“Are you saying Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses agree about who Jesus actually is?”

I only opened the door because I thought it was a delivery. I’ve been doing a bunch of online Christmas shopping.

There was no smiling Amazon box on my porch.

It was a smiling guy wearing a tie, holding a zippered book and what appeared to be a Bible tucked in his armpit.

Thought Bubble: “AAACCK! Julie! What have you done!?”

After his jovial icebreaker comment about how the vine on my porch reminded him of the grape vines he used to swing on when he was a kid, he abruptly launched right into his spiel with a question about politics and the end of the world that I literally couldn’t make ANY sense of, much less answer.

“Have you ever wondered about whether the world blahblahnonsensicalblahblah.”

Thought Bubble: “um, I can honestly say no. Because I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.”

I told him I was sorry but that I only discussed politics with close friends and he said, “Me too! We have something in common!”

Thought Bubble: “ummmm. no. I don’t think so. I’ve never met you before. You are standing on my porch, not sitting in my living room. We are not close friends. We’re not even acquaintances. and you just asked me a question about politics.

Then he asked me something as equally nonsensical as his opening question, which he seemed believe was a natural conversational bridge from politics to God and once again, I couldn’t make sense of what he was trying to say. In all honesty, it’s very possible I didn’t care enough to put any effort into deciphering the question.

Thought Bubble: “Jehovah’s Witness.”

He was looking at me expectantly.

I was completely frank: “I’m not really sure what you’re asking…This is a Christ-centered home.”

He said: “We have something else in common!”

Thought Bubble: “I know he knows that’s not true.”
Quick Prayer: “Lord, do I go there or not? Please help me follow your lead.”
and Memo to Me: It would appear that Jehovah’s Witness canvassers are trained to find and call to attention something they have in common with their targets – even if they have to invent the commonality.

JW: “Let me give you a tract that addresses politics from that standpoint.”

Thought Bubble: “? huh? What standpoint?”

He unzips what turns out to be an actual book FULL of tracts, all organized in plastic sleeves. Flipping through, he pulls one out, opens it up and points to a quote referenced as Daniel 2:44

“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever. (emphasis his)

As he slowly read the verse out loud, he followed along the text with his finger and I remember him being completely oblivious to the fact that I was actually looking at his face and not the tract, thinking, “I wonder if he’s been trained to do that. I can’t be the only person who finds it condescending.”

Quick Prayer: “Okay Lord. I REALLY need you to tell me what to say. NOW.”

I took the tract out of his hand, turned it over, looked at the bottom.

My tone of voice was neutral: “You’ve misrepresented yourself.”

He looks surprised. Confused. Hurt. Acting is not his forte.

JW: “I didn’t misrepresent myself! How did I misrepresent myself?!”

Me: “There’s a significant difference between Jehovah’s Witness and Christianity.”

JW: “There are lots of differences between Christian religions! For instance, Baptist’s believe…”

Me, softly interrupting: “I’m not referring to doctrine.”

Silence. I couldn’t believe it. He didn’t have an immediate response.

Quick Prayer: “okay God. Now What?”

JW: “I don’t understand what you mean.”

Dont Have to Attend Every ArgumentImmediately, the thought popped into my head: “Don’t explain. It’s a trap.”

Me: “I’m having trouble believing you don’t know what I’m talking about. You must have engaged in conversations about the difference before.”

I’m not sure exactly what he said next. But I remember thinking “Tangent. Distraction. Non-essential doctrinal difference.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m really not interested in debating non-essential doctrine. There’s a single significant difference between Jehovah’s Witness and Christianity.”

I continued, looking at him quizzically: “I’m finding it difficult to believe you don’t know what I’m talking about.”

JW: “What’s the difference between Jehovah’s Witness and Christianity?”

I looked him straight in the eye and slowly shook my head:We don’t agree about who Jesus actually is.” (click the link to see a 2 minute explanation of what JW believe)

Another brief moment of silence.

