Thursday, December 20, 2012


Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! (Romans 11:33)

Amazing feats of architecture built to God's glory.
"What do you do when you enter one of the great cathedrals?" asks Dr. John Patrick of Ottawa's Augustine College. "You do two things. You look up. And you lower your voice."

The cathedral is awe-inspiring because it infuses within us a reverence for all that is beautiful and strong and bigger than we.
What is a cathedral, after all, but a beautiful fortress which honors the majesty of our Creator/Redeemer?
The cathedral makes us look up and ponder what is above us. The cathedral humbles us and hushes us and reminds us of how small we are,
How our own words, our own accomplishments, are of little import.
The cathedrals were built in times when men feared the God they served,
When they saw Him as sovereign, as omnipotent, as omniscient,
When they understood that He is inscrutable.

In this day of the church building thrown together with the metal roof in the industrial park...
I have to wonder if our buildings are reflective of how small our view of God has become...

I have a hunch about good doctrine.
I suspect that right doctrine, all that is true about God, will do three things:
It will make God big.
It will make man small.
It will comfort the Saints.

And what we believe about God will ground us--or not--when times of testing come.
And they will come,
Because that is life.

Today, the nation is reeling from the Sandy Hook shootings.
I shrug at the philosophical ponderings of the world.
They are insights offered by blind men.
They are meaningless.
Worse, they do nothing to assuage the suffering, the unfathomable grief, of twenty-two families who will bury twenty-two tiny coffins this week.

But I am utterly appalled by what is being said by some 'believers.'
We are the stewards of the Truth.
And we had jolly well better tell the truth about our King.

This is God we are talking about.
His ways are inscrutable.
Beyond our understanding.
Impervious to our scrutiny.
God is not on trial here.
He can never be on trial.
He does things we don't understand.
And He owes us no explanation.

It's not that we are charging him with wrongdoing.
But we are trying to civilize Him.
And that is making Him small.
We say ignorant things about Him,
Things like, "He didn't know the future."
So much for God's omniscience.
Or, "He cannot intervene against mans' choices."
So much for God's sovereignty.
Or, "God cannot stop the power of evil in the world."
So much for God's omnipotence.

Know this.
God could have stopped Sandy Hook.
He didn't.
But it's not because He is anything less than omniscient.
Or sovereign over all choice.
Or omnipotent over all power.
Not for one moment did He blink.
Not for one moment of all eternity did He not know this day was coming.
Not for one moment has His perfect plan been derailed or even sidetracked.
Not for one moment has He ever been outsmarted or overpowered by evil.

And everything, absolutely everything, is right on schedule.
The Saints should take comfort in that.

Don't try to civilize God.
Don't even try to make Him understandable.
You'll only succeed at making Him small.

For shame, parents, if your explanation of Sandy Hook makes God small in the eyes of your children.
For shame, pastors, if your explanation of Sandy Hook makes God small in the eyes of your flock.
For shame, Church, if your doctrine renders God impotent,
And man significant,
And chips away at the sure foundation beneath the Saints.

He defies explanation.
That's what makes Him God
and you human.
Look up.
And lower your voice.

Your little mind, and mine, will never be able to fully comprehend the ways of God.
Don't ever be arrogant enough to think we will.