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.

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