A woman, obviously his canvasing partner, who had been walking up my driveway, stepped close enough to him so that he noticed her presence and realized he was being observed.

JW: “Well, who do you believe Jesus is?”

Again, I thought: “Don’t explain. and only focus on this one issue.”

Me: “I’m having a difficult time believing you don’t already know who I believe Jesus is. You must have had conversations with Christians about this before.”

another pause.

Me: Are you saying Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses agree about who Jesus actually is?

JW: “well…no….But…”

Thought Bubble: “I KNEW he knew what I was talking about.

and I LOVE the Socratic method. loveitloveitloveit.”

Me: “I’m not going to try and convince you to believe what I believe about who Jesus is. But I do believe you misrepresented yourself. Jehovah’s Witness is not a Christian religion.

JW: “But…”

Me: “I respect your beliefs. Please respect mine.”

He thanked me for my time and I respected his beliefs again by not wishing him a Happy Thanksgiving.

As I think about it now, I realize why they were canvasing on a Tuesday morning. They know it’s likely there are a lot of people who’ve taken the week of Thanksgiving off.


the words calculated and predatory also come to mind. but still. very smart.

Richard Dawkins acknowledges the possibility of Intelligent Design…

Richard Dawkins on the Possibility of Intelligent DesignHow did I not know this?

Anti-theist, Richard Dawkins believes in the possibility of intelligent design:

“It could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, by probably some kind of Darwinian means, to a very, very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto, perhaps, this planet. That is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the D cells of biochemistry and molecular biology you might find a signature of some sort of designer. And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe.”

Doing the math…

That’s: 3 “coulds” 1 “somewhere” 1 “probably” 1 “perhaps” 3 “possibilities” and 2 “mights” all adding up to

– if I understand him correctly –


from outer space.

or more specifically, from “somewhere” in space, at “some earlier time” in history.

perhaps. He supposes.

He makes this statement in an interview with Ben Stein, who comments:

“So, Professor Dawkins was not against intelligent design. Just certain types of designers. Such as God.”

Aliens are a reasonable scientific theory.

But a different kind of transcendent being,

such as God,

is not.

Here’s two data points I will remember forever about Richard Dawkins:

1. When asked, without even a hint of argument, he immediately acknowledged the possibility of intelligent design:

“It could come about in the following way.”

2. Without any citing any scientific evidence, using words like could, probably, perhaps, possible and might, he believes aliens are a reasonable scientific theory to explain intelligent design.

“And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe.”

And then there’s his quote about “people who claim to be religious” from my post yesterday:

“Mock them. Ridicule them. In public.” Religion “needs to be ridiculed. With contempt.

We can’t trust the Bible. It’s been “re-written” too many times.

Re-written is one way to say it. But the word “re-written” tends to imply the Bible has been edited and re-interpreted multiple times over hundreds of years, resulting in an irretrievable loss of the original content. The implication of the word “re-written” is widespread error and intentional manipulation by the fallible humans who did the re-writing. The implication of error and manipulation is that in a cross-check, the manuscripts don’t match up.

After looking at the available facts instead of relying the assumptions, I believe a more accurate word is “copied.”

Hand copied isn’t the same as re-written.

What’s interesting to me about the assumption that hand copied scripture results in an untrustworthy source is that, in reality, the multitude of copies actually serves as proof for reliability of ancient manuscripts. And not just Biblical manuscripts. The “number of copies” criteria for reliability doesn’t originate with or even apply only to Christian writings.

It’s a history thing.

Historians who could give a flyin flip about proving or disproving Christianity believe that the number of copies and whether they cross check for accuracy in content is an important factor in determining whether ancient documents are reliable.

(To clarify. I’m not referring to the truth or meaning of the words in these manuscripts, just their historical authentication and accuracy.

Here’s some facts about the ancient documents we have:

There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.

