Last week we end­ed with a very impor­tant ques­tion: How can mere knowl­edge’ be stead­fast­ly trans­formed into authen­tic knowl­edge of God? Let’s explore this ques­tion in this week’s blog. The ques­tion we’ve asked is a big one. Any sat­is­fy­ing answer, it seems, will include at least two sig­nif­i­cant elements.

First, it will include hon­est, hum­ble repen­tance. As we approach the God who has freely and lov­ing­ly giv­en him­self to us, we do well to draw near with great humil­i­ty, much like Moses approach­ing the burn­ing bush in the wilder­ness (Exod. 3). For like Moses, we tread on holy ground, where every form of dis­hon­esty, pos­tur­ing, and self-reliance is struck down. Before the holi­ness of God, we’re called to open­ly acknowl­edge who we are as human beings: our capa­bil­i­ties, our glo­ries, our oppor­tu­ni­ties, but also our lim­i­ta­tions, our frail­ties, and yes, our sins. 

We are cre­at­ed for the knowl­edge of God, but present­ly we are bent and wound­ed – skewed by our dis­pro­por­tion­ate desire for less­er goods and our twist­ed crav­ing for a mul­ti­tude of evils. Com­pre­hend­ing the incom­pre­hen­si­ble God is no longer nat­ur­al to us. Instead, our cor­rup­tion – linked by Paul and Peter to our evil desires (Eph. 4:22, 2 Peter 1:4) – demands the regen­er­a­tion and the rad­i­cal reori­en­ta­tion of our minds and hearts. 

Sec­ond, entrance into the knowl­edge of God will include bold, faith-filled hope. As trou­bled as our con­di­tion is, God’s mer­ci­ful invi­ta­tion to draw near is still extend­ed in love to his cracked image-bear­ers. I, by your great love, can come into your house; in rev­er­ence I bow down toward your holy tem­ple” (Ps. 5:7). The mar­vel of the gospel for those who wel­come it is this: through the won­der of the per­son and work of Jesus Christ, God for­gives, heals, redeems, and restores his image-bear­ers. Life­less hearts begin beat­ing. Hard­ened eardrums become sup­ple, res­onat­ing to the tonal qual­i­ties of divine speech. Long-blind eyes regain their sight. Con­fused minds begin to com­pre­hend. As redeemed, restored image-bear­ers, we can fol­low Christ to the Father through the Spir­it, hope­ful and con­fi­dent as we embrace the grace bestowed upon us in the cross and res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus. For now we are not only con­sult­ing the right sources of knowl­edge; we are also being formed into the right kind of know­ers, the kind made for knowl­edge of the mys­tery of God above all else. 

More con­crete­ly, this whole process may be described as an increas­ing embrace of the glo­ry inher­ent in the knowl­edge of God. To give glo­ry to God is to speak a word (logos) or to sing a song that gives glo­ry (doxa). This dox­o­log­i­cal char­ac­ter of the knowl­edge of God is its ten­den­cy to move from doc­trine to wor­ship of the liv­ing God in humil­i­ty and faith. Next week we’ll take a look at the Trans­fig­u­ra­tion of Jesus, an event that illus­trates that all knowl­edge of God includes the wor­ship of his unspeak­able, incom­pre­hen­si­ble glory. 

This series has been adapt­ed from Steven D. Boy­er and Chris Hall’s The Mys­tery of God: The­ol­o­gy for Know­ing the Unknow­able. Hun­gry for more? Please vis­it Bak­er Aca­d­e­m­ic for more information.

PC: By George Fred­er­ic Watts and work­shop — Google Cul­tur­al Insti­tute, zoom lev­el max­i­mum Tate Images, Pub­lic Domain, https://​com​mons​.wiki​me​dia​.org/…

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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