Donald Miller – Infinite complexity


How much can we actually know about God and His creation?

I suppose the answer to this question depends on the perspective from which you consider it.

As for me, I like Donald Miller’s take on the question in a recent post on his blog:

When we begin believing there are simple explanations for the happenings of the universe, we are in dangerous territory. Physics is not simple. The complex nature and enormity of the universe is not simple, the ecosystem is not simple and so forth. So when I hear a theologian or philosopher talk about how simple reality is, I know He’s not talking about anything God made. When you analyze God’s art, it is not simple, it is extremely complex. In fact, the more we know about our reality, the more we understand it’s infinite intricacy.

We like simple explanations of reality because we like control. We want to stuff the complexity of the world into our little minds because if we can hold it all in our minds, there is no mystery. But God did not give us control over the complexity of the cosmos. He gave us limited control over ourselves, and those whom it is appropriate we care for, children and so forth. We get to choose where we pee, for instance. And to some degree we get to choose where our children pee. What we don’t get to control is who goes to heaven and who doesn’t.

In my twenties, I thought I understood God. I read a book or two and then believed my limited knowledge of God was all-encompassing. I defended my understanding of God with passion and even anger. I’d associated my identity with my answers and defended them as though they were part of my redemption, part of the portfolio I’d eventually show God that might impress Him so He’d let me into heaven. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to believe I don’t know everything about God. And not only that, I’ve had to admit and confess my desire to know everything about God was really about control. God does not give us comprehensive knowledge about all things.

Read the full article here.

For the record, I love the G.K. Chesterton quotation he uses:

“…mathematicians go mad, not poets, because mathematicians try to build a bridge across the infinite, while poets swim in the sea.”

Any thoughts?

Picture by Robert Sontheimer

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