From what I can find, after the New Testament, the highest number of copies of ancient writings is:
643 copies for Homer’s Iliad,
49 copies of Aristotle’s writings,
10 copies for Caesar and
7 for Plato.

Meanwhile, in addition to the 5,686 Greek manuscripts for the New Testament, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. Add non-Biblical manuscripts and the supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.”

Maybe I’m misinformed, but my understanding is that reliability of the writings of Plato, Caesar, Aristotle or Homer are not disputed.

Pragmatic Faith Manuscripts Span of YearsIn addition to the multitude of copies, another criteria historians look to in confirming the reliability of ancient manuscripts is the time between the original writing and the earliest copies known to be in existence. (Notice we don’t have originals of ANY of these documents.)

Sticking with the five examples given above, the approximate time between the original and the earliest copy we have is:

Plato’s writings – 1200 years (7 copies),
Caesar1000 years (10 copies),
Aristotle1400 years (49 copies) and
Homer500 years (643 copies).
New Testament70 years (5,686 copies in Greek alone)

So…just looking at the math.

If critics, doubters and naysayers of the reliability of Biblical manuscripts acknowledge the historicity and writings of Plato, Caesar, Aristotle and Homer, it seems logical that they should also acknowledge the historicity and writings of the New Testament authors.

doubt assumptions, ask questions, search for answers.

When I work as a computer trainer and consultant, I offer potential or new clients a free “needs analysis.” It didn’t take me long to realize that most of these clients fall into one of three categories:

1. They know exactly what they need, and they are right. They understand their situation and possibilities.
2. They know exactly what they need, and they are wrong. Their perspective is limited and/or skewed.
3. They’re not sure what they need, but they know they need help.

I’ve found a similar pattern with people who believe they are a Christian:

1. They believe they are a Christian and they are right. They have a relationship with Christ.
2. They believe they are a Christian, but they are missing a relationship with Christ.
3. They’re not sure what they believe, but they are seeking.

(And then there are those who are comfortable with where they are and aren’t seeking.)

John Wesley saw that second group of people clearly. Adam Hamilton, in his book Revival, described it this way:

“Wesley said that many who thought they were Christians seemed to be so in name only; they were almost Christians. They did not have the joy, assurance, or peace that comes from being wholly surrendered to God. They lived their lives in compromise with sin, willing to do just enough good but no more. They entertained evil, provided that it wasn’t too extreme. They did little or nothing to grow in love with God.

In what ways did faith in the church of Wesley’s day resemble the faith in our churches today? Some would suggest in a great many ways.

Wesley said there is so much more to being a Christian than simple acceptance; there is a power, love, and joy that come from walking with God. And God expects more of Christians than simply trying to not be so bad as other people.”

To say this quote resonates with me would be an understatement. I can only speak from my experience and understanding, so I’ll say it this way. When I accepted Christ at 15, He became my savior. I lived my life in the context of that relationship with Him until 2007, when He revealed to me that I was holding back. He wanted to be more than my Savior. He wanted to be the Lord of my life. He wanted me to give up my will and trust Him in every aspect of my life, with no limitations. Over the last 7 years, by the grace of God and through the equipping of the Holy Spirit, I’ve taken down the boundaries between the different aspects of my life and I’ve been striving to offer up all of me to Him. I’ve been growing into an intimate, dependent, living relationship with Christ.

Live wisely make the most of every opportunityWhile I’ve spent most of my career as a computer trainer and consultant, at my core, I’m an educator. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have a passion to help people grow. As I myself have grown closer to Christ, the Holy Spirit has taken that passion and set it on fire. I’m determined to encourage and challenge people to intentionally examine what they believe and why they believe it. I’m determined to encourage people to doubt their assumptions, ask questions, search for answers and make informed and intentional decisions about their beliefs.

Notice the language I just used. It’s very specific. I said “decisions about their beliefs” not “decisions about God.”

My goal within any of these conversations is not to change someone’s mind.

