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Lost Crusader #215 Knowing and Understanding

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

Hebrews 11:3


I understand fewer things than the number of things I know. Though both are learning processes, I find that acquiring knowledge is much easier than obtaining understanding. Knowledge does not, of necessity, require action on my part. Knowledge can be gleaned from whatever enters by way of my senses. That is not true of understanding.

I know the atomic structure of oxygen. I’ve seen charts and listened to lectures on the subject. Beyond the most rudimentary sense, I cannot say I understand it. That is because I have no satisfactory answers to all the “why” questions I have about oxygen. Why is it arranged as it is? The reason might be to perform the functions it does. But why does it have functions in the first place and why must oxygen do it and not helium or some other element?

To understand why, one must step beyond the realm of science. My friends devoted to quantum theory believe they know. They think an unseen particle granted mass to energy and chance took over. But where did the particle come from and how did it decide to “grant” anything? It is here they rush to the vague notion of a “universe” that decides things, orders things, is concerned with what we do, upholds justice, and that one day we will become an intimate part of.

To me, that sounds an awful lot like the God Christians talk about. But of course, that cannot be—Christians operate by faith, not science and so must be either wrong or deluded. However, the Bible assures us that it is through faith that understanding is gained.

When a person accepts by faith the idea of a personal Creator as espoused in the opening line of scripture, they have a firm foundation from which to pursue an understanding of the origin of things seen and unseen.

The cry that such actions are not rational or scientific is predicated on the assumption that faith is not tested by its adherents. Christian faith is transmitted by principles that must be “worked out” under the guidance of God. This is, by its very nature, an experimental process.

God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Before you can seek, you must believe there is something to be found.


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