Love God with all of your Mind!
Recently, through a message at church, I have been thinking about the difficulties of understanding the Bible. As Peter says, "There are some things in them (Paul's writings) that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures." (2 Peter 3:16)
Although God's Word is in its essence a book with a simple message, the foundations are anything but soft and easy to understand. Paul told the church at Corinth, "Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature." (1 Cor. 14:20) God does not want us to settle for "easy believe-ism", He want us to press onto really know Him; at least as much as it is possible for us to do so. God wants us, more than anything else, to love Him - and to love Him with all of our minds. (Mark 12:30)
That being said, there are a number of very difficult questions that need to be thought about and answered in the pursuit of trying, to some extent, to KNOW God and His ways with our minds, as He commands us to do. We need to pursue theology not as a game, but with great reverence and prayer and humility and diligence. A more weighty work does not exist. It is not a mere head-game. The following are some questions that I feel are important for us to think about in this pursuit.
First, questions for Arminians:
1. What made you or makes you smarter or wiser than those who reject Christ or never do seek for God in the first place?
2. If God wants all people to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), why doesn't He ultimately make that happen?
3. Why does God make my free-will more important than whether I go to hell or not?
Next for Calvinists:
1. Why does God predestine only some to heaven but most to hell for an eternity?
2. If God wants all people to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), why doesn't He ultimately choose for that to happen?
3. Why does God make His glory more important than whether I go to hell or not?
In immature circles these questions are sometimes asked as a hammer to show how foolish the other side is. This is obviously not what God would want. However, like I said above, I believe He wants us to press on to know Him and take these questions seriously. By knowing Him better, we can love Him more and help others to know Him and love Him more also. We can be more sensitive (through the struggle!) to those who do not see things exactly the same way we do. We can love both Calvinists and Arminians, or those in-between, with an understanding that we are all on a journey to know God and love God. But let's not forsake the habit of pressing on to know Him through His Word! (Phil.3:10-12)
OK. I have my answers to the questions. I am curious to hear yours!