God Is Not Logical

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Those of us who believe in God credit him with being in control of “all things”. And we mean it. He is control of absolutely everything. We run into trouble, though, when we start trying to piece that together logically. We try to add up the causes to equal the effect or lay out the events in sequence so that they make sense. But God doesn’t always make sense. He is a puzzling being who often leaves us baffled and frustrated.

God is good and loving. He doesn’t do bad things. But he’s in control of bad things. So that means he is responsible for tragedies without being at fault for them. Huh? That doesn’t make any sort of logical sense. By our logic, 2+2 = 4 and anyone responsible for bad is guilty of it.

Those delightful debates over election and soteriology rest in the fact that God doesn’t make logical sense. God decides who will be saved and who won’t; He chooses His elect. Yet we’re all responsible for our own actions and face judgment for our sins. It doesn’t seem particularly good to judge people for actions that were predetermined beforehand. Or is it that each of has free will and chooses pour own way, and somehow God is sovereign over our liberty. Logically, that doesn’t make sense either. It sort of lets God off the hook, but it sounds dumb. Now I’m flustered.  God makes no sense.

What if our seeking to “make sense” of God is based in the wrong place? What if 2+2=4 isn’t the right system of thought for understanding God? We seek to limit God to something we call logic, but what if that isn’t enough?

God is not logical because logic is for the finite and the fallible. It is a structure created and given by God so that beings with limited knowledge cold solve problems and have a reasonable world. Logic is a framework for understanding created beings and their doings, but God is not created. He is not finite. And He is not bound by logic. What we see as the ultimate basis of understanding is not ultimate at all. It is a created thing too.

To say God is not logical isn’t to say he is illogical. No, God is beyond logic. He is, as the bible puts it, “inscrutable”. He is outside our ability to understand. What we understand of God is but a sliver of who is, revealed to us out kindness. He doesn’t fail to make sense. To accuse Him of such is blasphemous. We simply don’t have the limitless knowledge to understand him.

It is fair to say that God doesn’t make sense but not to say that God isn’t sensible. It is never fair or right to make a judgment of God based on a lack of logic. Think of a father who can stay up late, drink caffeine, and watch scary movies but doesn’t let his second grader do the same. Why is that ok? What’s right for the parent isn’t always right for the child. The child won’t understand this, may get frustrated at it, but must abide by it. It’s what’s best. In the same way (only infinitely more so) what’s right in the mind of the creator won’t be understood by the created as right all the time. It’s not that He is playing us; we simply cannot understand. It may be frustrating, but we must abide by it. It’s what’s best.

photo credit: bitzcelt via photopin cc

Comments

  1. SuperD says

    Something I came to terms with long long ago, no matter how hard, how smart, we can never rationalize our creator, work out the infinite our finite logic. Naysayers say its a cop-out but I think its actually wisdom to reach that point where you fully grasp the meaning of this and be at peace with it, just trust and obey like the song writer says. In any case, there aren’t many other alternatives, its not like you can work your way to the source wall and finally figure Him out, no eureka moment on the horizon in terms of applying logic to figure out the great I AM. Finally, the day we ever figure out God will be the day He seizes to be God, my friends mom said that.

  2. says

    I agree 100%. It baffles me how He answers prayers in the most peculiar ways, usually in ways that I don’t like or through circumstances that I didn’t see coming. Oh for Grace to Trust Him more…

  3. Kevin says

    Good thoughts! It’s not that God’s logic doesn’t make sense, our logic of God doesn’t make sense. We can’t really say that God isn’t logical because He is not bound by logic. Our logic is flawed, God’s is not. We have the ability for logic and reason because God is logical and reasonable, we just can’t fully grasp the logic and reason of God. If all that is, is of God then God cannot not be it.

  4. Jon Loewen says

    I get what you’re saying and agree in principle, however, the issue isn’t logic, the issue is knowledge. Our knowledge is limited, God’s is not. Even in our finite world, if an individual is missing pieces of knowledge to some issue, he may not be able to make sense of it, and view it illogical. However, someone else may have all the pieces of knowledge and see how it makes sense and is perfectly logical. It is correct to say that things God does do not make sense to us because we don’t have complete knowledge. It is not correct to say God is illogical, or even beyond logic. Humans do not have the knowledge to make such a statement!

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