In the Holiness/Pentecostal tradition in which I grew up, we were trained to not ask fundamental questions. The sacrilege of scrutinizing our faith and dissecting our religious tradition was peppered by statements like the following:
“The holiness of God is not coming down to you; you must come up to God’s holiness.” “God’s word doesn’t have to make sense to us. We just need to obey it.” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding.”
“Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver, seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.” – Proverbs 2:3-5 (NLT)
Ours was not to question why. Ours was to only ask how we could best meet the religious mandates given to us. Yet there is something viscerally unsettling about surrendering our lives to that which is totally inaccessible to our comprehension. Religious guilt contributes nothing to the cultivation of authentic self-realization.
What a relief to find out that faith is not just about loving God with all our hearts but also loving God with all our minds. How un-inhibiting it is to contemplate how God’s answers to our questions often question the answers we thought we knew.
Crying out for insight and asking for greater understanding are precisely what drive the scientific research and discovery that have provided answers to so many of our prayers.
When our theology is a critical part of the investigations regarding how life happens, and when our theology raises the critical questions regarding why life happens and where life is headed, then our theology can rightly re-claim the designation given centuries ago by Thomas Aquinas, “Queen of the Sciences.”
Lord, thank you for truth that is available to all who diligently inquire. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kenneth L. Samuel is the Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.