My goal is to leave a “spiritual stone” in the shoe of everyone with whom I interact, mostly through asking questions and listening.

I fail often.

But when I have a conversation with someone who wasn’t thinking about God, and the conversation results in them thinking about God – especially long after the conversation is over – I haven’t failed. After the conversation is over, it’s up to the Holy Spirit to soften that person’s heart and open their mind as he draws them closer to Himself.

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” John 6:44a (ESV)

Relating to the three possibilities above, God has specifically planted and grown in me three distinct, compelling and persistent passions:

1. Discipleship
In addition to my own desire to be discipled, I have a passion to disciple others – to help people who have a relationship with Christ, continuously grow closer to Christ. My prayer is that God would reveal to all who know Him what he revealed to me: That He wants them to give up their will and trust Him in every aspect of their lives. That He doesn’t just want to be their Savior, He wants to be the Lord of their Life. He wants an intimate, dependent, living relationship with them.

2. Relational Evangelism
a) For the people who believe they are Christian but have never entered into a relationship with Christ, my prayer is that they would enter into that relationship. I can’t help but think of this verse:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
Matthew 7:21-2321 

b) For the people who know they aren’t Christian, but are willing to share with me what they think and feel about God and, more specifically, Jesus, I’m determined to be a safe person with whom they can voice their doubts, ask hard questions and search for answers. My prayer is that they come to faith in Christ. It’s not my job. It’s my prayer.

iceberg doubt assumptions ask questions search for answers3. Apologetics
For people who are apathetic about God, who don’t believe in Him or flat out hate Him and all His followers, my passion is to help them set aside the baggage that so often comes from religion and help them see that the selfish behavior of some of the people who profess to be Christian is more a reflection of flawed humanity than that of a perfect God. My prayer is that they make their own personal decision about Jesus based on Jesus, and Jesus alone, rather than on their thoughts and feelings about religion and the bad behavior and beliefs of other people.

John 10:10 tells us that Christ came that we may have life, and have it abundantly, in all its fullness. Not abundant blessings or stuff. Abundant LIFE.

That’s what Biblical discipleship leads to.

Abundant Life in Christ.

CLICK HERE to read the next post in this series.

conversations with a born-again atheist: gods, God and clarifying the purpose of these talks

faith and reasonIf you’re new to the party, HERE are the previous posts in this series. If you want to skip the history and prefer the twitter version, I’m having an ongoing conversation with a born-again atheist. When I say “born-again atheist” I mean he was a born again Christian, but is now an atheist.

to read the previous post: “conversations with a born-again atheist: a few definitions

JSM:It’s good that we’re clarifying some terms, but I think I need to clarify my reasons for wanting to continue our conversation.

As long as we’re going back to the beginning of the conversation, I don’t remember professing belief in God. I didn’t need to. I knew you already knew I was a Christian. I already knew you were an atheist. And I had already figured out that you didn’t look down on me or my family because of our beliefs. Rather, I found you to be gracious and respectful. That’s why I was so comfortable talking to you about Christian music even though I knew you were an atheist. I did not, however, know about your extensive background in Christian music! Could have knocked me over with a feather. Then, when you told me that you had prayed to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior when you were younger? I was hooked. How does a born again Christian become an atheist? Seriously. How does that happen!?

So, to clarify –

I’m not looking to learn about atheism in general. I’m a voracious reader, so I can get generic knowledge about atheism from books. I agree with you that lumping all atheists together is wrong. From what I’ve read and learned in the past, there are many, many reasons for a lack of belief in God. I’m interested in which of those reasons resonated with you and were compelling enough to lead you to reject your faith in Christ.

I’m also not interested in a formal debate. I’m not an expert in Christian theology and, as you said, you’re not an expert in atheism. Besides, given our strong convictions and our individual commitments to holding them, I’m fairly certain a debate would be an exercise in futility.

