Curiosity is one of God’s best gifts. To desire knowledge, to wonder at the world, to rejoice in discovery are all capacities that God has placed within us as rational, creative beings. Imagine how flat and dull the world would be without the impulse to ask, to try, to discover, to expand, to explore. Without curiosity, no one would have ever thought to freeze juice into popsicles or smush peanut butter and jelly between two pieces of bread, and I just don’t want to think too long about a world without popsicles and pb&j!
Thoughtful and curious creatures that we are, you and I like to ask, to discover, to explore theological ideas, too: ideas about God and the world and spirituality. These thought experiments and curious musings can be helpful, can even be fun. For instance, we know that after His resurrection Jesus was able to just appear inside locked rooms (John 20:26), but he also ate fish and honey (Luke 24:42-43)! So we wonder, How does matter work in heaven? How does digestion work inside glorified bodies? #thingsthatmakeyougoHUH
But we must resist the temptation to get carried away with our speculations and to put on certainty about what we were not meant to be certain about. In Scripture God reveals that Jesus’ resurrection body can eat food and appear inside locked rooms, so we’re safe depending on that to be true, safe telling other people that it is so. But God does not reveal to us how digestion works inside glorified bodies, so we better not build too many ideas off of our speculation that there are heavenly enzymes which no longer operate off of the biochemical models we now know, but have perfectly permeable cell walls which… or whatever.
We should exercise the capacities for rationality and creativity that God has put within us, we should be curious about theological things and seek to go as far into God’s thoughts as He invites us. But we shouldn’t mix up God’s revelation with our human speculation. When we do, we get into trouble, tripping over obstacles we’ve invented and looking for the Louvre along the Baltic Sea. (Friend, if your map is for Paris, then be assured that you’ve left the map if you find yourself in Copenhagen!)
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The God of the Bible is one God, three Persons. Tricky, huh? Deep. Rich. Hard, even impossible, to explain. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out.” (Romans 11:33) Our theological curiosity can lead us to models of one-God-three-Persons, and we can try out different ideas to see how they work and we can think through what these conceptions mean. But again, we shouldn’t mix up God’s revelation (certain!) with our human speculation (definitely not certain!).
For me and for you, the word of the Lord: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)[/box_holder]