Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Disclosure of God: The Bible

It is my proposition that humankind can never know anything with certainty about God apart from his self-disclosure. I am not speaking about forensics here: what is implied by evidence, what can be inferred from the same or deduced logically. I am talking about God speaking for himself. We may think forensics offers objectivity, but it doesn't because it is always the prisoner of man's perception, particularly when it comes to the subject of God.

If God doesn't speak for himself about himself, we'll never figure out who he is, what he's like, what's he up to, what he can do, or where this is all going. We wouldn't even know whether we are he and he is us or whether everything is him together. Minimally, I think it is safe to say that he has to be much brighter than us and would have to be able to communicate at least as well. Other than that, our faulty perception plays a greater and greater role as we try to plumb the depths.

What is needed is a voice from heaven, laying it out straight, unmistakably clear. Of course, with all the people constantly popping into being, that would get a little noisy--better to say it once and record it for posterity. Or even better yet, because of the value of empathy in communication, do a ventriloquism act with a few select individuals and have that recorded for posterity. And even then, there may be some good reasons in the mind of God to not be all that clear!

I believe the Bible is God's recorded self-disclosure and commentary on creation to all mankind. I believe it sets forth all that God thought essential that we know about him and what he's up to, and that it is the only source for truly objective knowledge about him. I believe that he watches over that word, to make sure it accomplishes all for which it is sent, and I therefore believe that it is reliable and error free. If you ask me why I believe such things, I will in straight-faced seriousness tell you, "because God told me so!"

And yet for all that communicative power, it is still not enough.