Oh, very well said! I’ve tried to get that across to people before but I think I’m going to borrow your wording for next time.
Theologic Musings: How do we reconcile science with Biblical trustworthiness?
Yes, our understanding is limited and this leads to partial misinterpretations when reading the biblical scriptures. I do not know how large part of Christians really understand this. I have discussed with believers who attack against interpretations and doctrines on the basis that they do not depend on theological interpretations or doctrines because they just read the Bible and believe it as it is. O sancta simplicitas!
I would say that the biblical scriptures include (not is) an accurate partial description of God. The message was told to people living in another kind of culture, with the language they could understand. Therefore, it partly answers to questions that are not very relevant to us and do not answer to many questions that we feel are relevant. It is like gems wrapped in an ancient cloth. We see the cloth but looking deeper into what is inside, we find the gems.
Philosophically or mathematically, our understanding about God may be very close to 0% but is not 0%. If it was 0%, we would not be discussing here. We do not need to know everything, what is needed is very elementary information about God and what He wants to tell to us.
Jerry, thank you for your positive response to my short message and sharing your experience. I hope to continue this discussion on a positive note. None of my comments is meant to be a negative criticism of anyone.
While this quotation might seem to do with time, it really does not. It refers to Exodus 3:13-15 where YHWH reveals God’s own Name, which translated is I AM, to Moses and us. Thus, what Jesus is saying that He is superior to Abraham, because He is YHWH. From this and other passages we get the Christian understanding of God as Trinity, Father, Son. and Holy Spirit, Three in One, One in Three.
I want to bring this out because. when we study the Book as the Word, we logically think of all parts of it as equal, which they are not. The New Covenant is superior to the Old.
Look at the Rich Young Ruler. He believed that Jesus was sent from YHWH, he obeyed the moral commandments, and yet he was not ready for the Kingdom of God because he did not Follow Jesus.
Christianity is not an extension of Judaism. It is based on a different Covenant. It appears to me however, that too much of evangelicalism is a legalistic extension of Judaism with a new Torah,
Where does that leave the Jews? I cannot really say how God will judge therm. Only how God reveals what YHWH expects of us Gentiles. Also, I think that Judaism has changed since the time of Jesus.
The Trinity is very important because God is too great and too complex to be known as just One. God is the Creator and Father/Abba of us all. This means that God is the Author of all valid scientific laws, but YHWH is more than that.
God is also and equally the Logos, Truth, whereby we can understand our world and the Father/Abba. Jesus is the true Good News Who demonstrated by His life that God is the God Who Relates and Abba is Love. Humans find fulfillment and salvation when they trust in Him.
God is also and equally Love/Agape, whereby humans can receive and return YHWH’s Love and share it with others and nature. The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit of Love that holds things together even when we are trying to tear them apart.
Humans are created in the Image of YHWH, so we can share in God’s power, God’s Wisdom, and Gods Love.
He tells us way more than 0% about some of his most important attributes, not that we can comprehend (as in surround) them in our understanding, but we can certainly apprehend (as in grasp) them weakly and imperfectly. He tells us way more than 0% about his sacrificial love and his triune personhood, not to mention his sovereignty and omnipotence, omniscience (of which wisdom is a large subset), omnipresence, his timelessness (or timefulness) and more. Those are certainly not nothing.
I’m sorry if I was unclear; I definitely believe that our knowledge of God is VERY important, and is the essential base on which any of us are able to form a relationship with Him. My point is only that I need to understand that I do not have full knowledge of God, and that my knowledge is so small a fraction of the totality of the God that I love that I dare not suggest that my God, whom I believe is infinite, can only relate to other humans in the same manner, with exactly the same knowledge base, as She relates to me.
The mathematical point still stands. Any finite number is mathematically indistinguishable from 0% of infinity. If you don’t believe me, look it up. And most religious wars have a significant component of the lack of understanding of how big infinity really is, with us finite humans claiming that anything that is different from what we know must be wrong. I fully accept that you know enough abut God so that you can build a proper relationship, and yes, that knowledge is important. But for any human to claim that his or her finite knowledge about God is measurable fraction of the totality that is our infinite God is inaccurate, and potentially misleading.
I have a degree in math. (Just a baccalaureate and a year of grad school – I don’t consider myself a mathematician. ; - )
God is omnipotent. That is a 100% true statement about one of his attributes that we can know.
So this quote directly refers to Exodus 3: 13 - 15, where the God calls Himself the same thing. What I believe this means, in both cases, is that the Creator has to logically exist outside of the created universe which we now understand better than the ancient Jews could have understood. The universe is not just the “stuff” (matter and energy) in space, moving along in a uni-directional flow through time. The universe is all that “stuff”, plus the laws of physics by which that stuff moves around, and even the dimensions of space and time in which the stuff exists. God the Creator exists outside of the creation, which is why He calls Himself, “I AM.” God exists before, during, and after the entire created universe exists.
Please note that the percentage of the total being such a small number that it cannot be explicitly calculated as a finite number does not say anything about the truth of any of the statements. And I do believe that my (admittedly infinitesimal part of the total infinity of God) is true, or I wouldn’t believe it! What I do not claim is that I know how God relates to any other human, or other denizen of His universe in some far away environment, if such creatures exist. That is, God is so big that She can relate to others in a different way from how He relates to me.
I also do appreciate your belief in an omnipotent God; I do believe that God gets to do whatever God wants to do.
It’s binary. He is either omnipotent or he is not. 100% or 0%.
That is not true. If being omnipotent means that God absolutely controls all power, then God is not. However, God is the Source of all power, which God freely shares with God’s Created order.
Knowlege is relational. It cannot be evaluated on a percentile basis.
Try and get an apprehension, an appreciation of God’s omnitemporality. It’s a wonderful mystery that lets him be absolutely sovereign, omnipotent, while allowing a dynamic relationship with us that absolutely does not countermand our free will. Remember Judas. It’s relational. We agree.
Actually, as a computer systems engineer, I frequently had to evaluate percentage of knowledge. If you mean that meaning is more important than volume, then I would admit that percentage of meaning captured in a subset of some set of knowledge is more difficult to determine, though any good systems engineer can calculate a number for anything. (What the number means, and whether there is any ambiguity, or even the ambiguity is so large that the number doesn’t carry any significant meaning is another matter.)
God’s can. He is omniscient. It’s binary. All or not. 100% or 0%. It is also relational.