The drive to school with my 2nd and 3rd grade children was interesting this morning. We were talking about God and I was attempting to make the Trinity understandable. This, of course, was difficult as I’m pretty confident that their seminary-educated father doesn’t perfectly understand how it all works. But I was making the best of it – using the good old egg analogy.
Then came the question, “Dad, where did God come from?”
Me: Well, God has always been there.
Them: On earth?
Me: No, even before the earth was made.
Them: Well, then where?
Me: (scrambling at this point) Everywhere.
Them: Oh, well what did it look like before God made everything?
Me: I’m not sure guys.
Them: Why not?
Me: Well, because the Bible doesn’t really tell us.
Me: I’m not sure.
Them: Well, how long was God there before he made the earth?
Son: I can’t make my mind go back that far…it gets really dark.
Me: Yeah, I know. It’s hard to think about that.
Sheesh – Kids these days!
I tell that little story because I think that most of us have questions about who God is, how the Trinity functions, what God is like, why He does the things that He does, and why we should worship Him.
Interestingly enough, I find that sometimes Christians (myself included) are so focused on what the Bible has to say about us and how we should live, that we miss what it says about God and who He is.
I took a required class in seminary called The Doctrine of God. When I saw the title I (naively) thought something to the effect of, “I think I understand who God is….duh!”
Surprise, I was wrong. WAAAY WRONG! So wrong that I’m embarrassed that I even wrote that previous statement, much less thought it.
I remember the first chapter of one of my text books was entitled, “What Sort of Reality Is God/does God have?”
What?! What does that even mean?
Nevermind getting to the chapter about compatibilist specific sovereignty and, oh yeah, speech act theory and trying to wrap my brain around the fact that God’s words are not merely words, but actually ARE things because God’s words are not just sound coming out of a mouth. His words carry so much power and weight that when He says things thing actually happen – in real time – like the creation of light!
Head hurt yet?
Yep, I feel you.
Anyway – God is big, and awesome, and eternal, and holy, and loving, and powerful, and altogether wonderful. There is no one and no thing like him. Our minds don’t have a comparison to start with.
Studying God is a worthwhile adventure. Some of it might confuse you (as it does me), but there will also be some things that will keep you up with a goofy grin on your face like a kid when he has his first Disney World experience because you will be so blown away that a God so vast can love you and I so deeply.
So, if any of this sounds fun, interesting, or beneficial – here are a few books that might help you learn a little more about this God that we worship.
When digging into deep waters like this, I find that it can be very helpful to start with books that consist of multiple essays. You get bite-size pieces of information that are generally really-well written. When authors are forced to write succinctly they often write far better. This is a good thing for you and I. These three collections of essays are good options.
Perhaps you’ve got a little pep in your step and feel like 2016 is the year that you go big or go home! Or, maybe you just want to really good resource to dip into when you have tough questions about God. Here are a few options that might stretch you a little more. Weighing in at over 800 pages a piece, you might not sit down and read through the entirety of these books (or maybe you will – stud!) But they are great resources (at a very good price might I add) to help you learn more about God no matter how deep you want to go.