I recently found an old book containing several scholarly articles on the topic of theology and science. I don’t recall ever reading much more than the title of the book, but at that moment I became curious and browsed through the articles written within it to see if there was anything interesting to read. I picked out one of the articles that captured my curiosity and casually began reading it. Before I had a chance to stop myself, I had read the entire article. I have to admit that a lot of the ideas presented were over my head, but there were some points made by the author that captured my interest, in large part because they were consistent with the teaching of the Bible.
The article that I read touched on a nuance of the creationist argument of intelligent design. The basic premise of intelligent design is that since the world has a design, it must mean that there is a designer. This article examined the interpretation of design in the world by asking a simple question; even when a design might be apparent, how can we know that the world actually is designed without knowing the intention of the creator? The observed world might appear to be designed, just as accidental paint splatters may form a pattern, but that doesn’t mean that we understand the purpose and intention of the designer. One of the conclusions made by the article is that we can only know if the world really is designed if we know that there is a purpose behind it, even if the purpose can only be understood by God. Whether the author is right or not, the idea of knowing God’s purpose begs the question — how can we understand the things that only God can understand?
This question about how we can understand the things of God is what stimulated my interest the most, and genuinely made me excited. To many people in the world, it really is impossible to understand the things of God. However, the Bible tells us how the knowledge of God is attainable. 1 Corinthians 2:11 explains this quite elegantly, “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” The fact that God’s purpose and intentions may be known and understood with the help of His Holy Spirit living in us is very powerful. The human capacity to research and understand the world around us is limited, and falls completely short when trying to describe reasons why the world works the way it does. However, with the help of the Holy Spirit, God’s purpose may be known.
And what a glorious purpose God has for the world! The Bible clearly reveals that God’s great plan involves bringing converted Christians into His Family to inherit the Kingdom of God (compare Ephesians 1:4-5, 11). The words in the Bible are easy enough to read, but grasping what they mean and what to do with the information requires thinking and behaving in a way that conforms to God’s law, which is spiritual, but is contrary to the carnal ways of the world. Our minds must be renewed if we want to understand the Will of God (Romans 12:2). It is exciting to know that the ability to understand God’s purpose is within our grasp if we allow the Holy Spirit to live within us and guide our decisions. It is even greater to know that His purpose involves each of us individually.
The world will continue to argue about the nature of creation, the meaning of life, the reasons for existence, but without God’s understanding, any conclusions will be incomplete and wrong. It truly is a gift to know that the most valuable knowledge available to man is simple to obtain. For those who are called now and who will be called in the future, God’s understanding is available by repenting, believing, accepting the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and allowing His Holy Spirit to shape our thinking.