Thursday, February 19, 2009

Enjoying God Everywhere

In Mark Noll's book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Noll calls attention to the regrettable absence of Christian scholars and thinkers in various fields of study like art and science. This is regrettable, according to Noll, because in failing to learn diligently about nature, society and humanity, among other areas of study, we fail to learn about the Creator of all. As Noll says, When we study something, we are of course learning about that thing. But even more, we are learning about the One who made that thing.

Noll draws attention to the famous American theologian Jonathan Edwards. Here is a man who had an insatiable thirst for learning about both God and God's world. When he was still in his teens, Edwards wrote an extensive description of the shape, construction and purpose of a spider's web.

There are many true things we can say about the spider's web, but according to Edwards, the ultimate thing shown by the spider in its spinning is "the exuberant goodness of the Creator, who hath provided for all the necessities, but also for the pleasure and recreation of all sorts of creatures, even the insects." Edwards understood that the final reason for exercising our intelligence is to know more of God and his loving ways with the world.

Clearly Edwards was a man who did more than read his Bible and preach on heaven and hell (which he did extraordinarily well!). He was zealous to know all that he could about God, by studying carefully both His Word and His world.

May God raise up many such intellectuals who will zealously pursue a greater enjoyment of God through all that He has made.

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