There is a scene in the television show “New Girl” where Nick, one of the main characters, is discussing his secrets with his new girlfriend.  One of these secrets reveals that Nick doesn’t believe in dinosaurs, as he says it, “I’ve seen the science, and I don’t believe it.”  This is a hyperbolic attempt, I think, to illustrate a profound truth about humans – We see what we want to.

I’ve come to believe more than ever before that looking for God in objective, external, mediatory forces is impossible.  When it comes to finding information, collecting it, processing it, presenting it, and interpreting it, none of us is objective.  None of us is unbiased.  Every one of us presents and interprets everything we experience in subjective ways, tainted by our presuppositions.

I do believe that there are varying degrees to which we can wade through these presuppositions, some people will of course be more skilled at doing so than others.  However, if we believe that anything can be known about subjective realities through objective means, I think we’re doomed to drift forever in the space between truth and madness, between freedom and obscurity.

Theists and atheists are both making the same mistakes in the pursuit of God (or pursuit to place his lack of existence on display).  It is not the requirements of either religion or the natural world that we only know God or nature through evidence and external means, but because of the reverberations of modernism, we have become convinced that this is so.

For my own sake, I’ve come to realize that often my attempts to present God through external apologetic arguments was as much to convince myself as it was to convince others.  I was just as guilty as the rest of the world of looking to other men to teach and guide me, and looking to the external world to validate my faith and understanding of God.  Although the Scriptures affirm that we can experience God in external things to some degree (such as Romans 1), I have become more convinced than ever that external realities place nothing more than a shadow across our path at which to marvel and wonder.  I, like many others, was trying to know God fully and truly through misguided struggles with self-preservation, and was guilty of idolizing my own mind in my ability to comprehend God and wrestle knowledge and experience of him to the ground, not in the depths of my soul but with my hands and feet and whatever other physical and external forces I could find.

But God cannot be known this way, not truly, because he chooses not to be.  For whatever reason, God moves beyond the objective realities he himself has created to reach us at a much fuller, deeper, and more worthwhile place.

When many people read the Bible with different conclusions as to its truth and beauty, and many people come to opposite conclusions about the same empirical data, it is because we are all guided by presuppositions and forced to submit to the mastery of our cultural and familial conditioning.  The only way to know God is for him, of his own will, to reach beyond all of that and hit us in a pure, undefiled, and subjective way, to lead us to experience him in ways that are absurd and uncertain and entirely unexplainable, to leave us transformed and illuminated and befuddled, and altogether at peace.  This is my very inadequate attempt to describe faith, a faith that surpasses all understanding because it cannot be attained by any understanding but that which God provides.

I value history, reason, logic, and my five senses, all gifts from God to pursue him in different ways.  But God has been working on me in a more profound sense in the past five months than ever before, and I’ve come to see that the only real way to genuine knowledge of God is faith, without which we are all simply grasping at whatever sounds best in the moment, and we are sinking in a world where the proficiency of our flawed minds is our best hope to understand reality.  It is here and here alone, in the realm of faith, where we can most truly place education, classism, cultural bias and racism, elitism, and other external concerns aside and find a truly balanced and beautiful path to knowing God.  It is here where we can look at God’s revelation of himself in the purest ways.

I used to look to history, external forces, and other humans to be my greatest guides.  I still hope to humbly submit to what they have to offer, but in the last few months, maybe truly for the first time, God has become my truest teacher, in a subjective and beautiful way, digging out from my soul all that stood in his way, and for this I am grateful.

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