In this week’s featured article, I respond to the objection that just as ants (or turtles, or horses, or any other lower creature) will never be able to understand anything about us, so we should realize that we’ll never be able to understand anything about God:
In a Q&A newsletter from John Shelby Spong (an Episcopal Bishop who rejects most doctrines of Christianity), Spong voiced an objection to our ability to know God—an objection I have heard many times before:
I am not sure that the problem is that people throw around words [about God] so carelessly, but that the only words we humans have to use are human words, bound by time, space and human experience. Whatever God is, God is surely beyond the boundaries of human life. So the more specific we are about God, the less accurate we probably are. Let me repeat my favorite analogy. Horses cannot escape the boundaries of what it means to be a horse, nor can a horse view life from any other lens or perspective save that of a horse. Therefore a horse could never describe what it means to be human. In a similar manner, a human being cannot escape the boundaries or perspective of what it means to be human and therefore can never define or describe what it means to be God.
Is it really correct to say that just as a horse cannot describe us, so we cannot describe God? Are the two situations analogous? Francis Schaeffer has a great insight in The God Who Is There that helps to answer this question.