by Henry Knapp
So there I am, sitting with a bunch of other pastors, doing what pastors do… you know, pastor-things. We are talking about God’s knowledge of the future—what does He know and when does He know it?
Well, we’re talking the philosopher, Boethius, middle-knowledge, prescience and omniscience, Francisco Suárez and Molinism, counterfactuals in all possible worlds, actualized and possible future contingencies; and pretty soon, I realize that I’m the only one talking because everyone else is asleep (happens all too often when I get going, sigh).
Well, when everyone woke up, one of the other pastors challenged me with – “Why do you like all this stuff? How will this ever help you in your ministry? God is God and that’s enough for me.”
Now, my understanding of God’s hold on the future informs nearly every counseling meeting I have; every time I seek to show God’s comfort or assure someone of His love or offer guidance and direction in their life, at every stage, it is my unwavering confidence in the sovereign power and authority of God which enables me to speak at all.
It is because Boethius has a point, and because middle-knowledge is an inadequate approach to God’s foreknowledge, and because God has total prescience, and because of the challenges brought by Suarez and Molinia, and because God does know all counterfactuals both in this world and in all possible worlds, that I can firmly promise to all who will listen and believe that we can have complete confidence in the eternal grace and mercy of a loving God who will never, NEVER abandon us to hardship, suffering, or evil.
But, as I sat there, I thought, “No”. The real reason I’m hooked on all this stuff, is that I love God! I LOVE HIM, and I will never be satisfied to know just a little about Him. I want to know everything I can about Him, the easy stuff and the hard stuff! My love for Him drives me onward to know Him all the more.
To love someone is to be completely taken with them; to want to draw ever closer to them; to adore, to have a deep affection, to desire intimacy, to yearn for them. Obsession is probably not the correct word, but you get the point. Love for God drives us the same way—it is an overwhelming desire to come into His presence; and I love God. He engulfs me. He excites me. “God is God, and that’s enough for me?” No way. That’s not enough for me. My love drives me to know Him more, to keep seeking Him, to explore the depths of His riches. You who are in love, let’s dig deeper together.