Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness; He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ~ I Timothy 3.16
In a world of science and proofs and self-evident truths, we serve a God of mystery.
We claim to know God, to understand His character, but the truth is that our God is unknowable. Even as we speak what we know to be true about God, we do not understand how those truths work, how they relate to God, how they fit together.
There are words in the Bible, stories and descriptions about God that make me uncomfortable. Verses and paragraphs I would rather push aside or gloss over because I do not know how to explain them.
Our churches train us to prove, to argue, to set forth evidence for God. They train us to thoroughly explain His character, to make rational aspects of His works.
Yet our churches are trained by our culture. Our culture that says that knowledge is power. It says that what is worth anything is knowable, what is valued is quantifiable.
…the important truths, that knowledge is power, that knowledge is safety, and that knowledge is happiness. ~ Thomas Jefferson
As children, we understood that there was mystery in our world and it stirred and excited something deep within us. As adults, we become knowers, seeking to understand all things.
Childhood is motivated by wonder, and the task of adulthood is not to eliminate wonder but to expand it. ~ Ken Myers
Some find the idea of mystery frightening, wanting to know and to understand. Don’t we know God as revealed in His Word and in Christ?
Our attempt to speak confidently of God in the face of modern skepticism, a skepticism we suspect also grips our lives as Christians, betrays a certainty inappropriate for a people who worship a crucified God. ~ Stanley Hauerwas
Yes, we know God and we know things about God. Knowing, however, means more than just intellect. It is much deeper than that. The full revelation of God does not make us want to list the things we know, to produce a dissertation full of facts about God.
Rather, the full revelation of God makes us want to bow in worship of the One who is mystery.