Illumine has begun a new sermon series, "The God Box."

Credit to Illumine's own Jeffrey Taylor for this design.

Credit to Illumine's own Jeffrey Taylor for this design.

The main idea in the series is to think about systematic theology. If "theology" is words about God, then "systematic theology" means taking all the words we have about God and putting them into an organized system.

We all use our "God boxes" to do this. 

Of course, you can't fit God into a box. He's too much. When King Solomon was dedicating the great, glorious temple for worship, he said, "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!" As un-containable as God is, however, we mere humans have no choice but to divide him up and organize him, like we would the contents of a box, just to make it all fit.

This line of thinking leads to some interesting questions that we as humans don't like to ask. Here are a few:

  • Do you realize you'll never fully understand the world?
  • Do you realize you'll never know why God allows all the things he allows?
  • Are you okay trusting yourself to something you don't understand?
  • Can you stomach the idea that truth comes from something outside of you?
  • If you want to know, and God says, "No," can you say, "OK."?
  • Do you realize that even in the realm of stuff you are able to know, you aren't fully informed, and most of the blame for that is on you?

Nobody likes to be the last to know, and nobody likes to know the least. As much as this series is going to be about trying to know God more and understand him better, it is also about being okay with an omniscient God (a God who knows all things) and seeing the Gospel in God's omniscience. 

God knowing everything is a reminder to us that we are ignorant. We operate with a limited understand of God and the world and the people around us. It's also a reminder that we are caught. Everything we've ever done, God knew. Knows. But it is okay, because the Gospel is part of God's knowledge and he's given it to us to know, too. In spite of all he knew about us, he loved us completely.

In his recent post concerning the death of Robin Williams, pastor/blogger James Hein articulated this concept excellently when he said that "your salvation is not based on your perfect repentance, but on your perfect Savior. God's grace is a state that you live in, not a needle that you balance on." We don't have to know everything or see everything perfectly to have a God who loves us. He's known who we are all along, and still he saves us. 

This is going to be a fascinating and enjoyable series, and I hope you have the chance to join us for it, either online or at worship on Sundays. God bless you as you examine his love for you and ask "What don't I know about this, and how can I find it out?" 

You can watch the intro video for the series below. (Special thanks to Alex Reeder and Caleb Schmiege for their help with this!)