Thursday, April 7, 2011

Who can know the mind of God?

What is worse; old pastors who are “set in their ways”, or young, upcoming ones who act like they know the mind of God?!

The church in the Western world, especially in America, seems to have an over-abundance of young and even gifted pastors and prophets who purport to know and disseminate the “truth”. They preach, write books and make videos . . . they “blog” too! And, they also go to “war” with one another, each claiming to have “cornered” the real truth of God.

All the while, older and even brighter minds, (Polkinghorne, Wright, Willard, e.g. and others), remain humble and charitable about such matters. They point to all we don’t know about God, (which is infinitely more than we do know), and caution us to be very careful, lest we get pumped up, or worse yet, lost in our own “secret knowledge”. Yes, secret knowledge! Some who claim to have the “truth” may actually be slipping into the way of Gnosticism?!

Do I prefer those old pastors who are “set in their ways”? Well, no not really, but I do prefer those, old and young alike, who are “set” upon the WORD of God first and foremost, those who “sit” under the Word and seek to be taught by the Spirit of Christ as they do. Young men, self-proclaimed shepherds of the Word, would do well to take heed from Thomas a’ Kempis who wrote a “handbook” for young apprentices of Christ, The Imitation of Christ, wherein humility and simplicity are the dominant themes.

For, who indeed can know the mind of God? Job 38-41 contains “instruction” from the LORD God on such matters! Phew! If that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, I don’t know what will?! But, I suppose God could arrange something? So, young guns, er, I mean guys (and maybe some gals too), I enjoy your “explorations” but try to keep humility and charity in your hearts please!

One thing I have learned from John Polkinghorne, N.T. Wright, Dallas Willard and others of similar ilk is that we know very little about God. Oh, we know “enough” for His purposes and ours, but He will always remain a Great Mystery as well. And, further, much of what has been revealed are only “signposts” pointing to an even greater truth. Once again, this revelation should serve to keep us humbled.

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