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Utterly Transcendent, Frictionally Faithful

Utterly Transcendent, Frictionally Faithful

As people, we naturally seek for understanding. When something or someone perplexes us, our curiosity is peaked. Since we were babies, we have sought to understand the foreign languages delivered to us. An innate drive in us gives us a thirst for understanding, a drive that I assume is linked to control.  

When one fully understands something, one has control over said thing. This can be applied to inanimate objects and living things alike. As humans, we desire to have the sense of security that comes with control; the American culture in which we live only feeds this. As Americans, we not only long to comprehend things, we feel we should and eventually will, or said thing is fictional.

I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes and in the back of your mind you are thinking, “This is just another post trying to rationalize God.” No, that’s not what this is at all. Actually, if you desire resolve, you won’t find that in this writing, simply because I believe there isn’t a true one.  

Rationalizing God is impossible, at least in the fullest sense. God is what we define as transcendent. Transcendent is a fascinating term because it is a word of surrender; if something is transcendent, it is characteristically beyond comprehension in some form or fashion. So, to say God is transcendent means we have surrendered to the fact that God is beyond full human understanding.

Rationalizing God is impossible, at least in the fullest sense.

Understanding is such an odd and indirect element of Christianity. While we can see the affects of our Creator and Savior, suggesting God’s existence, we cannot grasp God’s subsistence. The Bible is filled with book after book of people attempting to understand God with what they have been given. It reminds me of the game Mao.

Mao is a card game aimed at getting rid of all of the cards in your hand. The challenge to this game is that you must get rid of all of your cards without breaking the unspoken rules (explaining these unspoken rules to someone else is breaking the unspoken rules). As you can imagine, it is very hard playing a game that you do not know the rules to. You learn through experiences of trial and error. To me, the Bible is a giant game of Mao. Through experiences and the Law God gave humanity, humans are pooling what they have learned about God into a giant discussion and learning from one another about their transcendent God as closely as they can.

The transcendence of God is why the Bible is filled with so many metaphors, similes, poems, and parables. How else should one talk about something so other-worldly than through symbolism? God does the same in communicating with us. God is so much vaster than we are that we cannot fit God into human terms. However, through symbolism we do gather as much about God as we can.

You won’t find the word transcendent in the Bible, but you will find the word holy. Holy means something is set apart. God is Holy; God is transcendent. The feeling of frustration and fear that comes with not being able to comprehend God is our realization that we do not have control of God. If humanity could understand God, if humanity could control God, then God would not truly be God. Yet, God’s transcendence is still frictional to the entitlement of knowledge our American society feels. This is why faith is at the cornerstone of Christianity. Transcendence takes the control out of our hands and demands we fear and depend on God. Without comprehension or control, faith is necessary.

The feeling of frustration and fear that comes with not being able to comprehend God is our realization that we do not have control of God.

So, while my words do not create resolve and explain the existence of God, hopefully they heighten your importance of faith. If you were trying to prove the existence of God or understand God fully, then you misunderstood the divinity of God and belittled the importance of faith. Instead, relinquish control to God, and use your faith to unite with other believers and continue a dialogue in search of understanding your God so that you might understand God more and more and, in turn, understand yourself and your world more and more.

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