The first article in the series showed that God’s existence cannot be legitimately denied by arguing against the possibility of biblical miracles. The God of infinite power that created and sustains all things can easily change how He organizes aspects of His universe to perform a “miracle.” Thus, to know that biblical miracles are impossible first requires knowing that God does not exist which, itself, requires knowing everything about everything in the universe and beyond, including every possibility. Thus, the same omniscience to know that God does not exist is required to know that the biblical miracles are impossible. We turn now to see how human limitations make worthless any appeal to theological mysteries to deny the existence of God.
Finite and fallen people necessarily face great mysteries in the face of an infinite God. For example, Scripture clearly teaches that God is a Trinity and that the Christian faith stands or falls on this marvelous truth. Yet, mystery must remain. Since no finite human being can fully plumb the depths of God’s infinite being, our limited perspective cannot possibly know that the Trinity is impossible. A God no higher than what finite and fallen people can fully grasp is no God, and certainly not the infinite and incomprehensible God of Scripture. And, to what higher authority can one appeal to say that God cannot be greater or beyond what we can fully comprehend? “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8-9 NAS).
The same applies to moral evil in a universe created by a perfectly good, all-powerful, and all-knowing God. He has clearly told us that sin has its beginning and existence in the will of created beings who, freely and without external compulsion, choose to commit sin. Yet, mystery remains and should be expected. To claim something cannot exist or be true because I cannot fully understand it or reconcile it with my limited use of logic, presumes my own understanding to be the ultimate standard of what can and cannot be true in and beyond the universe. If we could understand everything, we would be God. The same applies to all such mysteries, such as attempts to logically reconcile God’s sovereignty and foreordination with human responsibility for sin. Ironically, even the most vehement atheists will admit to great mystery surrounding the beauty, order, and immensity of the universe, including all life within it, but conveniently reject mystery when arguing against the existence of the God who created and transcends it.
True wisdom, then, humbly accepts that our finite perspective does not constitute the ultimate standard of truth in the universe. Quite the contrary, apart from the truth of God’s Word, our interpretations will go astray. True wisdom understands that if we lack the ability to know what lies on the other side of a wall without having a look, we cannot know what’s on the other side of the universe. And if we struggle with understanding what we can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, how can we speak with authority about that which lies beyond the three or four dimensions of our existence? No one by pointing to the known universe can say what an infinite God that transcends the universe can be or do. Atheists, then, cannot possibly know what they claim from their observation of the world, while their arguments based on theological difficulties do far more to affirm our profound limitations before God’s immensity than challenge the authority of Scripture or the existence of God. This elephant in the room should be acknowledged before responding to any claim of an atheist.
While we have barely scratched the surface of what could be said concerning difficult truths, the proper approach to all theological mysteries begins by admitting our infinite smallness before God’s infinite greatness. Unsolvable mysteries surround a transcendent God and will always confront fallen and finite people. Indeed, difficult and seemingly “impossible” truths taught in Scripture reveal human limitations, not problems with God and Scripture.
Scriptures marked NAS are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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