Let’s make this a conversational, question-and-answer blog, at least some of the time. You leave questions in the comments. I’ll respond. Sometimes, maybe, I’ll ask questions and you can respond.
I’ve found that answering questions is thrilling for me, and this will give me an opportunity to answer the questions in my email inbox which I’ve been ignoring for weeks. Ask anything: family, God, theology, child-raising, movies, accounting, directions, math homework, whatever.
I may not answer, but I’ll consider anything, and if I answer, just remember that you are more important to me than my opinions. If you disagree, I won’t be bothered, but please don’t stop being my friend.
If you’re too chicken to put your name on the question, I’m good with that – use a fake name and this email address (leaving a comment here requires an email address): firstname.lastname@example.org
The first installment begins now with a question I received from a friend in an email today.
Question: Does God know everything?
My opinion: Yes, God knows everything. I think we’re tempted to let him off the hook and minimize his knowledge because it helps us make sense of things, but doing that really just reduces him to a superhuman rather than God – the thing God must be to really be God.
In other words, the problem is ours, not his. We don’t understand how things work, so we modify the character of God to fit into our reasoning. The problem is not God, it’s our reasoning, and more so, the misunderstandings we have about God.
I prefer a big God who is in everything and knows everything. I think that’s the biblical God. I also want him to be accountable for all of the stuff that happens.
When my sister-in-law died, for example, I struggled with blaming someone for a while and ultimately ended up pointing my finger at God. If he can’t hack it, he really isn’t all that great. The buck has to stop with him. He alone has the ultimate power over life and death.
The issue, then, is that I have to be able to trust and believe in the sovereignty of a God who has the capacity to do things that I consider evil, knowing that in his view, with all things considered, things that appear to be evil can actually be good.
A simple example is disciplining a child. I promise my kids they’ll learn certain lessons while they’re in my house. The learning process might be painful – appearing evil to them – but the ultimate outcome is desirable for both of us – it is good.
I have to believe in a God who can love me and kill me at the same time. I have to believe in a God who knows about, and is intimately involved in, the lives of people suffering in horrible conditions all over the world at this moment. I have to believe that it is in his control and authority and is redeemable and being redeemed.
A God who is less than that is really kind of pathetic.