POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan


I have known God and that is all that matters. Not known about God, not facts concerning God nor right theology, but I have known God and nothing else matters. Such is the subject of Chapter 2 of Knowing God. In all of our talk about salvation, truth, God, Christ, heaven, hell, redemption, and the life to come do we really know God in such a way that nothing else matters. This is Packer’s challenge to us. Certainly a challenging question to me. In my life I have seen days of arid spiritual dryness that I have seen in my life when I have doubted and questioned my knowledge of God. Yet there have been days soaked with the rains of a vision of God so powerful that I had no choice but weep in thanksgiving that such a presence was so close to my soul. The essence of this chapter – the reality of our personal, intimate knowledge of God cannot be dodged, nor should it. In the mundane of life, the everyday normalcy of existence, how we need to know the heart, the character, and the voice of the one who breaks into our world and overwhelms us with his grace. I have wrestled with this in my reading (particularly in Jonathan Edwards Religious Affections and a contemporary work by Donald Whitney, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health), I have wrestled with it in watching those I love in anguish of soul and heart ache, I have wrestled with it in the midst of agonizing intellectual questions that seemed to have no end, but in the end my soul has been comforted by God in the midst of the journey. One thing is certain, I desire to know God in the way Packer describes (great energy for God, great thoughts about God, great boldness for God in spite of harsh consequences, and great contentment in God alone) but feel so far from obtaining such a loft height. A quote from Edwards came to mind – in the state of my weak affections and desire to know God. Humbled to dust…
So has God disposed things, in the affair of our redemption, and in his glorious dispensations, revealed to us in the gospel, as though everything were purposely contrived in such a manner, as to have the greatest possible tendency to reach our hearts in the most tender part, and move our affections most sensibly and strongly. How great cause have we therefore to be humbled to the dust, that we are no more affected! Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections, Banner of Truth Edition (Carlisle:PA, Banner of Truth Trust, 2001) 53.