and understand Him in these specific areas. What better emphasis can anyone put than the very words that God used in this verse!

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