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God and Explanation

January 21, 2010

Can God be explained? Is there enough information to ever adequately remove any doubts that someone might have about God? I don’t think so. Not even close. The recent earthquake in Haiti is just a reminder that no amount of explaining will do.

How would you explain it? Why didn’t God step in and stop it? Do you say creation is broken because of the fall? Doesn’t God have authority over his creation? Are you saying He couldn’t do anything about it? You could ask someone if they are able to keep their own children from every scratch or bruise. Yes but I’m not God. You could even point out the spoiled rotten brats that come from over protective parents but if a person believes it is the parent’s job to be over protective, well don’t even bother with that explanation.

No, no amount of explanation will do in the end because no explanation can ever cover all of our questions.

But guess what, there is hope. You see I don’t think God needs our explanations.

When Moses asked God how he should explain him to His people God said tell them “I AM WHO I AM.”

Can you imagine all the questions? Explanations? “Where have you been God?” “Why did you allow us to be enslaved for all of these years?” “Why did you allow us to have such a heavy burden put on us?” “Why did you allow them to kill so many children?”

The list of explanations could go on and on and yet God said tell them I AM WHO I AM. No this is where I’ve been, no this is the plan I am working on for my people. Nothing, just a statement that says I am God, a statement that I am the God of your fathers.

Why do we feel so defensive about God? Is it because we think it looks foolish? He doesn’t seem particularly defensive at all. I am God, take me or leave me, your choice. No explaining the grand plan. No attempt to help people understand why this would happen.

I realize this probably isn’t a popular position but it does seem to be Gods. I created the heavens and the earth, I put something inside you that says I exist. If you decide to reject me so be it.

In Romans 1:18-32 Paul says that God’s attributes are plain to see. He says people are without excuse. Paul goes on to explain that God, far from trying to explain every little misunderstanding, gave the people over to their desires.

Yes, Peter shares that God wants all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and yes God does love us, but could it be it is us who are misguided when we think explanations will do? Could it be that all of our attempts at explaining don’t bring this about and actually make it less likely? Is the God who has to jump threw our hoops really God at all?

I can’t explain Haiti, or Katrina, or why a close friend even lost his job. I could try, but in the end He is I AM and since I believe that, that will have to do.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 12:11 am

    Darin, while I agree that it is impossible for us to explain God to someone, I do believe that we are called to share how an aspect of God in the form of Christ has forever changed our lives. We may not be able to summarize it in a neat, tidy explanation, but through our actions, expressions, and passions God can use us to reveal himself to someone else in ways that mere words would never suffice. During most of my lifetime as an atheist, it always disappointed to come across Christians that wanted me to believe in their God, yet the only reason they could give me was that, “Sometimes you just have to have faith.” God and his Word call us to faith with action. If we can’t show others how God has transformed us and given us new life through Christ Jesus, how can we really expect unbelievers to think twice about our stories?

  2. January 24, 2010 8:49 pm

    Dave,

    Sorry I have not commented. My grandmother is in the hospital and so it was a busy week.

    Good feedback. If Christians were so disappointing, what moved you?

  3. January 24, 2010 11:11 pm

    Darin, sorry to hear about your grandmother. I hope she is doing better now.

    To answer your question about Christians, I think it I have to respond in two parts. The first part is that God surrounded me with believers through my work that while they weren’t necessarily preaching the gospel to me, some were in prayer that God would reveal himself to me although at the time I never that. Second part is that it took God to reveal himself to me before I would fully understand who he was. I heard his voice speak to me one day in a way that it undeniably was God. Please keep in mind that my disappointment at the time of my being an atheist was because I put my trust in man and man will always disappoint some time. With that said, I do believe it is our responsibility to share our faith in ways that others can come to know Christ, as there is a world of people out there living outside of the knowledge of eternal grace and love that need to put their trust in a Savior, yet they don’t comprehend what that means.

  4. January 25, 2010 3:04 pm

    Dave,

    Thanks for sharing. I ask because I too was disillusioned with believers when I was not saved. Like you I found myself broken, trying to run my own show wasn’t working. I was slipping into depression and I cried out. Like you I had an experience that was supernatural that could not be explained.

    I think the point is still valid because it wasn’t any argument that opened my heart, it was me willing to surrender.

    I believe we have to be there, showing Jesus, willing to share our faith, but that only works if they are ready to ask.

    Thanks for sharing. How is your work going?

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