Knowing God and Knowing About God

A friend of mine recently sent me an e-mail with an excerpt about studying God.  It argues that we should all become students of God, meaning we should study what He’s like.  Knowing God isn’t just about knowing Him in an emotional way; it’s also knowing facts about Him.  This isn’t to say that knowing God is simply facts, but knowing what He’s like is highly important for knowing Him more deeply.  Here is my reply to the e-mail he sent:

I agree!  It’s great to study God and know what He is like!  I find it disturbing often times how little basic theology many Christians know.  I’m in a religious studies class on Augustine of Hippo and there are a lot of Christians in it.  One girl, who is part of a Gospel choir, expressed confusion about what the doctrine of the Trinity states.  Now, understandably, she was confused on how the Trinity works, but she also didn’t know the basic formulation of the doctrine.  Another guy in the class had been going to church his whole life, yet didn’t know that the Holy Spirit is a person!  I’m sure that one huge reason for this is that the church has dropped the ball on teaching Christians theology, but people also don’t seem to go out and do the studying themselves.  This is not to say that we should judge someone’s holiness based on how much of the Bible they read or how intellectual they are, but people should endeavor to learn about God through the Bible and theology to the best of their abilities.

A problem, however, is that a person can go too far with learning about God or knowing things about God and never endeavor to know God in a personal way as our Father.  This is my problem.  I can state the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation pretty well.  I can tell you the different views that seek to reconcile God’s sovereignty and our free-will.  But when it comes to tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8), knowing Him beyond just the facts, I struggle.  It’s something I need to work on and will only pull through by God’s grace.

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