Saturday, March 15, 2014

Humility in Judging God

In his fantastic new book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Pastor Timothy Keller describes the shortcomings of the human mind to fully understand God's purposes, generally, and with regard to specific instances of suffering. He relays what scientists have commonly referred to as "the Butterfly Effect," which is the idea that a butterfly's path in one area of the world would ultimate impact weather patterns, which ultimately have a global impact. Similarly, the seemingly simple exercise of a ball rolling down a hill carries with it thousands of mathematical calculations as to the likelihood of where it will ultimately land. Given all of these complexities, how can we, mere human being, expect to understand all of God's ways? Keller writes, "Now, if even the effects of a butterfly's flight or the roll of a ball down a hill are too complex to calculate, how much less could any human being look at the tragic, seemingly "senseless" death of a young person and have any idea of what the effects in history will be? If an all-powerful and all-wise God were directing all of history with its infinite number of interactive events toward good ends, it would be folly to think we could look at any particular occurrence and understand a millionth of what it will bring about. The history-butterfly effect means that "only an omniscient mind could grasp the complexities of directing a world of free creatures toward..previsioned good goals...certainly many evils seem pointless and unnecessary to us--but we are simply not in a position to judge." Keller, page 101, quoting J.P. Moreland and W.L Craig. While I'd love to know what God has done through our son's death, I am beginning to realize just how daunting a task it is. We realize how much broader, and more infinite, are the branches of human relationships and interactions, and that God is omnipresent in all of them, working them for His ultimate glory.