Thursday, August 8, 2013

Is God Rational?

As most of you know, I am in a new (for me) Christian environment, so I spend much of the time listening and learning, and only occasionally asking a question or offering a comment. 
And, as you would also know, being more of an observer than a leader in a Bible study setting is also very new to me.  :-)

In a recent Bible study discussion on God and the possibility that He might, or might not, be involved in our personal lives, it was suggested that we must be rational when formulating our ideas about God and the ways He operates.
Being the observer that I have currently chosen to be, I allowed that suggestion to go without question or comment, and the discussion headed off in another direction.

I know you find that action (or inaction) on my part hard to believe, because you know how God has been involved in our lives over several decades in ways that are impossible to describe as rational.

But I will break my silence here. 

The ways in which God has shifted us around the country, the miracles we have been privileged to see in our various adventures and ministries, and the way He has brought us through several family challenges, all point to a God who intervenes in lives in ways that refuse to be restricted by mankind's sense of rationality.

But let me generalise beyond my personal experience, so we can all address this question together.

God's grace is nowhere near rational.
Is it rational, can we really comprehend, that the Creator of this universe extends grace and mercy in such awesome measure as He has and does towards such a wayward and rebellious humanity?

Christ's resurrection is not rational - nor will ours be.
Is it rational that God's forgiveness is given to all without any performance or sacrifice on our behalf, but solely as a result of Christ's death and resurrection?

Christ's teaching is often not rational either.
For example, He tells us to .....

  • forgive without limit - yet a rational mind would declare there are some things that are unforgivable, and some forgiven people will never change their offensive behaviour but seek to take advantage of us.
  • be at peace with all - yet a rational mind would suggest that violence and evil will run rampant when surrounded by such a pacifist mindset.
  • give unstintingly to the poor and needy - yet a rational mind would suggest that too much of that will only encourage some people not to work or even try to get a job.
  • love our enemies and do good to them - yet a rational mind would such that such a response would encourage our enemy to totally destroy us.
For me, God is way beyond rational.
To create this enormous universe out of nothing is way beyond rational itself, let alone His dealings with it and those He created to populate and manage it.

"Rational" belongs to our limited, but logical, way of thinking - not to God's.
We can't confine God to the same size box most of humanity lives in.

Let's continue to look for the irrational, the supernatural, from the God who loves, forgives and sustains us without limit.
Blessings, Barry

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