Getting comfortable with God’s mysteries By Robin Schumacher, Exclusive Columnist for The Christian Post
At least he was very polite about it.
A guy came to me some years back and told me that he and his wife wouldn’t be coming back to the class I was teaching. The reason? During a series on creation, I expressed the view that I wasn’t 100% certain how God created the universe.
He went on to say the Bible makes clear that God made everything we know in six 24 hour, literal days and that the universe was only thousands of years old. If I couldn’t accept that, he said, then he couldn’t sit under my teaching for anything else.
On the one hand, I get it. There are absolutely non-negotiables when it comes to the Christian faith. Further, we call someone a heretic when they claim to be a believer and yet depart from those core doctrines.
That said, as was in the case above, oftentimes it is not a doctrine itself being questioned but rather how God has practically gone about bringing that article of faith to life.
Of course God created the universe. But how exactly did He do it?
Of course we are saved through grace alone and Christ alone. But what’s really going on behind those salvific curtains?
Of course there is evil in the world. But how do we really square that with the existence of an all-good and powerful Creator?
Sometimes we’re given enough explicit content in God’s Word to make such determinations and get the answers we seek. But sometimes we don’t. And when that happens, we’re left in the somewhat uncomfortable position of having to live with God’s mysteries.
Avoiding two extremes
When we wade into these discussion waters, there are two extremes to avoid. One side is the “everything is a mystery” group, exemplified well by the Emergent Church movement, which we thankfully don’t hear about any longer.