Your statements in our initial conversation sparked my interest in two ways:

1. How did you – a self-professed born again Christian – become an atheist? You said you made an informed decision, on your own, when you asked Christ to become your Lord and Savior. You even quoted scripture [to support your claim that you understood the decision you were making]. (Not something I expected an atheist to do, by the way.) You said you weren’t coerced or manipulated in any way when you made your decision for Christ. I really, really want to know – how in the world did you come to abandon that faith? I’m interested in reading the book you’ve recommended because you’ve said it helps to explain why you became an atheist. I understand that I’ll be learning more about atheism in the process of learning your story, but it’s your story I’m interested in. There are lots of atheists in the world, it’s your story that is unique.

2. Why do you view faith in God as unreasonable, illogical and irrational? As polite as you are about respecting my right to believe what I want to believe (and I appreciate that), the fact is that you personally don’t respect the belief itself. Logically, here’s how I see it:

1. You’ve stated that you don’t find faith in Christ to be reasonable, logical or rational.
2. My faith in Jesus Christ is at the central core of my life.
3. Therefore, you don’t find my faith to be reasonable, logical or rational.

Logically, there’s no sugar coating that. It is what it is. No need to smooth it over or apologize for it. I promise you, it doesn’t hurt my feelings. But as polite as you are about respecting my right to believe what I want to believe, you are correct when you say people often take these things personally. In our conversation so far, you’ve compared belief in God to belief in UFOs, guardian angels, Santa Claus and most recently, fairies. You do see why some people might be offended, right? (and again, I promise you, I’m not.)

On to your questions…

What is my definition of a god?
I’ll answer, but I’d rather cut to the chase. You don’t believe in any god and I only believe in the Christian God. If it’s okay with you, I’d like to pass on discussion of gods with lower case “g” – unless talking about gods in general will help me understand how you lost/rejected your faith in the Christian God? Besides, you’ve already given me so many reasons and examples of why you don’t find belief in Christ to be (I’ll just pick one) reasonable, we may never get through them all. [in additional emails we haven’t gotten to yet] The last thing I want to do is add more. Especially irrelevant more.

That said….

What is my definition of a god?
Because I’m impatient, I’m going to dumb this one way down: “a transcendent entity.”

transcendent: adjective “Beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience.

entity: noun “A thing with distinct and independent existence.”

What are the attributes of the Christian God?
I’ll start what I’m sure is an incomplete listing of attributes that I reserve the right to add to later:

(in no particular order)
transcendent entity (obviously)
The three O’s:
Omniscient (all knowing – infinite awareness, understanding, and insight)
Omnipotent (all powerful – unlimited authority)
Omnipresent (everywhere, all the time)
Holy (worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness)
Sovereign (supreme authority)
Just (guided by truth, reason and justice)
Compassionate (sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it)
Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)
and finally,

If I’m going to be posting these conversations on my blog, you’re going to need a pseudonym. Everybody on my blog gets one. You want to pick it? (my family members are referred to as FirstHusband (sometimes upgraded to FavoriteHusband), FavoriteSon and PinkGirl. My personal trainer was TinyPowerHouse, daughter’s bully was TheBully and my bully is Narcissa. You get the idea) [note to bloggers: obviously, he picked AtypicalAtheist]

And, while I’ll send you previews of the posts for approval before they go live, I’d prefer to only edit out personal details that might give away your identity. I realize we both run the risk of lookinlikafool every once in a while, but I don’t want to hide behind what could easily morph into an unauthentic script.

If at any time, you become bored with this and want to quit, just say so.


Click HERE to see all “conversations with a born-again atheist” posts.
NOTE: All comments will be held for approval. This blog is a no-hate zone.
Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. I don’t use them because I make any money on the 4 cents per dollar, but because they track click throughs. And I am that addicted to stats.

faith in a vacuum is easy. (a loving God. evil and suffering. part 2.)

