I read of this report in a publication of The McIntosh Church Growth Network. The writer of that article pointed out: " "Apparently, according to this reported study, the more convinced we are of our knowledge, the bigger the gap between what we actually know and what we think we know."
I fear that sometimes we Christians come across as too sure. Sometimes we give the impression that we have all the answers. This only results in our losing credibility with seeking people. They instinctively know that no mortal has all the answers.
A recent issue of The Christian Century contains a review of The Domestication of Transcendence: How Modern Thinking about God Went Wrong by William C. Placher. The book describes the transition from medieval to modern theology. For Placher the central issue is modern theology's neglect of Trinitarian doctrine. The reviewer, Mark Horst, describes Placher's point: "The real crisis in modern thinking about God comes from its essential flatfootedness. Unlike their medieval counterparts, modern theologians talk about God as though they understand what they are saying...He challenges the all too prevalent notion that orthodox Christian doctrine puts God in a box."
Placher writes that Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin in "their different ways...emphasized how little we can understand about God, and how inadequate our language is for talk about God..."
We moderns, whether we be conservative or liberal, have all too often pretended that our vision of God is completely clear and unclouded. Sometimes we even pretend that we are being biblical when we do so. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was Paul who wrote: "At present we see only puzzling reflections in a mirror...My knowledge now is partial." Paul pointed to a day when "we shall see face to face" and our knowledge "will be whole." (I Corinthians 13:12) That day is not yet. We don't yet know all the answers. We only point to the Person in whom we believe all the answers will finally be found.
©1997 C. David Hess