Is it nice to think you know everything, or a terrible burden to think you have to?
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In Past Years...
It’s nice to think I know everything, but it would be a terrible burden if I thought I had to. ;-)
When it comes to events that happened 2000+ years ago, written down in 3rd, 4th…nth hand accounts, “certainty” is among the last words I would use. A reasonable “confidence” seems more appropriate to religious belief. One thing I’m confident of is that no greater love can be described than someone giving his life for another, for the sake of love.
It would seem to me that we can be certain about God, but not in our own strength or will to know him. I can be certain about God because in Christ he knows me, not because my assumptions and reasoning are superior to others.
This leads me to have a degree of humility about my knowledge but it does not make the task of learning meaningless. Rather knowing God and his ways becomes an amazing pursuit. Certainty may be one way to express confidence in God but it is often misinterpreted as blind dogmatism. Confidence is certainly a good word to describe it but I would say in some ways it is beyond reasonable. God and his wisdom have a transcendent quality that surpasses our reason. Yet his immanence bids us to use our intelligence and reason to discover more. While at times we may construct our understanding in unhelpful ways, as it falls down we then begin to discover more of God and his goodness.
In my estimation it is not so much that certainty is a problem but pride. 1 Cor 8:1 – Knowledge puffs up but love builds up.