I’m not worthy. How can I reply to you? I’m putting my hand over my mouth. I’ll stop talking.
Job 40:4

I know that you can do anything. No one can keep you from doing what you plan to do. You asked me, Who do you think you are to disagree with my plans? You do not know what you are talking about.’ I spoke about things I didn’t completely understand. I talked about things that were too wonderful for me to know.
Job 42:2-3

This is one of what I’m sure will be many posts on the seeming contradiction between a loving God and the presence of evil and suffering in the world.

In a comment on my previous post – the first on this topic, Lisa of Lisa Writes gave me a book referral: John Piper’s Spectacular Sins. I read pages 22-26 on Amazon’s “Look Inside.” Here’s a very short excerpt:

“Surely this Jesus can stop a tsunami, and make the wind blow a jet off its deadly course toward a crowded tower, and loosen the stranglehold of an umbilical cord from around an infant’s neck, and blind the eyes of torturers, and stop a drought. Surely he can do this and a thousand other acts of restraint and rescue. He has done it before. He could do it now. What is his reason for not doing it more often than he does?”

“What is his reason for not doing it more often than he does?”

This is only one of the questions I’m delving into as I explore this topic. Not so much for myself, to assuage my own grieving or anger or other emotion which can so quickly and easily find itself into the heart of humans today, when faced with evil and suffering. As I said in my first post, I want to be able to formulate an intelligent response which adequately, logically, PRAGMATICALLY addresses the question AND the objections to the pat, theological answers. More specifically, I want to be able to articulate this response to someone who may not believe the Bible to be the Living Word of God.

In theory, Christians are easier. Christians are pre-disposed to understand and accept (maybe not agree, but accept) Biblical support I might point to as I try to explain my own personal view and understanding. My background is seeping in here, but I think of it this way: In communication theory, specifically in persuasion, this is referred to as a “latitude of acceptance.” If someone is more likely to accept an idea, they are said to have a latitude of acceptance. If someone is more inclined to reject an idea, they would have a latitude of rejection. If someone is open minded and has no pre-conceived idea or prejudice on a topic, they are said to have a latitude of non-commitment. As a Christian, I have a latitude of acceptance for any Biblical support provided in a persuasive effort. It has to be sound Biblical support, taken IN context, but for the most part I will look to the Bible for my reasoning. (And I’m no stranger to looking up the meaning of original language).

For example, as a Christian, here’s a HUGE reason why I personally accept God’s sovereignty with regard to evil and suffering in the world:

The Book of Job, Chapter 38:1-40:4 (see my responses in parenthesis)

38:1 The Lord spoke to Job out of a storm. He said,

2 “Who do you think you are to disagree with my plans? (ummm)
You do not know what you are talking about. (yeh, but . . . )
3 Get ready to stand up for yourself. (uh oh)
I will ask you some questions.
Then I want you to answer me. (k)
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you know.
5 Who measured it? I am sure you know! (you did)
Who stretched a measuring line across it? (you did)
6 What was it built on?
Who laid its most important stone? (you did)

8 “Who created the ocean? (you did)
Who caused it to be born? (you did)

11 I said, ‘You can come this far.
But you can’t come any farther.
Here is where your proud waves have to stop.’
12 “Job, have you ever commanded the morning to come? (no, Lord.)
Have you ever shown the sun where to rise? (no.)

16 “Have you traveled to the springs at the bottom of the ocean? (no, Lord.)
Have you walked in its deepest parts? (no.)
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you? (no.)
Have you seen the gates of darkness? (no.)
18 Do you understand how big the earth is? (no, Lord.)
Tell me, if you know all of those things. (no, Lord, I don’t know any of these things.)
19 “Where does light come from? (you, Lord.)
And where does darkness live?
20 Can you take them to their places? (no.)
Do you know the paths to their houses?
21 I am sure you know! After all, you were already born!
You have lived so many years! (what was I thinking? questioning God?)
22 “Have you entered the places where the snow is kept? (I’m going to shut up now.)
Have you seen the storerooms for the hail?

