The Bible reveals some things to us that are “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16). We recognize some of these things in our experience, but when we try to define or explain their essential nature or how they actually work, we find ourselves utterly perplexed.
Take, for instance, the Trinity. Relating to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is, in many ways, much easier experienced than explained. A child can believe in, interact with, and trust the triune God, but the combined power of the greatest theological minds of the past two millennia have not been able to explain triune mechanics. We know it works, but we don’t know how.
Or consider the coexistence of God’s universal, absolute sovereignty (John 1:1–3; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 1:3) and human personal accountability for our moral choices (Matthew 12:36; Romans 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 9:14–23). We know this reality by experience. We can all point to God’s sovereign interventions in our lives that go way beyond appealing to our wills, and yet we know instinctively that we are not machines, and that we are responsible for our moral choices. We know it works, but we don’t know how.
Some find such mysteries troubling, wondering if the realities are so hard to understand because they’re not just conundrums, but contradictions. Some scholars consider such mysteries to simply be esoteric religious nonsense. They encourage folks to place their faith in more concrete and certain things, like discoveries in the physical sciences.
Interestingly enough, though, the deeper scientists have delved into the nature of nature — in an effort to comprehend how physical reality works at its fundamental levels — they too have found themselves utterly perplexed.
“The deeper scientists have delved into the nature of nature, the more mysteries they have discovered.”