Knowing God Outside of Jesus

Because I am in the middle of a Knowing God study, I have been thinking a lot lately about how we “know God” and the limitations in that quest for none Christians and even for Christians who go the extra-biblical route. There are two scriptures that form the boundaries of my thinking: John 14:6, where Jesus says “No one comes to the Father except through me” and Romans 1:19-20, where Paul argues the Romans are without excuse since “what can be known about God is plain to them” using creation itself.

The for me issue is where are the limits and what are the accepted paths of inquiry. Paul cautions the Corinthians in 1 Cor 1:20-21 about worldly wisdom, which to my reading would include philosophy, science, apologetics (if it is done using logic and debate), and all other efforts of “human wisdom.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

The current issue I am exploring is how to reconcile the Romans argument with the Corinthian warning. If God has revealed himself in his creation and that is enough to understand the demands that God makes on us, how does God’s making the wisdom of the world (specifically the science and philosophy that apprehends that creation) foolish, still allow for the validity of Paul’s rebuke of the Romans?

I am just beginning this exploration, but I have an intuitive sense that it is an important key to what I want to know in life, especially about the boundaries and limits of that effort.

  2 comments for “Knowing God Outside of Jesus

  1. Keith
    December 10, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t take the two views as mutually exclusive. Although common sense and science and philosophy may be tools that can reveal God, they can also be tools to obscure him on purpose, which is more what I consider the “wisdom of this world.” Common sense may lead you to believe in God through your observations of the grandeur of nature. And there is certainly evidence there, but the world interprets the evidence to support its own agenda, which is why worldly wisdom is opposed to God. The world uses the tools to say Evolution, Narcissism, Global Warming. Its not the tools themselves that are the wordly wisdom, but the way the world wields the tools to oppose God…

  2. January 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

    My only additional thought is that while all those things my lead you to accept God exists, even Satan knows God exists, they do nothing to bring you to salvation. That is spiritually discerned, as are the arguments for salvation.

    There is an eternity of differences between believing God exists and understanding the demands of salvation (re: John 3).

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