24 Where does lightning come from?
Where do the east winds that blow across the earth live?
25 Who tells the rain where it should fall?
Who makes paths for the thunderstorms?

28 Does the rain have a father?
Who is the father of the drops of dew?
29 Does the ice have a mother?
Who is the mother of the frost from the heavens?

31 “Can you tie up the beautiful Pleiades?
Can you untie the ropes that hold Orion together?
32 Can you bring out all of the stars in their seasons?
Can you lead out the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper?
33 Do you know the laws that govern the heavens?
Can you rule over the earth the way I do?
34 “Can you give orders to the clouds?
Can you make them pour rain down on you?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who put wisdom in people’s hearts? (you did, Lord. Just now.)
Who gave understanding to their minds? (Thank you, Lord.)
37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens?

Chapter 39
26 “Job, are you wise enough to teach hawks where to fly?
They spread their wings and fly toward the south.
27 Do you command eagles to fly so high?
They build their nests as high as they can.

Job Chapter 40
1 The Lord continued,

2 “I am the Mighty One.
Will the man who argues with me correct me?
Let him who brings charges against me answer me!”

Job’s Reply
3 Job replied to the Lord,

4 “I’m not worthy. How can I reply to you?
I’m putting my hand over my mouth. I’ll stop talking.

Job 42

Job’s Reply
1 Job replied to the Lord,

2 “I know that you can do anything.
No one can keep you from doing what you plan to do.
3 You asked me, ‘Who do you think you are to disagree with my plans?
You do not know what you are talking about.’
I spoke about things I didn’t completely understand.
I talked about things that were too wonderful for me to know.
4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak.
I will ask you some questions.
Then I want you to answer me.’
5 My ears had heard about you.
But now my own eyes have seen you. (emphasis added)

After SEEING the Lord, Job had no desire to debate. To question. To “yeh, but.”

Instead, after SEEING the Lord, Job said, “”I’m not worthy. How can I reply to you? I’m putting my hand over my mouth. I’ll stop talking.

Job took the words right out of my mouth.

God explaining the things HE understands to ME? I would be like explaining calculus to a 2 year old. My mind wouldn’t be able to grasp it.

But that’s just me. So, knowing that I have NO idea what I’m talking about, I instead trust God, much like a child trusts that his parents will care for him. The child doesn’t understand what’s involved in raising him, he’s just living in subjective self-awareness. Knowing that I have no CAPACITY to understand the things of God, I believe in God’s sovereignty. Now, this is not to say that when I’ve faced . . . difficulty in the past, that I didn’t grieve and struggle with God’s will. This is not to say that, facing tragedy in my future I won’t struggle and desperately beg God to grant me peace. I’m human. I’m weak. I need God. Which is kind of my point.

I trust in a sovereign God. I believe that He is a loving God, despite evil and suffering in the world.

So now what? Do I just say, “I’m good.” and be done with it? Or, when I encounter others who aren’t able to do that or who choose not to do that, do I step outside of my independent security? Do I reach out to OTHERS and, in compassion and with God’s love and hopefully, His wisdom, do my very best to help them see what I see? Do I say, “Well, I can’t understand the things of God, so I’ll just have faith and I’ll be fine.” and be done with it? Do I stand comfortable and secure in MY acceptance and understanding of Biblical truth or do I prepare myself to address the common arguments to my faith and the truths presented in the Bible? When faced with these arguments, these obstacles of faith, do I seek to understand the things he HAS revealed? The things I AM capable of understanding? Because there are SOME things I CAN wrap my mind around and be able to share.

If I make the effort. Faith in a vacuum is easy.

There’s a cartoon about two turtles. One turtle says “Sometimes I’d like to ask God
why he allows poverty, famine, and injustice when he could do something about it.”
The other turtle says, “I’m afraid God might ask me the same question.”