One of the things that bugs me most about theologians is, well, how theological they are, particularly when they try to explain things.
I was putting my 5-year-old daughters (yes, plural, I have identical twin girls) to bed recently and, after prayer time, Abby looked up and, out of the blue, asked, “Daddy, how canknow everything?”
WHOA, where did THAT come from?
I tried to flip the neon sign of theology in my head to the on position, and began forming my response: “God’s omnipotence is directly related to his omniscience and omnipresence. The sovereignty of the Godhead over all creation comes from His foreknowledge….” Wait a minute, Darren, that’s not going to work with a five-year-old.
This one needed to be as simple as possible. I couldn’t use the neon light of theology, I needed more of a theological nightlight—simple and subtle. I would not be able to tell her about sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence, and eschatology. “Can’t possibly use those terms until at least six-years-old,” I thought to myself.
I fumbled for words.
“Well, baby, uhhh, I guess, he knows everything because… he made everything.”
I was über pleased with my simple but deeply theological response, but Abby was still staring at me blankly. I realized she needed more.
Then… all at once… it happened. The heavens parted and the Spirit descended on me like a dove of intelligence. I heard an angelic choir of a thousand children’s voices singing in perfect 12-part harmony as I relayed this theological nightlight.
“You know how when you draw me a picture, you can tell me every last detail of that picture?”
“You can do that because you created that picture, and that means you know everything about it, down to the smallest detail. Right?”
“That’s how God knows everything. He drew it all.”
As I finished speaking, the angelic choir of children’s voices faded into the distance, and then, as they faded, I’m sure I heard a still small voice say, “This is Darren, in whom I am well pleased.”
We seem to think theology is complicated and incomprehensible, but the truth is, we are all theologians, and we theologize (yup, just made that word up) every single day, even when we don’t know it. And when the opportunity presents itself, don’t avoid it; tackle it head on. God will help you.
Otherwise, you may hear that angelic choir singing in falsetto: “It’s too late to theologize, it’s too laaaaaaate.”
QUESTION: What difficult theological questions have you been asked? How did you respond?
You loved it, right? So keep reading! Try this one: Predictably Unpredictable