In The Naturalist’s Dilemma, I used a video of C.S. Lewis’s famous 1961 article, “Finding Shakespeare” to explain the problem we have with trying to find God in this world. In other words, how would Hamlet find Shakespeare since he is not is his “world?” Science cannot answer this question with God either because, if He exists, He would exist outside of the natural world.
It was also evident from the comments to this post that naturalists have no answer to this question because they only appeal to science to define their reality. But “finding Shakespeare” is an existential question that humankind has pondered for thousands of years, trying to answer it with religion and philosophy and mythology. Even with all our technical advances it’s not a question that will go away, no matter how much atheists wish it would.
People have asked me why I think Jesus explains God. This is a theological question which I will begin to answer with an excerpt from my book, Sonshift: Everything Changes In The Father’s Embrace. In this chapter, I’ve adapted some of C. Baxter Kruger’s teaching for how we can know God.
There are three aspects to the truth of how God has made it possible for us to literally know Him, according to Scripture. The first is that God knows Himself in the Father, Son and Spirit, and has been in communion within Himself from before creation. God shares everything together within this Holy Communion:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
The second aspect is that because God knows Himself in the Father, Son and Spirit, we can know God in the person of Jesus Christ. God the Son, the eternal Word, traversed this infinite gulf between Himself and mankind, to dwell among us in human flesh. In other words, Shakespeare wrote himself into Hamlet’s world!
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Scripture also reveals Jesus as the perfect expression of God (Heb. 1:3). Therefore, we can know God’s nature and character by looking at Jesus. We don’t define God, then look at Jesus; we look at Jesus to define God. Jesus Christ is the lens through which we see God as He really is. We will look at that point in greater detail in a moment.
So far, we know that Jesus Christ was with God the Father before creation and that He is the exact representation of God for us. If this was all there was to it, only Jesus knows God and we could only be able to observe Him from the outside looking in. But God doesn’t stop here!
The third aspect of this truth that allows us to truly know God is that Jesus sent us His Holy Spirit, and He will reveal everything about Himself by coming to live in us. Here’s what Jesus said about the indwelling Holy Spirit:
He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16: 14-15)
But this isn’t even the most fantastic thing that God has done here. Not only did Jesus reveal God to us by His life, and send His Holy Spirit to live in us, He put us inside of Himself! In other words, not only did Shakespeare come to live in Hamlet’s world, he put Hamlet inside of Shakespeare!
Do you understand what this means, dear one in Christ? This means that you and I can know God the same way God knows God! Look at the following statements of Scripture:
At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. (John 14:20)
I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17: 23-24)
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6 NIV)
Summarizing, we CAN truly know God because:
2. We can know God through Jesus Christ. Anything we say about God, whether in the Old Testament or New Testament, that’s different from the nature or character of Jesus is not the true nature or character of God. It’s something we’ve interpreted through our own darkened lens.
3. We can know God through spiritual intimacy. Not only does God’s Spirit dwell in us and reveals all things given to Jesus, but we have literally been placed into the same union (by the indwelling Spirit) that the Father has had with the Son from before creation.